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The Island Garden Song

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The Island Garden Song

Post by David.C on Tue May 24, 2016 2:18 pm

David woke up soaked in sweat, underneath a pile of furs. His mattress, which was stuffed with cloths instead of straw, was warm and slimy from his perspiration. The furs on top of him stunk of his body's odour.

He had awoken an hour earlier, when the first rays of sunlight came through his window and stirred him. He made residence in the eastern wing of his small St. Mary's estate so the sun would wake him every morning, and he could start his days early, but as of late David wasn't in the mood for starting his days early. He was never in the mood to start his days at all. He re-arranged his furs, and turned the fresh side that was exposed to the cold morning air down ontop of him, and then went back to sleep.

His slumber didn't last long. The sun barely moved an inch when David awoke again, and now he was too miserable to go back to sleep. His bed was lumpy and hard, and the feeling of bathing in his own sweat made him feel sick. One of his knees was hurting too, the one his mare fell on when he was being chased down the roads of Normandy.

He kicked the furs off of the bed with his good leg, and rolled onto his stomach. A cool breeze came through one of his open windows and washed over him, sending goosebumps down his body. He shivered and sighed happily. David could never seem to find the right balance between cool and warm, and always woke up either shivering, or sweating, and scarcely got more than three hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time.

The estate was located in Hugh Town, on top of a small hill, if it could be called a hill. It was a rise in the landscape just high enough so that the building could look out over the smaller hovels and houses that the villagers lived in. It was the largest building in town, discounting the churches and watchtowers. It had two floors, a wine cellar, and a spacious attic. The large, front oak door lead into a sitting room, which had a staircase carpeted in green velvet with a maple railing in the back of the room, which lead to the second floor. There was a hearth in the middle of the room made out of limestone bricks. There were two doors on opposite sides of the room, leading to the east and west wings, which were made of maple. All of the wood in the estate was decorated similarly, with silver flakes put into the wood depicting all manner of creatures. Dragons, lions, unicorns, and fairies were most common, but there were a few lesser beats that could be found throughout the building.

The west wing housed the kitchen, dining area, and quarters for the household servants, which David emptied since he kept no servants. The east wing was where the previous family kept their own dwellings. When David took ownership of the estate, he left most of the rooms untouched. His friends and companions were free to use the lavishly furnished rooms for themselves.

The upstairs was smaller. There was no west wing upstairs, instead there was a large balcony. It was meant to be used as a second dining area, but the whether wasn't yet suitable to dine outside, and so the deck was kept bare. The second floor had a study, which was connected to the master bedroom, and then there was a small parlour with enough room to seat five people comfortably.

There was a garden behind the estate, which could be accessed from a door hidden behind the staircase in the mainroom. Gardening was the only thing David had to spend his time on in Hugh Town. It was difficult to do with only one working leg, so he resigned himself to only working on a few small flowerbeds.

David chose not to make residence in the master bedroom. The estate was his in name, but in his mind he had no more right to it than any of the other Reavers, so it would be wrong for him to take the grandest room for himself. Him and a few of his crewmates got involved in a scandal in Hugh Town two years ago that resulted in the previous ruling family being driven out, and somehow David managed to walk out of those events as a hero to the townspeople. He decided to seize the property with his crew, and since the mayor saw him in a good enough light, he got away with it.

The room he slept in was at the very end of the hall in the eastern wing, and was the second largest room in the house. It's width matched the estate, and had two windows on the north wall, and two more mirroring them on the south. Across from the door, in the middle of the eastern wall, was a great stained glass window depicting a maiden and a knight dancing in a field of green grass. When the sun rose and it's golden beams touched the glass, it came through in marvelous coloured beams. David's bed was beneath the window, and it pleased him to be awoken by such a beautiful sight each morning, even if he'd rather stay in bed and sleep.

He slowly peeled his eyes open, and pushed his tangle of hair out of his face. He looked around his room and admired the colours for a moment.
I should plant a tree a few feet outside my window. When it grows, the light would be blocked partly by dancing leaves, but it would make the light inside seem to dance... He thought. I'll likely be gone before I'd get to see it grown, but I'm sure the next resident would be grateful.

He rolled onto his back, then swung his legs over to one side of the bed. His bad leg shot up with pain and David cried out, then glanced at the nightstand next to his bed. It had a writing board, and writing supplies, a small stack of books, and a three-quarters drank bottle of whiskey. It was the whiskey he wanted. He snatched the bottle and before he had a chance to change his mind, swallowed a mouthful so quick it didn't even touch his tongue on the way down. His throat burned, and his stomach felt queasy. David laid still.

A year ago, it seemed, whiskey was no problem for him. Now it seemed that a drop of it made him want to wretch, and half of the time he drank it he would wretch. It still got him drunk, though, and it helped numb the pain. He laid unmoving for a few minutes, and when his stomach finally settled he sat up, and grabbed his crutch that was leaning against the wall by his bed and tucked it under his right arm. He got up and hobbled to the wardrobe to the south of the room. Inside the clothes were divided into two sides, as different from black and white. On one side was his traveling clothes, made from cheap fabrics where the dyes had faded, and each article of clothing hosted countless rips and stains. On the other side was what one might guess to be the wardrobe of a nobles daughter. David owned several expensive gowns made mostly from blue, green, and violet silks. He had a small range of evening dresses, a few things he could wear when riding, and two exquisite ball gowns.

He felt a certain thrill whenever he glimpsed the feminine garments, but he never donned them. When was the last time he let Davina out of the closet? Not since leaving Holland.
Too long, he felt.

He grabbed a pair of rough wool breeches, and a green linen shirt that looked fresher than most of his other male garments, and proceeded to dress himself. He had the estate to himself currently, but he was expecting visitors over the next few days. He still had to meet with Inanna, who was meant to arrive soon, but there were a few other Reavers that went down with the Fevre Dream who managed to wash ashore that were going to come and meet him in Hugh Town as well. When someone showed up at his door, he didn't want to have to go dress himself and take a lifetime to let them in. There was no knowing when anyone would show up, though, so even if he was going to resign himself to bed all day he had to at least get dressed.

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Re: The Island Garden Song

Post by Inanna on Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:24 am

As she walked through the streets of Hugh Town the colour finally started to come back into Inanna’s face. It had somehow managed to be both paler than white and a rather awful shade of green simultaneously after she had disembarked from the ship that brought her here and needless to say, she was in a foul mood.The crossing hadn’t been rough, in fact the weather was milder here than further north in the Forest and the seas had been calm; but having lived through a shipwreck once was enough for Inanna and she couldn’t imagine a time she’d feel comfortable on a boat again. In fact she didn’t really like the thought of being out of England anymore at all, unless it was in Wales of course. But by boat? No thanks. In her mind ocean travel, even when it wasn’t dangerous, was slow and unreliable. Never a patient soul, it definitely did not agree with her.

If she was in the mood to be objective, which she really was not, Hugh Town was actually quite pretty. Despite herself she perked up as the fresh coastal breeze swept through town. For all she hated being on it, Inanna did truly love being next to the sea. Having been brought up on the coast of Anglesey, tides ran in her pulse as much as the phases of the moon and as long as she could keep her feet on the firmness of shore she found it quite healing. Gulls cried over head as gulls do and though the town was obviously awake now, there was still a peace to the island. With the beauty and remoteness, she could grudgingly understand why someone such as David Cuttlefish would keep a home here.

She had met David now in person only briefly and the circumstances hadn’t exactly been conducive to heartfelt chats.  Certainly she had been associated with him professionally for quite a while now, but she still felt she didn’t know him. It was was a strange feeling to think she could trust him without knowing him, but hopefully this visit would cure some of that and put Inanna’s mind at ease. There was definitely an advantage to having Wolves roaming the seas and for the aforementioned reasons it certainly wasn’t going to be Inanna doing it. When an opportunity for a partnership with the Reavers had arisen, she had jumped at it but now that life had calmed down it was time to catch up on that whole relationship building thing.

By the time she knocked on the door to David’s estate she was overly warm from the climb up the hill, but at least she no longer looked like she was going to vomit on his doorstep.

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Re: The Island Garden Song

Post by David.C on Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:53 pm

The only answer was the sound of wood on wood tapping, as David hobbled to the door with the help of his crutch. When he opened the door to Inanna, he tried his best to smile. He felt more foolish than usual with a crutch tucked under his arm.

"Welcome! Please, come in."

He turned out of Inanna's way and waited to close the door after she entered. "I'd offer t'show ya 'round Inanna, but I'm nae in the shape for it. I can take y'to the gardens where we can chat, or we can sit inside. Wherever y'er comfortable. Oh, and care for something to drink?"

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Re: The Island Garden Song

Post by Inanna on Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:49 pm

Inanna poked her head through the doorway, looking left and right before she entered. She wasn’t sure what she had expected but this wasn’t it. The house was grander than she had expected, and much more opulent than she would have thought for a remote pirate bolthole. Certainly David answering the door himself and on crutches definitely wasn’t expected either. She looked him up and down as she stepped into the house.

“What have you done to yourself, man?” she enquired as she unshouldered her pack and tossed it to one side against the wall. It wasn’t large or heavy as she didn’t plan on staying long, just a change of clothing and enough to get her through a visit of a few days. It was none the less a relief to be able to stop carrying it.  

The large house was quiet and though she strained her ears, she didn’t hear anything further in the depth of the rooms. Strange to have a house so big with no servants or other guests, wasn’t it? Or was she just too used to UrShak’s fancy ways in the houses he owned that were similar to this. Inanna herself was so out of touch from years of living in the Forest and in retreat that she was no longer sure of what was normal in more “polite society” anymore. But then a pirate’s hideout in these remote isles wasn’t exactly the centre of the royal court, and David Calamore would probably be heartily offended if she accused him of being “polite society” anyhow.

She nodded at his injured leg. “Though with all that has happened, I’m sure it could have been much worse. And a drink would be more than welcome, thanks.”

Anything to settle the stomach, she thought. Or better yet, enough to forget it's bothering me in the first place.

Gesturing to David to go first, she waited for him to lead. “After you, my fine host.”

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Re: The Island Garden Song

Post by David.C on Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:32 pm

"Oh, I didn't do this to meself." He explained. "Was some bloody Norman, shot me 'orse out from under me and the poor thing landed on my damned leg." He started to make his way down the western hall towards the kitchen, where he had a few barrels of differing drinks brought up from the cellar. "And aye it could be worse, I could be dead." He chuckled grimly. "I swear the gods put a curse on me so I won't e'er die."

The kitchen was one of the first rooms in the western wing, and had a door that lead out to the garden. There was a hearth tucked into a corner which could fit a small fire, and had a spit big enough to roast half a pig. There were clay ovens along the walls, and an iron stove at one point. The ashes from all the cookfires were cold, and had been for quite some time. David supped mostly on bread, cheese, some fruits, and the occasional bowl of soup. By the door that entered into the kitchen from the hallway were three barrels, each about three feet high and a foot in diameter. "Take y'er pick. Cider, risp; wine, red & sour; mead, fiery."He said, gesturing to each of them in turn. The cider was half emptied, while the wine and mead were only a few inches down. David grabbed himself a mug in his free hand and dipped it into the barrel of mead. "It took some work to get mead dropped off on'iss little Island, but it's nae too out of the way  that it was impossible."

He began to walk back to the sitting room and took a small swallow of the mead and savoured the burning sweetness for a moment. "Not that I really give a shit, but tryin' ta find good drink is just one of the ways I try ta distract meself from the fact that I'm as useful as teets on armour right now. It'll be good to talk some business. Gods know, I might even have something t'say that'd be useful." David smiled at the notion of that. It was better to be stuck in an estate then stuck just about anywhere else, but being surrounded by comforts when the Reavers were still in France made him feel like a piss poor captain. Sitting down and talking about business would be a good way to feel like he wasn't being useless.

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Re: The Island Garden Song

Post by Inanna on Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:57 pm

She grabbed a mug and dunked it in a barrel, totally unconcerned as to which it might have been. It was wet, and that was good enough. Inanna was all about trying to make herself more comfortable here, and whatever was in the barrel would certainly facilitate that.

“So….yeah….seems the Reavers have been active lately….”

She took long pull from her mug and pursed her lips. So much gossip had crossed the channel, some of it jubilant, some not so flattering. Not that it mattered too much, she knew David’s reputation well enough to trust him even though she hadn’t personally spent all that much time with him.

“You’ve been pirating then? Any good loot? Seems to me the expenses of ship repair can easily sink any profits.”

She left her own dislike of the sea out of it. It might colour her own actions but she still saw the sea as a fine vocation for those who could stomach it.

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Re: The Island Garden Song

Post by David.C on Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:18 pm

"Good thing we don't 'ave any ships to waste our money on repairing." David's smile spread into a larger grin. "Before we went down we had a bit o'er four thousand pounds worth of loot squirreled away, from le Dadou, and we hadn't finished plundering le Ravachol. There were still at least another three thousand pounds we could've gained from the wreck." He took a seat in one of the many chairs in the parlour.

"When the French Warcarrack appeared on the horizon, we didn't want 'em having our gold and silver, so we threw it overboard. The motherfish must've smiled on our offering, as suddenly hundreds of barrels of cider were pushed by the waves t'wards us. We pulled 'em aboard just before the French vessel got in firing range, and we decided to drink it all. We had no wind, and they were coming from a better angle, and had more guns. I didn't fool myself into thinking I could win the day, so we decided to drink all the cider and damn the battle. That left us with a few hundred empty barrels. When we threw 'em overboard, we floated safely back to the mainland inside 'em, if ye' can imagine that. Me and a portion of my crew ended up in Holland, the rest I've nae heard anything from. We spent most of the spring recovering, then we set out to Flanders. We sacked Ghent, then moved on Antwerpen. Our attempts to bribe the militia there failed and we were sent packing, but they caught none of us. From there we were going to scout the counties of Normandy, Alençon, and Maine. I went ahead to rob in Normandy while the Quartermaster and the rest of the crew, guarding her and the loot, went to Dieppe to hide our treasure away. Before I could start robbing I was ambushed by a Norman army. They shot me horse, it landed on me leg, and you can guess how that left me. 'fore I left Normandy I made some enquiries, as to how this Norman army came to find me. Turned out it was just me being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but they caught no wind of my crimes in Flanders, or my previous criminal history in France from the winter of '62. Nae, they were after me on request of the English."

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Re: The Island Garden Song

Post by Inanna on Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:30 pm

While David spoke Inanna sipped on her drink. From the fieriness of it, she guessed it was the mead and slowed her stride a little. Not much, but a little. David certainly had a lengthy tale to tell, some of which she had already heard rumours of, but it was always good to get it straight from the pirate’s mouth. Apparently there were other things you could get from a pirate’s mouth too, but she wasn’t interested in David in THAT way so it wouldn’t be a concern. So she drank and listened and drank a bit more. Her brow creased a bit as his story unfolded. She had settled in a chair near David’s and watched him as he spoke. It was clear he had great affection for his crew and would know how to throw a good party when the chips were down. When he finally paused for breath, she spoke.

“Aye, I heard a bit about your exploits in France. Good show you put on! Hope it was profitable?”

She tried to keep her tone light but there was a worry behind his last words. At the request of the English? Surely the influence of this shite country didn’t extend that far?

“But what makes you think the English were behind it? Why would they be interested in what trail of destruction you were leaving in France? I would have thought they’d approve in some way. And why on earth would the French help the English??”

Politics was a subject Inanna avoided in much the same way she avoided Grave’s cooking, but EVERYONE knew the English and French hated each other.

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Re: The Island Garden Song

Post by David.C on Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:19 pm

"I'm nae sure what'd be considered profit after losing the Fevre Dream." He said before swallowing another mouthful of mead.

"Gods'nly know why the English were behind it. The first thing I did when I got back ta safety was to get a message to the army's general, asking what happened. I was told that the English embassy gave them my name as the type o' man who should be cut down on sight, and so they tried. Even if the English and French don't like each other, they have the same opinion of scum like me. I have the letter from their general 'round 'ere somewhere..." He glanced around the room and tried to remember where he put it. His room, probably. "It's a... Boring letter though."

David didn't think Inanna would care to see it, and they had finished with formalities, so David swallowed what was left of his mead. His leg didn't hurt as much anymore, and he wasn't as nervous as he thought he was going to be. This meeting was already going significantly better than the last. "M'encounter with ta Norman's was unfortunate, an' now I'm not going to be able to do much. This island 'as many comforts, and might be a good place to recover, but... You can imagine 'bout how I feel bein' resigned to one place for so long! The thought's gotten into my head of maybe getting off this island for a bit. There's somewhere, back in England, I thought of returning to. Just for a bit." He watched Inanna closely to see how she might respond to that. David didn't feel good about wandering off to England while the Reavers were still in France, and what would she think about letting a cripple travel the countryside alone?

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Re: The Island Garden Song

Post by Inanna on Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:34 pm

Inanna’s drink paused mid-gulp and she held the mug there for a moment while she digested that information. David wanted to return to England? That was….unexpected?

When she lowered her drink she set it aside on the nearest available and reasonably uncluttered surface.

“Just you? What about the rest of the Reavers?”

It’s not that they weren’t all welcome, right? Right?

“Where in particular were you thinking of heading? Is this a ‘next boat out of here’ thing or a ‘when the drink on this floating rock runs out’ kind of thing? Not that I mind, of course,” she tried to cover herself. She did genuinely want him to return to England eventually, didn’t she? Maybe she just hadn’t thoroughly considered what that would actually mean.

“I have passage on a ship back in a few days time but I could change that if you need someone to travel with.”

The thought of the return journey was so unappealing at this point that Inanna might have been happy to postpone it until next year if there hadn’t been issues back in the Forest she needed to keep an eye on.

“Tell me your thoughts, Cuttlefish.”

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Re: The Island Garden Song

Post by David.C on Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:24 pm

"It's a next boat outta 'ere type o'thing." He explained. "And neither' us need worry 'bout the Reavers 'till I get back to France, and a trip t'England wouldn't delay that. My leg'll recover just'is fast 'ere as it will here." If he sailed to England he would still have to travel to the center of Westmorland on foot, and he might not recover as swiftly on such a journey, but was that any of Inanna's concern? If it delayed his return to France and the Reavers ended up needing him... Maybe it was. But at least in England David might have a chance of being useful, instead of wasting his days gardening. As long as I don't get dragged into any grand heists I can manage a trip to Westmorland and be back in France by the time I'm able to march again.

"I don't enjoy traveling by me lonesome, but I still do. If there's nae extra cabin on y'er ship I'll make my own plans and find some wolves who fancy a trip north once I get off. Or we can wait for another ship." David still had enough wealth on St. Mary's to buy passage to England and back many times over, so finding a ship wasn't his concern.

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