Open skies? No problem! But a City?!
Chapter 3: Mypos or Bust
Location: Somewhere in Mypos, Elladia
Timeline: Day 1, early afternoon
Once ejected from the throne room of that odd building with all it's moving components - a trait that Lleryn did not like one bit - he figured that now would be a good time to try and locate one of the trumpeters or, as Lleryn called them, boopety boopety men. He'd ask them all about their fantastical instruments that he had never seen before. Made of metal and all shiny, he began to wonder if they could be carved out of wood and if he could make one himself. But interrupting his thoughts came the decisive orders of Dottie, organising the group in their captain's absence. Lleryn was to be taken back tot he ship, and Erm was to take him there. The rest had other things to be doing. The Ngafr was new to the crew and thus had no idea what mortal peril he was likely to be subjected to by being left in the incapable hands of Erm. Still, they offed in the direction of the docks.
They walked through the city Erm looking everywhere at everything, with the exception of where he was going, and Lleryn at his side, banjo slung over his shoulder. Eventually they were out at the docks, only the look on Erm's face revealed that these were not the right docks. Lleryn looked up and down, past all the fishing boats and baskets of crabs and lobsters and fish.
"So, where is it then? This big ship of yours." he turned to look at Erm and it was then that he knew something was amiss. "We're not in the right place, are we?"
"No." came the slightly worried, slightly embarrassed reply.
"Well did you lead me here?" asked Lleryn confused and a tad angry.
"I don't know - I was following you!"
"You were following me?! Why were you following me?"
It was true, Erm was not by any standards a natural leader, nor indeed a leader of any sort, and as Lleryn had walked by his side he had just followed his movements. Lleryn, meanwhile, had instinctively walked back to the docks; the water docks, for all the boats that did not fly. It was natural for him as that was the way home and he'd done it enough times before that he just headed that way naturally.
At this point Erm was just looking at his feet as if doing so with enough vigour would put an end to the conversation and solve their less-than-perfect situation - a motion he was most adept at. "Right, well we'll just head back to the other, proper docks, then." but they wouldn't. Why? Because this was Erm.
While Lleryn and Erm were having their grand adventure, Ashrieda was failing miserably at being manly. At least she had the swagger, she reassured herself. She shoved her hands in her pockets and her chin in the air, almost daring someone to tell her that she ought to be inside cooking or cleaning or something equally horrible.
She knew she probably ought to have waited until one of the other sailors could have accompanied her, but she was feeling restless, so she was taking it upon herself to explore as much of the docks as she could solo. Mypos was a bustling little place, not a likely place for anything sordid or out of the ordinary to happen. But of course, she knew better.
She had started to wonder if she ought to have volunteered to go with the Captain after all when she ran smack into Erm.
"Erm! What in hell?!" It was unusual to see Erm outside his natural habitat, Brem's Domain Where No One Dared Tread. Then she remembered that Erm had left with the Captain. "What are you doing here? Where's the others?" Erm gave her a dazed look.
"Ugh! You smell like sh-I mean, you smell horrible. What, did you bathe in garbage or something?" She took a handkerchief out of her pocket and held it to her nose and as she did so Lleryn walked out from behind Erm.
"It's funny you should mention that, actually; you're not far off what happened." he said in his thick Ngafran accent.
"Really? What --" Ashrieda glanced at Erm. "...never mind, I don't think I want to know."
It was then she noticed that Erm had brought along a friend. At first, she thought that the little goat man was a hallucination, but Ashrieda remembered that she had had no liquor today. She looked carefully at him; he had a musical instrument of some sort, which inexplicably made her smile. He looked harmless, but she still thought that they ought to have been careful.
"Uh...hello there. How do you you two know each other?" she asked the man. It was probably best not to even try asking Erm.
"Oh, D-" he interrupted himself "Captain Daenelia hired me earlier - I'm the ship's new musician." he said, swinging his banjo down off his shoulder and picking a little diddle.
Ashrieda glanced around nervously. Fortunately, everyone seemed too preoccupied with their own pursuits to pay them any attention. She supposed the Ngafr was telling the truth; Erm was a lot of things, but he'd never struck her as a dupe. "Watch what you say 'round here. Captain says we shouldn't let people know who we work for."
Then she grinned. "But that was pretty good, sir. Do you know any love ditties?" Did he know any love ditties? The question was almost insulting, but then she wasn't to know that she was speaking to a musician so heavily accomplished as Lleryn. Given his culture, Lleryn had to be pretty damned good from a young age. He strummed out a wistful chord and began to sing in Ngafran and after the first line he slowly picked at some chords, getting slightly faster as he went, still singing all the while.
Ashrieda didn't understand a word that was being sung, but it certainly sounded pretty. Life had taught her to always be on guard, but music - and other, less polite activities -- always made her forget her troubles...momentarily, at least. But she wasn't one to stand idly on strange docks on strange islands, especially now, as people were abandoning their wares and stopping to listen and dance along. That, and Ashrieda couldn't dance.
"Well, I'm going," she said, shoving her handkerchief back into her pocket and glancing around once more. "Are you two going back to the ship yet? Ghaust'll want to know if there's going to be extra bodies."
Erm blushed sheepishly and glanced down at his feet. "Erm, well...we kind of...I..."
"...don't know where the ship is." Lleryn supplied, giving Erm a pointed look.
Ashrieda sighed. "It's somewhere this way." The three of them started towards the sky ship docks, Lleryn playing along as whey went.