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Whale Of A Tale (spacing fixed)

Discussion in 'UO White Stag Inn' started by Lochlyn Macduff, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Whale of a Tale

    The sun had barely risen in the sky, the waters of Brittany bay glimmering in the wan light of the dawn. Jonah S'fedrian, son of Steiven peeled the makeshift sailcloth blanket from his tired frame, lifting himself to his feet, his old leather boots creaking against the deck of his father's fishing smack whose planks groaned loudly in return.

    Wiping the salty film from about his eyes, he surveyed the horizon, the coastline of Britain just in view. Taking a deep breath of the cool sea air, a strange feeling suddenly overtook him, the water beginning to lap at the side of the boat a bit louder than the moment before.

    Just as he was recovering from the eerie sensation, the boat began to list... hard. It rocked as though it was being tossed about in a hurricane, but there was not a cloud to be found in the entire sky. Deftly, he grasped onto the spar so as not to be thrown into the sea and turned into so much flotsam and jestsam on the shore of Lord British's grand city. Jonah looked right and left, spying his fishing pole left carelessly lashed to the stern to troll overnight. He grimaced as he remembered what his father had told him time and again about leaving a rod or net unattended, the thought sent him dashing along the slick planks of the deck as best as he could to the aft section of the boat.

    Pulling with all his might, he tugged the pole's catch toward the deck, another loud groan, not originating from the tired old boat, issued from below the water as two crimson eyes peered up from below the depths of the black sea. Jonah's eyes widened, as startled, he nearly flung the pole overoard. His heels dug into the deck in a vain attempt to remain upright as he scrambled back in fear. Although normally nimble and fairly surefooted, the slimy sea soaked boards combined with trembling legs thwarted Jonah's efforts and he fell flat on his back, the wind knocked clear out of his lungs.

    The beast arose from the water, it's massive coiled body writhing to and fro, sending a dread sparkle from it's reddish purple scales in the pale light of the dawn. The serpent shrieked as it reached it's full height, tall enough to dwarf even the noblest of paladins, let alone a humble fisherman from even humbler origins in the port town of Skara Brae.

    Jonah had not noticed until this very moment that since he had dropped his fishing pole, his left had was instinctively gripping the hilt of his kryss with white knuckles. The moment seemed to slow down as his mind was suddenly flooded with memories of the other boys that lived on the wharf where he grew up.

    As a boy, Jonah was always skinny and sickly looking which made him the target of ridicule among all his peers....until one day his uncle Taerlin visited with his cousin Jieret, a young man of 22 seasons. Jieret noticed that the gangly teenage boy was sorely lacking in confidence and self esteem, but also observed that one thing he had were sharp reflexes from years of sitting mate in his father's fishing boat, chasing the fish that had escaped from the nets and tying off sails in high winds. Jieret was a finely formed young man, very strong and tall, but lean from his father's side just as Jonah was and a very adept warrior. Although not being a fighting man himself, Steiven, granted his brother's son Jieret the permission to train his son Jonah in a skill that Jieret assured Steiven would teach his cousin to defend himself, and to gain a bit more confidence in everyday life.

    Upon meeting for their first lesson Jieret reached into his tunic and pulled out the first weapon that Jonah would come to own, an old dagger, a bit rusty, but with a special gleam that betrayed it's magical properties. Jonah carefully took the dagger and gingerly turned it about in his hand. The moment his fingers wrapped around it, he felt as though it taught him how to thrust, and where to hit for the best results. Wide-eyed, he grinned at Jieret, who smiled and hefted his staff, his brow lifting questioningly.

    The two sparred until early morning the next day, and the whole following week until Taerlin returned to Minoc with his son to hunt ettins and orcs that constantly harassed the townspeople. Over the next few years, Jonah would go to Britain and study the art of fencing with the masters in the warrior's guild, not forsaking his family trade of fishing and visiting his father and mother as often as his studies would allow. Finally, the years of training would pay off in this, the moment of truth, the memory fading as time returned to it's former tempo.

    The serpent still beared down on him as before, it's rank breath of fish guts and hapless seafarers making him cringe as it let out another ear shattering shriek. Feeling the spark of courage flowing through his veins like raw power, he rose to his feet in defiance of the monster's will that beckoned to cowe him as easy prey. He straightened up, drawing the wickedly twisted blade of his kryss, the dissonant ring of the steel escaping it's scabbard giving the serpent something to think about as it slowly began to inch back from the deck.

    "A blade enchanted to vanquish is nothing to take lightly no matter what species of foul creature be ye." Jonah said, finally gaining the courage to speak of the matter at hand. "perhaps ye'd like ta reconsider no?" He asked slyly, a wispy grin spreading across his lips. The weapon gleamed in the growing light, the dread green promise of deadly poison coating it's jagged edge. The deep sea serpent looked past the seemingly humble fisherman to the hold at the bow, the spoils of past treasures fished up spilling onto the deck. Greed overtook the foul reptile, the decision to strike sealed by it's insatiable need for riches. Ready for whatever would come, Jonah let the skill of a master fencer possess his movements and he stood ready.

    The serpent made the first strike, it's greedy nature shown again as it attempted to take off the fisherman's head in it's jaws. Jumping quickly to the side, Jonah gave the beast plenty of space, it's lunging bite missing him entirely as it's snout plowed into the rear cabin, smashing several windows in the wake of it's attack. Jonah took the opportunity to strike, laying several hard thrusts against the monster's exposed back. The blade impotently clanged against the natural scaled armor as it's tail whipped from the water, smacking Jonah across the back and sending him sprawling across the deck, his flailing arms unable to retain his weapon. He watched, horrified as it clanged to the deck just out of his reach, settling onto the salt sprayed planks. The serpent smiled an evil smile as it loomed closer, once again becoming overconfident in it's victory.

    Reaching into the grubby, weather worn pocket of his oilskin jacket, Jonah found within moments what he was looking for; several potions. Quickly he popped the cap off of both of them and drank the yellow, and then the white. Feeling more energized than before, he rushed to his feet, and in one fluid moment drew his dagger from his boot. As he leaped onto the creature, he buried the shorter blade into it's blood red eye. The serpent shrieked, this time in pain as it recoiled back from the vessel, giving Jonah plenty of room to fling himself back on deck with the enhanced strength of the potion.

    His foe writhed and threw itself about in the water, too occupied in it's own demise to notice Jonah slowly, but determinedly walking to retrieve his kryss, picking it up, he strided back to the edge of the deck, waiting for the reptile to come into striking distance, his weapon poised to make the final blow. Surprised, he watched on as it began to fall, splashing down into the water in a heap beside the boat as the poison completed it's gruesome task. He jumped onto the corpse to retrieve his dagger, removing the horned hides and scales with it to sell in town.

    On his way back into Britain Jonah began to feel like a new person. No longer was he just a humble fisherman in a forgotten line of many. He was now a warrior, and he was eager to travel to Minoc and tell his cousin of his encounter. Perhaps Jieret would teach him of mace fighting...