• Windward Island, The Skullfish. Southern Seas •
Marea moved first, and that immediately spurred Marlowe forward. In his mind, he was cursing himself for hesitating and letting her run ahead of him. He was surprised at the size of the ship; it was huge compared to the ships he’d piloted throughout his youth, but that was to be expected. A ship like this could house a crew of around 20 divers, plus hold equipment for dangerous expeditions like the one they were preparing for. Marlowe eyed the deck; seeing a few boxes still placed haphazardly around. He couldn’t hide in one of those; they still had to be moved. No, he’d have to find something in the lower deck, a place they’d already set gear down to wait out the voyage.
The deck was full of interesting devices; several metal devices with wire rolled up on them; as well as a cannon on the bow. It looked as if it could be loaded with a variety of different salvos. There was an open hatch leading into the lower decks; and Marlowe carefully looked inside, seeing nothing but darkness. “Alright,” he whispered to Marea, “I think if we hide in a crate down there, we’ll be safe until they set out.” Marlowe crept a foot into the lower deck; carefully tiptoeing until he saw a large pile of crates in the corner of the room. He almost made a dash for it until he heard the coughing of a man further inside.
“Blasted engine,” the voice hacked, and a shadow seemed to move in the arch leading to the engine room. “Constantly needing my damn attention. I never get to enjoy a nice drink at port…” Marlowe held his breath as he moved in a near crawl to a large box in the corner, carefully sliding off the top of the crate, and looking inside. Nets, gears, nothing dangerous. He looked back to Marea, and nodded.
• Windward Island,The Sunken Shepard
. Southern Seas •
“Well, no time to waste then, eh?” Bron looked around to those who had gathered. It was a small group, but it was a larger group than he’d expected. Young, yes. But it seemed one was a seasoned helmsman, and that was good news. “Alright you minnows,” Bron growled, “Let’s get geared up on the ship.”
He tossed a few shelma to the barkeep, grabbing a brown bottle and taking a long draught from it before walking out, moving towards the port. “We’re wasting light! There’s treasure to be found, jobs to be done, and knowledge to be won! That’s the Diver’s creed!” The actual Diver’s creed was Courage, Honor, Integrity.
By the time Bron had arrived back to the Skullfish, the rest of the supplies were loaded up. A blonde haired diver approached him, grinning as if he’d heard a good job. “Sir,” he said, giving a quick salute to Bron. “We’re ready to ship out on your orders.”
“Thank you Max,” Bron said, patting the younger man on the shoulder. He turned to the approaching Divers. “This ship is the Skullfish. She has four Diver reels to lock yourself down in, and enough line on each to reach damn near the bottom of the Sea of Ancients. These seas are far more shallow than the seas back home, so you shouldn’t need that much line. We’ll load the cannon with the harpoon before we ship out. If you lot have anything left to do in this town before we make way towards that rock, you’d best do it now. Once we’re on the seas, we don’t turn around unless we’re on fire or we’ve finished the job.”