Chapter 19:

Chapter 19


The sun hung halfway over the horizon. The sky was a deep blend of red and orange. The ocean had turned from a crystal blue to a shimmering gold. The heroes of Ethros walked along the edge of the water. Their wet clothes rested on top of their bags. They wrapped themselves in cloths to dry their bodies and to keep warm from the surrounding air's dropping temperatures. Once again, Isaac took the lead, determined to keep everyone on pace and on track. Elizabeth hung around the back of the group, collecting and observing seashells. Vera bounced between them, either annoying Isaac or comparing her finds with Elizabeth's. They were walking towards a small shack on the coast. Attached to it was a small dock and a relatively small sailboat. It was unmistakenly a pirate ship, but one big enough to house only a couple people. It bobbed up and down in the water with motion of the waves. As the three approached the shack, it became evident it was a fisherman's hut. Nets covered the walls of the hut. Varieties of large fish decorated the outside as well. A multitude of fishing poles dangled off the side of the dock. There were no real windows, just squares carved out from the rotted wood. The stench of fish filled the air around the hut. Vera covered her nose as they stopped just beyond the old rickety steps.

"Alright, we can ask the fisherman here if he'll take us to Crystal Cove. Having someone with experience should make this leg of our journey go smoothly." Isaac explained.

"And what makes you so sure they'll take us so willingly? What do we have to offer that would make such a journey worth it?" Vera argued, still plugging her nose.

"Uh, money? Remember?"

"Oh yeah." The three walked up the old rickety steps. Isaac pushed open the old wood door. Its creaking was broken up by the little chime of a bell hanging above the door. An ancient, portly, and sickly-looking man turned to look at the adventurers. He sat on wooden stool behind a glass counter filled with different assortments of fish.

"Shop's closed." He growled. He kicked his feet up and leaned back, balancing the back leg of his seat.

"We have urgent business, sir."

"Then ye should've come during business hours."

"Look, we came all this way. It's important."

"Get the guard for your troubles then."

"They can't help us. We need you." The fisherman laughed.

"Doubt it! What kind of trouble are ye in that you need me help instead of the guards?"

"The governmental corruption kind."

"Been a problem ever since I was a wee lad. You're gonna need to try harder than that."

"Then it's also the seafaring kind. We need a boat, and we need a navigator." The fisherman dropped his stool down. It came down with a loud thud. "We need to sail to Crystal Cove for a dire quest, and we need to go as soon as possible."

"Why me, of all people?"

"I don't know, you were right here." Vera whispered. Isaac elbowed her arm. "What?! It's true!"

"You're an honest bunch, I like that." He played with his long white beard. "Fine! I'll take ye across. But it'll cost you."

"How much?"

"500 gold! 50 platinum!" He shouted. Now the negation begins. He thought. These land lovers could never have that much coin on their persons. They couldn't possibly afford a surcharge of 500%!

"50 platinum?! Why is it so expensive?!"

"Because ye is trying to book a 24-hour sail on short notice! That's why!" See! There's no way they can afford me prices! Now they'll decline and I'll so graciously lower their price to double commercial standard! He took a long swig of the drink sitting next to him. I'll make such a profit off of these idiots and they won't even see it coming! A loud clang interrupted the fisherman's nefarious daydreaming. He looked down to see a small leather pouch filled with platinum coins.

"There you go. 50 platinum." His eyes widened. He spat out and nearly choked on his drink. He pounded his chest while coughing. "Are... are you alright?"

"What?" His voice cracked. Clearing his throat, he began again. "Aye! Aye, I'm alright." He hopped off his stool and made his way around the counter. "Ye will need to get acquainted with me ship. There ain't much room in here and we won't depart until the morn."

"Great, thank you. And just so we're all on the same page. I'm Sir Isaac, this is Elizabeth and that's Vera."

"The name's Willie." Isaac and Willie nodded to each other. The party exited through the backdoor of the hut. They walked along the dock and climbed into the old sailboat. Opening up the captain's quarters, they hunkered down inside, placing cloths and blankets on the floorboards.

"Ugh, this sucks." Vera complained. "Gotta sleep on the cold and wet floor! It's like we're peasants!"

"You never complained about sleeping in the forest."

"Yeah? That's because it was quiet, the ground didn't move, and everything didn't smell like fish!"

"To Vera's credit, we did have a fire before to keep us warm." Elizabeth added.

"Thank you! She gets it."

"You can't get sick right? So, it's not like you'll catch anything."

"She can't, but I can still get sick you ass!"

"And that's why Elizabeth is here. To cure you when you get sick."


"It's just for a couple nights. Quick and easy adventure. We'll have Willie take us to get our crap and we'll leave. It's not like any of Grimwald's men can walk on water."

"I guess..."

"Look, when we're done here, I promise we'll spend our next night in a fancy tavern. How's that sound?"


"Ooo, if they sell sweet rolls can we get some?"

"Sure doc. Whatever will make you happy."