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The Lady's Crew

Writers: Yvonne
Date Posted: 30th August 2019

Characters: Taril, Gleon (NPC)
Description: Taril visits the Dockmaster's offices to try to make sense of the last few days
Location: Sunstone Seahold
Date: month 11, day 3 of Turn 9
Notes: Follows SSH: The Lady Agate. Late because I moved.

**Nothing makes sense.** Taril stared morosely at the amber whiskey at the bottom of his glass. He needed a little time to think and clear his head before going back to Humari, time to straighten out the facts. His ledger was missing. Vinalee had tried to stab him. Vinalee owed him marks. Someone tried to blackmail Vinalee. Captain Garik was lying. So… what was the connection?

He turned the glass in his hand. Maybe he was looking at the problem from the wrong direction. So… why would Captain Garik lie? **Why does any man lie,** Taril thought. **To protect something.** His reputation, his woman… but the most obvious answer was his ship, the Lady Agate. Garik owned the ship outright but didn’t own much else. The ship was his family’s security and way to pay tithe. He wouldn’t want to lose it.

To protect his ship he’d protect the crew. A good crew who knew his ship would be worth their weight in marks. But he didn’t know who all sailed under Captain Garik.

He turned the glass again. Vinalee was being blackmailed for… something. She didn’t have much in the way of marks, even after her family took the fishing boat that her husband used to own. Vinalee’s secret was important, and he ought to know it. It had to be in his ledger. Maybe it was a secret about the Lady Agate? But no-- what connection would Garik and Vinalee have? **Maybe it’s about something on the Lady Agate,** he thought grimly. Vinalee used to have a husband, after all. Dhravi had left Sunstone Seahold quickly, likely on whatever ship would take him. Taril finished his whiskey and stood. Whatever was going on, his gut told him that it had to do with the Lady Agate. The only person who knew what-- or who-- the Lady Agate carried, aside from the Captain himself, would be Sunstone Seahold’s Dockmaster.

Unfortunately, he and the Dockmaster weren’t always on the best of terms. Taril pulled on his oilskin coat and headed out the door. The cut on his arm burned as the sleeve of his coat chafed at it.

His tavern was at one end of the docks, the Dockmaster’s offices were at the other. The walk gave Taril a bit of time to try to think up a good excuse to see the Lady Agate’s manifest. By the time he reached the grey stone building he had an idea.

A portly man with a pronounced squint looked up as Taril entered the office. Gleon was one of the Dockmaster’s assistants, and he’d been in the position for Turns. He was rather straight-laced in Taril’s opinion, but not the worst of the lot he could encounter. “What can I do for you, Taril?”

“I was wondering if you could do me a favour…” Taril trailed off hopefully.

Gleon sighed and closed the ledger he was copying, then took a moment to wipe any trace of ink from his fingers before turning to Taril. “We don’t do favours, here. You know that.”

“It’s more of a…” Taril paused, “There’s a man who owes me a favour, that I’d like to track down. It’s not so much a favour for me, but for… someone who has a lot of influence.” He smiled, a bit ruefully. “Some people need to act with a little more discretion than others.”

“And you think that I can help you,” Gleon said flatly. His words said ‘no’, but he hadn’t shut down the conversation completely. He was curious.

Taril nodded. “I hope so.”

Gleon hesitated, then shook his head. “No. The Dockmaster would never condone you, of all people, taking a look at the manifests.”

**Of all people,** Taril thought with some amusement. “I don’t want to see the manifests. Just the crew lists.”

“If you’re looking for someone, you can do the same as everyone else and go down to the docks and ask around yourself,” Gleon said firmly. “I don’t care what this is about or who it’s supposed to be for.”

“Ah, but the person in question needs… discretion, in this matter,” Taril said. “How about this. How about you take a look at the crew lists and just tell me yes or no.”

Gleon hesitated, then shook his head. “I can’t do that.”

“How’s your wife, Gleon?” Taril asked innocently. “I hear that you’ve got another baby on the way. Congratulations.” He let a bit of his own grief slip through. “I was expecting a second, but…”

“But the accident. I heard about that.” Gleon shook his head. “Such a tragedy. Will Humari recover?”

“In time.” Taril sighed. He suddenly wished he was with his wife and not trying to outsmart some bootlicking record-keeper. “I just need a yes or a no, Gleon. It’s important.”

Gleon wavered, and in that instant Taril knew that tugging at the man’s heartstrings had got him. The Dockmaster’s assistant sighed. “Fine. Who are you looking for?”

“A man named Dhravi. I think he’s on the Lady Agate,” Taril said quickly. “Just a yes or a no.”

“Fine.” Gleon got up and went to one of the rolls of hide that were stored in neat sheaves at the back of the room. “Lady Agate, Lady Agate… she came into port six days ago, yes?” His hand hovered over a scroll, which he pulled out and took to a back table to unfurl. Taril itched to join him. The Dockmaster’s records were a treasure trove of information-- who bought what, when and for what price.

After a moment Gleon rerolled the hide and put it back in its cubby hole. He shook his head. “Not on the Lady Agate. Sorry, Taril.”

**Feck.** He’d been so sure… Taril shrugged, then fished around in his coat and pulled out an eighth of a mark. He dropped it on Gleon’s desk. “Consider this a birthingday gift for your baby, and please give my best to yours,” he said, and left.

A dead end. There had to be some connection between Captain Garik and Vinalee, otherwise it was all just coincidence. The theft, the attack, the shifty feeling Taril got when he spoke to Garik. It had to be connected. Taril just couldn’t see how.

Last updated on the September 9th 2019

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