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Saturday, June 20

Naoke: Part 12 – The Swimming Dead

It was Beldin’s turn at watch. The night was tranquil, the sea calm. Nothing, surely, would disrupt the Nǎoké’s journey now.

“You don’t have to stand watch with me, Egil,” the dwarf said gruffly. “I know your weak constitution isn’t accustomed to standing watch at these hours.”

After the attack by the Fang, Baldric had buddied up the lookouts with men and women he could trust. None of the pirates were among them.

Egil chuckled. “Thank you for your concern, Master Dwarf. But I wish to pull my own weight around here. I’m sure I can serve some good.”

Beldin shrugged. “Suit yourself.”

Despite all the turmoil, Baldric was happy with the outcome. Taking on two different pirate crews, despite the casualties, had bloated their numbers. Kham, Beldin, and Ilmarė were three more people the ship couldn’t afford in provisions and space, given that the Yolanda, Patricia, Francesca, Egil, and Tranco were on board too.

When he asked Baldric about it, the captain merely winked at him with his good eye. “I’m sure we’ll all fit just fine by th’ time we reach Freeport.”

Beldin’s reverie was interrupted by a gasp from Brother Egil.

“Egil? What’s wrong?”

The priest clutched at his throat. All he got out was, “Gluccck!”

“What is it?” Beldin’s axe and shield were out in a flash.

Egil fell to the ground. He vomited up seawater, as if he were drowning even though he was safe and dry on the Nǎoké’s deck.

A litany of gasps and groans reached Beldin’s ears. He whirled to watch sailors falling left and right, collapsing as something wet and rancid flopped its way onto the deck.

“Illiir!” whispered Beldin. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:50 PM


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