Luckily for Rosette, she managed to find a bird to "control" for the time being. It was, she discovered, some kind of osprey, which was all the better for seeing. It also meant there was at least some kind of crags or a shoreline not too far from here, but that was beside the point...
Whatever the case, as she - or, rather, the bird - neared the Viking ship, Rosette saw mostly a lot of men rowing. One man shouted orders, and another gazed out at the Lady Amalia. All of them were armed, but none of their weapons were drawn.
"The ship is holding course," said the Viking lookout. "Should we assume they're hostile?"
"Assume nothing," answered the man in charge, apparently the captain, with a huge red beard done up in intricate braids. "We're not at war with the Empire, but they may damn well attack us anyway. Have you identified that wreckage?"
"No. There's not much I can do unless we get closer."
"Indeed... We'll keep our distance for now. Keep watching them - see what they do."
As the man was carried below decks, Katrina turned to the Captain and asked, "So, um, have you encountered a...Sea Serpent? Do you know if that could have destroyed the ship?"
Jane frowned. "Well, I've never encountered one personally, but I've heard stories. It could've very well been one, I suppose, if you believe in that sort of thing. Which, by the way, I do. But I doubt it was, since someone survived. I can't imagine a sea serpent being so reckless as to leave someone just floating there. They eat people, after all. I'll bet the man would've been eaten a long time ago, if it had been one of those."
She made a thoughtful face. "I'm going to bet it was either a very bad storm or, more likely, some other kind of monster," she said at length, giving a shrug.
Plexaura listened as Marcus finished, “I knew mages could be ruthless, but hoped the attempted destruction of my home was an isolated case. For that despicable vampire to murder his own uncle, consort with the Hidden, and cause so much death and desecration just to gain power makes me seethe with rage. Scum like that are exactly what our order was founded to destroy, and rest assured you and your brother will have my full support in bringing them to justice.”
She nodded. "I'm glad," she replied, perhaps a bit simply for all the lengths to which Marcus had spoken. "It's good to have you on our side."
Plexaura said little else before the wreckage interrupted them and Marcus excused himself to call up to Neitha in the crow's nest. The channeler took the opportunity to fall silent, though she didn't bother moving off somewhere else.
Sarael was quiet for a few moments before answering. "Yes. Two" she replied softly. "On my last mission —my first mission— we encountered a witch in the swamp. She wasn't human —not quite; she was big, hunched" she began; and as she spoke, all her normal cheer seemed to drain away, her expression and tone turning dull with unhappiness, despite a futile effort to maintain it.
Kye swallowed so loudly that it was plainly audible. This was not going to end well - even he could tell that much.
"She was... she had been... she'd been luring children from the nearby village; luring them with candy and then... eating them."
He grimaced. "Oh," was all he said, his voice low.
"We didn't even... We were looking for a powerful mage —I think, we never found out— and she'd given us a lead, and there wasn't time to take her back and do things properly, so we just... we just left her there. After what she'd done...!"
Kye opened his mouth to say something and maybe even try to comfort her - even if he knew it'd do no good - but she kept talking. He shut his mouth again and listened, quietly rubbing the metal claws of his left gauntlet together in worry.
"Afterwards, we went deeper into the swamp... It seemed lifeless, but it wasn't. It was... There was... It...." she stuttered. Her mouth was dry as a bone, her skin turning ashen; one hand grasped at the side of her head —the fingers fisting into her hair, clenching and unclenching spasmodically. She couldn't go on... but it was too late to stop.
Kye went pale, himself. This poor girl was going insane right in front of him. What was he supposed to do? What did people do about this? He knew what demons did - laughed, mostly - but what would a human do? Probably try to comfort her somehow... but how, exactly?
"It... They... We couldn't...!"
While he sat there, dumbstruck, Sarael suddenly grabbed a nearby bucket and threw up into it. Kye felt his own stomach turn, but he swallowed again and bit at his lip, cursing mentally.
Despite having no clue what to do, he acted almost immediately. Getting to his feet, Kye forgot he was even addressing a Templar as he knelt down beside her. Now that she was done vomiting into the bucket, he gently pulled her away from it by putting an arm around her shoulders. It wasn't quite a hug, but it was halfway there, at least, and he kept his right shoulder available as a headrest if she wanted it.
Not that he actually had any idea what he was doing, he was just trying to do something, so he did the first thing his mind told him to do. Hopefully this wasn't all wrong.
"Hey..." he said quietly, "it's alright - you're fine. Just... breathe, okay? Don't - don't think about all that... stuff. It's over, and - and you're okay."
Kye hesitated a second before he added, his voice low, "You have nightmares, don't you? I can tell - I have nightmares, too. All the time-- every night - about all the things I've seen - and done, and... felt..."
He paused for half a second as he realized just how much his subconscious wanted to put a wing around her, like he was doing with his arm - and when that came into his conscious mind, it was only then that he remembered he was addressing a Templar. No, he was trying to comfort a Templar.
But, in spite of himself, he pushed the thought aside and swallowed again before finishing, "But there's good in this world, too. You know that - you're a Templar. You just have to focus on that." He somehow managed to force a very small and incredibly nervous little half-smile as he murmured apologetically, "I, um... don't think we should talk about monsters anymore."