A very small village not far from the Ruins of Qarta, the appropriately-named Reedmarshes - as the rough translation of its Kemheti name went - was a simple little port town that didn't see much activity. Larger ships all sailed straight past to the nearby Mysraiim, and smaller ships sometimes didn't even bother. By and large, Reedmarshes only saw business from the locals.
The town was made almost completely of light brownish mud brick, and the namesake reeds stood tall all around the docks... along with the namesake marsh smell filling the air. There wasn't much to see here, that was for sure: assorted little buildings that made up the various homes and shops of the inhabitants. The place surely had - at the very least - a tavern, a blacksmith, and a few other places to stock up on select goods or repair one's equipment. It was a charming place overall, though small and rather backwater, far from an impressive piece of civilization.
((Note: Reedmarshes is not on the map. It's along the shore between Mysraiim and the Ruins of Qarta.))
However, a backwater town was exactly what the crew of The Golden Dragon wanted.
After several long days - and even longer nights, with a werewolf on board, though somehow Drake managed to go for the entire rest of the journey without incident, thanks to no more fighting and a few of Caiden's potions - of sailing, the Dragon at last saw friendly shores again.
Much had happened during those nights, however. Eddy had secretly passed the chains he'd found on the enemy ship on to Caiden with the hearty recommendation that he slap them on Drake next time he caused trouble. Caiden was confident no one knew that he had indeed kept the chains among his things... even as useless as he imagined them to be.
Another incident had occurred involving a very peculiar bird: an osprey had landed right above the ship's wheel on the quarterdeck, and there it stayed until Eddy was summoned to investigate. This was no ordinary bird: it was a specially trained one, some say perhaps a bit too smart just to be ordinary. In any case, it came from Illikon with a message on its foot.
The message had been for Plexaura. She had not shared it with anyone except Caiden, and its contents remained unknown. In any case, it was clear she would not be coming ashore with the rest of them. She announced her intent: she would take the Dragon to the nearest large port city and then charter another ship up to Illikon, from whence she was bound for Arrowfall... to help a friend, or at least do her best trying. She and Caiden had spent several hours in private off and on to discuss the matter. No one had managed to eavesdrop on the exchanges.
Kye, meanwhile, had done his best to blend in and not draw any attention to himself - and avoid Cae at any and all costs. He'd done a very good job of the latter.
And now, at long last, the ship came smoothly into port at Reedmarshes, and those resting in the lower decks were awakened by a loud call that they had docked. Drake was perhaps the most eager of them all to keep moving, and he promptly got up and pulled on his sleeveless leather jerkin, this time donning his breastplate as well. Ghost was just as eager to get off the ship when Tom led the stallion up to the main decks.
Most of the crew were gathered there, looking around at the small town and feeling generally unimpressed. The pirates of the Dragon seemed used to it, though, and were setting to work checking on the ship's supplies and making ready to restock before another voyage.
Elektra approached Drake and stuck her hand out. "Well, Tom," she said with a smile, "until next time."
"It can't come soon enough," Drake replied with a smile of his own, and the two shared an utterly shameless kiss right in front of Eddy's eyes. The Captain scowled.
"Alright, I'm sick of that crap on my ship!" Eddy barked. "Get out of here, Drake, and take your circus with you! And next time the ride won't be free!"
"Gonna miss you, too, Eddy," Tom said with a grin, clasping the shorter privateer's wrist. "Out of curiosity, where are you guys headed next?"
"Mysraiim," Eddy answered - and then swore. "Why should I tell you, anyway? I hope to the gods you never set foot on my ship again. It's a wonder we weren't all eaten alive."
"But would you look at that - you weren't." He smacked the privateer on the shoulder. "I'll see you around, buddy."
Eddy grumbled something before saying flatly, "Get outta here, Drake."
He then turned on his heel and marched off, shouting orders as he went. Elektra had already disappeared again, so Drake took Ghost's reins and led the horse down the plank, waiting to be joined by the others. He just couldn't stand to wait on that ship any longer - he needed some solid ground under his feet.
After he'd finished several more long goodbyes - and probably a few small lectures - to Plexaura, Caiden rejoined Percula in the lower decks. They had the room where the horses had been staying all to themselves at the moment, particularly since Caiden was still gathering all his things, putting them back in bags, and preparing his horse to leave again.
Percula had spent her restful nights in an assortment of places - though none of them very far from Caiden, and some a little beyond merely 'close.' It didn't take a genius to figure out he would've been very hurt if she had ever ended up hiding someplace away from him even if it was still a curiosity whether or not he would admit that himself.
Once the Venator finished getting all his equipment put away and in order, Caiden turned to the pixie. "Well," he said, "looks like we're heading into human civilization again... Where do you want to hide out until we're through it?"
Judging by his tone, Percula could tell that he thought he had a good idea of what she might say. Still, he wasn't making any jokes or prods about it. It was just an honest question.
Kye was still on the main deck while everyone else milled around. He stood next to one of the ship's railings, leaning forward on his elbows. His stomach still felt like it was curling inwards on itself after so many days on the sea... especially days largely devoid of sleep. After all, if he slept, he couldn't keep his human disguise up. There was only one person on the ship who knew the truth about him, and that didn't enable him to sleep in a bunk like everyone else.
He straightened himself and blinked, rubbing both his eyes in turn a few times with his right hand before he headed for the plank and promptly got some distance from the ship. Slight exhaustion was written all over his face, and he didn't say two words to anyone as he started to wander aimlessly, trying to get some distance from Cae for a little while... and make sure she didn't say anything about him right now.