Broken Isles

Over the past year, Tseraji had grown accustomed to staying aboard ship while in port.

Why not? The motion of the waves, he’d found, was restful and soothing. The brothels that so many of the sailors flocked to didn’t provide anything to interest men like him. The noise of the taverns interested him even less, and as one who spent his days reliant on a clear mind, he had no wish to muddy that mind with liquor. Why waste his coin and his time?

Instead, he could take advantage of the relative peace aboard the Laughing Lass, and the lack of demands upon him, to enjoy some private, restful time in his cabin.

Say, by pulling out a memento of a former lover.


In the officer’s mess aboard the Bared Fang, the evening meal was just starting to wind down when a young, flaxen haired human stuck his head in the door.

“Pardon the interruption, sirs and mesdames,” the youth said, “but Lieutenant Garn thought this too important to wait. The lookout reports a ship on the eastern horizon.”

The wolf at the right of the table’s head frowned. “Garn wouldn’t have sent you down here without more details than that. Out with it, ensign.”

The junior officer swallowed hard, taking a deep breath before managing, “It’s… the Silver Pennant, sirs, mesdames.”

On those words a heavy silence fell.


The docks were always bustling; in times of strife, all the more so, whether it be from soldiers going about their business or common people seeking safer refuge – or some few enterprising souls moving into the niche the latter group left. In any case, there was more demand for ships than there were ships to meet that demand, and the mates of many a vessel were going frustrated.

So it might be excused that Second Mate Alek Cooper of the Bounding Stag looked on the ferret he found across from him, wearing the usual flowing robes of the desert clans and bearing a scimitar at his hip, and immediately said, “We’ve no room for passengers or cargo, I’m sorry,” and began to look to the next in line.


It was in something of a daze that Rashavi entered the captain’s cabin.

Oh, he knew full well what he’d been hired to do. And after he’d got past his initial bitterness at the decision being made without him, it had turned out to be pleasant enough. A deckhand’s work was straightforward – he never needed fret about how the sails were rigged, so long as he didn’t clip his head on a boom. It was sometimes dull, but it could be satisfying; and, of course, his other duties kept the voyage from being too dull.