The Noodists Advance - The Voyage East
THE VOYAGE EAST
January 22 in the year 903,
We have been at sea now four days. Meshif says that we may reach Kurast by the end of the day tomorrow, given calm seas and fair winds. We have had both since we left Lut Gholein and this fair ship has sped eastward without mishap.
During the first full day of the voyage, Meno and Zak moved around the deck caring for our wounds, as they were great indeed. Meshif’s wife, skilled in the making of potions and salves, provided us with healing medicines, as Zak meditated, providing a healing aura that greatly quickened our healing. Meno’s presence, her tender touch and warm smile, cannot be over estimated in their healing powers. She grows more beautiful to me with each passing day. I have looked close, as she attended my wounds and as we have talked these past days, for some sign that she has favor for me, but alas, there is none that I can detect.
The warm days and cool nights aboard the ship have been soothing for us all. We grow stronger each day, yet the voyage has not been without challenge. While we grow stronger, there are a few of us that are not accustomed to the sea. The amazons, of course, are happier now than I have seen them at any time. Being from the islands of the twin seas beyond the eastern shore, they are happiest with the sea air in their hair. They have been recently quick to laugh and are frequently standing at the bow with their faces to the wind, their golden hair flowing behind them, the sun on their bodies adding to the deep tan of their skin. They wear almost nothing over their luscious bodies, and I find it both very easy, and extremely difficult to look upon them.
In great contrast to Else and Howsit; Half, Alex and Wystral, the strongest among us, have been debilitated by the voyage. It is really quite comical to behold. These three great and powerful men, descended from the barbarian race, and guardians of the secrets of Mount Arreat, have been reduced to sickly sheep. They hang constantly over the stern rail, pale and weak from the constant rocking of the merchant vessel. The amazons never miss an opportunity to point out that sea sickness is a malady only common to children, the old, and the weak. The three assassins, Sinfully, Sin and Numsay attend the needy three, and add to their misery with chiding of their own. Sinfully has been especially hard on Half, yet has not left his side since the voyage began. It is quite clear to me that Sinfully is deeply in love with Half, yet he gives no indication, other than a quick glance on occasion, that his feelings for Sinfully are any deeper than that of friend and comrade in arms. Sin and Numsay are there as well, obviously attracted to the two druids. This relationship, between Numsay, Sin, Alex and Wystral seems a paradox to me, as I am quite sure that Alex’s heart is sparked by Texvix, and Wystral seems distracted and clumsy whenever Else is near. Yet, the four are playful with one another and seem to enjoy each other’s company.
As I have lain on my pallet, recovering from the grievous wounds received during my foolish rush into the midst of the mummies in Tal Rasha’s tomb, I have watched Texvix and Meno for I am deeply attracted to both. Confronted with Meno’s young breathtaking beauty and fiery confident manner, I was stricken the first moment I saw her at the fire in the Rogue’s Camp, so many days ago. I know, that should I survive this trial, and live to old age, I will carry this love always. The feelings I have for Texvix are deeper still, and have grown as I have watched her and talked with her since the first days of our quest. We have talked together of home and family, of past trials and quests, and of our hopes for the future. She has suffered much in her life, betrayal, abandonment, and the hopelessness of living day-to-day with no love of self. I watched her today, sitting for hours at the ships railing staring out over the expanse of water, longing for self acceptance, and perhaps even more, a companionship with a man she can give her heart to without fear. She longs to let down her guard and accept love as love is given. Though she has not said it, I think she sees Alex as the man that can provide the kind of love her heart desires. If it were only me.
Zak has spent much time with Texvix during these past four days. They have talked long at the ship’s rail and around the fire barrel in the cool sea evenings. I’m sure she has confided in him far more than me, for Zak has a soothing way about him. I have confided in him myself, as has Naked Dead and several others. It is easy to talk to him as he listens intently and has the wisdom to give advice when it is asked for. Above all, he is honest to the core, and therefore, easily trusted.
I can hear Half coughing, and Sinfully’s soothing voice in response. The night is dark, and the sound of the waters about the ship sooth my mind and make me drowsy. I am calm and at peace this night. Perhaps it is a sign, for it has been longer than I can remember since I have felt this way. I think I will seek out Meno – perhaps she will want some company.