This first chapter is called 'Engine Room', and was started late Sunday evening (4/11). More will be added, page at a time, as it is written.. (^*^)
"There was a cold wind brewin'," said Shoones Jol--an old man with a wiry beard and a similar personality, "and the Geis were all musterin' up the muscle to get things movin' faster than usual. It was never enough for Carrigan Stuwalt, who got his name--his other name, Belthrasher--from whippin' the old boys into shape with a mean hook, and tearin' the pants off the rooks," he continued in his best old- sailor's voice. It was a talent he practiced for the kids who played by the docks, who would never be satisfied with a normal voice and expected the old rasp and brusk charm of what they felt sounded like a retired pirate.
"The thing was, ye see, that they had figured the buildin' gust was from a sign o' the storm on the way. It was common for a sailor, to figure a good, stiff breeze like that'n would mean there was a storm out at sea, and there could be trouble if they didn't get in the right direction as fast as possible. Not that it would ever help, mind ye, but it wouldn't hurt none either.
"So there was the Geis, all turnin' white-n-red with the hefty work load, an' the risin' wind an' all, when..." The geezer's words were slowly drown out till he cut himself off to look upwards, as his audience of dockbies--the usual local kids who'd strayed from their guardians--were all running off at the stir of wind and sound that some of them had been anxiously waiting for some days now.
It was always a sight, and the locals all stared up with some awe, while kids circled and danced around them, jumping up and down and shouting with excitement as they watched and waited for the vessel above them to close in to port. The Arstark slowly settled over the docking basin, and telt-rope lines were cast down the sides, followed by the careful lowering of an anchor from both bow and stern. The local Geis were swarming about the circular, crater of a dock, catching or chasing after the lines, and latching the vessel aloofly to the moorings below.
As the Arstark was being grounded, the noise it produced settled, and the winds about the ship calmed down to more gentle whirling breezes than the harsh, pounding gusts it was stirring up just moments before. A couple of the dockbies stood in the gentle whirlwinds with their eyes closed, letting it all wash past them with a smile and a giggle. Some of the folk got back to work, or continued traveling to whatever destination they had--while others stayed watching, and tried to resist moving too close to the craft. A few of the kids went running around and between the Geis, almost tripping them up and causing a mess.
Shoones Jol finally ceased his staring long enough to drag his legs out from underneath him, and begin moving toward and through the now smaller crowd. A hatch on the ship opened and a long, carved ladder emerged from the port side of the vessel, settling on the flat of the pier just outside the basin. Jol's eye caught the sight of a man older than he stepping out from the hatch along with another member of its crew, and the priority passengers from a far off place no one else in the port had seen.
Once the elderly man with a hefty, white beard had descended the ladder, and seen that the passengers were taken care of, he spotted old Jol walking toward him. "Jolin! My good friend, how are you today?" he asked, pausing to eye some of the kids still darting underfoot. "I see your students are as rambunctious as ever. Still giving them the old whale tales?"
"Of course, Emoril Denaril," Shoones Jol replied, "They have a lot to learn! And their eyes are still wide," he finished with a grin. He looked his older friend up and down a moment, and scratching his own, small beard inquired, "So what sort of cargo you got, this time? They looked a bit flashy for a couple o' young spooks..."