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Snow On the Horizon (cont.)

Snowcone

Novice
(Continued from part 1: Snow On The Horizon | ULTIMA ONLINE OUTLANDS (uooutlands.com))



She sits refreshed. Her legs crossed, with her knee unveiled through the slit of her sarong. The tea warms her soul, as she takes a sip. Her toes weaving their way through the bear skin rug. The inn was quaint, a far cry from her home, it was still cozy. She had woken early that morning to investigate the town. Finding the the local tailor, she traded some rare gems she kept in her pockets for any emergency. Now, back at her inn room, she sits and ponders the day and its adventures. Will she explore, will she fight? "Perhaps, I shall visit the local smith." Arming herself, in a potentially dangerous new land.


Snowcone tips the cup of tea back, warming her insides, before venturing out into the frozen tundra. She places the metal cup, back onto the wooden table. Standing, she stretches, pushing her chair in, and removing her new head covering, hanging from the corner of the chair. She leans forward and arranges the covering on her head, then quickly stands flipping it back like her long hair. Comfortably arranged on her head, her new polar bear head covering would keep her warm indefinitely. Walking to the door to leave, she grabs her new cloak, hanging from a peg, driven into the wooden and plaster wall.


When she steps out in the cold, the snow from under her sandals feels slushy. The heavy traffic of the horses, pack llamas and occasional ridable chicken, the ostard, has really worn down the snow, making it appear muddy and brown. She looks down with disgust. Lifting the hem of her sarong, she prepares to venture through the muck, back to her ship. "Whoa there girl, easy!" Snowcone looks up from the ground to a warrior mounted on a blackened steed.
"I beg your pardon, Sir. But, I am no girl. I am Snowcone, Princ...."
The man interrupts her with a large bellowing laugh. "Ha Ha Ha!, I do apologize for laughing." "You see Ma'am, I was speaking to the horse when I saw you. I wanted to offer you some assistance, crossing this wretched road." The warrior says with an extended hand.


Snowcone blushes with embarrassment. She knew her cheeks turned red with embarrassment, but maybe the cold air would just make him assume her cheeks were wind burned. "Come, take my hand, let me help you. You look a little out of place."
"Tis true, I am new to the region." She responds. Her hand reaches out for his. A metal gauntlet protecting his strong hands, as he pulls and hoists her on to the rear of his steed. "Well, WELCOME..to Avadon! Greatest in the Land. Where are you from m'lady?" The man, pulls the reigns of his horse, trotting forward.


"I am from a land called Baja, the city of Jhelom." "I come from a wealthy family, and my father was a great warrior." She rambles on to the man, feeling comfortable with him. His armor wasn't shiny, but dull and pitted. It seemed odd, that such a broken down looking warrior would bring her so much intrigue. Although, she recalls what he father always told her. "Snow, my angel, always remember. Never trust a knight in shining armor, for his metal has never been tested." But this warriors armor, wasn't shiny. Clearly a testament to the struggles of this land. It was dangerous out there and she knew it. What she didn't know, was if she was prepared enough. For now, she decided to remain with the stranger.


"Come, with me. I would like you to introduce you to my guild mates. I think you might fit in with them. They are a wild and ragged bunch, but greater warriors, there are none."
"Do you have a ship? How did you arrive here? We are on an island, so you must have a ship." He projects.
"Yes, it has somewhat run aground to the southeast. It should still be anchored there."
"Good, we can use that. The guild house is a long ways sail to the southwest from here, but its the only way. We will just wait till the tide rises to release us from shore, then we can begin our sailing adventure. In the meantime, lets gather what resources we can."
"But I have no more gold. I used what little resources I had left to outfit myself, and rent myself a room." She hangs her head a little in embarrassment, her clothes made her appear to be of wealth, as that is how she is accustomed to living. Although nothing, but a ball of lint in her pocket, could be found.

"Hmm. Nothing huh? That's fine, it's on me today, Snowcone." She again blushes, just hearing him, speak her name. It takes them quite awhile to gather the materials, tools and rations, needed to spend some time at sea. Most importantly, the warrior obtains, cannon balls and and couple greater explosive kegs. "What are those for?" Snowcone begins to inquire about the kegs. "Were gonna need those cannon balls to defend against potential pirate guilds, and.." She cuts him off. "Not the cannon balls dodo bird! I KNOW that!" she flirtatiously rolls her eyes. "What are the EXPLOSIVE kegs for??"
"Oh, those! You're a dexer, aye? No casting abilities?"
"No."
"I didn't think so, you look like you come from the old country. Hence why I bought these kegs. As a dexer you have no range on the ocean, so to make yourself useful, I have brought these kegs and some potion bottles. If we run into trouble, just stay out of their range and I'll heal you. When the opportunity presents itself, you just throw that explosive potion on their deck. It might not kill them, but it will definitely help." The corner of Snowcones lip, curls in disgust. Did he just refer to her as old, and useless without his stupid kegs? "Just so you know, I'm not new to fighting." She snaps back.
"I didn't think you were." He replies.

At the stable, he purchases a pack llama for their wares, and purchases Snowcone a horse, to mount. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to insult you or your abilities, Ma'am. Please take this mount as an offering of my apologies." She quickly mounts the horse, yoking back the reins, spinning the horse around. The horses tail, flinging through the air like a whip, strikes the warrior in the face. He winces, pulling his head back. His hands tug at the reigns and the horse bucks into motion. Finding himself caught of guard by her actions, he loses his balance and slips from his mounts back. With a loud and clumsy clanging of his chainmail, and irons, he falls onto his bottom. Landing ironically in the same muddy slush, he saved her from earlier.
She laughs, "been riding long?" He stands up, shaking the slush from his hands, and brushing it from his legs. He smiles, like a good sport. Quickly mounting his steed again, he grabs ahold of the leather reigns of their pack llama.

They quickly arrive at her ship, still run aground on the shores surrounding outpost. The boat, however, seems to be ready to break loose by the rising tides. "Great! Just as I was hoping. Quickly now, we need to get everything loaded before the ship breaks loose!"
Scrambling, they load their rations. A long wood plank is lowered, allowing the llama and mounts to board the ship as well. The plank is retrieved and secured to the starboard side of the ship. "I think we are about ready to set sail." He says, taking inventory, while looking over the deck of the boat. "Did you load the explosion kegs?"
"ME?!?" Snowcone responds.
"You didn't load them??"
"NO!! I am not handling those things." She says with reluctance.
"Don't worry, they are secure in the kegs. As long as we don't spill any of the liquid, we should be just fine."
"SHOULD BE..." She replies with sarcasm.

She removes the plank from its secured location, and lowers it back down to the ground. She descends down the ramp to find the 2 kegs. "Found them!" She hollers up to him. "Great! Just roll them up the ramp!" She pushes the kegs carefully on its side up the ramp. When she reaches the rail, he helps her heave it over and rests it safely on the splintered oak deck. "I got this one, if you want to go grab the other one." He implies.
Snowcone scurries down the ramp, turning the last keg onto its side. The salty sea air, and her nerves cause her fingers to slip, losing grip of the keg. It tumbles end over end towards the water. She jumps back, clutching her face. Awaiting a loud explosion, could potentially kill her, she shuts her eyes and prays. The keg comes to a stop, when it strikes a rock, protruding from the ground.

Then, there was silence. The seconds, passed like minutes. More silence. Snowcone opens her eyes, her shoulders relaxing, and realizes nothing has happened. She looks around in relief, he didn't see or hear anything. She retrieves the keg and quickly inspects it while sitting up right. "Oh thank heavens." She dries her hands on the hips over her sarong and lays the keg on its side once again. She rolls the keg slowly up the ramp reaching the top, he calls down to her. "What took you so long??" She gleams back at him and quips, "says the guy at the top of the ramp." The keg is also heaved over the side, and rolled to the hatch. He places it on top of the other kegs with a careless bump. The bottom of the keg cracks open. A split from its previous tumble down the shore, had rendered this keg compromised. The additional jarring of his careless placement, splintered the weakened wood. Explosive and corrosive liquid, now begin dripping from its tar lined container.

The warrior, buttons down the hatch, securing its contents. "Are you ready!?" He says with glee. "As ready as I'll ever be, with 2 kegs of some explosive material on my vessel."
"OUR vessel." He jokes. She just rolls her eyes playfully. "Pull The anchor, the tide has risen. Lets get out off this island." She commands to him, as if he's a deckhand. "AYE AYE CAPTAIN!" He hoists the heavy iron chain over the railing, doing his best to coil it safely on the decks.
The ship lifted by ocean, is freed from imprisonment of the shore line. Drifting back out to sea, Snowcone spins the wheel that navigates the direction of the ship. As the boat, is spinning while coming about, the hull gently strikes and underwater sandbar. The vessel gives a quick but violent shake. They both lose balance momentarily as the boat self corrects. The leaking explosive keg, tips over tearing the splintered hole open more. The liquid quickly begins to decompose the dense wood lid, of the keg underneath.

"What was that!" He screams.
"I'm sorry, the ocean isn't as high as it must've been when I had run ashore."

She corrects the wheel, allowing the wind to grab her sails. "Southwest you say!?" Her voice, trying to carry over the crashing of waves, the wind and the creaking of the deck.
"Aye, due southwest! Our destination... HAVEN!"

"Never heard of it." She says in return.

"Once you see , you'll never forget it. Some things are worth fighting for. " He replies

"Onward to Haven than!" She screams to an invisible crew. The sun in the distance is getting lower in the sky, as their vessel laps gently at the waves. The softness of the sea, and the beauty of the sunset, became violently interrupted. The lid beneath the leaking keg, finally succumbs to the bombardment of fresh corrosives liquid. The wood is compromised and the weight of the leaking keg, becomes to much and collapses into and crushes the keg beneath. A massive explosion erupts, blowing the hatch from the ships deck and tearing itself free from its metal hinges...



To be continued..
 
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