The Army of Water
Though the details of the journey through the islands in the Whispering Tides is a little vague, one thing is very clear. There are water elementals in the sea that absolutely do not want to see the elves settling in their territory. House Nerea had the misfortune of stirring their ire first and encountered their ability to move and manipulate water with ease. There was also a very shrill shrieking sound when submerged that echoed underwater throughout the region.
Whatever is to be done about these beings, it is up to the Aeran Kinship to decide.
Lorawin, the city by the sea, is on a heightened state of alert. With every wave the laps up against their shores, the Aeran people watch for sights of the Watchers approach. They were spotted to the North East on a settlement mission not long ago and since then the threat of their presence in the Whispering Tides has kept everyone on their toes. Rumor has it that they are two beings, one with a mighty cloak of waves, who takes on the form of a person assumed to be their General. And one yet to be seen whose shrieking call under the waves has been described as the song of a shrill banshee, assumed to be their Sage. Water elementals move and strike at their command.
With such threats on the horizon, it is no wonder the recently appointed Minister of Expansion, Lucrezia Reymar, is busy tending to her duties at home. She sends word to the four great houses of Aeran and begins coordinations immediately. Food stores are put in place for preparation should the city come under siege. She even worked with the lighthouse master and all the ship captains to develop a color coded warning system rigged with colored glass in the Lighthouse of Lorawin. Whiteish-Green, all is well. Yellow for combat on the water. Red for an invasion of the city itself. Everyone knows the plan and she is quick to begin delegating work to those seeking to help.
Erendir Alcaldia was put in charge of the food storage for the city, making sure everyone knows where they can get their supplies. He works closely with the elderly and young to make sure they know where they can go for safety. All in all, those groups feel rather put at ease by the compassionate Alcaldian sailor.
With everyone being on such a heightened state of alert, Loralyndra Marindur knows just what she can do to help. She takes time, sits with people, listens to their concerns and their wishes for the city and their families. And in turn she offers them an impactful state of resolve and determination, inspiring them to keep strong. It is amazing what sort of rippling effects a cultured diplomat can have on her surroundings. The city begins to feel more prepared when her work is done.
As the days move closer to the launching of the fleet and diplomatic envoy, Kinlessa Darinel Alcaldia steps in to action. She is by far the most prolific gatherer of resources and supplies for those who will be leaving the city. Armor is crafted at her direction, weapons are forged. The ships themselves see some reinforcement through her fundraising and generosity. Her natural talents for organizing and aligning forces certainly pay off for th Aeran Kinship in their preparations.
A great effort to hone the skills of the Aeran sailors goes under way as well. Kinlector Odissin Reymar has been out with the sailors for weeks, passing on his wisdom from a very long very hard lived life. They seem rather perceptive to his tactics, despite how he barks orders at them. Kinlector Octalin Nerea has stepped in as well to make sure all those remaining behind know the plans to the city well enough to understand their fallback plans. He runs drills and distributes information to all families within the city of Lorawin.
The roguish adventurer Darien Marindur has put away his wanderlust for a moment to do what he can to instil useful and effective tactics with the warriors left behind. Both above water and below, he takes care to make sure everyone understands their tactical advantages in this situation. They are at the city after all, that comes with an advantage! Shakian Nerea has also been seen giving one on one sparring lessons to those who request more specialized training. He may be known for his expert navagitional and explorational skills, but he is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to swordplay as well. His teaching does not fall on deaf ears as the warriors of Aeran hone their skills at his teaching.
Captain Elleth Alcaldia has ensured that a portion of the fleet will stay home while the rest deploy both as a contingency plan and with the diplomats. The command doesn't make her very popular among the sailors, no one wants to stay behind if they don't have to. But Elleth knows that the popular command is not always the right one and sticks to her convictions. Those staying home may be grumbling, but the people they are there to protect are happy to have them.
The day had finally come to set sail. Admiral Talien Reymar commanded one half of the fleet setting sail and Captain Elleth Alcaldia commanded the other. Talien's directive and purpose were clear. Sail to the South of the meeting spot, keep your distance. Watch and wait. They are to be the fallback plan. Should anything go wrong with the second half of the mission, they are lying in wait, ready to strike and maneuver. The Admiral brought with him some of the finest and fiercest sailors the Aeran Kinship has to offer.
Kinlector Odissin Reymar, captaining The Reymar Reaver, sailed in the southern fleet as well. Cold and merciless he stands waiting and watching on the top deck as the other half of the fleet sails into Watcher territory. His stern expression is tempered as he watches them head off to seek peace. And what cold hearted, pessimistic words come from his mouth, his crew knows better. For he also stockpiled a festival's worth of rum in the decks below, laying in wait for a celebration when the diplomats return victorious.
Darien Marindur sailed out with the fleet aboard his personal vessel, the Crimson Pearl. On board was his new cousin Ravenir Marindur. Their position with the contingency plan is to keep agile and look for tactical advantages should it come to a fight. Ravenir certainly has the naval intellect to call out a good idea when he sees one. And Darien flourished with the aggressive maneuvers at sea used to tack around the fleet and keep their eyes out like a shark in the water.
Aboard one of the other ships, Noelani Marindur lays in wait, practicing her evocation skills on the upper deck. She has honed and practiced and developed a rather deadly ship to ship combat evocation style that will certainly come in handy if the contingency plan needs to be enacted. Forwen Nerea sits up in the crow's nest of this particular ship, keeping her eyes focused on the second half of the fleet as they sail into danger. She ties back her rusted auburn hair and waits for the call in the distance, hoping that it will never come and all will be handled peacefully.
Kinlector Erotas Egilion had spent time with most of the diplomatic envoy prior to departure, teaching them Celestial. He also took the time to instruct each of them with all the knowledge he has about watchers and their purpose, in the hope that it will better prepare them for the negotiations ahead. His teaching could mean the difference between success and failure.
The first stop on the journey is to a Harbor on the island just across from Lorawin. There Octalin and Shakian offload a bit of building materials and a crew ready to start construction just as soon as the negotiations are over. Shakian in particular has set his mind to strategic settlement building and is determined to see this project through, one way or another! That settled, they sail on to a much smaller island to the north. The exact spot they encountered the Watcher General and his massive cloak of water not but a month or so prior.
The few ships that set sail towards the northern island do so in a tight formation. Captain Elleth Alcaldia is commanding the ships as a whole, and doing a very effective job of it. Everyone is calm and collected under her command. Viessa Nerea has command of the point in the formation as they head in to Watcher Territory. She keeps her eye on the horizon, looking for oddities and movement on or in the water that might call them to their target. Not much longer after the northern island comes in to view does she spot something. Creatures rising up out of the water. One very large one in the center makes his presence known. Three times as tall as any of their ships, he stands, made of water with a flowing cloak behind him. She knows that is their target and directs the fleet to them under Elleth's direction.
Over the open water, deep in the Realm of Water, Kinlector Octalin steps forward to speak to them, and offer a peaceful approach. He lays out their intent. To build, to develop, to protect this realm. And the Watcher General seems receptive. In Celestial, he speaks:
"Before we can discuss terms, I asked you to bring what was taken from me." The Watcher general says in a booming voice, stern and powerful.
With that, Octalin motions for Wave Speaker Vindal to come forward. Vindal presents the spear to the watcher first, telling the tale of the whale hunt and the research done to discover the origin of the spear. He requests that it be given back to the Sirens as a sign of good faith. At that, the Watcher leans in to take a good look at it. His watery head shakes a little as he speaks. "This is not what I seek. The Sirens who would care for it live deep beyond the eastern islands." He gestures to the east and those who hear his words get the sense that he means perhaps a 400 mile sail from here. That settled he stands waiting, towering over the ship as he watches Vindal.
Vindal, eventually, produces another weapon. A sword, curiously curved and marked with waves. He holds it out to the watcher with a gracious smile. "I apologize for my unintended thievery. And I am glad to see such a blade returned to its rightful owner."
Though the blade fits Vindal's hands perfectly, when the much much larger Watcher takes it from him, it somehow fits the watchers hands perfectly now. The sword seems to adapt to the owner. Looking quite pleased with the gestures, the watcher looks to Octalin and the others. "Now, I will hear your terms."
Kinsless Selandriel Marindur steps forward first. She begins asking questions about their intent and their purpose in these waters. Curious and genuinely looking to understand what they are and why they are here. A shrill shrieking from under the water can be heard in the distance as she asks her questions, and eventually the Sage makes her presence known beside the General. None have seen her until this moment, though her shrill shrieking is familiar to Selandriel. The Sage speaks to answer her questions.
"By divine nature we were created, with divine purpose we were set loose. Realm of Water, Watchers of the Deep, Protectors of the Shore. We are the web of defense in Aarandor's grace." She explains with a gracious bow of her hear.
Initiate Nalaea Reymar stepped forward next with a message about how her people worship Aereth. She explains that the Goddess of the Sea is the one who bought the elves to Aarandor and through her, they were saved from certain death. High Priest Tykalos stepped beside his initiate to help reinforce her message. He makes a bit of a speech about the meaning of home and their dedication to the sea. Both watchers seem hesitant at first, but eventually grow more comfortable as the name of Aereth is spoken with respect and compassion.
When the Watcher Sage spots Dame Mihris Alcaldia in the back of the ship, translating for the others, she speaks to Mihris directly. "You have been given a gift by the sea. I hope you will find what you seek to the east. In the meantime, take this knowledge and learn to work with the water more purposefully." Something in that moment happens, and the Knight at Sea feels a sudden rush of lifewell wash over her. When she looks down at the deck beside her, a very small, very worbally elemental is standing at about the height of her calf.
That finished, the Watcher General and Sage look to Octalin and the rest of those on the ships. "What you seek is a place to call home. What we need of you is a willingness to help us defend the Realm of Water, if we are to cohabitate. We will let you go without assault, for now. You have one weeks time to come back with an oath we can mutually agree on."
With those final words, the Watcher General submerges back into the water, the Sage following behind him with a shrill shriek. The waters are still again, the sea of elementals absorbed back into the water they came from. The envoy flags down their counterparts to the south and begin the journey home! There is still a decision to be made, and one week to make it in. But the negotiations went well and there is promise of true peace on the horizon.
Word begins to spread from Lorawin that the Aeran Kinship has sworn an oath to protect the Realm of Water. Those speaking about it talk about a gathering of elementals and a very tall figure with a flowing water cloak, their General. Wave Whispered took point in the discussions, though Admiral Talien and Captain Elleth were there with him. Kinlector Octalin who first found the Watchers of Water was at the docks along with his right hand Shakian. Mihris, Darien, Lucrezia and Nalaea were also in attendance at the docks, each one stepping up to speak words of peace and settle curiosities. Through their actions, the Aeran Kinship has gained not only more knowledge about the realm they now reside in, but a strong bond with the guardians of that realm.