6th of Readying, 383ONT, Champions Boot, Captains Dinning Room, 5:36pm
The Captain straightened his cravat as he sat down, he looked around the fully set table and smiled, he had been without appetite for so long, it was good to eat, and eat with company; he smiled to the surrounding officers and ushered them to take their seats.
“Ms. Doyle, you have done enough to usher young Paolo along, and if I am not wrong it is the job of the Bosun to train him, not the Master Carpenter… or did that change during my absence?” the Captain sent a playful look over to Thitmed who shook his head
“Not to my understanding Captain”
“Well then, we shall let Paolo set the table from hence forth; Mr. Fargazer, if Paolo isn’t able to set a proper course by the spring equinox I shall hold you personally responsible… fair?” Flitt swallowed a little bit, unsure if he knew how to set a proper elven dinner table, but he nodded to the Captain
“Sounds fair Captain”
“Excellent; Paolo, I believe the wine has had plenty of time to breath, since we are in the company of a vintor, I will defer to Sir Thalion’s superior taste buds in the matter” the Halfling cabin boy nodded, but kept his post apparently assuring the wall would not fall over. He held the Captains gaze for what seemed like eons. Finally Mandy could not take it anymore and moved to rise in doing so she caught Belinda’s eye who shook her head, the Master Carpenter settled back in her chair and offered a small hint instead.
“Paolo, he wants you to pour some wine into Sir Thalion’s glass, and if Sir Thalion likes it, pour everyone some wine” understanding dawned on the poor boys face as he nodded to Mandy and hurried over to pour the wine. As he did so conversation around the table struck up, mostly good natured teasing about the various styles Thitmed was keeping his beard while he awaited new growth, about various market adventures within the town of Hellrick and even a tall tale from Thitmed about the time he saw a ghost ship and stole a pocket watch from the ghost captain on a Talib’s Day river bout. It wasn’t long before the first course was served, river oysters in a thick creamy sauce, with rice and vegetables for the elves. It came with fresh crusty bread and newly creamed butter. As the plates were passed around and the officers began to eat, the Captain began struck up the conversation.
“I want to begin by thanking you all for how you stepped up during my illness, I know it was not easy and I very much appreciate what you all did to assure we survived and the Boot made it through, I am proud of you all” he paused a moment as people nodded accepting the rare praise and thanks. “Now, there have been a number of crew changes and things have been left aside lately as we have all stretched to fill the gaps. As we approach Chistles Point I would like us to focus on getting back on track and clarify a number of areas, please do not take this as insult, merely as efforts to put us back on an even keel, fair?” he asked, the crew nodded again, Thitmed reached forward grabbing another slice of bread knowing a bit more than most what was to come.
“Aye Captain” the Dwarf said, knowing he would come first to set the example
“How many officers are currently serving on the Champions Boot?” the Captain asked
“Seven Captain, Eight if you include the Kempai, but I am not fer thinking that is a long term station there” the Dwarf answered, nodding to the empty seat where the Kempia had refused the dinner invitation.
“I share your assessment there Mr. Ironbraid, and we will discuss her situation in private later. For now however can you please tell me how many officers are fully trained on tiller use and navigation?” Thitmed paused hanging his head a little
“Four Captain” he said
“I see, Have we decided that we only require two thirds of our officers to understand how to pilot the ship?”
“Then I would like that corrected, by the time we hit the Upper Promethean River, have the Bousn, Master Carpenter and Master Gunner take training shifts until you are confident that they could handle the ship in a battle or storm, understood?”
“Aye Captain” the Dwarf said. The Captains eyes drifted down the line to Belinda
“Ms. Featherfoot, When is the Baby due?” The Captain asked in a softer tone
“My best guess would be early Reaping, Captain”
“Will you be remaining on the Ship once the baby is born?” the Captain asked
“I… well…” Belinda looked at Thitmed before fully responding “… I would like to Captain, if you would allow it” she ventured. The Captain took a sip of his wine before responding
“A ship is a dangerous place for an infant, harsh climates, violent storms, pirates and port authorities? Are you sure this is a place you want to raise a child?”
“I can think of no safer place Captain, then with you and Thitmed” she was rewarded with a smile “with your permission, I’d like to try”
“Well then, so long as it does not affect the functionality of the ship, I see no reason why we can’t give it a try… I will however need you to train Sir Thalion and Hatrutt in your duties, to help cover during the lead up and recovery from birth… fair?”
“More than fair, thank you Captain” she said standing and giving the Captain a hug. She retook her seat as he continued
“I would also like us to start keeping a month’s supply of grain as emergency rations on the ship beginning in Chistles Point. We have been in a hurry to leave the last few ports and if this trend continues let us at least be prepared for it”
“Aye Captain” she said, flipping open her notebook and making a note in the ledger. The Captain turned his eyes on the young dashing Knight sitting across from him
“Sir Horace, welcome” Horace or Aurellia made a bit of a nod at the end of the table “I normally do not allow crew to fraternize with our passengers, it can lead to… dark places… that being said, I can tell that this is a different albeit odd circumstance, and I will not deny it for the time being… I will however require you to maintain your duties as the Master Gunner, and let me know by the time we hit port if you will be staying on with us, or departing once we deliver the Lady Alyss to Pelagius…. Aurellia Ouellette was a fine sailor who could make a life on the open seas… Sir Horace Altman is a very wealthy knight, with estates and homes across Argyle and loyalties to attend to… you will have to decide whom you are”
“Yes Captain” the young man said in his strong baritone voice
“In the meantime, I require a battl plan for this ship, when the klaxon blares, who reports to whom, where and when? Please have that put together asap and begin training the crew”
“Yes Captain” Horace nodded
“Mr. Fargazer, Sir Thalion… I am down three Able Bodied Sailors… I want a full crew when we leave Chistles Point, and I want able and experienced sailors this time around, we have our share of trainees for the time being”
“Yes Captain” the responded in unision, then looked at each other and grinned the Captain smiled at the play
“I also need our current crew brought into ship shape, I want training and drills every day, for at least the next four weeks. I see no reason why any person on this ship can’t be a functioning sailor in that time… understood?”
“Yes Captain” Flitt said
“Understood Sir” Thalion said
“Now to the lot of you, one more task for you if you would” the table looked to the Captain in anticipation, “Belinda, please make a duty schedule were an hour each day is dedicated to instructing Ms. Doyle on the history, and etiquette and methods of being an officer, leadership is a skill that must be taught, and each of you have different lessons you can teach. I will not have any officer on my ship be an ‘in name only’ officer, should some of us fall the chain of command must hold strong, are we in agreement?” those assembled nodded assent as the Captain turned to Thitmed “excellent, Mr. Ironbraid, if you can please see to that final piece of business we arrange?” the dwarf smiled a conspiratorial smile as he got up from his seat and ducked out of the room. Those assembled looked around questioning what was happening as the Captain stepped away. He returned just in time as Thitmed opened the door caring a cake
“ ‘APPY BIRTHDA TOO YOUS! ‘APPY BIRTHDA TA YOUS!” He sand loudly as the other joined in, he placed the cake in the centre of the table as he spoke up
“Thalion, Aurllia… er Horace… and Mandy, for shame on me, as I never have before forgotten the Birthday of an officer, please allow me to rectify this now.” He passed each of them a scroll with their name neatly scrawled. Thitmed leaned forward with a large knife
“you read… I’m gonna cut into this cake”