Balance

Fixing the Chain of Command Pt 6

13th of Coldeven 11:37am 382 ONT, Ice Flows

The crew of the Champions Boot assembled on the foredeck of the ship. The only one not present was the captain who seemed to ill to get out of his bed. The officers lined up on either side of the crew as the Master Gunner tied Prancer’s hand to his rope around the mast, his shirt had been removed and he had sworn he would not untangle the ropes. Aurellia turned to him, unhappy about the situation and offered him a small dowel of wood.

“Bite down on it, trust me, it’s for the better” she knew he had been in the mines but his back was unblemished and his noble upbringing made it unlikely that he had ever been disciplined like this before. He nodded to her and took the dowel in his mouth, keeping his chin high.

The crew stood waiting as Thitmed warmed up with the whip, an item no one aside from Haturtt or Belinda had ever seen him use. His first few strokes were sloppy as he cracked it out over the side of the deck, but after a few more the muscle memory kicked in and he seemed confident he would deliver solid clean hits.

“This is Stupid, clearly it is not Harolds fault, I will end this myself” Miriel said angry at what was happening. Thalion put a gentle arm on her shoulder and shook her head

“This is a very old custom, if you get involved it will be much much worse” the elf said, knowing the Strix spoke out of concern and not insubordination. Thitmed stepped forward and addressed the crew

“Some of you are new to this ship, others have traveled with me for some time now, whenever you joined I believe it was made clear that on this ship, order and decorum will be maintained. MY CREW DOES NOT BRAWL! MY CREW DOES NOT SETTLE DISAGREMENTS WITH SWORDS AND GUNS! My crew works together, and has officers to sort such disagreements.” The dwarfs eyes locked with each and every crew member before turning back to face Prancer’s exposed back “Harold Forbes, you are convicted pf brawling and trying to kill a member of my crew. Your punishment is a reduction of rations and fifteen lashes to be carried out forthwith, do you have anything to say?…” he waited a long pause but nothing came from the bound sailor. “So be it… Bosun, Count the Lashings as they land”

“Aye sir” Flitt said in a subdued voice

CRACK

“ONE”

CRACK

“TWO”

CRACK

“THREE”

The crew winced as bloody tracks began to appear on Prancer’s back

CRACK

“NINE”

CRACK

“TEN”

There was a brief pause as Prancer had slumped to his knees under the blows, Thitmed was not a cruel man and allowed the sailor to settle before the next blow landed. He noted the sniffles of the crying Cabin boy and the tears being forced back from Mandy’s eyes, but stoically ignored them, there had to be order on this ship, without it, they were all lost

CRACK

“FOURTEEN”

CRACK

“FIFTEEN, all fifteen blows completed Sir” Flitt called out. Thitmed stopped and rubbed his shoulder

“I consider this matter closed Mr. Forbes, Master Gunner, release Mr. Forbes, Kempia, see to it that his wounds don’t get infected, no magical healing or pain relief is to be offered without my direct say so” Aurellia stepped up quickly and helped Prancer out of his bindings and brought him over to Miriel who supported him as he hobbled to the Priestess. “Master Gunner, lash Mr. Craw to the mast please.” Aurellia was a little less gentle with Craw as she fastened him to the mast, but she still offered him the dowel, he nodded taking it.

“Sailor secured sir” She said as she stepped back into line

“Baker Craw, you are convicted of brawling, and disregarding a duty shift. Your punishment is a reduction of rations and ten lashes to be carried out forthwith, do you have anything to say?…” again he waited a long pause, when no response came he called again “Bosun, count the lashings as they land”

“Aye Sir” Flitt offered again

CRACK

“ONE”

CRACK

“TWO”

CRACK

“THREE”

To his credit, the large man never cried out in pain, never gave more then a grunt with each landed blow, he held his feet and absorbed his punished

CRACK

“NINE”

CRACK

“TEN”

“TEN LASHES COMPLETED SIR” Flitt called out

“I consider this matter closed Mr. Craw, Master Gunner, release Mr. Craw, Kempia, see to it that his wounds don’t get infected, again I want no magical healing or pain relief without my direct order” Aurellia stepped forward and helped the large man from his bindings, she offered an arm but he shook his head and walked on his own to the Kempia. Thitmed watched the Priestess look them over “Are they ok Kempia?” she looked the wounds over once more before turning to the First Mate and nodding, she did not seem phased by this punishment. “Good” the Dwarf said “Bosun, these two are on duty until I say otherwise, hard labour for the rest of today, I will be very disappointed if I see them doing anything that is not backbreaking labour”

“Aye Sir, right away sir” Flitt called stepping forward

“Let this be a lesson to the rest of you, I will not tolerate these actions on my ship again, nor will I be so lenient next time… Dismissed” he called as the crew saluted. The dwarf coiled his whip and stalked off to his cabin, in a mood blacker then Talibs cowl

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Argyle

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