Who

Nathanael, NPC Dorrono

What

Dorrono drops bomb on Nathanael's world.

When

It is midmorning of the thirteenth day of the seventh month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Sea of Azov - Dorrono's Boat

OOC Date

 


dorronoboat.jpg

Sea of Azov

An inland sea, and vast: the glassy stretch of calm waters stretches distant from the dark-pebbled northern beaches to the snow-capped mountains of the far south. Shallow it is, and perilous for those ships that traverse the length of Black Rock River: bottoms lurk among scattered stretches of dark stone that loom visible and hidden just below the surface both. The clarity of the water is startling from north to south, with the single exception of the delta to the northwest: there, the riverwaters remain eternally conflicted, a mire of dark silt swallowed by the towering cliffs the river cuts through.


“Thanael,” Dorrono's voice sings out over the creak of ropes and snap of sails. The Southern seas are kind today, the skies dark with clouds, but missing the anger of their winter storms. Nathanael looks upwards from where he is busy tying off a rope to one of those sails, getting everything ready for their return to the dock after a long successful trip. The nets are full of fish ready to be turned over to the weyr's kitchens for eating and salting against a future time of need. “Common o'er here, 's 'bout time we talked.”

Tying off the knot securely Nathanael pads over to where his father sits, looking out at the ocean. Folding himself up, arms around his knees the smaller seacrafter will sit and wait patiently for his father to begin talking. Blue eyes examine the picture before him. The years of hard work had been rough on his father. His hair is streaked with gray, and the lines on his face bespeak more sorrow than happiness. Minute differences are noted though. The hair, once allowed to grow a bit wild has been neatly trimmed, as has the long beard. There's an air of preoccupation about the older journeyman, one which had not been there months before.

“Thanael. Ye know 'e craft hall has opened back the door to all of us what came down South, aye?” Dorrono turns his gaze onto Nathanael, examining the not-quite-a-boy, but not-quite-a-man sitting before him. There's pride in that gaze, for the work Nathanael has done, and how easily he had taken to the uprooting which the proclamation had caused.

“Aye, 's 'e reason why there ain't so many ghost ships.” Nathanael tilts his head sideways, “'n why some've them what wouldn't come before 're commin' now. They ain't havin' t' worry 'bout losin' nothin'.” No judgement in that statement.

“Yes. Now, ye know why we came to Southern?”

“Aye, 'cuz 've 'e shipf, 'e dol-fins. T' learn how mayhap they could be helpin' us.” Nathanael casts his gaze away from his father and over the crystalline seas. Off in the distance some of those dolphins play in the water, the sound of their chattering laughter echoing just faintly over the waters. “'n we done that.”

“We have,” Dorrono will affirm, and send his attention along the same path as Nathanael's. “And now it's time t' be getting' back to Nerat.” His voice is calm as he says this, as if it is a matter of fact, and not a bombshell.

Nathanael jerks his gaze away from the sea and back to his father. “Go back?” Only deepest respect for his father has his mouth jerking closed after the startled exclamation. His mind flies to all of his experiences in Southern. Meeting skittish green dragons, sliding down rocky rivers- getting covered in mud. The faces of Southern churn, opinionated redheads, bold blonds, large and friendly Smiths. Even some of the smaller children who have attached themselves to Nathanael, seeing as he was the one closest to their side. Even the work is remembered- hours spent sanding the dock till nary a splinter remained. Carrying wood from the jungle. All the fish which had been laboriously transported from sea to weyr. It takes a moment for Nathanael to realize that while his mind had shifted away, Dorrono has continued to speak.

“… Master's knot.”

“Pa?” He'll break in, not quite believing what he just heard.

“I've been offered a master's knot, 'n captain of a ship what sails out've Nerat, Nathanael.” The older man's voice is gentle, and he reaches out to lay a hand on Nathanael's shoulder. “I know ye've been having a rough go of it lately, with some've 'e apprentices not takin' ye serious.” An upraised eyebrow there. Dorrono had seen the older apprentices, and more so, some of the bruises that cannot be put down to adolescent clumsiness. But there was little he could do, they were the responsibility of others, and not within Dorrono's reach to punish. Nathanael would have to learn to deal with those who disliked him at some point, having been protected by his inherent sweetness for so long from the uglier side of human nature. “I'd be proud t' be havin' ye come along, 'n the masters here've already approved the request if you was wantin' to come.”

Nathanael winces as his father speaks of the apprentices who have made it their mission to turn his life into a daily struggle for patience. Ignoring them had done little enough good, and so he had taken to sticking as close to the journeyman as possible, thus reducing the boys to the smallest of underhand taunts. Only at night did it become a problem, when bugs invaded his bed, and it seemed he was changing his covers nightly due to some new smell or problem. Even some of the girls, seeing that he was a target had started to avoid him, not wanting to catch the attention of the older apprentices and become a target themselves. He'll not confirm to Dorrono the truthfulness of his statement, instead just looking down at the boat.

Silence for a few moments as he thinks. “'course I'll be goin' with ye Pa.” But it lacks a lot of the cheerful bluster for which Nathanael is so famous. “I can be helpin' 'e apprentices up north t' be learnin' 'bout all I learned here, 'n mayhap we can be makin' things better.” Lifting his gaze from the deck he'll manage a bit of a smile. “'sides, winter ain't so bad there, so I'd be getttin' more time on 'e boats proper, 'stead of left waitin' for y'all t' be comin' back t' help unload.”

“I've already agreed t' go, but we got 'bout six months afore they're expectin' me t' take o'er the new ship. Got a rider what's offered t' take me up a few time t' get comfortable and make 'e arrangements. Don't see any reason why ye should no' be keepin' with ye'r duties till then.” The hand upon Nathanael's shoulder squeezes gently. “I know ye've made quite a bit've friends down here. It'll be a rough transition, but ye know the good we can be doin', brinin' back what we learned here.”

To this Nathanael can only nod. A sudden gust of wind causes both teen and journeyman to look upwards. “Got good wind t' be makin' it back.” Nathanael will say, unfolding himself and padding back to where he had been working before.

No more words are shared between the pair as they turn their boat towards the distant dot of land, the place that soon enough, would no longer be home.

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