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A Forlorn Fortnight 【Complete】


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Day 1


Rubbish, the thought wafted through the Roegadyn's head.


Daegsatz Traggblansyn considered himself to be a simple man. A Sea Wolf who enjoyed all of the simple and elegant things a typical Sea Wolf did: sailing, the sea, the company of his crew, a strong drink, and the occasional skull gushing with a fountain of blood generated by a magnanimous axe wound. Politics, schemes, and conspiracies were far above him. That was not to say that he was necessarily stupid, but the Roegadyn often left such things to Nero. The lad was smart, and far too ambitious for his own good, but as long as Daegsatz Traggblansyn could continue to enjoy his lot in life, that would be enough.


He rubbed his forehead. How did it come to this? He'd promised Vail before the latter went out to sea that he'd be be Nero's guardian, and that hadn't changed. Yet those circumstances had managed to land the Sea Wolf into an Ul'dahn gaol. What was supposed to be a routine drop had turned into a bloody skirmish that left Liam and Martin dead and Daegsatz himself captured. His neck was still stiff from the wound, but the conjury had helped quite a bit with the aching. Daegsatz held his fingers up, counting the number of days it would take before the landsickness set in. Nero, the daft boy, had insisted that there was no such thing as landsickness. Daegsatz considered his captain both lucky and unlucky that he was not born a proper Roegadyn.


The cell was simple and featureless. A narrow cot lay tucked against a bed. A chamber pot that was cleaned out once a week lay at the foot of the cot. A drain had been fitted into floor of the cell, the rusty colour of the grates granting leave to unfortunate implications. Daegsatz shook his head, his ash-grey mane of hair seeming to convulse when he did, as he began to scratch at the granite floor with his massive fingers.


The whole situation is rubbish.

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Roen could still smell the freshly baked bread in the basket, nestled with a small bit of cheese and salted fish wrapped in linen. All were inspected by the guards, of course, as she was stopped at the entrance to the gaols. The Lalafellin jailkeeper gave Roen a look with lofted brows, obviously surprise to see her returned to her place of recent imprisonment.


The paladin recalled the day she had walked out of the cell that had been her residence for weeks. She vowed never to return unless absolutely necessary; she was still trying to forget the walls that had grown oppressively thick, the rooms darker each day that had passed.


“Bread, eh?” The guard piped up as he walked her down the hallway, the keyring jingling in hand.


Roen just nodded, her eyes looking over the contents again rather than the long dark hallway or the bars that she had stared at for so many suns. She was not here as a prisoner, she reminded herself, but she could certainly sympathize with anyone kept within. From what few words they had exchanged when Daegsatz Traggblansyn was arrested and she brought him to the gaols, she knew he was not aware--at least not fully--of the plan that she and Nero had concocted to gain evidence against Jameson Taeros. But the Roegadyn had been unfortunate enough to be injured and apprehended at the raid that should have only involved the Monetarists' men. Daegsatz recognized Roen's name at least, and he told her where to find Nero after the failed raid.


But now Nero's First Mate sat in the gaols while Natalie and Coatleque tried to sort out the truth about Taeros’ shipment of somnus, and Roen did not have the authority to set him free herself. So the paladin took it upon herself to, at the very least, check on him daily, much as Ser Crofte had done with her. It was the little things that mattered--the small bits of news or good cheer, rare as it might be, that the Sultansworn would bring that made things just a little more bearable for Roen. Sometimes she came with a vase of flowers, other times a book or memoir, or even an extra lamp.


So Roen knew to do the same. It makes all the difference in the world, she knew. She said nothing as the doors were opened for her by the Lalafell, and closed behind her with a clang and a click of the lock. It was only after she heard his armored footsteps echo away down the hallway that she eased a smile for the Roegadyn.


“How do you feel?” She canted her head, eyeing where she had used conjury on him the day before. “The bruise should subside in a few days.” She approached him and extended the basket toward him. “I thought you could use some amenities.”

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Daegsatz exhaled like a blacksmith's bellows. His captain had mentioned this woman; if Daegsatz didn't know any better, he'd have called Nero smitten with her, but then he called Nero smitten whenever the latter spoke about any woman. The Hyur had had his share of female relations and typically speaking, the more positive his sentiments, the less positive his actual opinion was of her. This woman--Roen--had not had many kind comments said about her, so to Daegsatz' mind, Nero was practically already considering engagement.


The Hyur were a very strange people.


He accepted the basket gratefully, nodding at her. "Been bett'r. Wee bit stiff," he grumbled, rolling his shoulder. "But I 'preciate the thought, lass. Ye don' need ta go through all o' this fer me." It'd be at least a few more days before the landsickness set in, but right now the Roegadyn would take whatever he could get. He munched on the bread in silence for some time before speaking again. "Don't s'pose ye can bring booze in 'ere, aye?"

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Of course, liquor. He is a pirate, after all.


Roen regarded the Roegadyn in silence as he took part in the basket’s offering. Even after just a few suns of getting to know Nero Lazarov, it was obvious that the bond between Nero and his First Mate was a close one. ‘Satz’ was what the smuggler called his Roegadyn friend, more than once, on his linkpearl. And when Roen told Nero that Daegsatz had been captured and imprisoned after the raid, the relief that washed over the pirate captain was palpable. Nero had been fearing and preparing for the worst.


“Perhaps?” The paladin shrugged. “I can bring some rum in a waterskin and see if it will pass inspection. They do know me around here,” Roen said with a bit of irony. “They may allow it.”


After a moment’s pause, she took a seat on the cot. Her voice was lowered, even though she knew no one else was within earshot of the cell. “I spoke to your captain last night. He is... worried for you. I told him I would keep an eye on you.” Roen said softly, her voice tinged with guilt. “You would not be here if it was not for the plan he and I set forth.”


“And I know firsthand, the... comforts of these gaols,” she noted wryly, “so I intend to do what I can to lessen the harshness or your confinement.” Roen quickly held up a hand to dismiss the questions she knew that statement may bring. “It is a long story.” She shifted subjects instead. “So, any other requests? I know of a scandalous memoir that helped me pass the time while I was here not too long ago.”

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The air blew out of Daegsatz' nose in a snort, though he offered a grin. "Ye be pushin' yer fibs a wee bit too hard if ye be thinkin' I'd believe a lady knight like yerself be readin' vulgar material while in a gaol. As for the lad, 'e worries too much. 'is father an' me been through far too much fer this ta cause a fuss fer 'im. An' this not be the first o' 'is schemes to end up like this."


Still, though the Roegadyn would never admit it, something about the paladin's kindness struck him. Limsa Lominsa was not cruel, but it was not soft either. Roen, however, seemed to be genuinely selfless. In the back of his mind, Daegsatz feared what would come about if she maintained contact with Nero. His thoughts were not eloquent, but the Sea Wolf trusted his instincts like no other. Roen expressed guilt over the "plan" she had concocted with the smuggler, but Daegsatz was too old to hold any sort of grudge. His attitude might shift when the landsickness set in, but for now, the paladin was the closest thing he had to a friend in this city.


In reality, the Roegadyn feared for his ward. Nero was hardly a young spring flower anymore--the lad was approaching his thirtieth year, yet Daegsatz saw in the Midlander's eyes a weariness reserved for old men and veterans. Perhaps it would be good for him to be with such a kind soul as Roen.


"No requests fer now, my ladyship," Daegsatz said gruffly, his sudden formality contrasting hard with his Lominsan accent. "I won't be one ta take advantage o' yer kindness so easily." He continued to munch at the bread and scratch at the floor in contemplation before cocking an eye at her. "Ye be takin' care o' Nero's fool arse, aye?" the Roegadyn rumbled. "I guarantee 'e be needin' yer compassion far more than me."

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The more she listened to the Roegadyn speak about Nero, the more Roen was convinced that it was almost a paternal relationship they shared. The Roegadyn was older, and both he and Nero had mentioned how close Daegsatz and Nero’s "father" worked together for years. The way he spoke of the smuggler, there was affection and protectiveness underlying his rather gruff form of endearment.


“I will do the best I can, Mister Traggblansyn,” she murmured out his last name with some struggle. “I doubt your captain wants me looking out for him,” Roen bowed her head with a small smile, “but I suppose he is stuck with me regardless.”


She absently rubbed her palms over her lap, recalling her first conversation with the smuggler. Roen knew next to nothing about the man so far, but the intensity that burned in his eyes when he spoke of fixing Ul’dah was undeniable. To see now that such a driven man could instill this vigilant yet tender sentiment that she saw in Daegsatz...it reassured her that what she believed about Nero was not far from the truth.


“There is always more decency that can be had,” the paladin offered with a genuine smile. “Too many think such a thing should have a limit.” She tapped her lap lightly as if making up her mind. “Rum and the memoir if I can get ahold of it for the morrow. And I fib not! It was a gift. And only certain chapters made me blush...a little. It brought me more laughter than unease.”


Her gaze lingered on the Roegadyn as if to give him some measure of consolation before she stood and made her way to the barred door. She knocked loudly against it signal the jailer before turning back to Daegsatz. ”Hopefully we will not keep you here too long. Then you can check in on your Captain, soon enough.”

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Day 2


The designs Daegsatz had been scratching into the granite floor began to take shape. The fingernail of his index finger had been filed down, so he had resorted to his middle finger instead. There were some odd curves and crests indicating waves; it was clear where the Sea Wolf's thoughts lay.


The landsickness had not set in but Daegsatz could feel it roiling on the edges of his stomach. If seasickness was due to a body being unable to cope with the constant swaying from the ocean, then landsickness was the opposite; sitting still for a long amount of time was not healthy for the Roegadyn.


Forlorn thoughts occupied his mind. He'd been in Thanalan for naught but a few suns, but already he was missing the sound of the Rhotano Sea splashing against the hull, the chirp of gulls...hells, even having a clear view of the sky and the sun would have been preferable. The cell contained no window to speak of, and the light from the torches was warm, but hollow in a way, as if the light was merely a figment of his imagination.


The only reason why Nero had not brokered for his release was because the smuggler couldn't. Daegsatz knew that. The Hyur needed time to build influence and bribe the right people. The woman, Roen, might have been Nero's way of trying to get him released. Daegsatz and his ward had known each other for fourteen years; not even the blackest pits of despair could instill the idea that Nero had abandoned him.


Another grandiose sigh escaped from the Sea Wolf's lips as he shook his mane of ash-grey hair, scratching away at the granite floor.

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“Rum as promised,” Roen announced triumphantly when the barred door closed behind her. She gave the Lalafellin guard a smile over her shoulder as he walked away, with a small shake of his head. The paladin had implored to his sense of sympathy, in that Daegsatz was a Sea Wolf pirate and they drank nothing but rum. It was offered as a jest, but whether it was funny or not, the guard let her through with a roll of his eyes.


“It is the favored drink of the pirates, aye?” She settled to a seat on the cot, a bit more at ease this third time, as she handed him the waterskin. She also began to lay out the rest of the contents in the basket: a book, a piece of dried meat, and some La Noscean oranges. She had Miss Jarara to thank in discovering the juicy fruit, and hoped that the flavors of home would bring a bit of cheer to the Roegadyn.


“I could not find Mister Bellveil for one of his infamous memoirs, so I had brought this book of Ishgardian faerie tales instead,” the paladin said cheerfully, before she spotted the faint scratchings on the stony floor. She squinted as she could not quite make out what she was looking at and gave Daegsatz an arched brow in question.


Roen first looked to his hand where she saw the filed fingernails. “I could get you a bit of chalk perhaps?”

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The Roegadyn took the waterskin and greedily took several large gulps of it. He grunted in satisfaction as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "Much 'preciated, lass," Daegsatz rumbled. "Not the best I've ev'r 'ad, but it be pref'rable ta the swill they usually give." Indeed, the rum was a very welcome reprieve, but as soon as the flavour dissipated, the Sea Wolf felt a small sense of sadness. It may be many, many suns before he was released and allowed to return to Vylbrand. Mentally, he felt prepared, but that did not mean he enjoyed his imprisonment.


At the paladin's offer for chalk, Daegsatz gave a guffaw that was more bark than laugh. "Ye be me nanny now, lassie?" He began to peel at the oranges with his left index finger. "Stories an' chalk. I s'pose next ye be bouncin' me on yer knee an' singin' me ta sleep?" There was no derisiveness or mockery in his gravelly voice as he eyed her, only gentle, well-meaning humour. "Ye need not do this. Ye know me not. I 'preciate yer altruism all th' same, though." Daegsatz bit into the oranges, the skin having been peeled into a perfect, singular spiral. He placed half of the orange on Roen's lap as she sat on the cot.


"I hes'tate ta take advantage o' yer well meanin', truly," he commented.

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Roen took up the offered fruit, silently admiring the Roegadyn’s dexterity with the orange, despite his large fingers. She peeled off a piece and popped it in her mouth and shrugged.


“It seems neither you nor your captain is used to random generosity. You do not owe me any recompense, Mister Traggblansyn.” She rolled her shoulders as she glanced at the book on the cot. “And I know the bells can drag on in here. I just thought to bring whatever may distract you from the walls a bit.”


She peeled another piece of the orange and savored its taste between her lips before she gave Daegsatz a sidelong glance, one that lit up, delighted, when an idea came to her. “Although if you do want to repay me in kind…” she began, her words buoyant with curiosity. “You can tell me a little more about yourself and Mister Lazarov. Both of you have told me the same thing. I know that I know you not at all well. But…I wish to.”


Roen peeled off a pith from a piece of the orange, her gaze going to it. “If he and I are going to be working together, I would know the man a bit more through his First Mate’s eyes.” She glanced back at the Roegadyn. “And the man he considers family.”

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Daegsatz snorted as he chewed the sweet orange. The more things Roen brought that reminded him of Vylbrand, the more the sadness sank in his heart, though the Roegadyn wouldn't be caught dead expressing that kind of emotion. "Workin' togeth'r? Expect ye ta be married 'fore season's end," he scoffed. "Nay, lass, it not be in me nature ta gossip. Ye want ta learn 'bout 'im, ye ask 'im yerself." 


He began to peel another orange with one hand as he flipped through the Ishgardian book with the second, squinting at the tiny letters. The Sea Wolf was not illiterate by any means, but his eyes were more used to reading the fanciful titles of nautical charts and market board notices rather than the fine print of volumes and essays.


"As fer family, hah! Don't be spreadin' rumours." A massive gust of air blew from Daegsatz' nose. "'Es not family, 'es a massive pain. Always runnin' after girls an' stealin' silverware. Two gen'rations o' that shite I've 'ad ta deal with, pardon me language. You Hyurs be like drunken mice, always runnin' into walls an' catchin' the ire o' broomsticks." He shook his head as he chewed on the newly peeled orange. 


"'is father be the first o' the two arses I've 'ad ta repeatedly pull out o' fires. Nearly four decades an' nothin' changed." Daegsatz wrinkled his nose as he nearly brought his eyes in physical contact with the pages on the book. He shoved the open book at Roen, a large index finger pointing at a particular specimen of grandiloquent loquaciousness. "Don't s'pose ye know what that be meanin', lass?"

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Roen nearly choked on her piece of orange at the word ‘married’. Surely that was a figure of speech…


But as Daegsatz continued to berate and belittle both his captain and her race, the paladin could only smile in amusement. She had no doubt now of the affection the Roegadyn held for both Nero and his father. She eyed him as his nose buried itself more and more into the book she had brought, which made her glance at the dimly lit room. She made a mental note to bring another source of light for the cell, as Ser Crofte did for her.


Roen straightened when the book was finally shoved in front of her face. She squinted at the word he was pointing at.


“Aeviternal,” she read out loud. “It means eternal. Everlasting.” She scanned the rest of the page then wrinkled her nose. “Well, this particular tale is about…knights and princess and such…” she turned a few pages to see what the next chapter was and cleared her throat. “I am certain there is something...more suited to your taste in here somewhere…” She chuckled awkwardly.


She had already been called a nanny; she wondered why, of all things, she had brought a book of faerie tales for the burly pirate. Perhaps it was because Hornet had gifted her with the same when she felt lost. It seemed a good idea at the time.


Roen cleared her throat and looked back to the floor. “So." She was eager to change the subject. "What are you drawing on the stones, exactly?”

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"Why not simply use th' word 'eternal', then? Bloody pain..." The Roegadyn recoiled a bit when Roen made a motion that, to him, suggested she would take the book. "Oi, I'm readin'. Get yer own," he reprimanded gruffly. Daegsatz stuck his tongue out of the side of his mouth as he dogeared a few pages and continued squinting into the volume, his eyebrows knitting together as Sea Wolf traced the lines with a thick finger in order to keep sense of the tiny arrangement of letters.


His attention was momentarily distracted when Roen called attention to his scratchings on the floor. Daegsatz' shoulders heaved in a gesture of a shrug. He peered over the edge of the book. "Me family tree. That," he pointed to an indistinct curve. "is me grandnan, and over there," another sausage-like finger jerked itself to another completely indistinct curve "is me grandpaps. Actually, I be tryin'a draw Vylbrand." After a few silent minutes, Daegsatz hesitantly glanced at the paladin.


"Lass, if yer offer ta continue bringin' amenities here still be open...I could be usin' paper. And somethin' ta write with." The Sea Wolf jerked his thumb at the stone. "Granite be playin' hells on me fingers."

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Roen hid a small but pleased smile as Daegsatz snatched the book away. She instead turned her attention back to the floor, trying to make out the shapes he was pointing to. “A family tree,” she said softly, finishing up the last piece of the orange. “What a lovely idea.”


She was curious about the Roegadyn--about his kind in general. She was acquainted with only a few, and knew very little of the Sea Wolf tribe, or of their tradition of piracy in general. Other than the oft-regaled tales of raids and lawlessness on the seas, Roen had never thought about pirates (or ‘privateers’ as they were known now in Limsa Lominsa). But Daegsatz was making her realize that such broad impressions hid depths to the man within, as labels often did.


She drummed her fingers on her lap before she stood. “Parchment and ink. You will have them tomorrow.” The paladin nodded. After signalling the jailor, she gave the Roegadyn another smile. “Perhaps you can show me the tree once you are done.”

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Day 3


Amazingly, Daegsatz' stomach had not yet erupted in protest. He counted himself lucky. The oranges and the rum must have staved off the aching for another day; how long that reprieve would last was anyone's guess. The Ishgardian book was thoroughly creased by now. Many of the stories were overly romantic fables, but a few of them were tales of zealous combat and legendary battles against dragons, which the pirate quite enjoyed, even if the vocabulary was unnecessarily flowery at times. Every now and then his eyes would begin to protest due to the dim lighting of the cell and the small words, forcing the Roegadyn to put the book down and go back to scratching at the granite.


The Sea Wolf was now looking forward to the daily visits from the paladin. She was a kind enough person, and amusing in her own way, and Daegsatz was truly grateful for the distractions she brought, for the passing of bells and the time spent simply sitting in the gaol was truly monotonous. In truth, the Roegadyn wanted to ask about his ward, but if Nero found out that Daegsatz was worrying about him while stuck in a gaol, the Sea Wolf would very likely never hear the end of it.

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Jameson Taeros still had not been questioned. It had been three suns since the botched raid and the arrest of his men, but the Monetarist noble himself had not been found. Supposedly he was out of Ul’dah on business matters -- or at least that was what she had been told when she had asked Ser Crofte. Until he was questioned, there was no way to get Daegsatz out of the gaols since the investigation was still pending.


Roen did not like it. She knew that with each passing day,Taeros had more time to prepare his defense, thereby increasing his chance of escaping arrest.


The paladin tried to dismiss those thoughts as she entered the familiar cell however, she did not want to burden the Roegadyn with such speculations. She still noted the dimness of the dungeon and frowned. She was not allowed to bring in another lamp of all things--or anything that could be construed as a weapon; they still considered Daegsatz a dangerous pirate and a criminal. Roen wondered if she was the only one to think otherwise.


“Parchment, quill, and ink, as promised,” she said cheerfully, laying it out on the cot. Roen also laid out more fruit and bread with some dried fish, and two waterskins. “This one is rum, but that one is sweet water.” She pointed to each of them in turn. “Not even pirates can survive on rum alone.”

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Daegsatz gave a grateful nod at the paladin, even as he snorted at her assertion. "Ye clearly 'ave not been 'round the right pirates, lass. Much 'preciated." He took the sheaf of parchment, the quill pen, and the ink pot. He shook his head ruefully at the veritable feast that Roen had brought into the cell. "Ye be spoilin' me silly. Soon I be losin' my sea senses. Maybe take root 'ere, become a tree."


He took one of the sheets of parchment and began to examine it carefully. The parchment was of average make, borderline mediocre; "functional" would have been the appropriate term for it. The parchment was made of cheap goatskin and a few blemishes, though barely noticeable, denoted the quantity-over-quality way in which it had been manufactured. Then again, Daegsatz wasn't exactly expecting Gridanian vellum. 


The Roegadyn gave the back of the quill pen's nib a quick press against his tongue and gave it a light, practised dip into the ink pot. With smooth, swift motions, he began to mark the parchment.


"So, eh...ye been keepin' healthy, lass?" Daegsatz said awkwardly in an effort to start conversation as he drew the quill pen across the parchment. Thick black lines began to criss cross the parchment.

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Roen was leaning over ever so slightly, craning her neck trying to peek at what he was doing. But when the Roegadyn asked his question, she quickly straightened in her seat, as if caught doing something she should not have been doing.


“Aye. I have!” she blurted. Roen could only take the slightest comfort in that he seemed as awkward as she in the elusive art of small talk. She smiled weakly. “And you? You must miss home. Vylbrand, aye? The ocean, the water.”


The paladin let out a rueful chuckle, rubbing the back of her neck. “Although I could not imagine missing being on the seas. The churning of the waves and my last meal never seem to agree with each other.” Daegsatz continued to draw on the parchment in silence as Roen continued to try and fill the silence between them. “My mother always loved the ocean though. You see two sunsets when it is reflected on the waters. The sound of the waves on the rocks. The breeze that rolls in, it can sooth the soul. I can see why some long for it.”

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Daegsatz snorted as he continued to scrawl on the paper. The black ink seemed to form completely nonsense shapes and patterns, and yet the Roegadyn made every stroke and curve with the utmost confidence. "Only 'cause ye nev'r given yerself time ta get used ta the sea's embrace. Once ye adjust..." a sparkle made itself known in his eye as he grinned at Roen. "Sailin' be the feelin' o' havin' all the freedom in the world."


He sighed. "Ye be right about one thing, lass. Ev'ry sun that be passin' simply makes Llymlaen that much more insistent in 'er callin' me." Daegsatz shook his head. "Reckon it be but a few more suns 'fore the landsickness sets in."


The Sea Wolf continued to scrawl on the parchment, the scratchings and strokes growing more and more unintelligible. "Where be yer mother now, lass? Pardon me sayin', but ye seem a wee bit young ta be fightin' with swords."

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Roen took up an orange, peeling it slowly as she peered sidelong at the markings on the parchment. She could not make heads nor tails of it but she stole glances anyway, curious. Daegsatz’s careful diligence clearly meant that it held some significance, even if just for him.


“I have been training since I could hold a wooden sword!” the paladin replied with feigned indignation. She laid half of an orange near the Roegadyn before peeling off a piece from her own. “I started training…after my mother died.” Her voice grew soft with the recollection. “I was seven years old.”


She looked back down at the orange in her hand. “I thought if I became a knight I could protect, and...even heal my father’s broken heart.” Roen exhaled, staring absently at the fruit. “I thought, had I been a knight sooner, I could have protected my mother as well.” She snorted quietly. “What did I know then? I was but seven years old.”


Roen was about to take a bite of a piece when she paused and arched a brow at Daegsatz, his earlier words finally sinking in. “Did you say landsickness…?”

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Daegsatz nodded absentmindedly. "Aye, landsickness. Some peoples be afflicted with seasickness- th' body bein' off balance due ta the motion o' the sea. Fer meself and peoples like me, the reverse be true. Too much stillness, an' it be mighty uncomfortable." He peeled another orange and threw the entire fruit into his mouth, consuming the unfortunate citrus fruit in four hefty chews. "It not be fatal or th' like, but ye be forgivin' me for any bellyachin' I may be groanin' 'bout fer th' next few suns."


In the Roegadyn's mind, the image on the parchment was complete. He sighed in satisfaction, examining his handiwork. It was more or less completely nonsensical, and yet the Sea Wolf seemed quite proud of himself. He put the parchment away before drawing up another sheet, this time carefully outlining the silhouette of a ship.


"Methinks yer wee seven-year self be on ta somethin', lass," Daegsatz commented gruffly, his gravelly voice contrasting with his consolation. "Mayhaps ye be too late fer yer mother, but ye und'stood th' need ta protect those 'o matter to ye. As fer yer father's grief," the Roegadyn shrugged. "'E lost a piece o' 'imself. 'Es a daft man if he be forgettin' 'bout 'is daughter, though."

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Roen regarded Daegsatz with some measure of sympathy. While she had never heard of landsickness, she knew how queasy she felt on ships. She would not wish that ailment upon the Roegadyn; being gaoled was bad enough--another adversity she understood all too well. She absently glanced at his finished product as he examined the first parchment, although her curiosity was now tempered by her empathy for the man.


As he began to work on the second parchment, Roen put another piece of orange in her mouth. She had not talked about her father in a long time. Memories of her mother came to her easily, and sharing those moments always made her feel as if she were paying respects to the woman who raised her. But her father was a different story; it had been Dorien nan Luraes who had drove her to join the Battle at Carteneau, and it was his involvement in the Fall of Dalamud that had made her run away and adopt Eorzea as her new home. None of this she thought to ever share with anyone.


“I saw what grief can do. Losing someone you love like that. It…was easier for him to lock away what compassion he had left and throw himself into his work.” Her voice had lowered to just above a whisper, the reminiscence of her father always bringing melancholy with it, a tidal wake of bitter remembrance. “I was…unable to bring him back, then.” She stared at the stone floor. Her shoulders slumped.


“That was over six cycles ago,” Roen said after a weighted pause. With a sharp inhale, the paladin drew herself up, looking to the Sea Wolf. “I know not what became of him after the Calamity, but I know better, now, than to lose hope. If I ever saw him again…perhaps I would tell him that.”


Roen curled a small smile, shaking her head as if to dismiss the weight her words brought with them. She leaned over towards Daegsatz, this time shamelessly watching him draw. “Is that the Second Forte?”

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Daegsatz paused, sticking his tongue out of the corner of his mouth. Roen could be surprisingly introspective. The Roegadyn considered himself too simple to have such thoughts occupy his mind. 


"Nay, it bein' too large ta be the Forte. The Forte be like a dancer with graceful curves an' a shapely body. This," he gestured to the drawing as he continued to scrawl on it with the quill. "be more like a brick, or a rock." Indeed, the ship outline was almost rectangular in shape, with straight edges tapering to a point that was presumably the bow. The masts were thick and stocky and the bottom of the ship was flat. Two rows of cannons stuck out of the side of the ship, with another row on the deck. Even with the odd design, the Sea Wolf had drawn waves being parted.


"Me first ship, the Dagger. It be not lookin' like a dagger at all though, aye?" Daegsatz let out a small chuckle. "Eventually sunk due ta pirates. Common story in Limsa." He fell quiet for a few minutes as he added some finishing touches to his sketch.


"It be easy to give up," the Sea Wolf said finally. "When ye be losin' enough, ye start thinkin' ye lost everythin'. Even if'n ye lose what ye deem ta be most important to ye," Daegsatz took his first drawing and lay the pattern of nonsense scribbles on Roen's lap as she sat on the cot, and flashed a grin at her, vaguely reminiscent of a certain smuggler. "Ye need only change yer perspective to realise the good yer life still be 'avin'." 


The Sea Wolf turned the sketch upside down, and an image made itself known; what was previously a mess of black lines and curves became a tangible image of an island shore. The waves were drawn with a practised, confident hand as it lapped against a beach, distant mountains were jutting in the horizon with a surprising amount of detail. A gull was perched on a piece of driftwood on the beach, and the beach itself gave way to a forest of palm trees where the mountains began.


"If ye be losin' yer way like yer father, lass...there always be anoth'r side," Daegsatz said.

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Roen blinked, staring at the parchment and the image she had not seen there before. She glanced from it to the Roegadyn, a soft smile lifting her expression.


“You are a wise man, Mister Traggblansyn. Your captain is lucky to have you.” She declared, holding up the sketch in front of her as if to examine it. “And quite the artist to boot.”


The paladin rolled up the parchment and tucked it under her arm as she stood. “You will definitely have more parchment and ink on the morrow. As repayment for this.” Her smile brightened. “Perhaps we can decorate this dark cell with some of your art.”


Roen walked to the barred door, knocking on it to signal the jailor again. She leaned against it as she waited, regarding Daegsatz, warmth in her soft smile. She could see how Nero would see him as a fatherly figure; the Roegadyn had a simple but astute wisdom about him.


I need to get him out of the gaols and back on the seas.


And I will, she quietly promised herself. He does not belong here.

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Day 4


The sun rose to Daegsatz curled against a corner. Sometime during the night the landsickness had set in and the unfortunate Roegadyn's stomach had begun to twist and turn. There was no pain, but the Sea Wolf was clearly nauseous and uncomfortable. His eyes were shut and he swayed back and forth as if to emulate the motion of a ship in an effort to settle his growing sense of vertigo. His ashen hair was unkempt, a result of him rolling about the confined gaol. Every now and then a groan would escape his lips that sounded like an avalanche. The fish, while reasonably delicious at the time of consumption, was now choosing to disagree with his body.


It was bound to be a long day.

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