Chapter 2: Landfall

Griselda sat round the fire with the others. She did not take any food but sat and talked with those still up and talking.

After a while, she settled back against the sand and looked up at the bright twinling stars. She didn't sleep as such, and believed that she must do something akin to what the elves claimed to do. Her mind drifted slowly away as the starlight bathed through her, losing awareness of the beach, her body and the ilsland as she danced free of her form and let the aches and weariness of the previous days slowly wash away.

Strange, fragmentary dreams plague everyone through the night. Those standing watch see evidence of this in the sleepers as they thrash about. Despite these disturbances the castaways are able to rest well and awaken refreshed in the morning. Well, most of them at least. Along the treeline Raphaela falls off of her sleeping perch with a startled, and angry, yelp. Having attached herself to the branch with her belt her fall is arrested swiftly, leaving her hanging from the branch with an expression not unlike that of an angry cat.

The warmth of the fire only kept the chill and forbearing of the dreams at bay for so long, Tempest began to rive in her sleep, as if something just just on the edge of her senses chasing her onto the unknown and yet never quite catching her. The fear not quite enough to wake her, but lingered on when she did rise to sit the dawn watch with Griselda.

Adding extra wood to the fire she tried to banished the uneasy feeling, she hugged her arms about herself rubbing the tops of her arms against the inner chill as well as out. She turned her back to the fire and aloud her eyes to grow accustomed to the dim light. She had nodded a 'morning' to Griselda, but had yet to find her voice, the echoes of the night and the silence of the camp seemed to rob her of breaking the still.

When the others started wrestling in their sleep she looks over uneasily at her watchmate sharing a look before returning to watching the tree line.

As the sun rose she felt better with the day light banishing the shadows. The loud thud and curse of Raphaela falling out of the tree set her heart pounding as she jumped, turning seeing the true cause of the outburst she had to turn her face to hide the half formed laugh which she choked down.

It was the first time in ages that she had felt like laughing out loud, and while she felt if anyone deserved laughing at it was Raphaela, but given the serious nature of the situation she thought it would be better not to set her off too much at the start of the day.

She hide her mirth by moving to the rations to lift out food for breakfast. Here, its not much but hopefully we'll find something today she said passing some old rations to Griselda struggling to keep a straight face.

Griselda smiled at Tempest in response to her nod, staying silent also to not disturb the other's rest. The dawn over the ocean helped to dispel the images of her dreams and she had always felt good on seeing the dawn. Somehow everything felt positive at that time of day and looking at Tempest shared another smile with her as she recognised that she too felt the same way.

Griselda too jumped and turned in surprise at Raphaela's fall, and gaped wide mouthed at the woman dangling from the branch by her belt. This was followed by a quickly stifled yelp of laughter as Griselda shoved a fist into her mouth to stop herself laughing, quickly turning away, though the shaking of her shoulders and tears streaming from her eyes made her efforts largely wasted.

Griselda gratefully accepted the rations from Tempest, shoving some into her mouth quickly in an attempt to stifle laughter, unable to stop herself glancing back at the angry woman swaying from her branch. A thought of the belt breaking and dumping her to the floor without pants almost sent Griselda into fits, so she quickly gulped down a little water for good measure.

RolloRollo awoke, clearly unnerved. He rose and immediately grabbed an improvised spear. He'd been mostly using spears against fish lately, but he settled into a military drill he had learned from soldiers that had been transported by a ship he worked on.

Raphaela frees herself from her safety belt and drops gracefully to the ground. She retrieves her knife and, with a glare that could curdle milk directed towards the assembled, stomps off into the trees.

The day looks to be beginning surprisingly well, each of you are familiar with the rain patterns of the area. Outside of the squalls that spin off of the magical storm far to the south, you can expect rain every night as the sun goes down. The middle part of the days are sweltering, any activity between noon and three could very easily fatigue you, typically people living in this clime will break or nap during that time.

Thanks to your swift journey to the island you have a decent store of food, and fire isn't much of a problem unless it rains. Shelter is something of a concern, there's no real good shelter from the heat and rain at the moment, and you know from experience how miserable it can be to try to sleep out in the rain. For weaponry you have the crude spear that Rollo has been working on, the knife of Raphaela's , and temporary spears, bows, and arrows from Griselda.

The big question is, what are your plans for the day, for the next few days, and long term?

As the group share breakfast, Griselda raises the issue of what is to be done.

'As I see it, the first thing we need to do is find fresh water. That is the most life threatening problem we have right now.'

Griselda looks at each person to see if anyone disagrees then proceeds

'Any stream will flow to the sea. So we have a couple of options. We can follow along the beach and keep walking until we find signs of water, or we can climb the volcano to get a good view from above of large areas of the island. Walking along the beach is safer, but I think we should climb the mountain at some point anyway simply so we can find out if the island is inhabited.'

'Once we have water, we can set up a camp. Then we need to find out if anyone else lives here and what sort of people they are. If not, then we have to repair our boat, modify it and add a keel and permanent sail. That will take tools and time and wood. If anyone else lives here we may be able to avoid having to do that. On the good side though, I can make temporary tools to help make more permanent tools. On the down side, without nails, it isn't going to be easy to make changes to the boat, or at least not as sound as they would be with nails. If there are natives and they have metal, it will help a lot.'


Raphaela grouchy steps comes to an end as a yawn escapes her lips and her back archs, arms above head, as she stretches out. "Damn" Ela complains at the end of her yawn. She fells like she didn't sleep at all and begins to wonder why when she remembers her dream... vision? She looks back at past a few trees wondering if her companions where still in mirth about her mishap... wondering did they to receive another dream. And then she looks deeper into the jungle... wondering if she should keep trudging along... alone. Then she twirls around, surprised, as if someone whispered in her ear. Only no one was there.

With that Raphaela hastily makes her way back to the others, periodically looking over her should to make sure no one was there. "So... we look'n fo natives eh?" She asks as she reaches the others, catching only the tail end of Griselda's plan. "Ere ones rested then? No bad dreams?" Ela asks offhandidly, she thought she seen some of them with trouble sleep... then she looks Avedis and almost asks him something, but thinks better of it with a Hmph.

Nodding Tempest internally agreed with everything Griselda laid out as a plan, it ran directly along the lines of her own thoughts. She was about to speak when Raphaela joined them, the smile toying on her lips as she turned to the woman soon faded with talk of dreams.

I dreamt nothing as vivid as the night before, but something lurked just out of reach in my mind upon waking. I'm not sure if that is a good sign or not that it was less...powerful. she repressed as shudder at the overshadowing memory.

As for exploration, Griselda is right, fresh water first, shelter and food. I thing I would rather some solid weapons and tools to hand before venturing too deep into the heart of the island, aside from native friendly or otherwise we don't know what wild beasts roam this soil.

Roused by Raphaela's yelp, Garnett and Avedis eat a light breakfast, listening to the women lay out the needs. Cricket continues to sleep.

"Nothin' I can recall at all," the old half-elf informs Raphaela, "Just a feelin' of unease today. Like there's somethin' watchin' me." He then smiles to Tempest and Griselda. "The priorities sound right, I'm thinkin' that such activity as traipsin' through the countryside best be left to younger legs than mine. I'll keep a watch on things here with Cricket, make sure nothin' goes wanderin' afield. Maybe work on some spears an' such too."

In the morning light you can see more detail about where you stand. Immediately east is a treeline, growing more dense and rising in elevation The beach is a long crescent of black sand, to the north a ways away the sand gives way to some rocky cliffs. To the south about a half mile away some dunes begin to rise up, but Rollo spots something promising beyond that obstruction. There's a break in the shore, and a slight change in the color of the water, probably the mouth of a river.


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