Campaign of the Month: June 2012
Cian's Journal Entry 3- "Black Coast, Crimson Blades"
Cian stared off the larboard rail of the dhow toward the dark line on the horizon that marked the coast of Byrundi. A hot sun beat down on his shoulders from a cloudless cerulean sky overhead, setting his temper on edge and inspiring a silent tirade against his employer, who sat beneath a red and white striped awning at the aft rail. A Baidi merchant, he had signed Cian on eagerly, asking no questions about his background and offering heavy coin for work as a marine. Should’ve asked questions myself, Cian thought ruefully. If I’d known why he really needed marines, I’d have… he stopped himself. No, I’d still have signed on; I needed the money too badly. But Darmon I wish I’d had another choice.
Around him, the crew went about their tasks with a sullen spirit. Most of them were Chuulan, and all of them, Cian had discovered to his chagrin, were slaves. The Captain, Wazif ibn Ibrahim ibn Mahmud al Khasra, had told the Cymbrian that he needed armed men for defense against pirates. What he’d neglected to mention was he also needed defending against a possible uprising by his own crew. His officers didn’t help matters, being cruel men with no scruples about using the lash. In the three weeks Cian had been aboard, five men had been whipped for nothing more serious than malingering, and though Wazif had been disinterested and bored by it all the second mate, a fellow Baidi named only Khalid, had undertaken the task with an unholy relish every time, his lips curled in a tigerlike sneer and a hard glitter in his eyes. He’d seen the horror on Cian’s face that the Cymbrian hadn’t been able to hide, and had only grinned the wider the next time he’d laid the lash across the wailing slave’s back.