These people obediently readied to leave and the officer turned to return to the quarter deck - but as he did so, he thought he saw a lady standing still, off aways. Usually women aboard ship were an annoyance as well as unlucky. This one, however, seemed of a totally different class. She was tall and her golden hair was tied back nicely with black ribbons. The air about her was quiet and she seemed silently suspended, as a dream while the waker stirs. She had a royal air about her - not one of arrogance, but rather of respect. She was nodding slowly to Master Star'ton. Her green eyes were downcast, but she cried no tears. Her hands were folded in front of her and her amber dress trailed softly to the deck.
"What will you do after you reach your home, Master Star'ton?" she asked as he threw on his silver jacket. "Will you, too, fight this war?"
He looked at her with those round Aestalean eyes of wine grey and said,"I would go to war to defend my land. I would rid your land, also, of the pestilence that these Namrunians bring: this greed and bloodthirstyness."
At that, she smiled and looked up at him, her face glowing. "I wish that you would. They have not the respect that you do. And they are not good singers, either!"
At that, they both laughed heartily. The bosun's whistle cut them off and returned their somber spirits.
Star'ton looked at the Lady Fabia. "I will be back" he said sharply. His voice seemed cut with an edge of anger, or maybe pain. "I would not let danger or war break that promise. But I must follow my orders today. I.."
"I understand. As it also is with me." She looked at him. That man she had grown so close to over the past two years. She had grown accustomed to his long voyages about the seas, but now he sailed for home and to war and there was no assurance as to a time when he could return to her land if he would endure at all. And the green eyes bred tears.
"Time to be off, Lady Fabia."
"She is coming presently," Star'ton replied hoarsly. He put his hands on her shoulders. "Don't be sorrowful - I will make my way back to you again. Just don't forget me until then," he added with a sad grin.
She shook her head; said nothing. And after an embrace, she followed along with her people back to the boat for shore.
Star'ton waved from the deck. His short black hair got tangled from the breeze with nudged at the Dawningand would draw her away to Aestalea.
Fabia sat silent in the boat, and hoped that her people would again find their senses and fight off the Namrunin invaders who made war with these grey-clad seamen from the north. The men who came with their arts of glass and gem, their soft music and dark grey eyes. What a lovey land it was - that pre-dawn light all day around while the stars spun on their courses. The rivers had run crystal over granite stones and tall snowy mountains stood guard over the inner kingdoms. A strange and beautiful place. Why would someone wish to fight against such a people? Prejudices were over such trivial things. And hates replaced appriciation for things misundertood.
Fabia clenched her hands about her knees. If they took her Star'ton...
Star'ton watched the boat go until the twilight took it. He appologized for his late attendence to the logs and immediately began the charting of the route. It felt so odd to be weaving between the rising and setting of the sun rather than following it along the Farpencian coast. Enough of that. The time would come to travel these currents again - but now it was due of him to take these Aestalean men home. Home to Lynelfalyth. Home.
He chuckled gleelessly and frowned at the Fates. Home indeed.