Epilogue for Smuggler’s Shiv
Zor, the 26th day of Barrakas through Zor, the 5th day of Rhaan
Barnacles et al
A life spent clinging to the hull of a galleon is best lived by barnacles. I don’t think I could’ve stomached it for more than I had to. I will say this though; those barnacles sure did make for some nice paw-holds.
I spent most of my days below the waterline, clinging to my barnacle friends and admiring the immense menagerie of sea life. I was entertained by the schools of brightly colored fish. At the opposite end of the spectrum, I was terrified by monstrous beasts from the deep, including a kraken that shadowed our ship for about an hour. It always stayed about 100ft below the boat and trailed us by about 50 feet. Why it didn’t strike, I’ll never now.
On my third day, I became aware that I was being watched. I had seen a shimmering in the water since the day prior, but thought nothing of it. By now however I began to notice that the shimmering was stationary, relative to my position, and paid no heed to the position of the sun shining onto the surface from above. Staring intently at the object, I called out to it with water baffled speech. I received no reply, but the object moved closer to me. As it drew nearer, its body came into finer resolution. I had apparently caught the eye of a passing Nereid. Of course, it’s not every day that one might see a catfolk clinging to the bottom of a ships hull on the open ocean, so I could understand her curiousity. Fully aware of each other, the Nereid attempted to speak to me. Her voice was a soft hiss reminiscent of a crashing surf. Try as I might, I could not understand her Aquan tongue. Entranced by this beautiful creature, I resorted to simple body language, though it was quite limited as my mobility was severely impaired. A darted my tail this way and that and smiled softly at her, always careful not to bear my fangs. She smiled back and we journeyed in each others company for some time. After an hour of awkward but playful attempts at communication, she finally rolled past me, flashed one last smile at me and descended into the deep.
At last we had arrived. Early in the day, I felt the ship’s speed drop to a slow saunter. I could hear the vibrations in the water of sailors hard at work topside. Within an hour, I could see definition rising from the murky depths below. It was the seafloor and it was quickly approaching me. We must be entering the harbour now. My suspicions were confirmed when I heard the loud splash of the anchor as it hit the water and raced to the seabed. This was my cue. I swam ashore at great speed and climbed onto the dock. I wanted to be the first person to welcome them to my homeland. And so, to their absolute astonishment, there I was, sopping wet but arms open ready to receive them. Sasha charged forward from their midst’s and tackled me for a wet embrace. I have to admit, I was just as relieved as she was.