Friday, June 10

A ship in a storm

It's still raining this morning. The wind is with us, though, so we're making good progress. The captain of the boat, Mr. Pitt, asked Magus Celon to still the storm, but he refused. The Magus said that such a use would be frivolous, and that Captain Pitt should "Enjoy the gift the goddesses have bestowed upon us." Then he told him a long-winded elven myth. I think it was from the first age, because something weird happened to his voice every time he tried to say the name of one of the goddesses. Or, maybe elvish just sounds like that at times. I don't know. Mr. Pitt came away unsatisfied with that answer, I think. On the plus side, He did give the captain a pennant to fly from The Academy. It shows he's on wizard business, or that a prominent magician is on board. It looks really neat. I hope the weather clears up so I can get a better look at it. The flag shows a pair of dragons, bearing the crest of the academy. It might be a trick of the rain, but it seems like the dragons change colors when I look away. This means that we shouldn't have any more trouble from wandering bandits, slavers, river pirates, and so forth. Mr. K watched them raise it. He's the strong, silent type, but he looked almost sad as they were raising it. Maybe he has bad memories. Or, he could be disappointed that he won't be able to scrap anymore on the trip. He definitely seems like the muscle of the pair.
After yesterday's entry, I found Dad out by the docks. He was going over some last minute things with the Magus. Between the wind and the rain, and the loading of the ship, I couldn't hear what they were saying, but they both looked shocked, and a bit worried, to see me standing there watching them. My ears were burning, I guess. Soon, it was time for me to board the ship, and for him to get the cart going. I didn't like the thought of him going off alone. The road was clearly dangerous. I had this horrible feeling, like it was the last time I would ever see him. Hopefully I'm only being nervous. When we parted, he gave me the speech, to write, to study hard, to stay out of trouble. Then he hugged me tightly, (in public!) and told me that he was proud of me. It was a huge shock to me. I honestly thought that they were, I don't know, ashamed of whatever was happening to me, or frightened. I started to cry, but I told him it was just the rain. Then, he got back the cart, and hunched over the rain. He looked so old, so small and fragile sitting there alone. Magus Celon shook his hand, and touched then touched the cart. He was speaking quietly, but I was sure I could hear every word.
He said: "Swift shall your horses be, at your back shall the wind blow, and sure will the road carry you." It didn't seem a blessing, more of a promise. Then, Dad was gone, and I was alone in the world. It was a strange, indescribable feeling. I felt joy and fear and sorrow and excitement, more things than I can write, all at once. I am on my journey! I wanted to write this all down yesterday, but as soon as we were on the ship, The Magus started lecturing us. He spent all the daylight hours talking about the school, the city, Gnomish manners, and a million other things that are too boring to relay here. Mr. K sat under the eaves of the deckhouse, watching the deckhands finish loading up, and we were on our way. The Magus says that we have a lot to learn before we get to Carabos, so we're getting special cram school before we arrive. The boat isn't very large, and we're the only passengers. The first mate, Mr. Simon, said that we might take on a few more passengers when we reach the next town in a few days time. As far as Carabos is concerned, we're out in the sticks, but the boat might even be full up by the time we get to the towns a day away from the capital. We turned in early, right after dinner.
Entries might be a bit sporadic for a while. The Magus's all-day lectures look like they're going to take the whole trip. The boat doesn't have a great supply of candles or lanterns. Fire's too big a risk on a riverboat. And unlike the others, I can't evoke a light, so I'm stuck writing this whenever I have a few minutes during the day. At least I don't have to worry about ink.