Awakening | Act 1, Chapter 8: First Stop |

It’s been a while.

I’ve been keeping up with The Odyssey Feed and it seems like Cyro is running out of writers to post that isn’t BNT. Well, I decided to start working on this again. After watching some Brandon Sanderson lectures, it really hit me in the head that I need to get Act 1 done before AO releases.

I wasted most of July having fun and playing FPS games but now I’m getting back to work.

With the final decision set in stone, the wizards walked towards the docks, headed to the next chapter of their lives. Along the walk, Apollo had barely regained consciousness. As everyone was delighted, their sights and thoughts had still been fixated on the outline of the future. Each of the wizards shared their greetings and comforts with Apollo, expressing how they missed him so, and showed gratitude at his return.

The situation, and the identity of Lance was quickly explained to him. Apollo, bright as ever, accepted the situation with utmost positivity. Without an impediment to the democratic decision, the wizards moved forward and walked towards the dock.

They engaged in small talk, Julius being the one to debrief Apollo on the events after he passed out. Vega and Jin discussed the past battle. The two girls were up to their own antics, tagging along with Kaleigh and teasing him throughout the short journey.

Kaladin and Asura engaged in a rather mundane topic on birds to escape from the direness of the situation. For the short distance from the town center to the dock, there was peace. The final peace they would ever have a chance to embrace.

All of them stood before a marvel of wood. Boards and planks neatly lined and nailed together, decorated with yellow streaks and stars that ran across the hull.

A large golden metal ram lined with an elusive white aura was lodged in the side of another galleon. Nearly bisecting the opposing ship in half. At the peak of the bow, an eagle figurehead stood tall. A reflection of pride and glory. It granted the ship a sign of strength that set it apart from others.

Amidst the foggy waters, the glare of reflecting light would be the first sight of the vessel. A sight that would instill fear and dominance over others. Each of the wizards indeed, felt that feeling, as the looming shadow of the galleon towered over them.

There was discussion during the walk, and even on the sands of the dock. Murmurs and whispers about their future, Vega’s words, and the sight of a galleon.

After all, they’d never been able to grace their eyes with a ship of such a size. They had only known, and rode in sailboats, ketches, and the occasional rowboat.

Yet somehow along the way, their arguments from earlier had settled. As only a single thought had persistently remained. What would come next?

“Aha! I completely forgot about this!” Lance said heartfully. He didn’t seem to mind that his ship had been stuck within another.

“How does something like this even happen?” said Julius walking towards Lance, with Joyce by his side.

“Well you see, when I arrived I had the brilliant idea of ramming my ship into the enemy’s. Can’t have any stragglers escaping after all.”

“Won’t they just hop on your ship then?” questioned Joyce. She pictured a faint image of the knights climbing atop their broken ship like monkeys traversing a tree.

Her image continued with the knights walking across the bow of Lance’s galleon like a plank, with several knights falling to their doom, as their metal soles provided poor footing on such a thin surface.

“Not if they want to return alive. Kingdoms will persecute any, and all invaders, especially if it’s identified criminals on a foreign ship. They will show no mercy.” Lance replied.

Joyce shuddered at the thought. She shook her head, ridding her mind of the incoming visualization.

“Anyhow, this comes with an easy fix.” Lance said, grinning deviously. “I recommend you all stand back!”

The wizards did as he commanded, placing themselves against the flat rock wall that lined the edge of the sand. The geography of the docks was rather odd, and never quite matched the town. Yet it made the area a valuable place of defense.

A single winding dirt path twisted and turned to lead up to the elevated mainland of the island. The smooth rock wall and the lush grass made it difficult to climb. Enemies would only expose themselves as they snailed up the surface.

Taking the landscape into account, Vega, Kaladin and Asura made their way onto the slopes, finding coverage on higher ground.

Lance stretched out his left arm. Magic energy surged from his body, coursing through his arm and gathering at the fist. It clumped up, until his entire hand was covered in a glowing mass of white and yellow, fluttering energy and beauty.

“Sunlit Gauntlet!”

Lance thrust his magic-imbued fist forward. From his fist, the concoction of magic energy flew with the momentum of his punch, hurling towards the enemy galleon. All the wizards anxiously waited for impact.

Right before the blast made contact, time stood still for a moment. Faces of awe and distress lined the dock, before they were shrouded in a luminous white and yellow. Splinters and planks expanded and broke out of the galleon, shooting in all directions.

The wizards scrambled around the dock, making their way up the slope with flashing vision, still recovering from the brightness of the blast. Wood rained down onto the water.

Only a portion of the stern had remained of the enemy galleon. The rest, was littered over the sand and the ocean. Lance laughed joyfully, taking pride as his own ship was unscathed.

“Hey younglings get over here! It’s time to set sail!” shouted Lance, waving over at the cowering wizards. He burst into laughter at the sight, as the wizards embarrassingly and pitifully approached him. A blanket of uneasiness covered the wizards as they walked up a makeshift plank to board the ship.

Lance shifted around the boat, pulling at ropes and unfastening knots. As the sails were lowered, the boat began to move off the sand and glide along the water. Soft shouts of excitement filled the atmosphere. Lance swiftly made his way up to the crow’s nest, leaping up the mast with ease.

He looked down at the sight of wizards moving along, pointing towards the open sea. It was silly and childish, but there was a touch of appreciation that Lance had. How wonderful it was to be youthful and childlike. For your mind to be innocent and filled with wonder and curiosity. Even the oldest, Asura, seemed just as intrigued with the scenery. With the boat ready, all that was needed was a proper gust of wind.

“Jin!” Lance shouted from above. “Could you give us a good breeze?”

"Alright.” Jin held his arm out, manifesting a tiny circle the size of his palm. With a quick blast, the boat was in full throttle. The sails then rode along the sea breeze, sailing into the vast ocean. Lance skipped over to the helm grasping the handles. With a forceful thrust, the helm spun rapidly to the right. Within seconds, the galleon began a tight turn, toppling over the smallest wizards.

Eventually, the rocking settled and the ship was sailing straight and smooth. As minutes passed, the faint outline of islands appeared in the distance. One island appeared bright and filled with trees and large vegetation. Beyond it, were two more. An island with large mountain ranges, and another that was shrouded in mist, but recognizable from the distance.

“What’s that island over there?” Joyce pointed to the nearest island, the colored buildings becoming clearer as time passed.

“That’s Palo Town. And where our first stop will be! It’s a small merchant island, with few people and even fewer residents. A nice place to gather some necessities don’t you think? I’m sure you’d all like a nice meal and some fresh clothes.” Lance replied cheerily.

“You’re damn right about that one!” blurted Julius. “I thought we’d be in these torn up rags for the rest of our journey!”

“Screw the clothes, I’m starving. A hearty stew would be fantastic.” said Kaladin.

“Well you’re in luck! With this first stop, I might as well give you younglings your first official lesson. Cooking!”

“We’ve lived on an island for all our lives, old man. We farmed and tended to plants and crops before. Making stew is second nature to us.” said Jin.

Lance looked at Jin with slight frustration. His icebreaker plan had just been ruined. Lance had planned to bond with the wizards through a well-cooked meal. He looked at the rest of their faces, all sharing the same lack of interest. “I guess it’ll be a quick first lesson then, but I’m sure there are some things that I can teach you.”

As the conversation came to a close, Palo Town was now in clear view. Swaying palm leaves and the commotion of merchants added to the cacophony of the sea. To the wizards, it was relieving to see and hear so many people in one place.

Just days ago, they were living in such a livelihood.

At the bow, Julius had caught the attention of one of the distant islands. A teal hue became visible on the island with the mountain ranges. He squinted his eyes and cupped his hands around his eye like a spyglass.

“That won’t work, you imbecile,” said Asura. Julius jumped back, nearly tipping over the railing.

“My gods don’t sneak up on me like that man!” A heavy sigh brought Julius’s thumping heart to a calm beat.

“Just take a good look at that island. Don’t you think it’s covered in ice?” said Julius.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Islands are green with plants, and lined with sand and dirt–By the gods!”

“That island over there is Frostmill!” Lance shouted from the helm, picking up on the chatter. “Your eyes don’t deceive you! It’s an island of ice and snow. Weird right? It neighbors Redwake and the nearby Palo Town, which have totally different climates! Truly a sight of this world.”

“Amazing…” whispered Asura. As the boat neared the shore, Lance pranced around the galleon, tugging at ropes and tying knots. The sails were raised up revealing the naked crow’s nest. Slowly, the galleon made its way into a large docking area. Several caravels and other small ships had docked nearby. All eyes were on the marvelous wooden beast as it gently swayed side to side as its movement came to a halt.

Lance placed a large plank on the railing, connecting the galleon to the sandy shore of Palo Town.

People were scattered around, flocking to wooden stalls decorated with colorful ribbons flapping rapidly through the strong wind.

Silver coins glistened from left to right. No matter where the wizards stepped foot, the sight of galleons never left them. The coins were exchanged from hand to hand, held in pouches and stored in faults, as merchants and customers gave handfuls for food, clothing and other trinkets and rarities.

“You all seem pretty excited.” said Lance, with a scheming look.

“I mean, there’s just so much!” Kaleigh pounced to a food stall in excitement, gawking at the steam rising from the active pots.

“Indeed, so why don’t you go exploring for a bit. Acquire something to your liking.” Lance rummaged in his bag, and pulled out several small pouches. They jingled with silver as they were given out. Inside were a large handful of the silver coins. Galleons.

“There’s the same amount of each of you. The most it could get you is a rare gemstone, so you’ll be able to afford a large amount at this market. Go for it!” shouted Lance, as the wizards broke into groups with their pouches of money. Now unoccupied with his younglings, Lance made his way to a stall.

“One batch of fresh vegetables please!” He said with a gleeful smile to the woman behind the stall.

“Sure thing!” The woman left to fetch a crate of vegetables. Past the landscape and arching hills of Palo Town, several boats were gathered around Frostmill. The noticeable stain of red on the sails had Lance’s full attention. His eyes were locked onto it. His vision narrowed, as everything else turned black around him, leaving only red.

A tap on his shoulder snapped him out of his gaze. “Here you are! It’ll be around a thousand-”
Lance swiped the basket of vegetables from the woman’s hands, leaving a pouch of galleons in its wake. He’s close…

The woman looked blankly at Lance, noting his unique clothing and bright blonde hair as he disappeared in the crowd. Yet despite blending behind the crowds of people, his height and colors always made him visible.

Slips of vision through the limbs of passersby highlighted his body, until he finally vanished into light.

The Future of Awakening

Not sure if anyone cares, but the series will likely continue for several more chapters, possibly hitting the 30 chapter mark with the next arcs I have planned. I plan to end Act 1 right after the Oasis Arc.

With the amount of development and locations currently in place in AO, I feel as if I would miss out on the richness of the plot and areas in AO. So instead of a bunch of made-up storyline that would’ve come after the Oasis Arc, Act 2 will pick up with the rest of the Bronze Sea saga and continue with a plot inspired by AO’s storyline. Meaning this series is officially done after Oasis Arc, until AO releases.

1 Like