It was rare for Chol Mugo to leave the Steel Shadow. Over the years he spent as a pirate, he got more and more used to the rocking deck of the ship, and every time he left he experienced something like the opposite of a sea sickness. This time, however, his duties had him dragged back into the crowded streets of Faircloud. With the recent outbreaks of dark chi all around, and fiends showing up in his harbor out of nowhere, he needed to consult a specialist on the matter. Usually he would send some of his men to run the errand for him, however the man he was meeting was an old friend of his, and only for that reason did he agree to assist The Blackram. Therefore, Mugo felt obligated to show up himself.

He arrived at the meeting spot in the Eastwinds Inn, and found himself surprised Ki Woong wasn't there yet, despite them agreeing on the Earthseer arriving early. This wasn't just his friend being late - something was afoot, and...

"I wanna join!" An unfamiliar voice coming from right behind him disrupted his train of thought. "The Blackram!"

Mugo's first reaction was to rapidly look around, to see if anyone took notice of what was just said. Relieved, seeing that no one was within the distance of hearing, he turned around to see a rather tall-looking lyn standing behind him.

"I can cook, and scrub the decks, and run errands, and, well, I, I..." The lyn apparently ran out of the things she could do, as her ears flopped to the back of her head. "I want to join."

"Why do you think I'm a Blackram?"

"The guy who came before you got arrested, and the guards said it's for dealing with The Blackram. But he was waiting for someone. And now you came here, and you're looking for someone in the spot where he waited. So you must be a Blackram he was supposed to be dealing with!"

Mugo felt the blood drain from his face. Has he been betrayed? By who? Did the guards know he was in here? Was he cornered, and by how many?

"Well, what if i'm not a Blackram? What if i report you to the guards for wanting to join the pirates? You are at the same spot he was waiting for, right? So you'll be a suspect as well."
The lyn girl shook her head. "I doubt they would suspect me. In fact, judging by how the guards exchanged glances when you arrived, they probably know it's you they're after."

Chol Mugo pondered on how to tackle the current issue. He could try taking the lyn girl hostage, but he doubted the guards would care. There was no point in trying to run for it, either, and he left his men by the harbor, so no help would be coming either. He scratched his graying beard, trying to come up with a solution. The guards clearly didn't want to cause a commotion in the pub, or else he'd be under arrest by now. He could safely bet all the exits were guarded in case he tried to sneak out, however, for as long as he stayed in, he'd be safe. Of course, he couldn't stay in for too long, as his men would eventually arrive, alarmed by his absence, and potentially run straight into a trap, depending on the enemy numbers.

Mugo's eyes widened, as suddenly an idea struck him. It didn't matter if they were waiting for him - if what she said was true, the guards wouldn't really care for the lyn girl he was talking to right now, meaning, he could use her to his advantage.

"I see you're perceptive, but that's not all it takes to become a Blackram. You need to show some guts, too. Here's what i want you to do. Do as i say, and you're in. Got it?" The lyn nodded. "Good. Go look around, inside the pub, and on the outside as well. Look for guards, count how many are there. Can you count?" Another nod "Good. Don't act suspicious. Take your time. Note anything out of order. Look for a path to escape, with few guards in it. When you're done, report back. Got it?"

"Aye!" The lyn girl saluted, and ran off. He could only hope she's up to the task.

"Five guards on both east and west sides of the building. Three on the back and at least seven on the front, but it's hard to tell because they blend in with the crowd. Twenty, total. No guards inside the inn, unless they are under a cover of some sorts. As for ways out, there's a fishing boat on the back, but i doubt you could escape on that since you'd have to go upstream, and there are guards watching the river farther on. Both bridges are heavily guarded, too, but i think you could make it to the harbor if you followed the crowd. There's so many people heading in and out there, even you would be hard to spot... Despite being tall as a gon."

That was surprisingly precise, Mugo thought. Perhaps not all lyn have the attention span of a Ricefish.

"But i still need to exit without being noticed. Even if i manage to blend in with the crowd outside, i need to get there first. Any stealthy ways out of here?"

"I was thinking… They definitely expect you to leave some other way than the front. I mean, all those guards on the sides and all? And there were guards watching the river, too… So i guess the best way woud be upfront. Even if there are over seven guards out there, they will need to get out of the crowd before they can do anything, and the two on the entrance could be taken out easily. Before the reinforcements arrive we'd be within the crowd."

"Can you take one of the guards down? I don't know if i could take both down fast enough to make sure they don't cause a commotion, and if the guards from the sides arrive, we're as good as dead."

"No… I don't think i can." The lyn scratched her ear, deep in thought. "What if i caused a commotion first, then? I could just scream for help, or something. People get soft around lyns. If at least one of the entrance guards comes over to me, you'll be good to go. And i'll catch up later."

"Very well. I'll pretend to be checking the menu. You walk out there a bit earlier, and i'll go as soon as i hear a commotion."

Lyn girl nodded, and walked out of the inn. Please let her be an effective decoy, Mugo prayed, as he heard a commotion on the outside.


With a relief, the pirate noticed both entrance guards running off. That should make things easier, he thought, as he hurried outside with the few customers who wanted to see what was going on outside. He then swiftly moved towards the bigger crowd that formed on the market square, then towards the moving crowd that wasn't particularly interested in the commotion, and eventually a crowd headed for the harbor. He felt a twinge of guilt at the thought of ditching the lyn girl, but he needed to get out of here. He and Ki have been set up, and staying here longer than necessary wasn't a good idea. Not to mention, he wasn't so keen on letting a lyn into The Blackram. Sure, she has proven herself useful, and there were never any official rules against the lyn, but the few of them who became pirates that he knew of, ended up running with the tail between their legs at some points. Not to mention, the entire race reminded him of children, and if there was one thing he hated, it was children. No, if there was a way of ditching the lyn girl, he was definitely going to do so.

He could hear the sea and see the masts of docked ships, when something pulled on his coat.

"See? I told you they get soft. To think both guards ran over to me! I just hope they don't get into too much trouble for letting you slip…"

And here she was, catching up to him as promised. The pirate barely held back an annoyed groan as he saw the lyn. Well, a promise is a promise. She wanted to scrub the deck and run errands? Very well. He'll make her beg to quit in no time. And then she will get killed. Probably. Lyns quitting Blackram tended to make it out alive more often than anyone else, though. Either way, for now, he had to deal with the annoying rodent running around.

Meanwhile, the lyn girl started to wrap her hand with a provisoric bandage, probably made of some clothing. So she actually did cut herself to look convincing. Mugo was almost impressed. Almost.

"Admiral! Did you… Did your errand succeed?"

Chol Mugo's best men were waiting there, disguised, on a neutral-looking ship. They could be seen exchanging glances when they first noticed him with his lyn companion, as they were clearly expecting to see their admiral alone. They wouldn't dare question him, of course, but they were clearly curious of the girl.

"We are to leave instantly. Prepare the ship. We have a traitor in our ranks."

The Blackram quickly dispersed, and soon the ship was on the move. Clearly amazed by the experience, the lyn girl was looking down into the water, hanging her upper torso outside the railing.

"Ye may wanna pull back a 'lil bit, or ye will end as shark food" Half-face threw his remark at the girl, who instantly pulled back. "Why're we draggin' 'er 'long, anyway?" He turned to the admiral.

Before Mugo had a chance to answer that the lyn girl is now on board, she jumped up on the railing, and, with way too much vigor, she announced:

"I am a Blackram now!"

Snickers could be heard all across the board, and finally, one of the men, Banshee, mocked "Black-Ram? More like a Black-Sheep!"

Half face smirked with the only working half of his face.

"I like that. She'll be Blacksheep now. Don't you agree it's fitting, Mugo?"

Admiral nodded. "Fitting indeed. Welcome aboard, Blacksheep." Though, he thought, "welcome to hell" would be more fitting.