Expediton Aurora

Chapter 1 - Voyage At Sea

"It's not the destination, so much as the journey" -Captain Jack Sparrow


Expedition: Aurora

Location: H.M.S. Darkfinder

Day 1

Our skies are clear and our hearts hopeful, the journey ahead looks to be so as well. Yet I have enough worries as I leave my kingdom behind, even for just a month. It is presumed the journey will take about as long. Though Albion is far off by now, I can still see Cassandra's tiny form shrinking away in the distance, her dress just as white as the handkerchief she waves me away with. I missed her the moment I stepped foot on the docks of Bowerstone, as is routine when I leave on an expedition. With Walter and Jasper she will be in the same good hands our mother placed the both of us in years ago, but I cannot help my worrying for her. She is the only family I have left after all, and if something were to happen to her, I'd never forgive myself. I'm already deeply grieved I will be away when she celebrates her sixteenth birthday this summer. She is not a little girl anymore, I must keep reminding myself...

I, accompanied by the finest division of the Albion Navy, two royal vessels of my choosing dubbed The H.M.S. Darkfinder and The H.M.S. Tempest, as well as the debauched Master Reaver, have set out on a voyage at sea, this time with the purpose and intent of investigating a land far to the south of Albion. We do not have much knowledge on it other than the account of Reaver and of several other random merchants who have traversed across the water surrounding the land. Each man says that, from the ocean, it is obvious the land is hardly anything but a desert stretching long and far, overrun with sand and sun, with many ominous caves and mountainous dunes. I am not yet certain of what my goal for this expedition may be, nor what I am going to say to the natives when we arrive, should there be any, and I understand there are. It was that rake of a man Reaver who inspired the entire motive to travel. He claims that with a few of Albion's colonies set up in this land, we can make better use of any natural resources provided by the desert. Naturally, I answered with an argument of common sense: that deserts did not make useful or hospitable land. As always, the strange industrialist agreed, albeit begrudgingly, but claimed to have been there and to have seen the environment firsthand if only a fleeting glance. He insisted something could be done with the caves dotting the terrain, suggesting mines be made of them. But there was also the strong prospect of such an adventure to these uncultivated lands that made me desirous of even agreeing to Reaver's wild proposal...So I finally accepted and even allowed him to join me in the voyage. I must say, I felt rather weak for giving in at first. But it hasn't been too terrible, as I remain on The H.M.S. Darkfinder while he stays upon The H.M.S. Tempest.

Yet whatever decision is made, I won't rest until it is in the favor of my Albion, for that is my duty as King. And I am nothing if not a dutiful King...

Setting the pen inside the binding and closing the book with a firm snap, he let his vision settle on the tranquil moon's reflection as it danced in a wavy masquerade with the stars.

Expedition: Aurora

Location: H.M.S. Darkfinder

Day 2

Today was interesting. We discovered a stowaway onboard, a young boy not much older than eight by the looks of it. Whether his criminal act of sneaking aboard is indeed criminal or not, it seems the boy will have to travel with us until we return to Albion. We can't very well turn around and take him back home at this point, and though the men suggested throwing him overboard as both punishment and a means to be rid of an extra burden, I could not allow that. To do so would be a wrongdoing much worse than what he had done. He is only a child, after all. When asked by the Captain why on earth he chose the King's ship of all others to travel secretly upon, he simply shrugged and allowed his cracked lips to part in a mischievous grin as he retorted in a slum-born speech something like 'Oh, this is the King's ship, is it? Funny, seeing you aboard made me think it was the ship of the cross-dressers.' That little comment had earned him several lashes, but after he had finished crying in pain he fell into an amusing fit of giggles at his own stupidity. I was both amused and surprised to find he really had not known this was a royal vessel until it was too late.

Though I have known him only a few short hours, I've come to enjoy the lad's company. He seems to have taken a liking to me as well after just the one day. He's rather humorous really, with a wit beyond his short amount of nine years.

I am sure his family is worried sick about him, though he claims her long dead and that he's run away to escape the wrath of his abusive father. I do not know how much of his story is true. But when we return to my Albion, I will not make him go back to his home if he does not wish, just in case his reason is true. Besides, he is a mere peasant, and what concern of mine is it?

...He is sleeping now, I have allowed him a place in my quarters, for I am not sure if I trust the crew of this ship to let him be without my supervision.

Sighing tiredly, Logan set down his pen and sunk back into the chair. He looked back to the boy who was by now snoring lightly on thick blankets in the floor of his own cabin, the glow of candles cascaded shadows upon his peaceful face. A small smile tugged at the corner of the King's mouth before he picked up the pen and leaned forward to scribble one more sentence before dousing the lamp for the night.

He reminds me much of myself as a boy.

Expedition: Aurora

Location: H.M.S. Darkfinder

Day 3

Today was rather uneventful. Regardless, everything seems to be running smoothly so far, and I was informed that we may reach our destination ahead of schedule if the whether holds up. Yet, I can't help but feel slightly numb and even useless aboard this vessel. I try to help out as much as I can, but with so many other more able-bodied and experienced sailors there is little need for my aid. There's not much for a King to do in the middle of the ocean, quite different from life in the castle. I suppose I should be glad for the relief, but it is simply something far too foreign to me. Most of my time is now spent with the boy mentioned in my last entry. I now know his name to be William. And I must say, he is rather fascinating. Perhaps its just his natural character, or perhaps it is simply the fact that I've never had the opportunity to sit and talk man to man, or boy to man, with a peasant outside the throne room. I've come to the decision that this is a sorry statement indeed for me to be so cut off from the society in which I rule. I've already promised myself, I shall endeavor to connect more with the people upon my return.

This William seems to be rather enthralled by me as well, probably an interest born of a parent similar to mine. I doubt he's had many dealings with monarchs before. I will often indulge him with tales of my life in the castle, and past journeys and expeditions. These, he seems very mesmerized by them. I see the makings of an adventurer in this boy. He will also share stories about his short past, his life in the slums of Bowerstone, his times of dolor and of contentment. He has been through hell and back several times it seems; for a lad so young, I pity him. He most often speaks of a 'lady friend' he left back home. He speaks fondly of this mystery girl, and from what he's told me I believe her to be a fine young girl. One who is a few years older than him, he takes pride in saying. Normally I would be highly amused by this, as I am certain children of his age do not have serious relationships. But by his descriptions of the girl, I am reminded of the young lady I myself left at home: I certainly hope my sister is well... I miss her terribly.

Logan promptly closed the diary and slumped away to bed.

Expedition: Aurora

Location: H.M.S. Darkfinder

Day 4

Today I received quite a scare. It was almost as frightening as the day Cassandra went missing when she was merely a toddler, though I do not like to revisit that moment. I let the boy, William, sleep this morning past the time he should have awakened as it seemed he had a taxing time these past few days. When I emerged from my cabin, I was unpleasantly surprised to see brooding clouds, a blue and purple storm-bruised blanket, looming on the distant horizon. They were monstrous things, dark and heavy. Lightening split the sky followed by distant rumbles of thunder that seemed set the entire crew on edge. The deck was bustling with activity as soldiers scrambled to tie everything down and right the things that had started to shake away. The wind was picking up and coming in more violent gusts that met in a mad storm. The ship groaned beneath my boots as the water pitched the hull higher and higher on each vicious wave that came. I paused at such an ominous sound and looked towards the balustrade where I could see the Captain and hear him shouting his frantic orders. An older sailor told me I should wait below, that they couldn't risk anything happening to the King. I admit this angered me a bit, for I was just as skilled in sailing as most men aboard, King or no. I was determined to help see our way through.

Not far enough into the storm, the violent swaying and rocking of the ship must have wakened the still sleeping William in the cabin. I'm sure, the boy practically rolled out onto the main deck, still half-dreaming. It was quite a while before anyone realized he was out there. And I don't think anyone would have noticed had he not come up beside me, asking innocently and excitedly what he could do to help. I couldn't get more than a few words out before the largest wave yet rose high above the main deck. I lunged for the boy with every intention of tackling him to the ground. But the impact of the waves over the deck and the swell of the current it created on exit proved to be too much for me to hold onto him. I felt him slip from my arms, heard his gurgled scream as he was swept overboard. Until that moment I had held no fear in the storm, but watching the current drag the small child over the rail and under the churning water was enough to make my stomach leap into my chest. Thankfully I rushed to the rail to find him holding on with practically just his two small fingers to the side of the ship. Just before he fell, I seized his arm and hoisted him back onboard. He was fine, of course, albeit a bit startled. But I might've been more terrified than he had been, as I've come to care a bit for the lad and if he were to meet such an untimely death on my watch I would not be able to bear the guilt. It seems I've taken on quite the 'big brother' role in his life. I suppose I should be glad, even flattered the boy admires me so. But I feel as though I am betraying Cassandra in someway or another. Many times I do wish she were hear right now, but I quickly remind myself of the dangers she would face if she were. If that had been her falling overboard instead, I am sure my heart would have stopped beating for a full minute before I found the strength to do anything.

Some of the sailors have been talking about bad omens. They are a superstitious bunch of men. But it seems that encountering a storm so early into a voyage does not bode well for the rest of it. They seem to be adamant on this strange...faith? A few of them even asked if I might abandon the journey and turn around. But Father taught me long ago that if a King shows fear in the face of mere myths, how is he to be brave when the real threats come?

Expedition Aurora

Location: H.M.S Tempest

Day 5

Today, due to the events of the one previous, it was advised to me that I should take refuge upon the other ship in our two-vessel fleet. It seems the H.M.S Darkfinder took some rather formidable blows during that storm. In any other occasion, I would typically have no problem propagating to safety, and William and I would have gone without question. However, it just so happens that the H.M.S Tempest is the ship Reaver has accompanied us on. Seeing that man in the throne room multiple times a day is enough. I certainly do not wish to spend God knows how long on a ship with the dissolute libertine. But begrudgingly, I obliged and am now to spend the rest of the voyage on this ship.

I am beginning to wonder why I even let him attend the voyage. I must have been out of my mind. Perhaps it was because he claims to have visited our destination before. Or perhaps I simply wanted to keep an eye on him and ensure he did nothing rash while I was gone. He'd never done anything too extreme before while I was away, but... Cassandra is reaching a certain age now, and I see the way he is beginning too look at her, and the looks given to him in return. That monster of a business tycoon, it would not be unlike Reaver to take full advantage of her strangely unexplained, and disappointing, awe for him. Awe that so many women, and even some men, of the court seem to display. He has been a so-called friend to my family for fifty years, Cassandra and I have known him our entire lives, yet still he is rather sickening. I detest even being close to the man. But at least here, I can make sure no harm is done to my Cassandra.

Also today, I overheard a conversation I was likely meant to never hear. Not because these men are trying to keep something, of which ethics are debatable, from their King. But likely because they do not wish for me to worry anymore than I am already. Whatever the case, I did hear it; the ships quartermaster speaking to the Captain of how things were not looking good for them. The Captain then replied with his agreement and how they should have docked in Aurora yesterday. Now, it is rather hard for me to say I do not regret overhearing the news.

I only pray that we reach our destination soon before I go insane... Even our food supply is beginning to dwindle.

Sighing, Logan closed the journal and looked up from his place, leaning upon the rail in the pinkish aura of sunset. And suddenly, smirks and all, Reaver was nearly directly in front of him. If it were a snake it would have bit him. And Logan was so convinced this man was just that. Groaning, Logan massaged his temples with his thumb and index finger. "What do you want, Reaver?" This journey would be much longer than expected...

Expedition Aurora

Location: H.M.S Tempest

Day 6

Today, a seabird floated casually past our small fleet of two ships. I, having sailed enough in my time, know this to be a sign of land near by. The question is whether or not it is the land we are looking for. We are not sure of anything anymore, and it was previously discerned that the voyage across the sea wouldn't last but a few days. Tomorrow, it will be a week sense we left Albion, and everyone is rather on edge about such a blunt fact. We are still unaware of just how far the storm has taken us.

However I try not to waste my time thinking of such things that are entirely out of my own control, I still cannot shake the worrisome feeling that we may be one of the many ships who have met a cruel end to their fate, lost at sea. My thoughts go to my sister. What would Cassandra do without me? She would have to intercede as the new Queen of Albion, but she is no where near ready to do so! Of course, Walter and Jasper were there to help her, but they have not the experiences needed to teach her how to run a country. In truth, I am not only just the sole family she has left, I am also the only one capable of teaching her how to become a proper monarch, just as our parents taught me. At least, if I did not make it, Reaver would have no such luck either. I tremble to think about what Albion would be like without someone capable of resisting that man's charisma sitting on the throne. My sister, in that sense, is very incapable. Why, Albion would be utter shambles before anyone could stop the process. Though I have known him my whole life, even I myself sometimes have difficulty resisting the devil's tempting proposals.

Speaking of Reaver, now that I am on the ship that has been carrying him, I realize I took for granted the days I actually had a break of his presence. Now, he has resumed his usual habit of constantly coming to me with new, often wretched, ideas of making the kingdom a better place. Unfortunately, his translation of "better" is frankly "richer" which in turn means an unhappy populace. He truly is rather like a pesky mosquito, always winging its way over to you and buzzing in your ear. No matter how many times you swat, it always comes back, and with an awful bite that as an annoyingly lasting effect. I have resorted to hiding from him. At the moment I am in the galley with William who has taken to helping the cook prepare food for the crew. No doubt Reaver is scouring every inch of the upper decks for me.

Quietly, Logan closed the journal and fondly observed William interact with the cook, all the while praying, as he had been since they left.

Expedition: Aurora

Location: H.M.S. Tempest

Day 7

Today, we saw a tremendous sight: land. We were scheduled to arrive two days ago, so it came with a breath of wind, and of relief. We were beginning to fear the storm had blown us drastically off course, more so than we had originally thought. The land itself is amazing, I cannot think of words to describe it. I had already held my expectations for it high, however it seems to have surpassed what I could have imagined. For once it seems Master Reaver had not been over exaggerating with such wild views... How millions of little rocks can form these impossible shapes amazes me.

We have spotted a port to enter, and even a dock to moor the ship at. However, night is already upon us. And we do not wish to catch anyone...off guard. After all, we do not yet know the level of hospitality in which the builders of this dock display. So against Reaver's so-called better judgement, and you know he gave his two gold pieces worth, I have decided to wait until morning.

Logan closed the journal shut and drummed his fingers along its binding as his eyes picked up the dim lights in the distance coming from the port. Tomorrow would be interesting. Logan had to make sure he played his cards right... And not, at any cost, allowed Reaver to join him in meeting these natives.

Little did he know, his fate was about to brighten, only to take a turn for the worse, down a dark road that would change his life forever.

{ A/N: Hey guys, I hope you enjoyed this wee bit of insight into our dear King Logan's past. Well, this story just came from my imagination, dreaming up one day just what had happened to Logan. So many questions are left unanswered in the game. It sucks! So I'm doing something about it. As far as any of us know, this really happened. Thanks for reading :D }

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