The pirates were at first indifferent to letting Seryth aboard, so he had to do what he did best: knocking some heads and threatening to set their precious ship ablaze. He wouldn’t have actually burned the ship, for he needed it, but for once, his bad reputation served him well, as the pirates caved to their fear and agreed to his terms.
When they set sail, they were attacked by naga while they were still within sight of the shore. Seryth followed diving crews into the water after them. It was like an entirely different world on the bottom of the sea. Seryth wondered if he could hide out down here instead, using his magic to let him swim and breathe the water like a fish. Forever?
The pirates were setting to raise anchor once the naga were cowed, and Seryth reluctantly returned with them. They continued on across the sea.
They landed in Thousand Needles, though perhaps landing wasn’t the right term. They hitched up to Fizzle and Pozzik’s Speedbarge, a boat so large it was almost its own island, complete with goblin-style entertainment aboard. Seryth indulged himself, spending some of the spoils they had found in the naga lairs.
One of the goblins approached him about fighting in the ring for money, having heard of his exploits with battle magic. Seryth didn’t trust the goblin, but as he watched other bouts, he saw no harm in the arena matches, even throwing in a few bets on the more likely combatants, and he agreed to fight in some of the duels.
The fights sharpened his skills, and he began to trust in his shadow and fel magic again, leaning harder into it than he had since he had lost the shards. He even was able to conjure a voidwalker again, using the shadow present in his own soul instead of the demon that had slept in the Nathssysn. It was smaller and weaker than its predecessor had been, but Seryth took that to be a good thing.
Seryth considered staying on the speedbarge, just as he had considered staying on the bottom of the ocean. Those goblins that recognized him didn’t treat him any differently for his past, even gave him a measure of respect for it. There was plenty to do — Hearthstone matches gamble on, fights to train for, new speedboats to try out, even a few ladies he didn’t find the companionship of to be dreary. He could make a life here, he thought, forever insulated from the past…and from committing any such atrocities again in the future. He tried not to think of the latter bit so much. For the first time in his life, he felt truly happy and at ease.
Or so he thought.