After determining that the Banner of Rosenhall would fly again I headed back to the captain’s cabin with Mya in tow. This two week voyage had been spartan to say the least. We had two hammocks where the captain and first mate usually slept if there were no female passengers. The captain also had a chest, which he left locked as a place for all his instruments of navigation. I am not one for ships to be honest and I must admit to some rolling of the stomach during the trip. Right now there was a steady wind at our back blowing us to harbor but the waves were not more than foot tall.
True to the captain’s word we arrived late with the sun going down but still having enough light too see well enough for landing. I could see the docks and they look to be made of the same wood as the Jarl’s longhouse coated with the same pitch like substance that made the wood look blackish. When we got closer it the sail dropped and lines were cast as the oarsmen back oared to slow us down. They were a good crew and we landed only with a slight thump as the dock crew threw us lines to pull us snug and tie us off. I was looking forward to getting my feet on something more solid than a ship on the water.
It was probably at that moment I noticed the first mate glaring at me from the side. His hand was still bandaged from the point of my sword. He was rubbing it with his free hand and looking dark and menacing under his raven locks. I felt I would son be rid of him as I didn’t plan on staying in Ragnar long and according to the Captain they would only be staying long enough to trade and return back the way they had came. His only interest was to make the first trade of the season without problems from raiders and pirates. I however knew that this would take several days so I might run into the first mate again before either of us left the city.
The captain wished us well, and we walked down the gangplank onto the dock. That is how I arrived Ander with my clothes on my back, a rucksack with all my worldly possessions over my shoulder and a sword on my hip. Mya had added her own rucksack and a nice dagger. A woman who travels best wear weapons and she best know how to use them. Mya’s skill with a short blade was well known back home but I figure she would have to prove it soon enough with new people.
Our first obstacle was the dock master. He was a small man for Nordic and he checked us in to the city seemingly a little bit excited because this was the first ship of the season. Behind him was a crowd of onlookers and I assumed there was some rule about not being on the docks with ship landing. The docks were like fingers from the city and one dock ran along the city edge. People could be on that when a ship arrived but not out on the fingers. I could see Nordic men and women all along it. The idea of entering the city without being too noticed was not going to be possible.
In the city wall above the docks were two large city gates swung inward with a couple guards put people we coming down the street passed them to see the ship and us. I was tired of being on a ship and wanted some hot food and strong drink before heading to sleep. If I could find a place for a bath, that would be a bonus. First thing though was to get past the dock master.
“Names and Occupations” said the dock master as he sat behind his desk, quill, inkwell and ledger laid out in front of him.
“Sophia Rosenhall of the House Rosenhall. This is my companion Mya.”
“House Rosenhall? A Noble House?”
“Yes, though I am the last Rosenhall. I have come to seek my fortune and a fresh start.”
The dock master frowned then smiled.
“You have proof?”
Reluctantly but understanding the need to prove my claim I produced my book and banner. The dock master looked at both with scrutinizing eyes but in the end signed the entry leger as I claimed with Mya as my companion.
“Forgive my skepticism my lady, Ander is a dangerous land and there is always war and intrigue. I hope you understand the need for caution.”
“I certainly do, you are to be commended for being so vigilant, your a credit to your office sir.”
The man beamed, if there is one thing I have learned about men it is to flatter them and treat them with respect when they deserve it.
“If I may offer some advice my lady?”
I nodded assent.
“I will present this report to the Jarl later this evening and would suspect he will summon you to talk to you. You will want that banner on a standard before then to be presentable. If you are serious about seeking your fortune, I would hire some men to fight with you. Outside the walls of the city, little is safe.”
I thanked him and enquired about lodging, food and the possibility of a bath. For food and lodging he recommended the Stout Ox, an inn and tavern. He told me the communal bath and sauna were near the inn. He smiled about the communal bath part.
I smiled politely back at him and signed my name in the log and Mya did the same and after exchanging parting pleasantries I began walking toward the city. When I got to the end of the dock I was greeted by a swarm of people. It took Mya and myself quite some time to navigate through the crowd of hawkers and criers trying to get us to buy this and that. It was all new smells and sights for me but I could afford little of it. I was hoping we had enough for a meal and a good night’s sleep. In the end we navigated passed them all to the Water Gate (as we would come to find out it is called) and the city of Ragnar lay before us.