I spent my morning writing again. This time, the ship made port. It was kind of fun having them slow down by reducing sail until it was gone completely. They also had to man the yard arms. This involves every available person going aloft and lining up across the yards. This was occasionally done in the age of sail, because when men are aloft they aren’t manning the guns. This is a foreign country after all.
The locals towed them in via a sequence of longboats, complete with drums.
Their mission here is to pose as their enemies, and accept delivery of a cargo the enemy already paid for. I still need to bring some tension to the fact that someone could blow the whole thing for them.
They explored the new city, and I had fun describing it. They saw people who resembled cormorant fishermen, but in my setting the birds used were replaced by diving reptiles who resemble flightless pelicans.
I worked to describe streets filled with vendors of every kind, including flowers and the scents that go along with flowers, food, and the like.
Serang gave a bamboo flute lesson to some street thugs, and only broke one nose… and a wrist. She also stole the thugs money to pay for the flute. Good news, this time she didn’t kill anyone.
We met Serang’s uncle who is the brewer of Huangjiu. (Think saki here, but more Chinese.) Serang is a big drinker, and now we know why. There were many cries of Ganbei, as the cups were drained.
We also learned of her sad story, and how her father was killed by the dragon turtle. (Who will not appear in this story beyond a giant parade puppet.) We also learned that she was once something called a temple maiden. This was before the Emperor decided to westernize and eliminated the temples.
The ship’s (witch) doctor sought the help of a traditional Asian doctor. This made me stop to explore all kinds of things. There isn’t a ton of detail available so I made most of it up. It’s a fantasy, I get to do that.
To distract from the idea that I had to make part of this up, I also researched maggot and leech therapy. That ought to make your skin crawl, but it actually serves a purpose in the real world.
I am using a bit of googling to come up with the foreign words. There are some minor modifications on my part, but the terms have real meaning. I’ve worked pretty hard to update my cheat page so I remain consistent from this point on.
I’m horrible about spelling some things, and foreign words won’t even pick up on my spell-checker. By getting them right on the cheat sheet, I can copy and paste for consistency. It isn’t like these words are used every page, so it’s pretty easy.
If all goes well tomorrow, I may get to have some fun with false teeth, money changers from this newly westernized world, and a recovery by the severely wounded first officer. I may have even found a use for the skin of the bay frogs from a week or two ago.
The story is fast approaching 60,000 words, and I should break that tomorrow. I’m having a terrible thought about all the various land wars that are breaking out, and how this could become a trilogy at some point. Scares me to even think about it, because I have some different stories to write already.
I’m calling it The Voyage of the Lanternfish. I’m considering dropping the first word to make it Voyage of the Lanternfish. What do you guys think?
Chime in here. Are you intrigued by fishing reptiles, bamboo flutes, maggot therapy, and temple maidens?
There are a few more hours until first pitch, and my curse is consistent. I watched the game last night, so of course the Diamondbacks lost. Maybe I should just write and check scores in the morning.