Jolly, Ho !!
"What do you mean he refused it?" Korillo Kreegan fumed at his second cousin's youngest daughter, Geribella. It was her job to see to the completion of all boat sales. She was usually very good at it. "I put all the enchantments he asked for in it!" "I am sorry, Master Korillo," Geribella replied. "But he did that 'It's not to my liking' bit with a lot of dramatic flair people do when they are too broke to pay for what they wanted." "Hmmmph," Korillo grunted with a scowl. "He really can't pay?" "No," Geribella said. "I had to do some extensive digging, but I have discovered that he was recently swindled on his last venture." "See if you can find another buyer for it before sending it home." "I will do that, Master Korillo," Geribella promised."You know, husband, those greedy gnomes will just sell that boat to Pearlshore." Lady Drucilla said to Lord Morton Siltshoals. "If I could just sell that boat myself I could pay off the gnomes AND leave us a tidy profit!" "Then get it back, husband." Lord Siltshoals flashed her a wicked grin. "Oh, very good, wife. I WILL get it back. I know just the fools to hire for a mere promise of getting paid."
Merle and Daryl, after a tragic attempt at highway robbery, decided to take the offer from Lord Siltshoals. All they had to do was steal a boat from some puny little gnomes and bring it to Lord Siltshoals' private dock to get paid. What could be easier?
That very night, as the moon shone bright, they watched the town docks. "Merle," Darryl whispered, "them gnomes've left. It'll be a good bit until a guard comes by." Merle climbed down from the tree they had hidden in to spy on the Pearlshore docks. He stretched and yawned. "Let's git it, Darryl."
"Now ain't that a purdy sight, Merle?" Darryl asked as he stood admiring the jolly boat. "Why, it even has a mast 'n sail we kin use 'stead of rowing all them miles t' Siltshoals." Merle grunted and stepped aboard the jolly boat. He began setting the oars in their oarlocks then tucking them neatly back into the boat. "We don't need all them oars," Darryl said as he finished setting up the mast and sail. "Yeah, well, I wanna have oars in the best rowin' spot an' I dunno which is best."
"You take the front-most set an' I'll take the' back most 'til we're away from town an' can use th' sail." Merle was the first to find his seat. Darryl hopped off the boat to untie them from the dock. Jumping back into the boat, he shoved hard against the dock. The boat drifted away. "Let's row," he said and moved to the seat at the last set of oars. Heaving a put upon sigh, Merle set his oars in the water. Before he could start to row, the oars twitched in his hands. Suddenly, Merle was flung out of the boat. "Ahhh -- !" SPLASH! "Merle!" Darryl called out. He quickly set his oars in the water and tried to row the boat over to Merle. "Ahhh -- !" SPLASH! He, too, was flung into the water. Sputtering up to the surface, Darryl saw the sail had loosened and was dropping down. It was starting to catch the wind.
"Merle! Catch th' boat afore the wind takes it!" The two swam hard and managed to crawl back in over the stern. An oar swung inward and smacked into Merle when he tried to stand, knocking him down on top of Darryl. The wind filled the fully opened sail and the boat lurched, picking up speed. "D-Darryl?" Merle squeaked in a whining whisper from where they lay on the floor of the boat. "Th-this boat's got spooks." Darryl, who was watching the sail turn this way and that as it steered the boat, grimly nodded. "It's demon possessed!" He whimpered back. The sounds of a waterfall grew louder as the boat carried them along. When the sounds became a roar, they heard the warbling call of a very near river lion. "Oh, no!" Merle cried out in terror. River lions could kill and eat a man fool enough to be in their waters. The sail furled up with a snap, and the boat suddenly slowed. The oars swung in again and began battering them until both men were flung overboard. SPLASH! SPLASH!
Emptied of its unwanted passengers, the boat began to row back to the dock. "The falls!" Darryl yelled. "Swim over t' th' falls, Merle, so's we dont get ate by lions!" Bawling in terror, Merle swam for the falls behind Darryl. The water grabbed them then pulled them over. "Ahhh -- !" Both men screamed until they hit the water below. Moments later, Merle crawled out onto the shore. Twenty feet beyond him, Darryl struggled out, coughing up water. At the top of the falls, outlined by the bright moonlight, a male river lion twisted his head this way and that as he looked down at them. He let out another warbling call both men swore was a laugh. "T - t' hell with Siltshoals!" Merle swore. "I'm done with rivers!" "Me too, Merle." Darryl agreed. He began walking along the bank away from the waterfall. "Let's git outta here."
Merle and Darryl never returned to the towns of Siltshoals and Pearlshore. Lord and Lady Siltshoals eventually regained some of their lost wealth. They bitterly watched Lord Pearlshore travel about in the Kreegan-built jolly boat he has since named The Lady Lion.
A Kreegan-made Jolly Boat
A jolly boat is the smallest boat carried on board a sailing ship if used at sea. It serves as a common fishing boat or traveling boat when used on inland waters. This latter use has risen into great popularity. The master shipbuilder Korillo Kreegan has taken to making several with magical enchantments. A Kreegan-made jolly boat is 18 feet long and clinker-built. Another structural feature of these jolly boats is the one foot deep keel-blade extending along the bottom of the boat. This blade gives the jolly boat great stability on the high waves, making is a very sea-worthy little vessel. The main magical feature of the Kreegan-built jolly boat are four sets of oars that row themselves. They must be first set into their oarlocks then commanded by the owner. For a greater price, Kreegan will add an Unbreakable Mast along with a Windy Sail. Both of these can be detached and stowed until needed. When set up, the Windy Sail provides its own wind. The more unfurled the sail, the more wind will fill it. This is why the Unbreakable Mast is needed. At full sail, the wind from the sail is so strong it can break any normal mast that would otherwise fit on a jolly. All the owner of a Kreegan-made jolly boat needs to do is sit in the stern seat and command the boat where they want it to go. One last feature Kreegan provides, at an even greater cost, is a warding enchantment. This warding will never kill, though it might harm, any thieves or unwanted boarders. This mischievous ward is based on wild magic provided by House Tamblikiir of the Bardican Elves.
What Is A Jolly Boat
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