Audio index » Acts » Act 1 » Bestel


[B01] BestelIntoduction7
Judging by those eyes of yours, I'd best count you a friend. I wouldn't last long as a foe.

The name's Bestel, captain of the good ship 'Merry Gull'. Swift and pretty, she was. Nothing like the High Templar's rubbish scow that brought you here.

Alas, the Merry Gull is gone.... my crew is gone. But my wits remain... after a fashion.
[B02] BestelIntoduction2
A waifish, waterlogged Witch, washed up in Wraeclast. That's the first line of the poem I'm writing about you, exile.

Easy, girl. You could scorch a bloke with a look like that.

The name's Bestel, captain of the good ship 'Merry Gull'. Alas, my Merry Gull is gone. My crew is gone. But my wits remain... after a fashion.
[B03] BestelIntoduction4
A dashing Duelist, drenched and deserted on the dreary strand. That's the first line of the poem I'm writing about you, exile.

Easy, lad. You could lacerate a bloke with a look like that.

The name's Bestel, captain of the good ship 'Merry Gull'. Alas, my Merry Gull is gone. My crew is gone. But my wits remain... after a fashion.
[B03_02] BestelIntroduction2
Now there's a pair of eyes I could never forget. If the tales are true, those peepers of yours have seen all the wonders of Wraeclast by now...and a few things they likely wish they hadn't.

Oh, and no need for us to speak of Oriath. My ears are brim full with the sorrows these wretched companions of yours have been spilling.
[B03_03] BestelOnNessaGone
Now there's a sorry tale, more miserable than any dirge I've ever heard. Nessa's gone... Wandered off into the night muttering to herself about 'dancing to his ditty'.

No, I didn't go after her. In truth, she was gone when I woke up the next morn. I only imagined she'd be muttering, you see, on account of the murmurings she's been making these past few weeks.

Always the same, about 'him' and 'his song', whoever in damnation 'he' is.
[B03_04] BestelOnLilly
Lilly Roth? Granddaughter of the legendary Rot-tooth Roth? Oh, apologies if I seem a little... giddy. It's not any old day you get to meet marine royalty. I mean, you know how I feel about pirates and all, but the Roths have as much in common with those scurvy sea rats as a... as a shark does with a goldfish.

Lilly has her granddaddy's blood in her veins; it's plain for all to see. Look at the lustre in her eyes, the ruddy blush of her skin. That there's a pirate princess, and no mistake.
[B03_05] BestelOnFishNessa
You do know it's cruel to make jests of an addled mind, don't you? Nessa alive, and turned into a bloody cod? Hah! That said, you've never been wrong before so seems like I'm going to have to stare this fanciful tale in its fishy face.

She talked of the Brine King, did she? Now there's a name what can trouble the breeches off even the most jaded of poets. Though Merveil might be dead, the sea still has its seductive songs, and this time it's a big, briney baritone doing the wailing.
[B03_06] BestelOnBrineKing
You won't find a sailor that doesn't whisper a quiet prayer to the Brine King before casting off. In fact, under the maddening radiance of a full moon, the more superstitious captains would drown some poor slave or failed mutineer... just to keep old Tsoagoth happy.

No, that wasn't a sneeze. That's the fish god's old Azmerian name. It's considered foul luck to speak it on board a ship. A keel-hauling offense.
[B03_07] BestelOnOldGods
Yes, we live in curious times indeed. A time when old stories are being birthed, mewling and puking, into our world of dirt and blood.

It's all a bit inspiring really, hence I've written a little something.

Ancient anecdotes
Now wake from their beds
Looming in our fears
Towering above our heads
Age-old lusts
And bygone greeds
Walking and wreaking
As humanity bleeds
Rivers of history
Lakes of blood
The gods stand upon us
As we cower in the mud
[B03_08] BestelOnTukohama
With Kitava now stomping around Oriath, it seems mythology is fast turning into reality.

Then again, the gods didn't just spring out of some poet's head. I certainly couldn't pen an ode to the God of Eternally Flowing Ale and then just stick me mug out to catch the free brew.

No, I imagine the gods once dined, danced and defecated just like you or I. Now they seem ready to take another stab at life, I mean.

Take the Karui Father of War, for instance. Old Tukohama. All comfily tucked up in Kaom's holdfast and playing war like a few thousand years was only a quiet weekend for him.

Come to think of it...perhaps it was!
Our marrow-sucking neighbors have fled up the ridge. Which would've been nice -- out of sight, out of mind. Except that the corpse queen had to go and find that accursed crown of hers. As old as the first Karui, some say, fashioned by the cannibal god himself, Kitava. Aye, that Kitava, I'm afraid. With its master growing fat off the lives[?] of Oriath, that crown'll be getting a taste of that same power. And so will the man-eating matriarch wearing it! I think we'd all sleep easier if that crown was in our hands, rather than those of a slavering madwoman.
As luck would have it, I've just finished the ode I was writing for your triumphant return!

To the Queen of the Cadavers
Our Exile did swagger
To pay their respects
To the Cannibal Throne
The Queen did curtsey,
Our Exile did bow,
Then, with a thwick and a thwack,
Cut that Corpse Queen down,
Up went her shriek,
Off fell her crown,
And home came our Exile,
The savior of our town...

There you go. One of my very best, if you ask me. Yet it's an ungrateful wretch that pays only in words.
[B03_11] BestelOnShavronne
Screams. Howls and booms of unholy intonation. The shriek and clank of some unfathomable apparatus and the pervading stench of scorched flesh and boiling blood. That's Axiom Prison now that our lady of Umbra has come home to roost.

As a poet, I have nothing against a little creativity. Yet while I might mould word and wonder, Shavronne's art tends towards the visceral. Flesh, bone and soul.

Artistic pursuit is the loftiest of callings, but in this instance, I believe some rigorous criticism is in order.
[B03_12] BestelAberrathQuest
Who'd have thought those bleating bastards would go and find religion, eh? Now, there's nothing quite so sure to spoil a man's appetite than an ecclesiastical debate come supper time.

Yet this goatmen god, this Abberath, seems fair determined to mix his morsels with his spiritual enlightenments.

To put no finer point on it, when the goatmen find him a soft, pink human or two as divine sacrifice... he eats them. Meat, soul and all.

Well, that's what the legends say.
[B03_13] BestelAberrathReward
The old goat's turned up his tootsies, has he? Oh wait...I feel a poem coming on.

Through the bleating flock
Our exile did wade
Over hoof and horn and goat blood sprayed
Until at last an audience with Old King Billy
Or The Cloven One
Or Abberath
And other names, just as silly
"Dine with me, friend."
Old Billy did growl.
"Feed me your soul."
"Feed me it, now!"
Our exile just smiled and gutted that goat.
So that not one more soul
Would get stuffed down his old throat.

Honestly, you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a good rhyme for 'goat', exile.
[B03_14] BestelOnShipGraveyard
Poor Nessa. If the Ship Graveyard is sealed off with some brine-born barrier then the king clearly knows that you're coming to relieve him of his queen-to-be.

Ah well, you should be used to long and arduous journeys now. If nothing else, it's good fodder for an epic. I'd best get composing!
[B03_15] BestelOnWeylam
You'll not find a more renowned pirate as Weylam 'Rot Tooth' Roth. In times when Fairgraves was still a whelp earning his sea legs, Rot-tooth was prowling the Strait of Oriath in his ship, the 'Black Crest'.

It's said he build it hisself, lining its hull with the bones of some great sea beast he slew with nothing but a harpoon and a bottle o' rum. Never was there a more nimble, more ferocious vessel. Like that leviathan's spirit still lived and breathed in its timbers.

No-one's sighted Rot Tooth for twenty years or more, but I know where the Black Crest is. The Ship Graveyard, no less. Seems that Weylam Roth might have had his last meal with Lady Merveil.
[B03_16] BestelOnBlackCrest
You've the deck of the mighty Black Crest under your feet and old Weylam hisself to man the helm? Well I'll be a pirate's monkey-mate. You sure do know how to travel in style, exile!
[B03_17] BestelOnBrineKingDead
Clearly the old Brine King wasn't worth his salt! A fish out of water if ever there was. But I suppose, as someone wise once said, 'you can't teach a crab to walk straight'.

Too much? Yeah, be honest with you, all this fishy mirth is me just swimming around a tricky topic.


She's not coming back to us, is she? Can't say I'm surprised, what with everything she's been through... what she's become.

I wish her all the happiness she can find out there in the sea. More than she could muster on this gods-awful land of ours.
[B03_18] BestelManuscriptQuest
Now, I'm sure you've noticed that Lioneye's Watch has seen better days. Our once bubbling township has, alas, become a brooding quagmire of gloom and despair. I blame the unrelenting weather.

As you know, I am both a humanitarian and a strong believer in the soul-sustaining power of story. Back when I was still Captain of the Merry Gull, many days at sea afforded me time to work on my thespian aspirations. I wrote a theatrical epic, a one man show entitled "Cedric and the Buxom Stranger".

I sealed the manuscript inside a roll of oiled leather and stashed it in the hold for safekeeping. Perhaps you could salvage it for me from that Tidal Island upon which my poor ship came to rest? Who knows, maybe we can bring some joy back to Lioneye's Watch with a bit of live entertainment?
[B03_19] BestelManuscriptReward
Marvelous! Ah yes, yes, it's all here. Ahem, Act One, Scene One:

"Along the shoreline, the beach grass sways, A blazing sun sinks neath sparkling bays. O' strange be the night when the drowned dead rise, And a pale moon ascends upon cold skies. The Stranger still is lost to me, those silken pillows upon which I lay at sea..."

Moody, atmospheric... not as funny as I remember, but I'm sure it gets better in Act Two. Regardless, you have my thanks. Please, take something for your efforts.

And next time you're in town, do come and see the show. I'll leave your name at the door... if I can salvage a door from somewhere, that is.
[B04] BestelIntoduction5
A sodden Shadow staggered from the surf and surveyed the somber strand. That's the first line of the poem I'm writing about you, exile.

Easy, lad. You could poison a bloke with a look like that.

The name's Bestel, captain of the good ship 'Merry Gull'. Alas, my Merry Gull is gone. My crew is gone. But my wits remain... after a fashion.
[B05] BestelIntoduction3
A ravishing Ranger, relegated to rot in Wraeclast. That's the first line of the poem I'm writing about you, exile.

Easy, girl. You could skewer a bloke with a look like that.

The name's Bestel, captain of the good ship 'Merry Gull'. Alas, my Merry Gull is gone. My crew is gone. But my wits remain... after a fashion.
[B06] BestelIntoduction1
A mighty Marauder, marooned on a moribund mainland. That's the first line of the poem I'm writing about you, exile.

Easy, lad. You could gut a bloke with a look like that.

The name's Bestel, captain of the good ship 'Merry Gull'. Alas, my Merry Gull is gone. My crew is gone. But my wits remain... after a fashion.
[B07] BestelIntoduction6
A tyrannical Templar, to be tested and tempered in the straits of Wraeclast. That's the first line of the poem I'm writing about you, exile.

Easy, mate. You could damn a bloke with a look like that.

The name's Bestel, captain of the good ship 'Merry Gull'. Alas, my Merry Gull is gone. My crew is gone. But my wits remain... after a fashion.
Still composing that poem about you, Exile.
What a lovely day we're having!
Come to hear your poem?
Still working on that poem, Exile.
Hello, Exile.
Made any progress?
What now?
Uh, I was never there.
Not right now.
How you going?
[B09] BestelOnTarkleigh
Tarkleigh rescued from the waves
A stricken Bestel, fate's slave.
From fallen crew and broken bark,
Bestel lives, thanks to Tark... leigh.
[B10] BestelOnNessa
Poor Nessa. Not even a mother herself and yet she cares for us all. And what a sickly, pathetic brood we are. May she live to have her own family, a real family. If anyone deserves that, Nessa does.
Dominus might be the highest of Templars in name, but he's the lowest of malefactors in nature. What he's doing to Oriath, well, he's the one who should be washed up on the Twilight Strand, not the likes of yourself and Tarkleigh. Of course, I'd've been on the first black ship out had I spoken such a thing in fair Theopolis.
[B12] BestelOnZombies
Arrol, the Merry Gull's cook, washed up on the rocks over yonder. Dead as a doornail, he was. Buried him myself.

Then a few days later I see him on the beach... a little worse for wear, but upright, shuffling about. A land full of disturbing surprises, this Wraeclast.
It's said that the Faun was one of the first children born after the fall of the Eternal Empire. A boy child with the head and hooves of a goat. The villagers left him to die out on the cliffs. He didn't. Returned many a year later to carry off the chieftain's daughter. Before long, there were more goat-men roaming about, and more women going missing. Not something you want to think about too hard if you like your sleep.
[B14] BestelOnRhaos
Roaming, rotting rhoas roosting right here in Wraeclast? Squawking, suppurating spooks stalking our sandy seashore? Blighted, bedeviled bird bones beaking about our business... what? Can't a man have even a little fun in this dismal place?
[B15] BestelIslandClue
There's an island, a hop, skip, and a wade offshore of the Terraces. That's where my Merry Gull ran aground.

Watched the locals spit-roast the ship's doctor, but his medicine chest might still be there, amongst the splinters and bones. It'd have everything Nessa might need.

Doctor 'Shaky Hands' Opden was lousy with a scalpel, and even worse with a saw... but he knew his apothecary. Explains the shaky hands, if you ask me.
[B16] BestelMedicineReward
So, you managed to salvage Shaky Hands' druggery? Nicely done. Nessa will put it to good use. More than that benumbed quack, Opden, ever did.
(no transcription)
[B18] BestelOnRoad
One day we'll be strong enough to make our way inland, build new lives on the carcass of a dead empire.

It's why God sent us maggots here, isn't it?
[B19] BestelOnBlockedRoad
Piety's raised Shavronne's Barricade? Not that I was likely to ever make the trip inland, but it was nice to have the dream.

Hang on a moment, got a stray thought seeking safe harbour. Piety's one to watch her own back, so she'd never cut off an escape route from possible trouble inland.

The cunning witch must be able to lower that barricade from the other side, somehow.
Legend has it that Shavronne of Umbra made that thaumaturgical barrier at Prisoner's Gate. A precaution against Karui raiders wanting a piece of the inner Empire.
[B21] BestelOnBrutus
Brutus, Warden of Axiom Prison. The way I heard it, albeit from ale-soaked sailors, fear unmanned the great Brutus. Not fear of man, nor beast... fear of death.

Life is like wine, best enjoyed in moderation. I don't envy Brutus' hangover.
[B22] BestelOnTown
Marceus commanded the southernmost of the Eternal Legions, here at Lioneye's Watch. Why was he called Lioneye? Crazy fool had his left eye taken out and a golden-hued gem put in its place.

His head must have made quite the pretty adornment for King Kaom's belt.
About three hundred years gone, Kaom descended on this coast with the full might of the Karui at his back. They didn't stay long, though - a few years at most. Look around here... can you blame them?
[B24_End] BestelRoadReward
There, thought you deserved one of my finest poems, written to commemorate such a mighty feat. Oh, and this. Been keeping it for a very special occasion. Consider yourself just such an occasion.
[B24_Start] BestelOnOpenedRoad
A stranger like no other,
Faced the wall of the Umbra,
Opened a pass in a sorry land,
Gave some hope to a sorry band
Of exiles and death-soaked castaways.
A chance at life on a brand new day.
[B25] BestelOnFairgraves
Fairgraves? The explorer? No-one's seen nor heard of him since he set sail for Wraeclast over thirty years ago.

So if you're about to tell me that you've met Captain Fairgraves in the flesh, then you've either met a liar, or something far, far worse.
[B26] BestelFairgravesReward
Fairgraves was a good man, a fine explorer. He opened the door to many a new world, for better or for worse. Usually for worse when it came to the natives.

There's some peace in the knowledge that he now rests where he should. Let's not speak of Fairgraves again, shall we? He was an inspiration to many. Would be a shame to spoil a good hero.
[B27] BestelOnSirenCove
Siren's Cove belongs to Merveil.

Those butchering buccaneers sailed off that way, the ones that plundered my poor Merry Gull. T'would be poetic justice if they'd stopped off for a sing-a-long with Merveil's lovely daughters on their way home.
[B28] BestelMerveilDead
Quite the lady killer, aren't you? That singing squid didn't stand a chance. Knew it, from the first time I saw those sharp peepers of yours.

Pirates notwithstanding, I thank you on behalf of all the fallen brethren of the waves. Now that the final cadence has been played, no one need remember Merveil's song.