The Alchemists' Quest
After finishing up his Alchemist Trials, Alek decides to go visit his home since he hasn’t seen his parents in awhile. The Alchemists pay for his travel expenses and his trip is pretty uneventful. When he arrives, his mother is happy to see him and does the typical mother things (hugging, kissing, making sure he’s eating enough, seeing if there’s a special girl, etc). She wants to hear all about his adventures. Alek would also find out his dad is home. Alek’s dad is in fact home. He seems to be trying to be friendly with Alek but Alek keeps giving him the cold shoulder. A few nights after Alek arrives home, his mother is called to tavern to retrieve his father (who is passed out drunk). Disgusted, Alek follows his mom and helps her. As he watches her put him to bed, he finally asks her how she can keep taking care of him despite all he puts her through. She smiles and says, “At first I hated it. I wouldn’t let him come home so he’d sleep on the streets. After awhile I learned he meant well enough but no one was perfect. And I do love him. So I started letting him come in and taking care of him and over time he’s gotten better and better. He knows how much it hurts me when he does it and so he tries not to do it. This is the first time he’s done it in a long long time actually. Mostly he stays at home at takes care of me now.”
“But I thought,” said Alek, “he just returned home from another adventure. Out drinking and whoring it up.”
His mother chuckled and says, “You don’t know where he was, do you? He was out watching you and trying to protect you. He’s actually very proud of you. I actually suspect he went drinking tonight because you’ve been ignoring him since you returned.”
They finish putting Alek’s father to bed and go to sleep themselves. The next day Alek makes an effort to be nice to his father and sure enough he doesn’t go out drinking anymore.
After a couple of weeks home, Alek’s father comes to him and tells him that Commander Roland is building up his fleet. He thinks Alek would be perfect as a ship commander and should go apply. Alek sees his parents are taking care of each other and decides to try it. If he can command a ship, maybe he can stop the Dragonborn from pirating and bring them some honor. After making his father promise not to follow him this time and instead take care of his mother, Alek sets out for Mavi to try to get a ship.
Alek arrives in Mavi and has no trouble getting into Roland’s Command School. In fact, Alek’s sort of a local celebrity now after clearing his family’s name, fighting a basilisk, and being known as the one that resisted Faye’s charms. Roland is glad to bring him onto his ship for a few months to teach him the ins and outs of being a captain and a dragonborn. Unfortunately being a captain is taking Alek a while to learn. In fact the class he came in with and most of the class following him get their command before he does. This is not what Alek was expecting and none of his knowledge of dragonborn history are helping him. He’s pretty certain a few of his classmates have been cheating and they seem to be getting command of ships the fastest. However Roland does like him and keeps at it. Faye is there to comfort him when he’s in port but a side-effect of his failure is that he finally is irritated enough to tell her to leave him alone and he’s not interested. This actually gets him quite a bit of respect from his classmates since no one else is brave enough to snap at the “sea-witch.” One of his female classmates named Isabella takes an interest in him and helps him “study” in their cabin at night. One night, after some rather intense “studying” Alek complains that he’ll probably never get his own ship. Isabella laughs and calls him stupid. She tells him the whole point is to cheat. He’s going to be a pirate captain, not a knight. Once he starts thinking of the cheating as part of the test it suddenly all makes sense. A week later both he and Isabella “graduate” and get their own ships. She bets she can get more renown in her ship, the Hard Eight, than Alek can in his before sailing off.
Roland is proud Alek finally figured out how to get his crew to follow him and how to captain a ship. Faye is as well. She still likes Alek but knows that no means no and doesn’t harass him all the time. They present Alek with his ship, crew, and flag. Roland then sends Alek out to raid Sahuagin settlements and help push them back from trading routes.
Alek will never forget his first victory at sea. He had been commanding his ship for about a week looking for Sauhagin settlements to raid when he came across a ship being attacked by them. He was quick to act and set a course for the ship. With the wind blowing sea mist on his face he felt exhilarated. However he didn’t let it cloud his thinking as he ran through battle scenarios in his head. Luck was in his favor that day as the wind sped him along and the sauhagin didn’t notice him till he was almost on them. His men were eager to board the other ship and fight but knew to wait for Alek’s signal. Once he pulled up alongside the other ship he gave the word and his pirates attacked. Alek was one of the first across and barreled into enemies as he swung across. He cut down the enemies closest to him and took stock of the situation. He gave some orders, bolstered his men with some shouts, and jumped back into the fray. The battle didn’t take long and after the enemy were defeated they found most of the ship’s crew bound below deck. They thanks Alek and gave them a bit of a reward as thanks. Alek could still feel the adrenaline that night when he tried to sleep.
The next month went on more or less like this. They’d raid settlements, help ships, and generally fight Sauhagin wherever they could. His crew thought his methods a little weird but the did seem to get the job done. After a month they headed back to Mavi to resupply and get a few days R&R. Roland was happy with his success and also had a letter for him from Aiden in Portakal. He was being asked to return for a special mission as soon as possible. Alek told his crew to keep up the piracy without him and he’d return as soon as possible.