((This post is comprised of inworld RP between Astrid and Syeira on April 2, 2017))
Nerissa has been swimming for what seemed like days, she kept fairly closer to the coastline, but not close enough that she might be spotted, and used it as a guide to get to her destination. But today of all days, she happens to notice a pair of ships that seem to be flowing softly across the water. The sky is overcast, almost dreary-looking, but her curiosity here gets the better of her, and she wants to see who might be aboard these vessels. She swims closer to see who they might be.
They're warships, of a design favored by some elves and drow; their sails are partly reefed because of the recent storm; and there are far more people on deck than one would see if they if they were just sailing. Not only are they warships: they're expecting a fight.
Nerissa swims closer, and can vaguely catch that the ones aboard the ship are dark-skinned. They might be Drow, and on the chance that they are, she might learn some things, after all, it was Drow she was looking for. She wanted to make sure she was in the right area at least. She was a little intimated by how many were on-board the ship, and they might even attack her and her party. She has a small group of other mers with her, probably around 20 or so, who she had chosen to accompany her after she was tasked to head to the Drow Lands in response to a message that had been sent her way. She's almost on the side of the ship now, waiting again to see if any Drow notice her.
((On the Ship)) More eyes are looking northward than usual; and it's harder to see swimmers in the waves than one might think. But soon enough someone notices and calls out about people in the water on the port beam. A drow woman with long white hair steps over to the port railing, looks over, and then calls back something about merfolk. She was carrying a bow, but she turns around and hands it to someone else, then leans over the railing. "Ahoy!"
Nerissa gives a warm smile in greeting to the Drowess who greets her back, "Tala, Drowess. I am a mermaid ambassador from the Queendom of Sirenia, these are my escorts and traveling companions. We are searching for the lands of Vhaerun, we received a dispatch several days ago from there, by one named Lady Amerakhte. May my entourage and I come aboard to talk?" She waits patiently, and she was on her guard. She was told to never trust Drow, but, this was as good a time as any to maybe establish correspondence.
Keshtire speaks, "Yes, certainly." She's a little surprised, but she calls back to the captain about needing boatswain's chairs (and this is a way to hoist someone up -- usually up the mast to work on it, but it'll do for coming aboard too.) In a couple of minutes they're lowering seats attached to ropes over the side.
Nerissa observes the lowering of the boatswain chairs and fails to suppress a chortle. Little did these Drow know that she had an uncanny ability to leap from the water, high into the air, upon land or a ship in this case. In a flash, her head is below water, where there are bubbles floating upwards, and ripples dimming from where she was previously, and then, like a rocket of sorts, she would ascend high into the air, and land perfectly on the ship's deck. Hopefully in this case, the Drow had enough time to move out of the way. The rest of her cohorts follow suit, though a few did take the chairs instead, simply because they were curious how it operated.
Many Drow step back in surprise -- Keshtire had not realized they could leap so high, and neither had very many others aboard. Keshtire then remembers her manners and bows. "Greetings, Ambassador. We are not far from Vhaerun, but I regret that I cannot welcome you to the harbor in happier circumstances. That orange light to the north is where our crannochs are -- were -- and it's probably dragonfire."
Nerissa's mer tail flaps on deck for a bit, because it starts to glow a dim pink color, and gradually as the light dims, there are beautiful legs where the tail had been only seconds ago. She stands, with some difficultly, followed behind by two of her assistants, and she too gives a polite bow. She is surprised by the bow, she did not realize that Drow could exhibit manners in such a fashion. It was... refreshing. She turns around to take a closer inspection of the coastline, and sure enough, she sees what looks to be torched dwellings of a sort. Her eyes are taken aback by the destruction, and she turns back to face the Drow, "You have my condolences. Sirenia too has faced devastation as of late at the hands of our rivals, the Siren." She didn't seen any issue with revealing this information seeing as they too had suffered inhumanly it seemed, "Tell me, to the best of your knowledge, who did this to your homeland?" Nerissa is curious enough that she has to know. The forces at work here might not be simply content with the destruction of the Drow dwellings, and could pose a threat to other areas as well.
Keshtire promptly answers, "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that -- I hope you are victorious. I'd wonder if the attacks were coordinated. -- We know at least some of the parties are drow playing the traitor -- the High Priestess Zarra of the abominable spider cult, and others I don't know; and they marched from Blackmoor. Before the attack on us, we were trying to signal you, because our very first indication of trouble was when our Chieftess sensed magical spying ... and she was convinced the hatred was directed at the sea. At *you*. -- That makes no military sense that I can understand -- what could a bunch of land dwellers gain from destroying Siriena? But the policies of the Black Land, and, I'm sorry to say, Vhaerun clans, are not always sane. ... We also suspect that, if such attacks on your people do take place, they might attempt to disguise themselves as my clan."
Nerissa listens attentively to the words of this Drow, she can sense urgency in the tone, and she sees little reason why there would be foul play or lying here, "I have been constantly told that Drow are vile, merciless creatures who only care about bloodshed and suffering, but you... you seem different somehow..." Nerissa would pause to look back to her company, where something is whispered between them. She turns back, "I do not know either why this Zarra you speak of would target Sirenia. But, she must be seeking to harness the Power of the Sea. I am still weary of trusting you as we have only just met, so I will not tell you in great detail about it for now, but, a good summary is, it's a mythical power that our queendom possess to keep the seas in good balance. We have protected it and utilize this power for thousands of years." Referring to the beacons, she would say, "I saw the lights, and thought it a funny way of communicating, but, I did see them."
Keshtire forces a smile, "The honor is mine. I am afraid that there are merciless creatures among my kind. Some of them are trying to destroy my clan right now -- oh, and you don't want to go into the harbor anytime soon. If my grandmother, my aunt, and their people are not dead, they will be attempting to bombard the invaders from the heights. One way or the other, I expect the bay to be filled with corpses." She tries to sound as cool as her grandmother sounds, and fails. It's plain that she's worried.
The mer ambassador sighs deeply already sensing there would be much death in the air, it disturbed her greatly, "Why, so much death.. what is to be gained from such suffering?" She shakes her head, "Unfortunately, I am not in any position to formally be able to assist your clan in defense. As you are aware, our Queen has passed into the great beyond, but what you may not know, is that her heir to the throne, her eldest daughter, has also recently suffered a great calamity. Our dominion is in a state of flux right now, and I would not doubt, that if Zarra is able to break through your defenses, and there is no other army to sufficiently stop her in her tracks, we too may not be able to withstand her powers, and all shall be lost." She is holding her trident that is decorated in purple ribbons with what appears to e skulls mounted atop each sharp end of the weapon firmly and her eyes are illuminating a bright gold, "If I acted on my own at this time, I could be imprisoned or excommunicated, otherwise, I would aid your clan as best as I could... I am sorry..." She feels the situation increasingly grow hopeless, "I can try to reason with the new Queen, but, it will be greatly delayed, and I am certain at the urgency that you speak of, by the time of our return, your homeland may be decimated completely, and by then, it will be too late."
Keshtire nods, fully understanding the mer's duty, she could resonate with it quite well in these troubled times, "Well. All we can do is our duty. I am sorry also to hear of the misfortune of your crown princess." She pauses, then adds, "My grandmother thought highly of Her Late Majesty and was sculpting a memorial into the rocks on the shore. She hadn't finished, and I don't know if it will survive the artillery." She doesn't know if she should ask more questions, but since she isn't the family's protocol expert, she decides against it. "May the Queendom survive and prosper, even if we do not."
Nerissa felt her emotions grip tightly on her. She was overwhelmed by how sincere the Drow here were towards her queendom. All through her life she told that one could never trust a Drow, and here, even as misfortune was knocking on their door, ready to bash it in relentlessly, they had offered such kindness, such respect towards Queen Tritonia, "We accept your generosity, with our utmost gratitude. The Queen Mother would have been honored to have known that, of all races, that a clan of Drow no less, would offer such a kind gesture." The mermaid puts on a serious face for a moment, "We will both get through this, and when the war hopefully is over and we have both survived and are in the process of picking up the pieces, may a day come, when we can work towards a prosperous union, and towards peace."
Keshtire bows once more, "May you be foresighted in this."
Nerissa also would bow again in return, and as she would turn away seemingly to return to the sea, she would look back, "Please grant me the honor of knowing your name...oh kind Drowess."
Keshtire answers the request, "I am Keshtire, the daughter of Khimele, the daughter of Amerakhte. And yours?"
Nerissa gives a warm smile in return as she tries to sound the name, "Ki...kimel...le..." and just laughs, "You drow always have such difficult to say names, but, nonetheless, I won't forget it... Kesh...tire... this may be the start of reforging a battered bond." She turns again to face the sea, letting the wind caress her hair as it fluttered above, "Nerissa... Nerissa Sirene Atargatis... the pleasure is all mine... until next we met, may the Goddess steer your ship safely and protect your clan... you will be in my thoughts as I return home..." She motions her band of merfolk to depart, and she is the last one to go. Her feet vanish in a gentle pink light and are replaced by her mertail once again. In one swift motion, Nerissa would then leap back into the ocean, a calm splash would be the last sound the Drow would hear, as her entourage swims away, becoming a small dot in the distance, heading east...