It is early morning, and Poppy comes out of her bunk and jumps up the steps. She is the only Halfling on the crew, and her legs are pretty short. The ship was not meant for someone her size. As she comes into view of the sunlight of the morning, she can hear the gulls. Looking over the bow of the ship, she sees the morning fog over the bay.
Poppy practically jumped up and down, seeing the shapes of land. Hearing hefty footfalls behind her, she turns to see Kalardash smiling at her, “Can’t wait to get out and spend your gold?” She nods quickly, “We have been out so long I barely remember what it is like to feel the ground below my feet.”
He gave her his booming laugh and reached down and ruffled her hair, and she looked up, giving him a dirty look. Across the ship, they heard a crashing and one of the men yelling, “Damn dog! Get out of here!” This caused Poppy to roll her eyes, and she whistled, “Amaranth, leave them alone!” The large black dog came bounding towards her. He looks so intimidating, and it kept most people away from her.
It was not that Poppy was unsociable; she just lacked many typical social cues that the average person had. She grew up around pirates and no women, so she felt she lacked a lot of the skills necessary to make it in the world. Preferring the ship, she did not leave often, but sometimes she found the prospects of returning to land as fun and exciting and a way to buy new things and have fun with the crew away from the usual elements.
Having just returned from a long journey of searching for Booty, Poppy was ready to enjoy the land life and do a little shopping. As they docked, Kalardash came up to Poppy, “You have anyone you are looking forward to returning to?” This caused her to give crinkle her brow, and she half chuckled, “No, why do you ask?”
He just shrugged, “Most people like to have something to come home to.” He gave her a slight smile, and he walked off the ship and headed into town. Poppy didn’t need anyone to come home to; her family was The Salty Dogs. She didn’t need anyone else.
She took the day and went around to shops and bought things she wanted and replenished many of the supplies she liked to have with her. As she rounded the corner, she found a poor child begging for food, and she shook her coin purse and sighed. She walked up and placed a small handful of gold into his cup, and walked away. Poppy liked helping the less fortunate, or at least people she knew couldn’t help themselves.
The evening wore on, and she found herself at the tavern near the docks, and there she found The Salty Dogs having a great time already. They were over-tipping and all overly intoxicated. Many were singing, and some were dancing with women throughout the tavern. Smiling, she went and ordered herself an ale and went and joined them at one of the many tables they were occupying.
She saw Kalardash over in the corner talking to a beautiful human woman. As usual, he was laying the charm on thick, and this caused Poppy to giggle. Everywhere they traveled, he seemed to be able to make the ladies swoon for him. He would boast of his escapades to the crew. Never to Poppy, but she heard things. She was so small that sometimes people didn’t notice she was around. This comes in handy sometimes, unless you wish to be seen.
She got up to join the dancing when a human man came up and grabbed her hand, asking her to dance. He brought her in close to himself and practically picked her up, and she kicked him in the groin, and he dropped her, “You should ask before touching someone.” The man became angry and took a few steps towards Poppy but did not make it very far before The Salty Dogs were upon him and many of the men he was with joined in on the fighting. Fists were flying along with bodies. Poppy saw about two tables broken before she ducked out of there.
Poppy always knew the crew had her back, and she knew that man and his group of friends got what was coming to them. She just preferred to stay out of the commotion. Heading towards the ship, she saw Amaranth sitting there waiting for her. She took a piece of dried meat from her bag and threw it at him as she boarded the ship. Petting Amaranth on the head, she headed towards her bunk.
She heard a commotion on the deck in the morning, and she and Amaranth went to investigate. All of The Salty Dogs were circled around Kalardash, and she could not hear what was being spoken to. He was talking to Oswain the Quartermaster. She looked up at Strockam, the Master Gunner, and asked what was going on.
“Sounds like Oswain wants to leave The Salty Dogs. He found a woman he is in love with and does not want to leave her.”
Poppy gave a sideways grimace and crossed her arms, “Well, if he wants to go, what can we do?” She loved Oswain; he was like an older brother to her. However, she did not want to keep him, he had been speaking of this woman for months, and it was almost sickeningly sweet how much he loved her. He was unsure that she would wait for him while they were out to sea, but she must have.
Kalardash eventually put his arms up to quiet the crowd, “Our dear Oswain has decided it is time to retire from The Salty Dogs and start his own family. This is by no means goodbye, but we will have to hold an election to replace him before we can set off again. So I will need some recommendations before we hold a vote.”
She heard Valmir yell out, “I recommend Poppy.”
Her eyes went wide, and she shook her head. That was not a responsibility she wanted. Before she could even process anything or object, Kalardash had already seconded it. He waited for other nominations, and Gadran was the next nomination. Having two names ready, it was time for a vote. Poppy was moved to one side, and Gadran was moved to the other, and each pirate went to the person they were voting for.
Poppy had not uttered a word. Everything was happening so fast she did not know what to do or say. She just kept thinking, “What do I do with my hands?” She was wiping them on her pants because they were beginning to sweat.
After The Salty Dogs had voted, Poppy saw Kalardash beam with pride as it was practically a landslide. Poppy was now Quartermaster on The Salty Wench. He took only a few short strides and picked Poppy up and put her on his shoulders, “That’s my girl! Three cheers for Poppy, our new Quartermaster!” The Salty Dogs all cheered, and it gave them another reason to drink and celebrate.
Poppy’s new duties would be running the ship when Kalardash was not on board, along with controlling the food and water rations. She would have to stay on top of everything with Kalardash, so she would have everything in hand on the off chance he was not on the ship. It was a big task, and even though she was nervous, she knew she could handle it.