Building the Ship
Haramhold wanted to do things the boring way.
Jongo wasn't having any of that.
Leaving Haramhold to work out the finer details - since Jongo knew nothing about, and was not interested in, shipwright work - Jongo spent the first couple of days just learning the lay of the land around Salus.
It started by Jongo approaching Amanda. "Hello, my dear! I need to see your sheep."
"Our sheep, Lord Jongo?"
"Oh no, no, no. That won't do. Lord Jongo? No, no, no. I'm not your father, with a town and people to call my own - not yet." Jongo looked towards the ocean as she said this, slightly wistfully. "No... not yet. So. You may just call me... hmmm... Aunt or Uncle."
"Aunt or Uncle?"
"Why one or the other? Are you not a man?"
"Has your father ever said I am a man?"
"No. Now that you mention it, father has always said you were his sibling. Not brother, or sister. I didn't notice till now. Why is that?"
"Excellent question!" Jongo grinned. "Now... about your sheep?"
"But..." Amanda appeared confused, but Jongo forestalled any further questions by moving up to her and putting an arm around her shoulder.
"Really, Amanda-girl, this is important. Now, no more questions for now. I just want you to say 'Yes, Uncle' or 'Yes, Auntie' - whichever you prefer - and show me your sheep."
"...yes, Uncle." So she showed Jongo Salus's sheep.
And then, the next day, Amanda showed Jongo the nearby forests. Then the river. And the rock quarry.
All the while, Jongo regaled Amanda with nonsense and fun conversation, none of which either of them can really remember. They only remember laughing.
So after three days, it was with a bit of surprise when Amanda asked, "Where is father?"
"Oh? Butterfly? He's a bit of a busybody. Haven't you noticed? He gets too focused. It's boring. Makes wonderful things, but... well, he wouldn't find this as fun. Don't worry about him."
"But he should be here, shouldn't he? Aren't you looking at the parts needed for this... ship thing?"
"Ship thing? Ship thing? Oh dear. We're not going to deal with that again. I'll have to figure out a name for it. I'll think on that." Jongo mused again, and looked lost for a second. The Band of Chaos took the time to sing out, and Jongo had an idea. "But... you're right. Haramfly can be a bit of a stick in the mud once he's sunk his teeth in a project. Let's change that, you and I!"
"Why, the same way I got you to come with me... we show him the sheep, right?"
"...yes, Uncle." Amanda was starting to smirk.
"That a girl!"
So Jongo pulled her brother along to other places, and let whimsy dictate what they'd work on that day. But Jongo knew that once a task had been set for the day, to leave Haramhold alone to do his work. It was better that way.
Amanda left for a week, and Jongo barely noticed, so caught up in ideas. When Amanda returned, Jongo was delighted to see she had more crystals for him.
"That's excellent, Amanda-girl! With that, the ship - still working on a name - will really fly!"
"Yes. It should be very fast on the water, Uncle. But the crystals will make it go faster?"
"Water? Oh. OH. Well, yes, on the water, it'll be fast. But no, I meant that those crystals, in the right spot, will help make the ship fly."
"...along the water, right Uncle?" Amanda still appeared perplexed.
"Yes. And fly. Like a bird. In the air."
Amanda was silent for a moment, staring down at the bucket in her hands, full of crystals. Then she looked over at the frame of the ship, slowly taking shape near the river's edge.
"Ships float on the water, don't they Uncle?"
"And this one will too?"
"Yes. And..." Jongo prompted, hoping she would get it.
She did. "...and it will fly in the sky, won't it?"
"I'll make sure of it! It would be boring otherwise! Your father knew that, so that's why he's been letting me talk to the wood. And the pegs. And the sailcloth. And the ropes! But the ropes were a bit tongue-tied, and knot used to talking." Jongo cackled at her own jokes.
"So how will the crystals help?"
"Why don't we ask them?"
"Amanda-girl, you're too practical. Got that from too much time around your father, I guess. Not a bad thing, but sometimes... sometimes you should just... Look. Don't question it. Just go with it!"
So Jongo took up the crystals, and whispered to them, while the Band of Chaos sung a melody of unusually quiet music. "Hello, my pretty little friends. You are looking beautiful today. I know I'm not Haramhold, but I'd like to ask a favor. If we can make you more beautiful, and put you in a lovely place, with a nice setting, would you find some magic, and hold on to it? Just hold it. And when it gets to be too much, you can let it out. Let it go. Let it change what is around you, and fill it with power. Doesn't that sound nice?"
Amanda watched. Jewely watched. The crystals, plain and almost dull, began to glow, as they swallowed the magic around them, and held it.
"See, Amanda-girl? Just have to ask. Most things are willing to listen. But don't tell your Uncle Faden that. He'd probably jump out of his skin! Speaking of which..." Jongo, for the third time that day, changed to a different shape. He grew a long beard, and making herself quite short, but with stocky broad shoulders. Jongo removed the pointy ears he had begun to grow fond of, and shouted out, "Dwarf! Finally got it right."
"Uncle, you look more like a man with that beard," Amanda teased.
"My dear, you've obviously never met a female dwarf." Jongo began to laugh, and Amanda couldn't help it. It was infectious.
They found the paint a week later, when the ship was nearly done.
After the inevitable paint fight, Amanda had to wash in the river three times to get all the colors out.
Jongo just giggled and tittered, and kept painting with hands that had shifted to long, multiple fingered bristles, calmly massaging each inch of the wood till it held the orange paint. The strong oak just sighed, happily, and held the color without protest.
The sails loved how blue they were.
Jongo and Amanda decided not to tell Haramhold about the pink walls in his quarters.
Jongo found her own quarters. Here, he sat for a day, and on the door into her cabin, whispered to a bowl of water, and each droplet slowly, carefully, pushed into the wood, into first one circle, then another smaller one. It wasn't carving. It was weathering.
And with each droplet, the Symbol of Chaos soon took shape, marking this cabin forever more as Jongo's. Amanda noticed that her Uncle started sleeping in the cabin from this day forward.
Overall, it took only three weeks.
The people of Salus marveled that they would go to bed one night, and the next morning, find entire parts of the ship had - seemingly - finished building themself.
Most of them praised Haramhold for the miracles.
Jongo didn't mind. They didn't know, nor need to know, that the wood that Haramhold had used and lovingly carved had been talked with, and asked to warp itself to be more pleasingly shaped.
They didn't need to understand that the metals had been coerced into relaxing like water, to fill molds, and quicken without any cooling.
No one but Jongo and the Band of Chaos - and maybe Haramhold, if he was paying attention - would see that the weave of the sails was in a circular pattern that was impossible for mortal hands to make. It was like the wool had curled around itself, over and over, to be more comfortable.
The rigging and the mooring were content for now, and whistled in the wind. But the people of Salus did think that, sometimes, they seemed to move all own their own, out of the corner of their eyes.
And everyone - everyone - saw the ship lift off for the first time.
Moments Before the As Yet Unnamed Ship Lifted Off
Jongo was waiting for Haramhold next to the ship. It was a thing of beauty. Expertly crafted, and each piece seemed to fit together as though it had been grown like that, rather than crafted. It was a testament to Haramhold's ingenuity... and Jongo's eccentricity.
"Are you ready, Brother? It's not done yet. It looks done. But we've got to make it fly. Our Father was going to do that for the other ship. This is ours. We'll need to concentrate. I've asked everything for it to be lighter, and done what I can. But we'll both have to put some energy into it. Holding hands will probably help." Today, Jongo was back to looking like the thin tall humanoid with long blond hair and pointy ears. Jongo reached out one sinewy hand to Haramhold, and put the other on the ship itself.
"So. Pour your energy into the ship, and I'll do the same, and we'll give it the name I've thought of. That should do it. Ready?"
SpoilerI'll wait for shorewood here. I leave it to you to describe the Ceremony. Just know that Jongo will shout out the name Green Morningstar at the end.