Poster: Joseph Walsh
Post # 40
Joseph was back from a long trip he'd taken, though his ship always
seemed to make it back this way when all was said and done. He received
the good news that Collin had resumed his marriage with Lah, something
overdue. Joe believed that was at the root of all Collin's problems
until the man realized his freedom laid in being with the woman he truly
loved and that all his faults put together would never make a
legitimate excuse not to be with her, though that took maturity which
the news assured Joe, his friend had finally found. It was a quiet night
that found him relaxed in the Thistle at one of the tables along
the wall, chair tipped back to brace against the wall and feet on the
opposite seat. He was watching the flames dance over the logs in the
hearth from across the way while his hand automatically lifted so he
could drink from the tumbler filled with the pure. His clothing
consisted of a white shirt beneath a dark blue captain's jacket, tan
pants and black boots. Jacket was left open, tie undone and hair tied
back neatly in a tail at the nape of his neck.
The trip down the coast had taken longer than expected due to an
unexpected storm. Regan had moved the Dream close to shore, and waited
it out, wondering if this was a forecast of the winter to come. Not
something she looked forward to, if so. Might not be a bad idea to head
someplace warmer to find those animals. She sent word she was in, and
would be to the manor as soon as she saw to the cargo. A bite of supper
wouldn't hurt either. She was wearing a heavy wool long coat over a pair
of dark blue pants, and knee high boots, with a ruffled shirt beneath,
she added a feminine touch by adding a bow to the single braid she wore
-- a bright red one right at the nape of her neck. Entering the Thistle,
she glanced around and took note of the man at the hearth. Coat removed
and hung, she made her way to the bar.
He almost missed the lady coming in for his thoughts having wandered
quite far. A blink and he was up, knocking the chair over his feet had
been on for the quickness. A hand went to his tie to straightened but
then thought better on it as he was around instead to right the fallen
chair. All was done quickly before he straightened almost military style
it was so formal. "Good evening Miss. Welcome in from the colder
She had almost reached the bar when the man stood. She watched as the
chair flew, hand lifting to her mouth in an attempt to hide her smile
but it showed in her eyes. Once he was done greeting her, she lowered
her hand and allowed her smile to show, though it was warm rather than
amused now. "Good evening to you, sir, and thank you. I'm Regan
Callihan." He seemed to be a sea-faring man so she added,
"Captain of the Neptune's Dream."
"Captain Joseph Walsh of the Storm Cloud," he almost saluted
too but managed to catch himself and try to ease from the formality.
"Just in from Kilkenny to catch up with my friends, Collin
McAndrews in particular." A moment as he turned out the chair and
using a cloth left on the table, wiped the seat off before he made the
offer, "you're welcome to join me if you'd like some company."
Smile made blue eyes even more brightly distinguished. He had a bottle
of potcheen on the table and a full glass. There was also a small
platter with bread slices, cheese and meat as an appetizer.
"I know Collin. He and his associates built my ship." She
nodded to his offer. "Just allow me to get meself a drink and I'll
be right there." Always glad to share company with another sailor.
She requested potcheen punch from Alex, peach tonight, then was over to
join him after collecting his glass. "It seems winter will be
descending upon us sooner than expected if the signs read true."
"That's right," a hand lifting to rub a finger against the
side of his nose a moment then lowered again, "the cedar ship.
Callihan, well respected captains. I hear you ran into the notorious
Devil's triangle upon the high seas." He wasn't talking about
Bermuda either which she would probably realize.
"Aye, myself and my brothers, back when they captained a ship
together and I was their navigator. They escaped unfortunately but maybe
they've done one another in being nothing's been heard from them
since." She settled into the chair and helped herself to some of
the bread, cheese and meat. "I hope you don't mind. I can eat and
talk at the same time, and still show manners."
"At least you escaped their clutches." Though a frown marked
the edges of his lips as they were pressed in debate to tell her of what
he heard. It might upset her if she had that close of a call. He was not
sure of the story so maybe better to find that out first. Her need of
food had the pensive expression leave with a light laugh before he was
around to his seat again. Settling in as he studied her a moment.
"Eat all you want, you should get a bowl of the Irish stew to go
along with it. Perhaps spin me the tale of that sea voyage long ago as I
only have rough details."
The wind was really blowing this night or so the storm rolling brought
the high winds. If one wore a hat, they best hold onto it as it was hard
enough to keep the hood up of the cloak worn; until his steps brought it
against his back. At first the pelting was only the color of leaves
being driven from the branches above but soon there was felt the pelt of
small hailstones mixed with rain that started up. Segan was moving
faster with the last making a mad dash for the steps and up onto the
porch. Catching his breath there as he glanced into the large window
noticing two within. Both known. Hood was drawn down as he turned to
watch nature at work illuminated by the tavern and street lights.
It was a sight.
The Irish stew was always tempting and she had an appetite that could
rival her brothers at times, especially after a voyage. "Alex, if
you would, please?" She'd collect it when it was ready then she
looked at Joseph. Enough time had passed that she could deal with the
telling. "My brothers had stopped in Tortuga. We were going to make
it quick because we wanted to head to Ballicastle and meet up with my
sisters. Faelan met a lad who wanted to sell a map so he could buy some
food for his family. It turned out to be a treasure map so, like any
adventurers, we decided to seek it out first. What we didn't know was
Doom had his eyes on it too." She frowned with a thought. "I
hope they didn't hurt the boy." She paused as she glanced at the
window. It seemed the storm followed her.
Karina breezed in on a chilly wind, one which had her huffing and
puffing as she hurried towards the familiar friendly light of the Inn.
Still, there was a certain excitement about such a wind, and even the
sharp patter of hail did little to dampen her exuberance. She was even
laughing to herself as she dodged other passersby, most of whom gave her
strange looks as they grumpily hurried home. Rain accompanied the hail
and caused her curls to spring wetly about her face, her booted feet
squishing in the mud forming beneath them as she ran. Finally, with a
rhythmic series of thuds her feet found wood, she jogged up the stairs
and beneath the shelter of the porch. She cast Segan a grin, cheeks
flushed with the exhilaration and breathless from her dash as she
commented. "Amazing, isn't it?" A nod of her chin towards the
hailstones as they caught the torchlight almost like diamonds.
"I'm surprised your brothers let you step foot in Tortuga, place of
pirates, rogues and thieves. Lad had a real treasure map there and
managed to get it sold, he knows how to take care of himself." He
too paused taking a half turn to see out the window more behind where he
sat. He gave a low whistle as many of the leaves were plastered up
against the window from the wind and being wet. "Looks like nature
decided to decorate this tavern for the upcoming Spirit's night. A night
ones can cross over and be bold on any out lingering the shadows,"
turning with a slow grin to see her reaction if any.
"Aye, I wonder if Aaric was going to show there for a few
minutes." Dashing a smile her way as he still lingered though
leaves were being blown up on the porch in and around them. "Just
think, another month or so it will be snow being flung in your
face." He would have to mention that as he rubbed his hands
together. He would need to bring along gloves from now on.
Oh as if the winds weren't enough, mother nature decided to unleash ice
and rain on her way to the tavern! From one awning to another Vanessa
made her mad dash in and out of the onslaught towards the tavern.
"No no no no...." All squeaked out on her way to make her run
towards her destination. After being cooped up two days, that was all
she could take. Quick like, the last length of dash was made, boots hit
the steps and the door was mindfully flung open shortly after with a
"Whew..." Kind of sound. Shoulders of the dark green cloak
brushed of leaves and bits of ice and paused to look back to Karina and
"Aye, it has." She gave him an impish look, perhaps a bit of
the Fae showing in her eyes. "And pumpkins carved into lanterns to
keep us safe." She gave a wink then continued. "Me brothers
didn't let me wander about unless it was in disguise and that day I had
to stay on the ship." She could hear voices outside and glanced at
the door then went on. "We decided to make a stop at a mission near
the place first, on the guise of me being a lady looking for parrots and
such. Found the treasure, fought a dragon that had been guarding it, and
managed to fill our ship after killing the beastie."
She gave a little grin at the mention of Aaric, more to herself as she
then nodded quickly at Segan. It was chilly enough to have her bouncing
from foot to foot where she stood. "Don't remind me... How ya
been?" She stuck her hands beneath her armpits, not really wanting
to go into the tavern just yet, despite the temperature. There was
something beautiful about this blustery weather. A small laugh given as
Vanessa dashed by, seemingly on a mission of her own. She lifted her
hand briefly for a little wave to Vanessa from where she stood, still
outside on the porch alongside the sailor.
"Is that the story behind them, not to scare us but the spirits
away?" Small grin, "smart brothers," more under his
breath but certainly she would hear sitting this close. "I would
too if you were my sister," the last in normal tones.
"Seems to be a few out there," turning back as blue eyes met.
Door flying open too as focus turned there. "Incoming.."
"I think that whirlwind speeding by faster than light is a lass we
both know." Which had him laughing as there were the color of
leaves plastered to the back of her cloak too. Stepping away from the
railing, "I've been doing very well, how about you Karina? All
ready for winter, cold and hopefully some fun to be made. I think maybe
that is why the biggest holiday of the year comes about then, to make it
bearable." He was to the door to hold so that she might go in
and he as well.
"Aye it does, and the story is a man carved a turnip when it turned
out he couldn't go either to heaven or hell and that's where his soul
rests when he's not carrying it about as a lantern. So restless spirits
are welcome to enter the pumpkins and keep themselves warm." She
watched the door as Vanessa came in then realized the stew was waiting
for her at the bar so she was up to retrieve it.
"Doin' good. Gotta buy me - myself a new coat soon, I guess,
if it keeps goin' this way." Which it would, she was well aware.
She bounced past Segan, still on her toes in almost a dance as he held
the door for her. As for that comment about holidays, she just
gave a short laugh. "For folks who celebrate it, I guess it would
do." A flash of a smile to Vanessa as she pushed the wind-mussed
curls from her face.
"So they switched from carving turnips to carving pumpkins because
it was easier and you could make a better pie. I can't see a tradition
happening over turnip pie." He had a smile one noticed for such
white teeth, dark hair and blue eyes.
Such weather and Vanessa just didn't get along. She'd moved away from
the door to give Segan and Karina room to enter. Gloves pulled from her
hands and cloak shaken off a bit with an apologetic smile to Alex, then
smile to Karina and Segan as they came on. "Ave, you two."
"I'm not sure about the pie part but folks in Ireland carved
turnips, gourds, whatever was large enough for lanterns." She
chuckled as she settled to eat. She wasn't sure about telling the story
"I'm one that celebrates it to a degree, in my way than going
fanatical over it." Seeing the door closed as leaves managed in no
matter how quick he was. "Evening Vanessa, you look cold,"
like she wouldn't be? Though a spark lit blue eyes a moment then
noticing the couple at the table. "Regan, Joseph, good to see you
both. Were you caught in the storm too?" Though it had only started
when he was out there but who knew. "Vanessa, Karina, you've met
Regan, have you met Captain Walsh? Joseph that is."
"Well, I never have. Seems an awful lot of fuss to me." Karina
just shrugged slightly, and cheerfully enough. It wasn't as if she
detested holidays, but, well, they had never really been much for her in
her old life. Still trying to free her face of those springy amber
strands, she gave Regan a bright smile, recognizing the woman. Then
offered Joseph a friendly nod as well. "Don't know that I
have." Karina was certainly looking more female these days, if only
in stature. Tonight she was back to her old ensemble of breeches, boots,
and blouse beneath a snug vest... though all the materials were fairly
new and un-worn. "Pleasure," she echoed the others in
He was up from his seat again in the presence of two more ladies. At
least the other chair would not be tipping over this time around.
"A pleasure to meet you ladies. Vanessa. Karina." Giving a
slight bow of his head as a hand touched on the dark blue captain's
"Just a wee bit." More wind blown than cold. With
introductions, she turned to face the couple, nodding to Regan first.
"Ave, Regan. Nice to see you again." Then to Joseph.
"Pleasure to meet you, Captain Walsh."
"So you do not like Yuletide?" He could understand the others
although he had the gripe that the meaning of Yule should be practiced
all year round, not just a couple weeks out of the year. Luckily he
didn't get into any debate. He gave Vanessa a warming hug on his way
over to the bar in the hope that would help. Potcheen would be his fare,
though it usually was.
"Good evening, all." She lifted a hand in greeting, pausing
long enough from eating.
She shrugged again lightly. "Not that I don't like it, just that I
don't know much about it. I've never really been, er.... asked to be a
part of any of the festivities." Thusly she would skirt about the
core of the truth, as she skirted about a few stray chairs on her way to
Hugs! She returned the hug with a bright smile before following suit to
the bar for her norm of cider. Cloak was removed, donning beneath dark
green dress with scooped neckline and empire waist, long sleeves for the
"Well, maybe this year it might be different for you and a whole
new discovery in a good way. One of the few holidays that could bring
warm feelings and nostalgic rolled into one spiced up with
excitement." Sending a smile her way as he took up a lean right
there. Raising his glass to seal his words in a good omen then kicking
back the drink.
"Well... I'm willin' to try anything once." She replied with a
catlike little grin, turning back towards the group once she'd ordered a
cider from Alex to lean her back against the bar. "What do
you do, anyway? For Yuletide," she added, curious despite herself.
He took his seat again as the three headed for the bar. Focus turning
back on Regan. "So what happened with the map once in your
possession." That was about as far as they got with the story
Actually, she had kept talking but repeated it. "We stopped at a
mission that was a distance away from it, and told them I was a lady in
search of parrots and monkeys I think. From there, we found ancient
ruins. Toltec and inside the ruins, traps and a type of dragon. Faelan
was hurt during the fight. Ask him to show you the tooth sometime, He
wears it around his neck." Not to mention breathed fire when he
could. "After we killed it, we made for the ship. It took
Fael a bit to recover and by then, we knew the Unholy Trinity was after
Well, you celebrate. For some it is the birth of the Christ Child but
for some it is for the Goodwill between mankind. Presents are given
which are suppose to be something meaningful over expensive. There are
parties held, sharing of food and drink. Being more mindful of your
fellow man.." that was all he could think of at the moment,
"oh, and decorating rooms and a pine tree."
Vanessa slid onto a stool with her mug of cider cradled between both
hands to collect the warmth, content to listen to the others speak of
this and that. Treasure hunting and Yule festivities.
"I've seen the odd tooth, so it's a dragon's tooth. One he had
slain." More stating the obvious as he heard some of that too.
"So Doom, Black Beard and that new one, Stirling I believe, were in
wait. Let you do all the dirty work, probably knowing it would be a life
threatening adventure to get the treasure, easier to overtake and
steal." Urging her to continue as he took another drink.
"Hm." Karina listened thoughtfully, thanking Alex as her
steaming mug was delivered. She took a long, warming sip before
continuing. "Too bad that sentiment don't stick year round." A
wry half-lift of her lips.
"Karina, if I get a tree, would you like to come to the cottage and
help me decorate it?" Might not do much with the cottage itself,
but it wasn't Yule without a tree.
Which had him chuckle as he leaned enough with a reach to tweak her nose
before back into his lean. "That is what I said, feel, should be
something done all the time." Then a nudge to Vanessa, "oh,
only invite one of your friends in front of another and not invite
them? I'm hurt to the core..."
"Oh!" Surprise lifted her tone as she turned towards Vanessa.
"Really? You wouldn't mind? I mean, uh.... I don't really go in for
that whole... Christ Child thing..."
A quiet snicker to the nudge. "It's not that, it's about the warmth
of the season from one friend to another. Decorating the tree makes a
good place for people to gather." A bright smile flashed to Segan.
"Actually, I was going to ask if you and Eion would like to join us
for tree decorating and dinner."
"Aye, three ships swept down on us like a hurricane, crippled the
Fianna and took us prisoners." She pushed her empty bowl aside, her
eyes faraway. "They were going to skin Morgan alive, torture Fael,"
which wasn't quite true but what was planned would have been
torture to him, "and I think send me head back to Ballicastle after
I was used up if I remember right." Being scared and angry, she
wasn't positive about that. "But then the ships of our brother, and
the Frasiers' swept down on them. We were thrown in the brig on the
Fianna while they went to defend their ships. They fled with one,
Stirling's I think. Blackbeard tried to get some of the treasure but we
had escaped the brig and he decided to take his losses and run. I got
shot somewhere in there too." She chuckled then shrugged. "The
treasure was put onto the other ships, and we returned to Heathfield.
Adam lost his hearing in his right ear from firing the cannons but that
was the worse we suffered. And I avoid any ships that look like they
might be trouble." She grinned at him. "And that's it."
"I was going to volunteer myself and me brother to chop down and
bring in the tree to be decorated unless you intend to go out and get
one yourself in the cold, out in a stormy snow swept field.."
really painting a cold picture here.
"Well, alright. That doesn't sound half-bad." She smiled to
Vanessa, although she didn't miss the omitting of Connor's name from
that list. It had been a long time since she'd seen him or even heard
him mentioned by either brother; but she wasn't about to ask about it.
With a little grin she swung towards Segan. "I'll help you haul it
back," she volunteered gamely.
Nose wrinkled at Segan. Wow...he played that just right. Vanessa hadn't
met Connor yet, thus why she made no mention. "Alright. If you and
Eion bring the tree, then I will have a full meal prepared for your
efforts....and Karina's as well." Chuckling softly.
Actually both Eion and Segan talked of their brother when appropriate
though no need of late being Vanessa never met him. Although, honestly,
Segan figured if he had, he'd be flirting with her! He didn't miss that,
he'd rather be in a brawling ruckus with his brother instead or picking
up the type of ladies you didn't bring home for mother to meet, in fact
only one night stands. Something he'd not done in a while though.
"Well, we could all go out, bring a wagon filled with hay with hot
drinks to have and all have a hand in getting the Yule tree, making it a
part of all our celebration more personal."