1. We have running water.
2. I have a home.
3. I have family who cares about me.
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You'll need to read Part 22 for this post to make much sense.
A week passed. Stacey spent his time cooking, cleaning, and finding odd jobs to keep his mind occupied. It wasn't all bad, he learned how to tie knots, climb a mast, sow sails, sing shanties, and probably the thing that intrigued him most, carve letters into wood. He helped the carpenter as he removed the ships old name and put a new one on: "Liberation" it said. Stacey had no idea what it meant, but it sounded nice, or at least a lot better than Ginger, the ship's old name that The Captain had given it after a visit to the Calamine Isles.
During that week Stacey also saw men training for war. The most impressive was an elf named Syrin. He used a rapier and a dagger, but with the way he moved you'd think he was made of water. Stacey never watched for long, as it brought memories that he wanted to keep hidden, but it was hard not to stay and watch Syrin, because with him, it looked to be more of a dance than a battle. It was beautiful in its way. Whether he was sparring with someone else, or going through his own form perfecting routine, each movement looked effortless and balanced. It looked almost peaceful, until Stacey looked in Syrin's eyes. Stacey had anticipated a peaceful, or satisfied look, but instead saw pain. It made Stacey look more earnestly. He assumed that someone who would perfect this craft would be someone who delighted in bloodshed, but there was no delight in Syrin's eyes.
"Syrin, perfect at his craft." It was Mattias. He always seemed to show up just as Stacey was really wondering about something.
"Yes he is."
"Have you looked into his eyes?"
"I just was actually. He looks sad."
"He is. Syrin is no ordinary warrior. He's really no warrior at all, but a survivor."
"What do you mean?"
"Syrin is a Shalakian Elf. His people were enslaved thousands of years ago. Though small, they have a great capacity to work together, so men used them."
"How did he escape?"
"With his dance. The slavers wouldn't allow them to train, for obvious reasons, but they would allow them to dance. So, each night, Syrin and a small group of his people formed what they knew about sword play, and made each movement look like a dance. It didn't take long until they found blades and fought their way out of slavery. A beautiful story really."
"How did he end up with you?"
"I found him in Chindal. He was part of a circus. After he and his group escaped they couldn't find work. So, they split up and tried their hand at whatever job they could find. Syrin was nimble, and eventually found his way into Chindal's circus. By chance I heard his story and asked if he'd join our cause. His dancing blades have been on my ships ever since."
"Speaking of your ships, I helped Andrew carve a new name into her. 'Liberation,' what does it mean?"