Gerhard reached out to shake the man's hand.
"In order - correct, excellent, understood, I'd have chosen the same place to restock, looking forward to it."
Then, he produced a scroll tube from below his cloak.
"The Guild of Natural Philosophers, Explorers and Innovative Craftsmen, it its infinite generosity, has provided us with material, instruments and a few - with emphasis on 'few' - helping hands. Here, the cargo manifest."
They took shelter behind a stack of crates to avoid a portion of the ever-present spray.
"Mister Althoth here, is an emeritus freelance natural philosopher who has decided to lend his sizeable experience and keen faculties to our endeavour. I am much honoured by having him on board."
At least that was the cover story he made up. Honestly, he had no idea at all who or what Althoth was, but he was keen on finding out - this, and anything else the old man may know. It was not trust that paved the old man's way aboard, but rather the young mage's curiosity, along with Althoth's talent at piquing his interest in the rightest of ways, and a deep knowledge of things that most scholars seemed unaware even existed.
"The rest should be arriving any moment." And so it was.
"Alasdair Arden, the quartermaster" he acquainted the door-filling Tarkes**te, who gruffly nodded his silvered head, and moved on. "Everyone just calls him Foreman, though." A senior craftsman and jack of all trades, Alasdair was used to get things done; Gerhard relied on him in many of the practical aspects of their expedition. For one, he could tell a worker from a loafer from a mile away.
"Miss Joleri Dirza, in whose calloused yet tender hands we place our well-being and safety" he introduced the Dharijorian pirate. Reformed pirate, to be exact. She lifted the eye patch, revealing a healthy eye underneath, despite the scar that crossed her face. "If you make it back home alive, it will be my doing" she laughed. Gerhard trusted her well enough - and it was not just due to infatuation with a fiery woman, but rather due to her infatuation with Filkhar and its colourful and entertaining ways. He suspected that she also reveled in the combination of respect, fear and adoration she was able to evoke in the ever-so-slightly over-civilised Filks, especially the sheltered members of a certain guild. Being seen as important to such adventurous expeditions (instead just another dispensable scallywag) was a definite plus.
"Finally, Ivor is the student of one of my colleagues, here both to lend a hand in academic pursuits, and seeing the opportunity to further his knowledge on such a unique voyage." This was not entirely true - master Niall thought it best to send the youth abroad for an extended period of time, so that the fallout of a certain incident may blow over. The tall youth struggled with a crate of instruments, the rain running from his messy hair down his pointed freckled nose.
"Let me help, boy" Gerhard offered, and, hauling the fragile cargo on board, added: "The rest of the material will be here soon - tools, supplies, the usual."