In the skies above the South Arian Sea a strange contraption from an alien world flies overhead. On the deck of this ship a man is speaking to his newly hired First Mate. “Fait un moment que, since the last time I seen a Maurepasan, I tell you that,” he said. The man’s name was Captain Jean Lafitte III, and a hard, driving rain battered his face as well as his customary Gambler hat and Duster.
“We do seem to be in somewhat short supply, patron,” his first mate said, and being that there were only two that they knew of, Beau Bergeron effectively qualified for understatement of the year. Lafitte chuckled slightly as the two of them walked towards the bow of his ship, rain pouring equally down the tatty, though more common to this world, britches and frock coat of Beau Bergeron.
However, if the rain bothered either the two, it was nothing compared to how the storm treated La Danse Calinda, the ship on which they traveled. The winds whipping at her sails, designed to catch the magical auras penetrating this world for propulsion, the hard, half frozen droplets hitting her hot-air-filled balloon upon which the sails were attached like bullets. “Keep’er steady!” Lafitte yelled back over his shoulder to her motley Aeldrethian crew, many of whom were escaped convicts and the destitute (after all, they had to be to work on a crazy alien ship like his). Some of them of more magical ability went about steadying the sails.
Upon reaching the upper deck of the bow, Lafitte looked upon his mate, “As you know, we’ve been hired by Bull and Jackal Mercantile to protect their shipments from pirates. Somewhat ironic given my previous profession, but I hired you because you should be more familiar with my ship than the natives around here,” Lafitte said, rolling and lighting up a cigarette, no small feat in this storm.
Beau, having never seen or been around such a ship in his life in fact, raised an eyebrow at the assumption but, being that he was being paid, kept his mouth shut. It was but another in a long string of differences he’d noticed between this Lafitte character and his memories of his homeland.
“Always a funny aftertaste in these parts,” Lafitte said as he blew out smoke, “Now, what I haven’t told you about are what we face up here,” he continued as he turned to lean against the railing, “Monstrous birds called ‘Rocs’ and Dragons of various shapes and sizes, that these people fear worse than death itself. We see one, we get the hell outta the way. I’ve seen ‘em take down prey thrice the size o’this ship, and it ain’t gonna be the first nor the last I’ve had to scrounge for materials to repair ‘er either,” he finished just as a loud, screeching roar was heard over the howl of the storm.
“Dragon!?” Lafitte yelled about for an answer.
“No, Captain, at least not spotted, none of the elves report an’thing,” the squat Dwarf reported to him as he ascended the stairs.
“Hmmm, lemme take a look,” Lafitte said, shifting his cigarette in his mouth as he took a Dwarven spyglass to his eye. Visibility wasn’t that great, but a dragon’s hard to miss, even in this weather…Roc?, he thought. On a whim, he looked downward from his position atop the bow and saw a swirling, squid-like creature beginning to engulf a ship beneath him, just out of range of the squall he was currently engulfed in.
“Parle du diable,” Lafitte said under his breath, poking his first mate, “Head to stern, tell the wizard get our boost ready,” he said, pointing. “Work time, boys, ready the sails, we’re goin’ down!” he yelled over his shoulder, grabbing a rope to steady as he looked ahead through the glass, and smirked…it was time to go hunting.