Ch. 14. Captain’s Courtesy

At the moment that Ionas Farseer accosted him, Peino was standing with his boot upon the neck of what proved to be the captain of the spriggan ship, prostrate on the deck.  The surrender was progressing nicely.  His crew, and probably those of the mysterious airship too, were sending up cheers for their victory.

However, the masts and sails were still burning in places.  Wisps of smoking rope and fabric fluttered down.  Peino could feel the galleon becoming heavy and sluggish under his feet as her lower decks flooded, no doubt from hull damage below the waterline.

“Check the decks below.  Let’s see what damage there is and what loot she’s got in her holds,” he had just called out to his crew when the young, short-haired selkie appeared and made his formal and elegant introduction.

Peino blinked in surprise.  Ymuin?, he wondered, Ymuin?  They’re in shipbuilding, aren’t they?  I’ll have to look them up in the Social Register, but what would one of theirs be doing serving as lookout on that floating contraption of dragon-bait?

Hiding those thoughts behind a gracious smile, Peino returned the courtesy, his bloody blades still in his hands as he executed the same bow.

“The honor is mine, Master Farseer,” he said.  “May the blessings of Macha and Dian fall upon your sight for having found us in our moment of need.  You have my gratitude.”  Those words were followed by another bow, deeper than the first because it was sincere.  “You say your captain has this one’s wizard?”  Peino emphasized “this one” with a little twist of his boot, eliciting a muffled “oof” from the spriggan.  “May I beg another service, sir, and would you kindly introduce me to your captain?”

Peino Starhand then called out to anyone who might be near, “Tie this fellow up, would you, please?”, and sheathing the rapier at his hip and the dagger in his boot, he walked over the spriggan like a carpet, squeezing a groan and a curse from beneath his feet, to follow Farseer aft to the castle deck.

There he saw at last the captain of the bizarre vessel that had come to his aid — a surprisingly tall eormen dressed in a gown-length coat and funny little hat, looking as outlandish as his ship.

This should be interesting, thought Starhand.

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