By the time Lafitte had finished tying off La Danse Calinda at the dock of the Port of Kledy it was nearly nightfall, and by the time he’d secured a service to make repairs on his ship (no small feat, considering there were few who would go near an airship of his kind), seeing as his regular company had closed up shop for the night, the moon was high in the sky. Still, though it’d cost him a pretty penny, the job had to be done.
“Captain!” Lafitte heard called out behind him.
“Yes, Mr. Ogges?” Lafitte asked as he turned to face the squat Dwarf carrying the magical torch and making his way across the planks of the pier to which the Calinda was now tethered. It was an interesting sight, though far from the only ship at port, the Calinda was of course unique in that it was the only one which did so in the air, rather than floating in the water. Though her hull was wood as was the rest of the fleet, it was a mottled mishmash of different species of lumber derived from the many different repairs made in many different ports across varied realities and skies.
“Captain, the men grow restless, though none would question your orders while at sea, many wonder why we’ve made for land so soon after our last departure.” Larman Ogges replied.
It was true, Lafitte had to admit, it was uncharacteristic to make port this soon, “Hmmm, have we not filled our cargo bay with the loot of the Spriggans?” Lafitte asked.
“That we have, Captain, that we have…” Ogges said, wondering where his Captain was going with this.
Lafitte smiled, and rolled himself a cigarette. Although the hold was full, a good half of it or so was filled with the supplies necessary for their journeys, and traditionally as the supplies were depleted, loot would be kept in its place until it was time to make for port.
“Tell the men I’ve given them a bonus,” Lafitte said after lighting up and taking a drag. “Tell them to sell our wares, and I will be taking no cut,” he continued as he blew out the pungent smoke. His normal practice was 10% on all goods sold or bartered off his ship, relying on the fact that his men were very cutthroat when it came to their profits in this regard to enforce it. A man who didn’t give his 10% could be skimming off everyone on board, which meant they were turned in quickly, and disposed of quickly as well. “Make it clear that this is a one time deal mind you, in return for their good service, and on account of I have personal business to attend to at the moment which cuts into their time at sea,” Lafitte finished.
His own loss on the venture wouldn’t hurt him all that much. Spending the majority of his time on his boat, he had little to spend the local currency on, besides the occasional whore when he was in the mood for it, meaning he’d built up quite the stockpile. It had always been his practice, live on the ship, collect few debts. One never knew when one would have to bribe one’s way out of a situation, as had he all those years ago.
“Further I’d like you to collect Tayliana for me, as well as Mr. Bergeron, they’ll be accompanying me on this business.” he said.
“Yes, Captain…Thank you Captain,” Ogges said, as he trotted off, torchlight swaying in step while he walked. By the time he’d returned, Lafitte had finished his cigarette and crushed it with his boot. “Thank you, Mr. Ogges, I’m leaving you in charge of the ship. See to it the repairs are made, and the men are back on board and ready to set sail at six o’clock tomorrow morning,” Lafitte said, turning to Tayliana and Beau.
“Mr. Bergeron, Miss Winddancer, if you’ll be so kind…”, Lafitte said, and with that they were off, making their way through the winding cobblestone streets of Kledy, with its old world buildings of a kind not too unlike the fabled Vieux Carré back home in New Orleans. It didn’t take them long to find out where the fabled Starhand was currently a patron, what did take a while, however, was finding the place. Like his home, Kledy’s winding and sharply turning streets were of a seemingly random layout which made finding a certain place somewhat difficult if one wasn’t a native, especially when guided only by a single mage‘s light.
Finally, however, Tayliana shined her light upon the sign reading “Alderman’s Inn.” Not quite the scale of a place I’d expect a Prince to stay, Lafitte thought, but he and his mates went in anyway. A waiter pointed him in the direction of Starhand and his crew, Lafitte tossing him a gold coin in return for the favour. On his way over he purchased a strong bottle of mead and deftly walked up beside Peino as he was calling for the barman. Placing the bottle upon the table, Lafitte took a seat, directing his own crewmen to do the same.
“Bonjour, d’ami. We need to talk,” Lafitte said, as he rolled himself another cigarette and lit up, “I apologize for not making a more formal introduction, or letting you know I’d arrive, but this is quite urgent, and my instincts tell me it best be discussed in a more private setting, unless I miss my guess.” Lafitte said, pulling the card from within his inner jacket pocket just enough so that Peino could get a good look at it, using his exhaled smoke to mask his slight wince as he did so. The card had been remarkably quiet since his arrival at the port, but the faint pulse of raw, seething power still caused his insides to recoil in disgust…