Tayliana Winddancer was sick to her stomach. Something about that card really irked her, down to the core of her being.
She was already nervous from having been summoned directly by the Captain to join him in his personal business. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust him, it was that it simply wasn’t something Lafitte ever did. Regardless, however, she used her enchanted light, given to her as a sentimental graduation gift seemingly lifetimes ago by her parents, to guide their little group over to the bar to meet, much to her surprise, the legendary Peino Starhand.
She’d of course grown up hearing tales of his exploits and adventures, and as such she was completely shocked at the lack of tact employed by the Captain. This was nothing, however compared to the shocking allure expressed to her by the playing card on the table. It seemed to shimmer around its edges and around the designs and numbers. The image of the monster that had attacked the Marsh King’s Daughter played over and over in her head, only replaced with the thought of herself effortlessly uttering the enchantments that caused it to appear.
In her heart she clearly felt she was meant to be elated at this vision, but that elation seemed alien, foreign to her. Her natural sense of aura vibrated violently, as if she’d never felt it so well in her life. But that feeling was as alien as the people she was currently sitting next to, and as such her body was nauseated by it. Like a high-proof alcoholic beverage, however, despite the nauseating effects, the feeling was intoxicating. She wanted to reach out and take the card for herself, steal it and feed upon its power, its potential.
So much was Tayliana’s desire and delirium that she barely noticed at all the blades being pointed towards her and her comrades. While Lafitte was busy with the negotiations, Tayliana was fighting a diplomatic battle within herself. Should I take it? It’s making me sick. But I want it, the feeling, it’s incredible…
“Milady Watersinger, if you would secure that item, please?”, Peino said, and Tayliana snapped out of it, the charm’s words having a sobering effect upon her mind. “Captain, I—”, she started, but the words were drowned out when out of nowhere Ionas Farseer, the ship’s lookout came forward asking questions.
— — — —
Lafitte, however, was unlikely to have heard any of it anyway, his ear being currently devoted to his first mate. After having downed the pungent liquid and returned the toast towards Peino’s health, he had been approached with an offer of advice.
“Patron, if there are more of those, then I wouldn’t relish having to tackle Spriggans with that monster on us,” Bergeron whispered into Lafitte’s ear, “Next time they might not be so distracted with the Daughter, it’ll just be us, and your ship, if we do not hunt down the rest of these things the waters could quickly become a lot less friendly…” he finished.
Jean Lafitte once again raised an eyebrow. He had thought it was odd that Beau would be so stricken with him having relinquished the card, but now it seemed he had an answer: His first mate had simply been thinking strategically, and he had a point. Lafitte didn’t relish tackling an army of those parasitic-looking things every time he came down on an enemy vessel.But how to hunt down an indeterminate number of items, the capabilities of which were unknown? he thought.
He looked up at the Prince, now leaning back in his chair facing Ionas. That his lookout had arrived without his knowledge hadn’t quite registered as of yet. Might could be that the foremost authority maybe could shed some light on that subject…