Captain Jean Lafitte III smiled at the wizard’s offer. It’d been too long since he’d had a smoke. It took him a minute to search through the pockets of the unfamiliar jacket for his matches for his own light.
“Indeed, heh”, Lafitte said, taking a drag on the cigarette. It had a very pungent odor and flavour, and it had a bit more effect than even the average Selkie tobacco to which he was accustomed. “Merci pour la clope. Now, if you’ll excuse me there’s much to do, so for now, I bid you adieu”, Lafitte said, blowing out the smoke, and with a bow towards Jeney and Lotye he made his way out of the apartment, clothes and weaponry in tow.
Lafitte nodded at the guards as he exited the doors of the embassy and threw what was left of the cigarette into the flood waters, which drew some disdainful looks from the guards. Lafitte merely smiled and hailed one of the water taxis taking advantage of the floods to increase their business. Though with the rain and wind the water was a little choppy, it certainly beat trying to wade through it all with his things over his head.
When he stepped onto the ramp, which was by now floating freely due to the rising waters, requiring some balance to ascend to the deck, he called out for Larman Ogges.
“Mr. Ogges, get the ship ready for launch, have the crew prepare their stations, and scrub her down as best you can. We have some royal company joining us, and I’m not sure how large their retinue. We’ll need to clear out some space near the Castle Deck. I want to keep an eye on them.” he said.
“Yes Captain…”, Larman replied.
“Good, we ship out at dusk!” Lafitte called out, fire in his eyes…He was about to go home.
The Woeful Tale of an Unfortunate Engineer
Larman Ogges probably had more responsibilities than anyone on board La Danse Calinda. Besides being the Chief Engineer in charge of the ship’s weaponry, the Dwarf was effectively the ship’s quartermaster, general manager, and First Officer, as well as being senior advisor to the Captain. The hiring of Beau Bergeron as First Mate to handle the weapons and crew below decks had lightened that load, but in some ways it simply added more burden. The boy had a way about him, he projected confidence in his abilities (a confidence that Ogges had seen borne out), but it was his motives…Larman decided not to think about it. The Captain trusted him, and Lafitte generally had a way of judging a person.
Unbeknownst to the crew and most others in Aeldreth, it was Larman himself who had first discovered Captain Lafitte. Originally from the Dwarf communities in the Earth realm of Danul, Ogges’ family had been successful merchants and businessmen for many generations, but with success came more money, and bigger deals…and bigger problems. The Ogges family began to bump into larger, and more powerful companies and families like the Danul East Azure Company. Accused of fraud, it wasn’t long before the Ogges family could no longer do business within the Gulf of Rir, and set out to start a new life, heading west to the Isles of the Grand Navigators, believing it to be far away from the influence of the Company.
It was in the Isles that the young Larman made his parents proud (after all, it was a rare feat for a Dwarf) by being the first in their family to become a sailor in a navy. For years he’d traveled the world on expedition as an Engineer, always showing his superiors that despite being out of his element, he could be as good a sailor as any. But that was where things started to go wrong, as the Chief Engineer got wind of his family’s connections to the East Azure Company and set out to make sure Larman would never advance beyond a member of the crew.
That was how he’d ended up drunk in a Spriggan bar on the Gallows Isles, and had run into a mad Eorman who claimed to be unaware of where he was or precisely how he’d arrived there. The other patrons merely laughed or derided the man, but Lafitte told the story of his world and vessel with such detail and precision that Larman’s curiosity was piqued. Bringing him out to the middle of the tundra, the Eorman showed him the most fantastic sight he’d ever seen, La Danse Calinda. Her balloon was deflated, of course, and the sails gone completely (the idea of mechanically powered flight never entering his mind). Using what little means Larman had left to get the fantastic vessel once again afloat, he bought the parts and fabrics, as well as a woodworking crew to get them together, piece by piece. Then he and Lafitte assembled them through much trial and error onto the boat themselves. He then became the first of what soon would be a large and successful pirate crew, though Larman had suggested that Lafitte acquire privateer Letters of Marque from his acquaintances at the Bull and Jackal Mercantile Society. And Larman got what he’d desired out of the bargain, and what he had been denied by the navy: To become the ranking officer aboard a ship.
But, he sighed, That came with more responsibilities and work. As part of the crew in the navy, Ogges had always assumed the officer’s life was easy. As he stepped onto the water-taxi in his first venture off the ship in some time, the pouring rain seemed to be pounding into him just how wrong he was.
The Dwarf would make many stops that day, picking up lots of fruits, ammunition, stone fruit spirits, and the various niceties Lafitte preferred aboard his ship. The little skiff weighted down near the water line seemed to symbolize exactly what his job entailed, and Larman Ogges loved every bit of it, finally able to put his abilities to their proper use…