La Danse Calinda…
Captain Jean Lafitte III felt it before he saw it. The change in temperature in this climate and altitude really only meant one of two things: Either fire had broken out, or a dragon’s breath was filling the air.
Instantly he joined the cries of “Dragon!” filling the air throughout the Calinda. He ran over to the helm to aid in turning her as abruptly as possible out of the great lizard’s path. But Lafitte knew it wouldn’t be enough as he looked over the edge of the railing and found nothing but solid ground and unforgiving rock beneath him.
This was why he kept his airship in the sea. An abrupt fall into the ocean generally deterred a dragon from following, the seas not being their domain as a general rule. But here, in the interior of the continent, he found himself slightly at a loss as to what exactly to do. He’d hoped that he could avoid any dragons on this trip.
Leaning against the railing, the frost bit his palms and dug into his skin. The high altitude meant that any moisture froze into place rather than condensing into dew. “That’s it!” he silently mouthed to himself.
“Mr. Ogges! Give the signal to ascend! On the double!” He yelled to the Dwarf holding a line to his right.
“But Captain, won’t that be a might…uh, dangerous?” Larman Ogges said, eyes widening.
“I know, Larman, but don’t you think it might be a bit more dangerous near that!?” Lafitte replied, pointing at the swooping beast among the slopes below. “The ship will fall like ash when the flames start flying.”
“Your point is well taken, Captain,” the Dwarf replied with a nod. “Alright, you gits! You heard the man, let’s get the sails angled in the right direction. Get moving!”
Lafitte followed alongside, the two of them shouting orders, and lending assistance where they felt it was needed. With a plan in place, La Danse Calinda operated like the well-oiled machine Lafitte maintained her to be.
“Let’s get going! I just got this tub back together and I ain’t lettin’ some overgrown reptile tear her apart! Tayliana! Tayli! Goddammit where in hell is that girl?! Tayli!” Lafitte yelled, fire in his eyes as he looked down at the dragon. “Lets see how you handle a good icing, beastie.”
— — —
Tayliana Winddancer Dahtaligaar was a bit perplexed at Ionas’ abrupt departure. She was relieved that the Selkie wouldn’t be intruding any longer of course, but at the same time, he was a friend and fellow crew member, and she the ship’s wizard. She hadn’t forgotten about the cursed item he carried.
It was a complicated emotion, but she set it aside for the time being. Her ambitions were still unsatisfied.
“Now, where were we—” she began, but she was abruptly cut short as shouts of dragons made their way through her cabin. “Oh, Caillech’s bony ass!” she cursed under her breath. She wasn’t at her post.
With no more words, she ran out of her cabin, Beau in hot pursuit. He immediately made his way down into the armory, his duties all too clear. But, Tayli was distraught at the angry-sounding desperation in the Captain’s voice as she heard him shouting her name.
“I’m here Captain! What do you need?!” she said, her black coat whipping in the cold sleet and storm.
“I’d like some updraft, if you please, ma fille,” the Captain replied, with a smile that gave her a bit more ease and confidence.
“No problem at all Captain, Calinda won’t let you down,” she replied with a smile, and Tayliana danced her partner upon the winds once more.