Help came in the form of a sturdy dwarf. Lotye had seen him on deck before, she knew he was an officer ordering quite a few sailors around, she certainly had heard them use his names once or twice. But for the help of the gods, she couldn’t quite put together his exact rank and name in this moment and actually, she couldn’t have cared less about it right then. It didn’t matter now, the important part was that there now was another pair of hands with thick, muscular arms on them.
Still, pulling the First Mate back on board seemed nearly impossible. By now, Lotye’s hands hurt. They were wet and slippery of the storm’s ice cold rain, her own sweat, her tears and, quite possibly, her own blood. Looking down, the eorman still seemed to be much too far away, swinging back and forth between the mountainsides under the ship like the bait at the end of the line of an oversized fishing rod. Let’s just hope we don’t catch another dragon. So, even with the dwarf’s help, Lotye didn’t have much hope of pulling the man onto the torn deck before holding on to the rope would go beyond his strength. Or the rope would snap. Or she would no longer be able to hold on, sending both of them tumbling over the edge.
Then a new figure stepped next to them. Lotye let out a short sigh of relief, but the she realised that the person didn’t do anything to help them. Or so it seemed to her, at least. A quick sideways glance. already enough to defer her focus on the rope and the dangling Beau for just one second, letting both slip down through her hands for a short bit, made her recognise the figure as the Calinda’s young wizard. She heard the elf exclaim “Oh no! Beau!” and then something directed at the dwarf she couldn’t really understand over the storm. Then there was something that vaguely sounded like Atultaec. Suddenly, pulling the rope up seemed much easier. Some kind of spell, Lotye thought, of course, she couldn’t just stand there uselessly.
Now the rope seemed to wriggle and wind around her arms. It writhed and pulled and coiled itself up neatly on the deck behind them. It was as if the rope had come alive. The rope pulled itself up and the First Mate with it! With the help of the dwarf and Lotye, it made much more progress than they alone had made before. The mate rose, slowly at first, but faster and faster towards the end, swinging back and forth at an ever higher frequency the shorter the remaining part of the rope became. Not much later, Beau was close enough to the edge. Freeing one hand of the rope, but still holding on to it with the other, Lotye made a small, cautious step forward. Shivering slightly, she reached out, offering her hand to pull him up. She probably wouldn’t be able to do it alone, but she was certain someone else would take his other hand.
“You know, if you plan to do this trick regularly,” Lotye shouted down to the man dangling from the rope, “you should probably think about placing a few strong men up here to get you back up again afterwards, not just some little girl like me.”