Captain Jean Lafitte III was relieved that his lookout seemed to have a handle on things, but at the same time, he agreed, the Lord Magus would have to be moved and fast.
The problem was, Lafitte wasn’t sure exactly how to do it, and as his First Mate stated, there was an obvious lack of a plan, and it only served to further hinder Lafitte’s confidence towards coming up with one in the near future.
Lafitte instinctively reached for his tobacco and came away empty. Silently cursing the Brownies he looked up at the sky to find it darkening rapidly. Wait a minute, he thought, he hadn’t noticed how much the storm had lightened up since they’d left La Danse Calinda.
He looked over at Ionas attempting to stop the bleeding of Jeneyeru, He didn’t really leave that on my ship, did he? he thought with some shock. Looking up at the sky he noticed the storm clouds growing darker in the distance, Oh my god,…
Some time earlier:
Larman Ogges was directing the repairs on the Calinda. So much of his heart and soul had gone into maintaining Jean Lafitte’s ship that he felt it was his ship just as much as the Captain’s.
The Crew was such a well trained organism that in no time the only visible sign of damage on the hull was a slight discoloration in the wood along the previously gashed underbelly.
Ogges looked towards the woods slightly below them in elevation. The Captain would surely be proud of the speed with which they’d made their repairs, but what he saw brought neither pride nor happiness. What it brought was fear.
There was a dragon sweeping around them, and considering how rarely a dragon would attack in dense woodland, there was little doubt in his mind who the victims were.
Larman looked at his ship. His orders were to be airworthy when his Captain returned. He’d met those orders. Now was the time to make sure Lafitte could uphold his end of the bargain.
“Let’s go, men!” he called out, “Batten her up, it’s time to take to the skies!”
And with that he was climbing one of the rope ladders hanging over the side of the deck as his men were pulling up the grapples tethering her to the ground. “Follow the dragon! The dragon is our heading!” he called out as loud as he could, and orderlies carried out his message to the crewmembers handling the rigging.
Mannawyden’s storm raged around them as they descended into the clearing. “Take the helm!” he called out to a nearby orderly. “Keep her steady.”
Larman descended in a basket to the gathering of the ranking members of the Calinda and her guests. “Captain!” he yelled as the rain and wind began to pick up.
Jean Lafitte looked up. “I thought I told you to stay put!?” he yelled.
“Extenuating circumstances, Captain,” Larman called back.
“Well, don’t let it happen again!” Lafitte replied, but he was smiling as he clapped Larman round the back.
“Help us get the Lord Magus into the basket,” Lafitte said.