The storm raged around the great flying airship, as the basket did the tedious work of hoisting up the crew of La Danse Calinda. Lightning struck and thunder rolled as Manawydden’s cursed totem fueled it to ferocious heights, and upon the deck the Captain and his First Mate were discussing their next move as the ship’s goings-on took place like clockwork around them.
And in the distance a nearly forgotten dragon hoisted away the hard earned kill of an elite crossbowman…
“We’re close to being at our destination, and surely we can find help for Jeneyeru there,” the first of the two men said, a lit cigarette perched upon his mouth as they walked the water-logged deck of the Calinda. The man was Captain Jean Lafitte III, and to Beau Bergeron, the First Mate standing to his left, the Captain was displaying typical behavior of his.
“When the Lord Magus and his attendants make it up inform them to meet me in my Captain’s quarters,” Lafitte said to a passing orderly.
Beau had always had an image in mind of Captain Lafitte consisting of that of a great dog, and once he’d bitten onto an objective or prey he’d never let go. An admirable quality in a warrior, but one which lacked a view of the bigger picture.
Towards what would’ve been the horizon a large haze of smoke could be seen enveloping the rain of the storm as the two of them made their way into Lafitte’s cabin, followed shortly by Jeneyeru, his servants, Tayliana, and Ionas. “Perhaps we should consider another alternative, Captain,” Beau began as calmly as he could, no small feat high in the air of a storm like this. “After all, I don’t know about you, but I don’t relish just walking into Mt. Isolla with one of the three Princes having been lost under our care, and another wounded in our sick bay,” Beau continued, falling into his normal seductive rhythm used in persuasion.
“There’s a better than good chance, I think, no matter how noble our intentions are, that they may blame us for his disappearance and the other’s injury, and not without some justification in doing so,” Beau said, taking a shot from the flask of rum the Captain had pulled out of his jacket. The fiery liquid hit his stomach with a thud as he prepared to point out his greater objective.
“If you would kindly look to your left, I believe you will see a great deal of smoke pouring out from the woods from which we’ve just returned,” Beau began, motioning out the window of the cabin.
“However, you may note that you don’t see any fires, and you don’t see any flames”, he said, taking another sip from the flask of rum as he pointed towards the area.
“That highly suggests, I believe, an encampment of some variety, through which perhaps we can find our dear Lord Magus a place for rest, and perhaps information on our wayward prince, or resupply even if not,” Beau said, handing the flask back to the Captain.
“Could be that you’re right, Beau,” Lafitte said, as he took a swig himself. “This is taking too long though, d’ami. When I signed up for this venture I had no idea it would be taking as long as it has, nor be as costly,” he continued with a sigh.
“However,” Beau replied, “The Captain might take into consideration that perhaps the overall picture may be more important than the short term gain.”
“We cannot turn back now at this point, and as I said to press on to the end would surely end in failure. This is not a time for rash decisions, Captain,” a hard look coming across the First Mate’s face.
Beau watched as Captain Lafitte looked towards the thickening cloud of smoke and sighed, visibly defeated. Even a dog knew when it had been whipped, even if the fight was merely one in logic.
“Fair enough, Beau, you win. Get your men squared away and meet me in my quarters when the message is sent out.” Lafitte said, taking a concerned look towards the Lord Magus.
“Will do Captain,” and with that Beau knew he’d won, and with a bow left to the armory where his men awaited.