Y’lanna gracefully stepped into the boat after Beau, taking her seat next to him. She waited quietly for the boat to glide off, and it did, gliding gracefully down the calm river waters. Despite the calm waters, Y’lanna was rather uneasy about the boat. Firstly, it seemed rather crowded for a boat as small as it was. Secondly, she was next to Beau and surrounded by men who would kill without hesitation at his word. Thirdly, Thimble was no Ruili, and while it probably would not take a lot of skill to navigate a river as calm as this, you could never tell. Things could change at any second.
As strange as it was, she was far more comfortable with Ruili on the rough open seas than she was even on this river. She had come to trust Ruili. Trusting someone, anyone, was something that she had never expected to do again. Y’lanna, however, had sensed something inside Ruili, something that she had never felt at home. She could feel it — it was hard to explain how, but it was connected to the unusual reproductive system of her species. The question of just how unusual her reproductive system was for this realm was something that she hadn’t confirmed, as she wasn’t quite sure how to bring up the subject and not have it be misinterpreted.
She turned and smiled briefly at Beau, pondering some aspects of him that didn’t quite make sense. There were a few things that had never quite made sense about this world. The train was one of them it. It seemed far more suited as a work of engineering than it did as a work of magic. Why unnecessarily restrict travel to certain paths? Even if there was magical rule that required them in this case to designate paths, why use rails when magical artefacts planted on the ground would do the same? It would use up far less iron and steel and would require fair less labour to construct. It had to have been a concept brought here from an industrialised world.
There were a couple of other things as well. There were two people that seemed off, not in tune with the world around them. They were Captain Lafitte and Beau. It was the little things, from the way they held themselves to that unusual language that they spoke. It clearly wasn’t the common language spoken here. It was too harsh with far more hard consonants than the Aeldrethian language. Could Beau have come here in the same manner as she did? It was possible, but she needed more information. Maybe Thimble’s singing could be the thing she needed.
“I’m not really from around here. Do you know this song? What can you tell me about it?” Y’lanna asked quietly enough not to disturb Thimble’s enthusiasm. She could take Beau’s answer and compare it with the answers of other people she would asked later, even Thimble, and that would at least give her an idea about how popular the song might be and how likely, or unlikely, it would be for Beau to know or not know it.
– Inside La Danse Calinda –
Ionas entered the crowded room along with everyone else but took his time examining the image of the Guild headquarters. It wasn’t really a map, but there was enough detail for Ionas to eye the size, shape and structure of the outside of the building. This allowed him to create a mental map inside his head.
It wasn’t until the Ereonis brothers started talking about Frostclaw the Dragon that he decided it was time to speak.
“The Calinda and her crew have faced more than our fair share of dragons but even with our experience a dragon that old and that powerful is a tremendously dangerous creature, and it probably won’t care to distinguish between us and those, whomever they are, that have taken over the guild. If we are to use the dragon, it would have to be in response to a threat as large or greater than it. A weapon of last resort.” Releasing a dragon like Frostclaw in a fight like this was like using a stampeding herd to trample unwanted garden moles. The moles would be trampled, but so would be the garden. They could only hope in this analogy that they would be the rock edging of the garden and come out unscathed.
However there was something else he had to say, something closer to his own speciality aboard the ship. “As to where to land, obviously the main courtyard would have plenty of room for the Calinda to land and would have good access into the castle. However, with being fenced in on three sides, it would be extremely dangerous to attempt to land there. There is an alternative, however — this lower courtyard near the entrance. It’s narrower and there isn’t much room for error, but the Calinda can land there… just. What opportunity there would be for flanking would be negated by the Calinda’s bulk and balloon preventing line of sight. Hopefully they won’t expect us to land there and it would give us a head start on being able to open up the way for our… friends on the ground.”
Either they, in this case “they” being the Captain and Ereonis Three, would agree or they wouldn’t agree, but Ionas was certain that the lower courtyard was the better option. However, what the others thought — well, that response should come quickly.