Ch. 384. Offering Ideas

“A dragon. Again.”, Lotye muttered to herself. Her lack of enthusiasm for that part of the plan was obvious. That wasn’t to say that she was particularly enthusiastic about the rest of it, either, of course. Then again, who would be? Most people don’t enjoy laying siege to one of the safest places in the world. But our group seems to have an excess of daredevilry. A quick glance over to Peino, Jeneyeru and Ruili, as well as to Captain Lafitte and the lookout Ionas confirmed her thoughts. But then and there, she also felt something like pride for working with people who would even consider doing what they were going to do. Still a stupid idea, though.

She had slipped into the cabin after Lord Jeneyeru. With Thimble gone, she intended to take over his duties. The problem was, she didn’t really know what they were. And so Lotye just continued to follow the Lord around, ready to be helpful, but not quite sure how to. She kept to the back and let the people with the experience do the talking. Though she had the creeping suspicion that this scenario was one nobody could have any actual experience in. She probably would have heard about the fact that people just walked in and out of Mt. Isolla if it had been that way. But in the end, the men around her still knew what they were talking about. In contrast, all the talk about dragons, landing spots and multi-pronged attacks wasn’t really Lotye’s thing. Especially the part about the dragons.

Now, with most of the important decisions made, Lotye stepped to the table and took a look at the map. At first, she began drumming the fingers of her left hand on the margin of the map. The she remembered that this atlas was magic and would probably call her out on it if she didn’t stop. Crossing her arms in front of her chest instead, she continued to study the map of Mt. Isolla. The Citadel certainly was an impressive building. She couldn’t help but wonder how it had been built on a near unreachable mountaintop and how much magic was woven in its foundation. To her untrained eye, the delicate spires and nested walls seemed more fit to inspire awe in important visitors than to be used for a real defence. The real danger rather came from its inhabitants, she guessed. Which was a whole other thing she wasn’t yet clear on. A dragon could be slain, in some way or another. Bandits one better avoided, but if absolutely need be, one could fight, better even, trick them. But what to do about wizards? Lotye looked at Jeneyeru for a second, measuring him up. They didn’t always look like a threat, but she certainly wouldn’t want to fight her friend. Sure, she would carry a knife and those vials he had given her. She even had her own little bit of magic. But what good would that do against people who haf control over the elements, the weather, shadows and even life and death itself. Not to speak of these damned cards, the whole reason they would have to try.

Idly Lotye’s finger traced the lines of the walls on the map. The maze-like structure of the Citadel seemed like a problem to her. All these hardened sailors most likely had a great sense of direction, but one wrong turn and they’d be cornered, their whole assault coming to premature end. That seemed like a very pessimistic way of looking at it, but in a operation already so heavily stacked against them, it would be kind of embarrassing to fail because they had lost their way. On the other hand, as someone with some experience in being in places other people didn’t want her to be, she also saw some advantages in the architecture: Lots of places to hide and different ways to move from room to room. Since the main objective of their aerial assault was to stage a distraction, maybe even more. The ideas in her head didn’t sound very good, not even to her, but she had nothing else to contribute.

So Lotye gnashed her teeth and played around with a strand of her hair for a bit, before she finally opened her mouth. I’ll probably regret this later.

“Maybe, if we can keep this boat in the air long enough … Maybe then we can keep them busy by dropping off smaller parties in multiple locations and staying on the move. You know, playing cat and mouse with them. I mean, even the most powerful wizards can’t be in two places at once, can they?”

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