stood on the bow of the deck. I could still see the group of dwarves that were marching off with Trejak and the rest prisoners. I could see where the slaves we had saves had been taken too. Several were still eating at some tables out side of the inn. Some of them were happy and laughing, others ate in quiet. I felt a battle of emotions doing battle in my soul. Rage stirred in when I looked to the prisoner detail leading Trejak to the Dungeons. We had arrested him but some anger deep inside me told me that my story with him may not be over. When I look to the slaves or to the deck of the dashing stag I felt pride and content.
Stolod, Thom, and Mika appeared on deck. Their bags were packed and ready to leave for the Nial Zomay. I was ready for some time off the boat this last trip was a bad one. I was headed down the gang plank with my entourage in tow. Suulin came running down the Sky Dock. She ran up to me with a big smile on her face and said that we were to have a private meeting with the king in an hour. I turned to Mika and told her to go back to my quarters on the boat and get my best set of clothes ready. I told Stolod to and Thom to go to the fish pond and for Thom to get things ready there for our arrival.
I went down to my quarters and ran in to Urgral and Dagmar. I told them about meeting the king. Urgal got a wrinkled face and said does that mean that I have to put on those damned clothes you made me buy. Yes I told him. We are meeting the king, not a horror.I bathed quickly and started dressing. After I had my pants on Mika came in and helped me start getting ready I had her quickly clean my armor and the hammer. I put on my fine elven cloak and my fancy red hat. Finally dressed properly and I admit I felt a little better.
When I got up on to deck I saw that Dremnin and Vridich were talking I could see that they had gotten dressed as well. When I walked up they were talking about the horrors they had killed at the temple. I felt a little embarrassed. I tried not to show it. I was glad to see Suulin and Stilicho come on board from the other boat . All of us being ready we left.
We waited in a small receiving room with a large table. The king strode in to the room with 10 people with him. He sat in the chair at the end of the table. He got right to the point. I wanted to talk to you as soon as I could, But not about the slaver. I want to hear what you saw in the clouds. Is it true you saw a flying city. We all kind of froze. Dagmar was the first to come to his senses and reply with a yes. He answered several quick questions on size and how many ships we saw around it.
He snapped his finger and an older dwarf brought him a map drawn on to a large deer hide. It was of fine quality and I saw Dremnin’s eyes light up. The king wanted to know where we saw the cloud city and where it was going. Stilicho motioned to Dremnin knowing he had the most skill with maps and navigation. Dremnin stood up next to the king and started pointing at the map. The two of them were talking travel time, as well as wind speed and direction. The King spoke as he knew about flying air ships. When they had gone over the travel route the king sat back down and a servant took the map away.
The lot of you he said have done me a great service, twice on the same trip. That is why I am going to pay you better that sale price for that ship you brought in to dock. Stilicho looked a little down, I think he was hoping that no one would want to buy the ship. The rest of us were happy about the sale. Stilicho did ask if we could gain a fire sheath for our ship as part of the price. The king stated that he has some one that would do that kind of negotiating for min and wrote a note on a small piece of paper and gave it to Stilicho.
The king at that point brought up that Stilicho had been attacked in his province. You could see the distain on his face for assassins. He told Stilicho that while he was in the city that he would stay as a guest of the state. He would have a room in the palace, he would also be given the use of a small unit of royal guard that were specialized in protecting against killers.
The King then stated that he was going to have jobs for us now and in the future. The first thing that we were to do is to find out where the flying city landed. Not to engage it but just to find out where it is and as much troop info as we could and report back, with in the next few months. At this time the king got up to leave.
I thought that it seemed like the perfect time. Spoke up and asked the king for a moment of his time. He looked at me. I knelt before him and asked to swear an oath to him as a Thane. The king looked a little shocked. I knew that asking to be a thane was not how it was normally done. He asked me what I could offer him. I will serve you as a loyal thane bringing my skills to bear on any of your problems that you ask me to handle. I will help to enforce your laws. I will serve you better out in the world than I ever could standing on the wall guarding your throne.
The king must have liked my answer as he smiled. Asking you to stand on a wall would be such a waste he said. I will accept your oath as a thane he said. I filled with joy. I was going to be a noble man in my home kingdom. The king told me that there would be an official ceremony and that I would receive an invitation.
We left the receiving room laughing and jolly. We had impressed the king. I was to be a Thane. Our pockets, pouches, and coin chests were over flowing with coin. We were richer than we had ever been. We went down to the docks and found the dwarf that the king had written the note for. We let Dagmar handle the negotiation. They walked up and down the dock first looking at the Blue Albatross and then to the Stag. They pointed at parts of the ships and looked in to a log book that the man had. I do not know what magic Dagmar worked but the Dwarf in the end shook his hand with exuberance and walked off yelling at a group of dwarves that there was work to do.
Dagmar came back to the group smiling a giant troll smile. He told us that we would be getting a total of 175,000 silver pieces for the ship and number of improvements to the dashing stag. Extra sails, new rigging, weapons, and a Fire Sheath were just a few of the additions we would be putting on the ship over the next two months.
Ardor zomay S’kram
Thane of Throal
5th Circle Tail Dancer
Questor of Flourannus