After we dropped off the beautiful T’skrang priestess at their temple we headed out for Throal. I wished I had been in better spirits It was rare to have one T’skrang woman in our camp, let alone four. My shame kept me from being my normal self.Suulin and I each paid the Questers 1000 silver from out own purses. It was the least I could do for them as they removed the horrors from our heads.
Stilicho wanted me to talk to the crew and give a speech to rouse their mood. I told him I was not in the mood. Suulin did a fine job talking to the crew and had them smiling by the time we left that morning. I on the other hand was not smiling.
I was in command of the Dashing Stag as Stilicho was on the Blue Albatross. I kept quiet for the most part the crew knew its business so there were few commands to give. Dremnin was at the helm at the front of the aft castle. I kept to myself at the back of the aft castle. Dremnin took care of most of the commands need to make turns which allowed me to be lost in my own thoughts and regrets.
I kept thinking about being back in the temple were I had almost killed a bound and defenseless man. That man had been Trejak. He is the only person that I hate with every fiber in my weave.He had beaten me, kidnapped me, and sold me as a slave to some orks. I had every right to hate him. But there is no reason to beat a bound man to death.
Suulin had stopped me the first time I tried kill him with my fists and tail. I then and went and got my weapons to finish the job. Suulin stood in my path a second time. I stood there debating what to do. I wanted to kill him, the hooror in the back of my head cheering me on. I did not want to hurt her. But she was in my way. Part of me was ready to risk hurting her to kill my enemy. Thankfully that decision was taken away from me buy Urgral tackling me.
Suulin was also possessed but seemed to fight off the horror better than I had. She kept control of her mind and made good choices. I did not fare as well. I was wondering how I would ever be able to look her in the eye again. Then that question was also answered for me.
When my eyes focused on the present world I found Suulin was standing in front of me. Where she came from I did not know. I did not see her approach, being lost in the corridors of my own mind. She had a concerned smile on her young face and I knew what she was going to talk about. My mind raced for a way to get out of this talk. She asked me if I was okay. I lied and said yes. I tried at that point to move off by looking like I saw something that need to be addressed in the ships rigging. I started to shout some orders and move to the fake problem. She put a hand on to my chest and stopped my move. She looked at Dremnin and asked him to take care of it. He smiled knowing my move had been bested. Dremnin told me to hold the rudder and keep the ship pointed down the center of the river we followed.He then left me on the aft castle with Suulin. There was no escaping her now. I was a bound better than when I had been tied to the alter in the temple, now that I was steering the ship I could not leave.
Suulin stood off to the side of me and spoke. She told me that I had nothing to be ashamed of. That I had resisted the horror longer than most name givers would be able to. Trejak bonded with the horror in just a few minutes.
Even in my horror fueled rage that caused me to beat Trejak, I had never raised a hand to her. I did not tell her that I was not sure I could have prevented that much longer if Urgral had not tackled me. She pointed out that the crew had been affected and turned to violence in a much shorter amount of time.
Suuling reminded me that I had saved her life the day that we were enslaved by the trolls and now she had repaid that favor. She went on to say that she never believed that I would harm her.That as one of her only true friend we could never harm one another.
The part that cheered me up the most was that she said that stories told about me and the unchained in the future would look kindly on me for She and I had resisted the horror and lived to tell about it. I smiled a little. I may yet fill a shelf in the great library with my stories.
The next morning we had just about reached the north side of Lake Pyros when I hear a loud shout about something moving off the port side. We looked to the left side of the boat and saw a large cloud with small objects flying around it way off over the jungle trees. I saw that Stilicho and his boat had seen it too. As we watched the cloud part of the top pulled back to reveal top of a large stone stone tower.
Ohh great Flourannus! It is a flying city. I had thought that these Therand flying cites were just a myth told to scare free children in to staying close to home. Those small dots buzzing around it like bees were airships. I put the Stag in to a quick dive till we got down below the tops of the trees. We were skimming the top of the water. We put on as much speed as the Blue Albatross could match.
We changed course and swung over to the Ayodya life rock port and stopped long enough to tell them that the flying city was heading there way. We left in haste. Flying as fast as the two ships could go and stay together we put as much distance between us and the city by dark.
We anchored near Dremnin’s childhood home that night. We were treated to his fathers smoked fish and songs by his mother on the new harp Dremnin had brought for her. It was a nice evening but my turn to guard the prisoners came too soon and I had to leave.
The next day shortly after we had gotten started Stilicho jumped over to the dashing stag using wind catcher. We started talking to some of the prisoners. We started with the Captain of the Blue Albatross. Stilicho started with a bullying tactic to try and get him to drop his threads to his old ship. The captain said no that he would never do anything that Stilicho asked. Stilicho threatened to kill him so that the thread would be broken. He spat at Stilicho that he was being taken to face Throalic justice and that he was probably dead anyway. I could see that this was getting nowhere. I stepped in to the room and pulled the captain to his feet and led him out of the room to another room. I placed him in a seat in front of a table. I took the chair across from him. I reached in to my bag and pulled out his journal. I flipped through it. I found a paragraph that spoke of his wife and children and read it to him. I closed the book and set it on the table. I told him that we knew where his family was and where his fortune was. I told him that some of the crew wishes to go to his home and raid it to take his gold, smash and burn his home, and to make his family paupers begging on the streets. The captain hid the horror he was feeling from his face but I could see in his eyes that he believed me. I told him that I would make sure that that did not happen if he would drop his tie to the ship. The captain in a clam voice asked me how do I know that you will not do it anyway.Even if I do what you asked? I started to say that I would give him my word as a quester of Flourannus and a member of The Unchained, when Stilicho burst past me nearly knocking me out of my chair. He slammed his fists on to the table and stated that he was the Lord of Konigsberg, and that men of Konigsberg keep their word.
Stilicho stated loudly that he was the one that wanted to go to his home, to raid it, to burn it, and put his wife and small children out on the street. That he would be happy to do these things if the captain did not do as he was told.
The captain finally broke.He made Stilicho swear that he would not harm his family. That he would not steal hit wealth from his wife.That his children would be unmolested and left to live there live on the money that he had made, in a good or bad way. Stilicho swore then dragged the captain up to the main deck. The blue Albatross was pulled up alongside the Stag.Stilicho and the Captain went across a plank between the two boats. The captain walked out on to the deck of his ship for what would probably be for the last time. He looked around the closed his eyes and concentrated.He kneeled down at one point to touch the deck with his hands. When he got up he was crying and walked like with a slouch he was not the same man that had walked tall and held his high with respect. He was something else now. Vridich and Urgral told us that there were no more threads to the ship.
After we put the captain back in with the prisoners we pulled out the sword master. We found out that he was a drunk and worked for the slave ship captain because he provided him with an endless supply of booze. He was of no use to us and did not know where Trejak kept his loot.
Stilicho wanted to hear the stories of some of the crew man of the Blue Albatross.He said something about looking for a diamond in the rough. I think that he wanted to recruit some of the rowers from the slave ship to become members of the crew of the Stag. The rest of The Unchained would not hear of it and it was decided there that they would all be turned over to the dwarves.
When we were done questioning the prisoners we were up on deck talking over what we had heard. Vridich walked up and said that he and Hanna were looking for a spirit that was running around on the ship and they need to check the captain’s quarters. I stayed at the helm while they went off to look. I later found out that the old captain of the Stag is still on the boat and that he was to deliver the dragon egg to Black Harn, that crazy ork that trained Urgral at the Reach. Well there is no way that I am going to turn the dragon over to that crazy horror touched ork that spends his time cursing volcanoes.
Stilicho Jumped back to the other ship as we were getting to the Throalic capital so that he would be there to command the docking. I readied our crew for the action. As we got close to the city two large dwarven air ships brisling with fire cannons pulled up on both sides of us. We told them that we had prisoners to deliver.
They followed us in and watched us as we docked. Suulin left the ship right away to arrange our meeting with the king. Dagmar helped me to get the ship in to dock by watching the bow and shouting distances to me. He knew it was the first time I had docked a ship.I did not want to ram the ship in to the docking tower.
Just as we were docked we saw a large group of heavily armored dwarves march down the dock to our ships. I was at the end of the gang plank ready to meet them. The female dwarf that was leading the group looked to me and asked who was in charge. I started to introduce myself when Stilicho jumped on the dock from the Albatross and declared that he was in charge.
He took over the conversation and negotiated the prisoner exchange. The slaves that we had taken care of were taken to an inn near the docks so that they could stay there till the court hearing. We were asked to give an account of the captured loot from the slavers. Stilicho listed off the mundane items and the boat that the guard leader had guessed was the prior property of the slave ship captain. Then a list all of the pattern items that Stilicho had forgotten to mention was added.
We were asked if we could stay and be at the trial. Stilicho refused because he was leaving town as he feared the return of the assassin that tried to kill him. I said that I would be in town and that I would be happy to testify in court. I told her that I could be reached at the Nial Zomay.
Mika had packed my gear and my clothing.She had bought our gear to the main deck.When the docking was done I took Mika, Thom, and Stolod with me to the fish pond to get a good meal. I took my pack but let Mika and Thom carry my two trunks.It would be nice to be back at house Zomay.
We had arranged for Stilicho to be back from the reach in 2 months.Kor would be moving in to my room on the ship. That way he could look after the dragon while I was gone.It was difficult for me to leave her behind.I had grown fond of the wonder.Not only did she sleep with me every night, she was always talking to me about one thing or another.She has a curious mind.She learns at a rate I have never seen.I was going to use the time away to learn as much as I could about dragons in the great library in between all of the training that I had planned for the next two months.I at that point realized that my time away from the ship would be no vacation.