20-21 Gozran, 44 NC
The flight East is uneventful for the first day. The next morning, Poppy joins Matten at the rail.
”So,” she asks, “this demon Gideon. He killed Diego?”
”It seems that way, “ Matten agrees.
”And Vlad died trying to stop him.”
”And he was sent by Leitus ar’Shamrael’Vin.”
”So we’re told.”
Poppy looks contemplative for a few moments.
“Okay then,” she says. Then strides up to the quarterdeck, whispers something into a small compass she pulls from her doublet, then wrenches the wheel so hard to starboard that the ship pitches nearly 45 degrees into a turn and begins sailing due South.
The party, notably Nimue and Matten, attempt to find out why the change of course. Poppy declares that she intends to kill Leitus (she mutters something about it being a mistake she let him live to begin with), and then the party is welcome to carry on to see Vane after.
Nimue presses Poppy to the breaking point, utterly terrifying her crew, and finally Poppy does something that causes Nimue to pass out. The party pulls her from the quarterdeck, and Kagdir attempts to get a parting shot in, but flees the deck before Poppy becomes violent.
Matten uses Volkov’s book to send a message, asking if Volkov could perhaps ask Gronk for help. After a few hours, Volkov’s response comes back: “She’s a whirlwind, there’s no stopping her if she’s got her mind fixed on it. If she feels like she can take Leitus off the board, try to help her.”
The party gathers in the galley near dinnertime to attempt to concoct a plan. After a short speech from Kagdir, the party jumps in surprise to find Poppy at the table with them.
”Let me tell you jokers about Leitus…,” she says.
A flying ship. With a halfling captain who seemed less than stable. And it was going to get worse.
Starry Night was clearly curious about the ship, and he was nosing around everywhere, to the extent that I was starting to worry it would get me into trouble. At some point, he decided that walking on the outside of the ship’s side while we were in flight was a good idea. Captain Poppy clearly disagreed, because she followed him. She, at least, was using a rope. Starry Night was told quite clearly that he should stop nosying around the ship. I have to admit, I kind of agreed; I was somewhat worried that he would manage to somehow cancel whatever kept us flying.
Things calmed down a bit after that, and people seemed to settle down. And then, of course, things went wrong again.
Matten had been speaking to the captain when she suddenly marched off and abruptly changed course. All of a sudden, we were heading south. When we pushed Matten on it, he told us he had simply mentioned that Leitus might have been the person behind Vlad’s death. Now, keep in mind who she is. One of the seven who helped close down the waygate. Vlad had been another of those seven, as had Diego. I didn’t exactly blame her for wanting revenge. After all, if I got the chance to get… never mind. That is a story for another day.
And that was when I decided to do something stupid.
I went over to the captain to talk to her. Yes, I know she was less than stable, but I thought it would be possible to reach her anyway. The idea was to either get her to change course again, drop off the others, and I would stay on and help them taking down, or attempting to take down at least, this Leitus. Of course I knew it was less than likely that I would succeed, but I was hoping that I at least could make her land to let the others off before continuing on towards Leitus. Clearly, it did not work out too well. She did something; I do not quite know what, but I blacked out for a while.
When I woke up, we spent some time talking. Syl was worried about Sanorin, and I agreed; dragging that gentle halfling along on a quest for vengeance was wrong, in more than one way. But it was clear that there was nothing we could do about it except going along, so I simply told Syl to get him out of there if things went bad.
The others can take care of themselves, mostly. Starry Night has proven several times that he needs no protection, at least not in combat. Jacob and Kagdir, they knew the risk as well as I did, and they are supposed to be in charge, after all. Dan, well, I really do not know about him, but I am fairly certain that were I to tell him to be careful, he would brush it off. Possibly thank me for my concern, and then explain that he is a god, after all, so there is no need for me to worry about him. Or something like that. And Matten, well, he is an Etu’sari. Among other things. I have seen enough of him to not worry too much about him. Syl alone, too, would be fine. But Sanorin?
It would not surprise me that much if he could take out Leitus himself, actually. After what he did to the companies he destroyed after the fight with Sir Gregory, I know he is dangerous. But it also almost destroyed his mind. If possible, I would like to keep him out of combat completely.
Matten had spent some time asking for Volkov’s advice, and the response was basically that we should help captain Poppy kill Leitus. Well, that did pretty much settle things.
Then Kagdir told me to gather the rest of the team belowdeck. Never mind that half of them were already there, and most of the rest were standing close enough that they probably heard it without me telling them. I think this was the first time Kagdir seemed to remember I was actually supposed to be his NCO. Most of the time, he has pretty much been ignoring me. But then, this whole thing is a mess. We have a group consisting mostly of civilians, at least one of whom should not be let near combat at all, for his own sake. And my job is to keep them all alive and, preferably, sane. I just wish I could feel certain my CO had my back. Oh, well. It is not the first time; I just have to make the best of it.
The reason he gathered us was to hold a speech. He started up saying something about how he’d noticed all the grumbling, but we had to work together blah blah blah. I’ve heard it done way better, but I know my job, and kept my mouth shut. Maybe it’s a dwarven thing, maybe it’s different with civilians, but had this been a military troop, I’d have been worried if they [b]didn’t[/b] grumble. But again, maybe dwarves are different.
Someone, I think it might have been Syl, muttered something about maybe it wasn’t wise to talk this way on board this ship. That this might not be something we would like Poppy to overhear. Or something in that line. Of course, that was when Poppy spoke up; at some point, she had joined us, without any of us noticing.
“Let me tell you jokers about Leitus…”