Scene 1: Horizon, above deck.
Dulgier sits atop Horizon’s mast. The sickly tilt of the mast makes it difficult to keep his balance. He is assigned to keep watch—looking for Carinthian patrols. He scans the distance with a spyglass.
Seeing no threats he relaxes and takes a break. In the distance he sees a large collection of sea-birds flying. “There must be a colony. I wish I could get closer,” he says aloud. Dulgier loves birds and for an amateur, is quite a well versed ornithologist.
When he was captured by the draconians he had been camped out watching a flock of sand-pipers skirry in the surf. He focuses through the spyglass. He says to himself “that one is a tropicbird, that one a murre, those—white term.”
Then he sees something dark flying. Again, he speaks aloud, “Ahh… a frigatebird. This should be interesting.” The frigate flies in fast, too fast. They are masters of out outmaneuvering other birds to steal their food—this one doesn’t try to guile its target. It opens its large break and simply swallows three terns flying before it.
“What the hell?” the blinking says aloud. The large bird arcs and turns to the ship. He uses the spyglass to focus in on the bird. It is clearly a frigate , but it is too big. It has bony protrusions sticking out along its wings and descending down its spine. It has some kind of harness strapped across its chest with a satchel on its back.
Dulgier stows his spyglass and blinks to the deck of the ship, and takes a seat in the targeting chair of the ballista. He tells one of the ship spirits to go get Shyvern as he takes aim. He really doesn’t want to hurt the animal; however, after all they have been through recently—he isn’t taking any chances.
The targeting scope on the ballista is much stronger than his pocket spyglass—which missed one critical detail: from the bird’s massive neck dangles a necklace made from a white dragon scale.
Shyvern floats up though the deck next to his student. “Dulgier, you summoned? Report please,” he asks the young blinkling. Dulgier responds “sensei, it would seem that we have an emissary from Ice Razor.”
He hops out of the targeting seat, not wanting to offend their guest. It takes another few minutes for the bird to glide to the ship. It lands on the deck railing. Sitting upright the bird is close to eleven feet tall. It takes a respectful bow, partially inflating its bright red gular pouch.
The bird uses its beak to unlatch the harness from its chest and lowers it to the deck. Dulgier, and and Shyvern hear the animal speak telepathically: “I am Limona. Azidel and I are familiar. She personally asked I bring these items to you.” Limona ruffles its feathers, then continues. “Azidel asked I stay to help as long as needed.”
Straining to keep his aloof composure: Shyvern lifts the satchel from the deck. Rummaging through its contents his continence lifts brightly. “Splendid!” he says aloud, then “Limona, excuse me; but I must take this below. If you need anything, just ask.” He begins to flicker out and phase below deck.
Duliger and Limona are left on deck. Limona, happy to be off wing takes a moment to preen herself. Duliger thinks, “where are we going to setup quarters for this one?”
Scene 2: Horizon, in Shyvern’s Lab.
Shyvern pours a large amount of quicksliver into a boiling cauldron. The cauldron off gasses a column of cinnabar hued smoke. The vapor physically makes his eyes water and his stomach turn. He next pours in a large graduated cylinder worth of aconitum oil.
The ruddy smoke billowing from the cauldron turns black, and the noxious vapors become toxic. Gregory, unable take anymore, bursts out the lab door bounding up the stairs. Shyvern follows, coughing and vomiting the entire way.
He closes the door behind him, trying to regain his composure. “Oy! You trying to kill us proper?—What in the hells are you doing down there?” Shyvern hears from above.
“Blademaster Ciz, be calm. The smell will dissipate shortly.” Shyvern shots back to the galley above. Ciz walks into view, his muscular frame blocks the light that shines from above. “I take it that bird brought what’cha needed?” Ciz asks.
“It did indeed!” Shyvern responds back. “Good chef, if you fancy prepare a feast tonight. I shall be going away for a while.” Ciz responds: “You want me to cook a feast for 7, no 8—we got a bloody sea bird!—on this notice?”
Ciz cools off for a moment. “Fine, I’ll start cooking. But the crew is getting sick of fish and I want something to butcher—you better summon someth’in tasty!” Ciz then shouts to the deck: “Hey pup! Your gonna get your wish—you get to go that island. You might not like your chore through!”
Scene 3: Horizon, in the mess
That night, the meal was amazing. Ciz spent the day butchering, and preparing a full gamut of foods to please each of the pallets of the crew and guests. Suckling celestial bore, sunchokes, ramps, power stone brittle, young piffling chicks, and much more…
Everyone is in a light, if guarded mood. They are all enjoying the feast but the only one who seems confident that something positive about to occur is Shyvern.
“So doc, why the feast. No exactly like times is easy is they?” Ciz asks Shyvern. “No Ciz, things are not going to be easy. But, Horizon will survive” Shyvern responds.
Limona uses his beak to flip a piffling up into the air and chomps it down. He telepathically broadcasts to those around here “this is a dangerous thing spell to attempt, what makes you think you will survive?”
To this, Shyvern responds “My full name is Cyana Shyvern il’Dantalion.” He continues, “this sacrifice costs to cast this spell concern me little.”
The only people sitting around the table who recognize the surname are Crasher and Ciz. Ciz sighs. He sides a large tankard of ale over toward Shyvern. Ciz raises his tankard in a toast, “to the cursed!”
Shyvern takes the ale. At his touch it becomes ethereal. He enjoys a long draught. He has a peculiar thought: “all the years on the Horizon, all the crews… in the ship’s darkest hour, this is the first time I have real friends. I wish Sumiko was here to say goodbye.”
Crasher speaks up, “I thought your kind were a legend.” Shyvern responds playfully, “and I thought blinkings were a product of bestiality!” Crasher frowns and Duliger pulls his wool cap down over his face. "Crasher, I jest. Tonight is supposed to be a time of merriment. Lets enjoy this last night together, "Shyvern tells the blinking nobleman warrior.
Amut is often confused by adults. He sits at the table with a blank stare. “Sensi, what are you talking about?” he asks. Doing his best impersonation of a paladin, Shyvern straightens back his shoulders, puffs out his chest and says: “The light of the star emperor is in me. His blood runs through my veins, and I am one of his princes.” After saying this, Ciz and Shyvern catch each other’s eyes and burst into laughter.
Amut’s blank stare deepens as he tries to figure out what the adults are talking about. He takes a bite of the power stone brittle and beings to munch. “Little one, it’s a long story. Leave it at long ago my family was stuck down. I can’t be freed from the challenges of life unless I accept damnation or do the impossible,” Shyvern says.
The rest of the meal goes light fully. Afterward Crasher helps Wocani up to his cabin. “Crasher, you should know what Shvyern intends is dangerous. It may prove a valid stall tactic, but he will be gone” Wocani continues “I will be in stasis, as will Horizon.”
“I’ll do what’ever you need Captain.” Crasher responds. “In my absence would like you to take the role of captain.” Wocani tells the blinking, who is currently supporting most of his weight as they wall up to the captains quarters. “Captain, I don’t know what to say.” Crasher tells him, a little unsure of the request.
“Crasher, you of any of the crew are the most experienced in seafaring maters.” Wocani says, continuing, “the ship must have a capable captain. I’ve seen the way you care for Dulgier, I trust you can treat Horizon with the same affection.”
“Okay, I’ll do it Cap.” Crasher tells Wocani. Crasher gets Wocani to the Captain’s quarters. Instead of laying in the bed, Wocani takes rest in a what can only be described as a coffin in the other corner of the room.‘Captain, I’m not sure I can help you into this thing." Crasher tells Wocani. “No, Crasher you are now Captain.” Wocani says, his breathing labored. “Please, help me in and close the lid. I’d rather not waterlog and rot while I slumber.” Crasher helps him in, and closes the lid of the ‘coffin’—a giant seed pod.
Near midnight, Shyvern bid everyone leave the ship. Limona takes aloft, flying large graceful circles in a great radius from the ship. Dulgier, Amut, Gregory, acting Captain Crasher, and Ciz pile into a long boat and pull off some distance from the ship.
On board, Shyvern drifts to the center of the main deck. He makes some quick arcane hand signs, then quickly downs a pint of the potion he has been brewing from the delivered ingredients.
Within moments he starts to become sick, and blackness takes him. The poison hits home, and the spell shreds his soul. Only a single sliver, no wider than the point of a needle is left for himself. In an explosion of green energy Horizon is encompassed in brilliant light. The full force of Shyvern’s soul and life experience transfer to the ailing ship.
Those sitting in the longboat have a frightful experience. Ciz cries out in pain—the release of soul pressure hits him like a tsunami. Even the others, not trained to sense spirit pressure have a few moments where they can barely take a breath and see nothing but green static.
As the green light fades, the ship itself appears to be healed. The large scar across its bow is gone. The mast stands straight; however, it now has the stillness of a morgue. Wocani slumbers, Shyvern is ‘gone’, as are the familiar tree spirits.
The crew returns to the ship. Ciz sends the away mission team that things are okay for the moment… They try to start preparations to deal with the new normal that has been forced upon them.
That night, as Crasher falls asleep, he thinks to himself: “I hope they can get to Kaganesti soon…”
Scene 1: Horizon, above deck.