Never Mess with the Cook!
“Oh dear me, no!” Gronk roared with laughter, and for a moment, his blade froze in the air. Chantecleer, the elvish cook who had made a career of throwing tantrums in the Royal Kitchen, stood in the doorway there before the half orc. He was just about to give the final killing blow when he looked up to catch Chantecleer singing his couplet in his high pitched voice, holding none other than a sifter for flour. “Lads,” he howled, waving for the hidden nobles to come out, “He’s gonna sift us to death!”
But Chantecleer had other ideas, and he was not happy at all with Gronk’s attitude. He reached into the sifter and scattered flour as far as he could throw it. This only made Gronk’s laughter worse, he was nearly bent over with it. “Ho ho my lads, be careful, you’ll get some on you! Haaaaa!” screamed the half-orc. And then, just like that, he stopped laughing. For the flour that had fallen upon Abel, Mavrik, Lazuras and Thunkeroy began to illuminate the room with a brightness that lit up the small galley.
“I think that I shall never see,” began Chantecleer in his Oh You Didn’t Care Much for the Soup Voice, “I think that none shall ever see, an Antichan lose as much as thee!”
And in just that instant, Thunkeroy’s head titled back, his whole body arched forward in a circle of immense strength, and he smashed it atop Gronk’s head. The half-orc’s brains splattered over the furniture around him, as his body slumped backwards and knocked over a lamp. Quickly it spread upwards lighting the curtains on fire.
The mage looked on in horror as Abel and Mavrik rose from what he was sure was their death, and advanced upon him. He pulled the shadows from the knocked over lamp. The shadows danced and spiraled around the flame, whipping them higher and higher. The flame spread over the wall and onto the ceiling like a living being in the brothers’ direction, like a snake ready to strike. But Lazuras had risen too, and rising to his feet, his gears whirred in place, as he brought his arm across and aimed at the mage. His projectile hit him just above the left eye and the mage fell over, killed instantly.
Thunkeroy dropped to the floor, escaping the curling arms of flame. “The fire has spread into the adjacent galley!” He called to the others, “Quickly, gather as much of these papers as you can!”
Lazuras stepped towards the nobles now hunched behind a table once more, the flames flickered off his metallic skin, “Tell us how to navigate this vessel to safety, or it will be your death!”
In a thick Antichan accent one of them spoke. He was an elder statesman who Lazuras remembered at the party because he had thrown a glass of cheap wine back into the face of the Edessan servant. “The airship is steered by a wheel on the foredeck, just as a ship upon the sea. But the fire will destroy the rigging and the sails, we’ll be doomed now.” He spat at Lazuras, who then reached out to grab the noble.
“I will bring these two with us so that good King Thoros can have them questioned. Land this ship Amadons!”
Mavrik and Abel ran under the flames and out into the hall, up to the foredeck. On the way, Abel grabbed the still sifting Chantecleer who made a little “Oh!” as he was picked up. “Here we go!”
Thunkeroy continued to duck the flames, gathering paperwork he deemed would be necessary to understand what happened here. He had turned back to make sure Lazuras was leaving as well, when he saw both nobles draw something from their waist coat pockets and place them in their mouth. A white foam erupted from their lips, and they convulsed until dead.
“Blast them,” yelled Thunkeroy, “But we’ve got enough here, it’s time to go Laz! It won’t feel like a successful thwarting of terrorism without you big guy, let’s go!”
By the time Thunkeroy and Lazuras made it to the foredeck, the fire had engulfed the entirety of the sails and rigging. The flames licked along the hull, fore and aft. Through the clouds the airship sailed, now clearly visible in the sky and to them all. The noble was right, the ship was doomed. As if that weren’t enough, the deck was no longer level. It was tilting, they were dropping from the sky, and into the sea.
“It’s been my pleasure to kill bad guys with you fellas.” Said Mavrik, “And besides, I’m pretty sure that we are brothers Abel.”
Abel tried to keep his footing aboard the ever leaning deck. The wind picked up as the ship gained momentum, hurtling towards the foaming seacaps below. All around them the smell of the smoke and ash from the fire billowed in streams blowing backward and upward in ever increasing plumes. “I always knew I was handsomer than you for a reason Mav. Clearly I got the kingly looks.”
“It’s all downhill from here boys,” said Thunkeroy. He gripped the rail, steadied his feet, and took out his flask. But he only got it half way to his lips when he heard the elf gasp. “I will not have you rhyming as I die, no matter how many times you saved me before, you son of a…”
‘There!” Shouted Chantecleer, “In the air!”
“It’s the captain of the guards’ skylizards!” Shouted Mavrik. “They’ve come for us!”
Streaking through the sky, the winged beasts flew. Atop each, in a harness and saddle, a rider held the reigns. They flew as one, in formation, their riders hunched low to escape the biting wind and pelting rain. Down and down they flew until they were aside of the ship which was now plummeting straight into the sea! In and out of the clouds, they saw them. Mavrik watched as they flew off, scattering back into the clouds. He knew then that they had abandoned them, and in just a few moments, he would crash into the sea. All hope was lost.
But no! From out of the clouds the riders flew again! With astonishing speed and agility they lunged in with their claws and caught the heroes talon by talon. Up went Abel, up with Mavrik and Chantecleer. Thunkeroy was caught by the straps of his blacksmithing bag, a point he would later lament, although from that day on it became a rather lucky bag to him, in secret. Lazuras was missed at first, but luckily the beast reached out again, and this time it caught him under his breastplate.
The ship smashed into the sea, and was immediately pulverized upon impact. Pieces of it drifting here and there, flames still smoldering until the sea extinguished them. The bulk of it though fell beneath the waves, lost into the depths.