The continuation of the journal of Nei, a Paladin in the service of House Organo.
I called over Eddie, Alicath, and Geoff. We looked at the object discussing what it could possibly be. It was getting dark however and so we agreed to rest until morning.
As we turned to go below deck I noticed Geoff had just finished his giant wing, leaving only the rigid bones behind. He gave it a powerful throw and it became lodged in the ship’s mast. Geoff looked at the damage to the mast with delight and yanked the bone back out, adding it merrily to his arsenal of weaponry. The airship itself continued to fly just fine, the masts were evidently purely decorative.
When we awoke, the city of Aldar was much closer and it had become clear what the object was from the night before; an absolutely mammoth giff airship. We called Ubi to the deck and he looked grave. ‘So, it’s true,’ he said. ‘That used to be my ship, although it appears that the Giff Empire have made some alterations.’ In the middle of the ship there was a large green crystalline structure that protruded from the top, which Ubi informed us was not part of the original structure, and two large propellers pointing down. Underneath the ship, two streams of small supply ships ferry back and forth, one entering, and one leaving the ship.
San said that we couldn’t get much closer to Aldar on the ship we were on, as we were likely to be spotted. We agreed that we would take the lifeboats to the shore and make our way there on foot. Ricktar chose to stay behind and help lead the crew for the escape. The lifeboats were released and hit the water with a splash, and San chucked a rope off the side of the deck. I went first, but wearing heavy armour and gauntlets do not a fine climber make.
I slid rapidly down the rope smacking into, and capsizing, one of the lifeboats before tumbling clumsily into the water. I heard a heavy splash as Eddie hit the water badly near me. I struggled to get back out from under the boat, but was grateful for the air pocket that under the boat. Geoff flipped the boat over with Eddie and myself inside, saving us. As I surfaced I saw that Alicath was perched on Ubi’s head, who was resting in the water lazily.
Geoff helped us, but didn’t take his eyes off Ubi, muttering something about how a giant Hippo-oid can be so dextrous and he was so creepy.
We headed to the shore with Ubi in one boat and everyone else in the other and the he walk from the shore to Aldar went undisturbed.
Aldar itself was quiet and the area we arrived in looked particularly run-down. Troops in giff armour were stationed around the place, but the diverse range of sizes and shapes suggested that these are not giff. Geoff is familiar with the criminal network in the area and said that he had a contact here that owned a safe house we could use. He did a special knock on the door and a slot opened up revealing a shady-looking elf.
Geoff spoke with the man and said we were flying with the legendary smuggler San Holo. The man ushered us in and closed the door behind us, looking around as he did so.
The man said his name was Joey, and he asked how he could help. Geoff explained the task at hand and Joey said he could provide two giff uniforms in exchange for our royal armour and civilian clothing for the rest. I reluctantly handed over my embellished shield to Joey who exchanged it for a subtler buckler shield. Joey handed Geoff a quiver of seemingly endless depth for his weaponry, along with two speaking stones. Eddie and Geoff took civilian outfits, and Alicath and myself dressed in giff armour.
Joey said the king could be in the castle but had heard rumours that he had been imprisoned in the giff ship above us. In light of this a plan was hatched to board one of the supply ships.
We stealthed over to the docks. The docks weren’t heavily guarded, perhaps only five giff guards were there, the majority of people bustling around were dock workers, a couple were bloodied and beaten. On the right side of the docks sat wooden boxes of all shapes and sizes. On the left were the lanes for supply ships arriving and departing. Ubi found a box big enough for him and climbed inside. Eddie and Geoff share another empty box. Alicath and myself dart to a third box but find it is almost completely full of sweetcorn! We squeezed inside and struggle unsuccessfully to completely close the lid. In the corner of his eye, a worker noticed one of the boxes lid’s moving. We could hear him muttering about damn animals stealing all their food, as he walked over to investigate.
The box with Alicath and myself inside starts to open…
Written by Chloe Wakefield
Artwork by Jess Butcher – www.friendlyurchin.com
Edited by Aaron Surnaym