We arrive in Five Fingers tomorrow and, reputation or not, I wonder if life there might not be more peaceful then the last few weeks. Llael is not a comfortable place to be right now.
On the way out we had a run in with The Spector — I really hope that that was coincidence and he doesn’t have special interest in one of us because Morrow help us if he does — and Sand didn’t make it. The rest of us boarded the Lady Luck with a comfortable (Captain Dandelo doesn’t agree) margin to spare.
It felt like the first chance I’d had to have a breather in a lifetime, and the lunch was excellent, at least in comparison to recent meals. I watched, somewhat bemused as Lug appeared to ate his own body weight while Philipe had his hind leg talked off by a brewer called Gabson.
I spent the early afternoon walking the deck and nodding politely to the Sons of Thuria as I passed. The drills their leader was putting the new recruits through failed to bring back fond memories, although I don’t recall even my slipshod discipline earning me that many welt-like lessons.
I thought to spend the rest of the afternoon dozing in the sun room, and eventually I did, but not before a priest cornered me to talk about religion. It seems that congregation numbers at the Cathedral of Morrow are slipping. I’ll drop by when we get there, if nothing else the views should give me a better feel for the city then I can get from a map.
Dinner was pleasant. I was able to overhear a conversation involving a merchant — Bartel Versalo — that left me relatively sure he is involved in the Llaelese resistance. He is someone to keep an eye on, at least. Then I managed to get embroiled in the edges of a discussion between one of the Thuriaites and Jethbelle Kannigur, since she wasn’t a lunatic trying to restore a dead empire, significantly more attractive, and the leader of the Shrikes — who work for Captain Riordan and, more or less, rule the roost in the part of Five Fingers we are setting up shop — it was an easy decision as to which side I came down on. We followed dinner with a game of cards, during which Philipe didn’t lose as much money to Jethbelle as I’d have liked.
Also at the card game was Cargis Renlos, a dealer in blades from Five Fingers who had attached himself to Jethbelle before I met the pair of them and who I didn’t see with anything other than a sour disposition radiating from his face. I haven’t yet figured out the nature of their relationship.
After dinner, Philipe and Lug retired for the night while I continued in my efforts to make an ally of Kannigur. She is proving a tough nut to crack.
My efforts were interrupted by a noise that we discovered was a horde of the walking dead boarding the boat. Having established that there was a significant force of the creatures we went to fetch help, which met us on the way in the form of Philipe. Hastily assembling a plan, which gave Lug time to join us, I leapt down to get the jump on the enemy while d’Alston summoned help through the simple method of shooting at them.
Mid-fight a noise at the back of the boat alerted us to the sound of a woman in trouble, so we hastened to help. Jethbelle was holding her own, barely, against a giant of a skeleton, I decided to join in. It is just possible that I have spent too long being chivalrous, it is leading to rash decisions. I managed to inflict a couple of blows that sent the creature reeling but it got a lucky blow in that left me dizzy. Kannigur was, by this time, hanging on to its back and repeatedly stabbing it — to little visible effect — and it was focusing its attention on me. I grabbed a lantern and smashed it over the creature, setting it alight. It did not light this and flung us away before leaping into the water.
The Shrike expressed some concern over the contents of her safe and the four of us fought our way to her cabin where we found it melted open and empty.