“I can’t believe you’re bringing her,” mutters Constance as we hitch a ride up river to meet Tregazz with our ship in the morning.
“What’s with this weird material?” asks Hodey as he bites down on a brightly colored card embossed with numbers.
“Hey, give my back my ATM card!” yells Clio as she pats down her pockets for other missing items.
Clio sighs in frustration as she yanks the card from Hodey’s mouth and wipes it on the leg of her jumpsuit. “It’s…well… we use it to get money from our banks.” Hodey’s eyes light up… “I don’t think it will work here, though.” … and then he sighs in disappointment.
“So what are we going to do for crew?” asks Waylond.
“I still like the Elves…” I begin, but Hodey’s pointed tongue sticking out at me tells me what he thinks of that idea.
“Shares of the ship according to the amount of the race onboard!” declares Hodey with a grin.
“Oh no… we’re not going to be overrun by Kobolds,” admonishes Constance sternly. “Besides, how would we get customers? Most people give you the odd looks already, let alone a whole ship of you.”
“I could always write up an employment contract,” I offer as everyone groans.
Eventually we make it to our destination to see our new ship for the first time. I still can’t believe they chose this monstrosity of a flying whale as our ship. How are we supposed to manage all of that? Oh, that’s right… with a crew… that we still haven’t agreed on… and didn’t bring with us. Great.
“Um… how are we supposed to fly this back to town?” Waylond asks as he scratches his head.
“I could use my iPhone to call the city,” Clio volunteers before grinning sheepishly. “That is… if you have wi-fi or cell phone towers…”
Anyway… I hold out my arm and my faithful familiar lands on it with a ruffle of feathers. “Omen, my invaluable friend… send this note to the dockmaster that me might get some crew out here to move this… this… thing .” I attach a small scroll to his leg and whisper a few words into his ear before he flies off with a squawk.
“In the meantime, lets check out the ship!” says Waylond eagerly as we all follow him up the gangplank and split up to check it out.
Hodey and I make our way to the starboard section of the main deck when we suddenly smell the faintest whiffs of brimstone.
“Don’t look at me, I bathed yesterday damn it,” I mutter.
Hodey snickers and I turn to give him an earful… but decide that the fact that his leg seems to be on fire is good enough… for now.
Hodey’s snickers turn into screaches before he whips out a device that covers his leg in foam and puts out the fire. As the cloud of smoke and foam subsides, I just catch the quick movement of a creature running behind some barrells and manage to grab it by its ankle with my braid.
“Mephits!” I growl in disgust as Hodey whips out a different device that shoots out what looks like a Magic Missile spell. Clio jumps back in surprise and tosses a flask from one of her pouches at it that splashes all over him… but doesn’t seem to do more than make him grumpy. From the sanctimonious smell of it, I’m guessing it was holy water. “Not that kind of demon,” I chuckle as I pull some components from my pouch and mutter an incantation that incases the Mephit in a sheath of ice. “So come on… you’ve got to be a vampire hunter… right?”
Hodey nudges the frozen Mephit with his foot and prepares his odd healing device. “Don’t heal him too much now… we just want to be able to question him,” I warn.
After a few minutes all that’s left is a pool of water and a shriveled cowering mephit ready to talk. “Answer our questions or you go back into the ice… got it?”
“Hey man… I’m just doing what I was told! It was The Rule of Three who told me to burn the ship down.” That tanar’ri bastard!
“Frelling berk,” mutters Hodey.
“So if he’s not a demon…” Clio wonders to herself.
“He’s from the Elemental Plane of Fire, actually… not your typical demon from the Hells or anything,” I tell her.
“Could you tell me more about their leaders, or organizational structure?”
“I’ve never wanted to go somewhere where everything was on fire long enough to ask, honestly,” I chuckle as the others make their way over to join us.
“So, Mephit… do you have anything else that might be useful?” the creature shakes his head nervously.
“Then I guess you’ve outlived your usefulness,” I reply with a wide grin as I pull out my dagger. “At least… alive, anyway.”
“Wait, don’t hurt him!” Cries Constance as she steps between us. “Just let him go.”
I roll my eyes and slap my hands to my sides in frustration. “Fine… whatever… not like spell components like these grow on trees…” I mutter to myself. "Barring anything else trying to kill us, I’m going to go scope out my rooms.
“So tell me more about this book you found,” begs Clio as she runs to catch up with me.
“Have you ever heard of the great prophet Lovecraft, by any chance?”
The next day begins with us… well them arguing over how they’re going to run this (shudder) cruise ship now that we’ve got it back to town. Silly creatures… I’ve tried to share my knowledge that I’ve gleaned from the book with them by explaining how cruise ships are pointless unless they’re in the water because he’ll only get mad if he has to chase his food… but they just don’t want to listen. That’s fine… they’ll be ready soon enough. In the meantime, at least Clio is willing to listen.
Rather eagerly, actually.
Clio and I decide to make our way to the local resturaunt to see if we can get some of this drink she calls espresso. Apparently it’s a concentrated version of the coffee that the Dwarves like to drink and it keeps you awake for long hours. That might be useful, honestly. If I can’t stop the dreams… perhaps I can just not go to sleep instead.
My thoughts of dreamless nights are soon interrupted by a young human boy running scared out of a side alley. I step over to the entrance and peer down it, doing my best to ignore the moving shadows, to find Waylond stuffing what looks like the corpse of a chain devil into a dumpster. “Now just what are you up to? If I knew you liked hunting devils I’d have joined you,” I chuckle.
“Oh, this?” Waylond laughs nervously as he jams what’s left of the body into the dumpster and quickly closes the lid. “This is just morning exercises… didn’t figure I’d bother anyone.” He dusts off his hat and quickly exits the alley to join us in our walk to the inn. “So did you hear? We’re going to throw a huge party on the ship with resturaunts, entertainment, the whole shebang!”
Oh Gods… kill me now.