Lord_Of_The_LEGO wrote:So, in high spirits with full bellies, the Dragonsbane Brigade left Port Shin-Po onboard the refitted Precious, turning their sights to Port Firetresses.
Location: Off the Dragon Master coast, nearing port Firetresses
“There be it…Port Firetresses…if ye could call it a port…”
It was over a week later. Ajaxx Dragonsbane, Japheth, and Captain Dolter were on deck. It had been Dolter who had spoken, peering through his spyglass.
“How long ‘til we dock?” asked Ajaxx, broad hands clasped behind his back.
Captain Dolter sniffed the wind and handed the spyglass to Japheth.
“It be three hours, methinks, maybe less if the wind favors us.”
Japheth snorted, not at Dolter’s comment, but at the object he was looking at through the spyglass. Ajaxx took the glass from Japheth and peered at the distant port himself. He wrinkled his nose.
“Captain Dolter. I be changing my mind. We be heading further north, to Port Josef.”
“Port Josef? That be a Royal port.” said Captain Dolter
“Aye, and this be a Royal ship.” continued Ajaxx, “Methinks the Precious
would be more suited with her own kind…”
“Aye…sir…” said Dolter slowly, obviously not quite convinced, “But then we be sailing for at least seven more hours.”
“So be it.”
Captain Dolter saluted, and turned away. Japheth moved closer to Ajaxx.
“What really be the reason, Ajaxx? A ship with it’s own kind?”
Japheth rolled his eyes.
“The real reason be,” said Ajaxx, “that I want to control the board as long as possible. I be still having my first move to make. If I show myself too soon, I lose that first move. Landing at a Dragonar port would show myself too soon.”
Japheth nodded, but sighed.
“I am eager for the game to begin.”
“I be eager too, Japheth my friend. And once we make port, I’ll move my first piece.”
“What be that, milord?”
Ajaxx looked a Japheth craftily.
Seven hours later, the Precious
docked at Port Josef. Ajaxx walked upon deck and tossed Captain Dolter a purse of gold.
“That should be plenty for the harbor fees.” he said, “Secure the Precious. Don’t bother with re-provisioning her. I be don’t intending to use her for a while now.”
“Aye, sir.” Captain Dolter saluted and left to haggle with the harbormaster.
Ajaxx turned to another Brigade officer and ordered, “Be seeing to it the men are rotated off the ship in groups of ten. Don’t scare the populace with fears of invasion. Keep two dozen onboard at all times to guard the ship. Be rotating them out every twelve hours. While on shore, the men are free to do as the wish, in a sober way. Be making sure there are no disturbances.”
“Aye sir!” the officer nodded.
“The men may house on the ship or in the inns. The Brigade will be residing in Port Josef for a time. I be going ashore. I’ll be sending back a messenger as to which inn I reside at.”
Ajaxx turned away from the officer and called, “Japheth, come! We be going ashore!”
Once off the Precious
, Ajaxx Dragonsbane strode the streets of the shabby but homey port of Josef, searching for an inn of fairly high quality. After a search of fifteen minutes, he and Japheth came across the Royal Ruby Inn. They entered and Ajaxx ordered two rooms. After the innkeeper had handed over two fat brass keys Ajaxx tossed one to Japheth and said, “Go and put ye stuff away. Then meet me in my quarters.”
As Japheth ascended the creaking stairs Ajaxx wrote out a short note and sent the Royal Ruby’s stable boy to the docks with his message. Then he himself ascended the stairs and entered his room. A minute later Japheth knocked and entered. Ajaxx had arranged two chairs around a tiny desk and invited Japheth to take one with a wave and nod of his head.
Japheth sat and took the wine Ajaxx offered. Then he glanced at the table. Set upon it was a chess board, the pieces all set out ready to play.
“So,” said Japheth, smiling and setting down his glass, “I be your pawn, then? The first piece to be moved…”
Japheth reached forward and moved one of the near-center white pawns two spaces toward the black side, as was the customary starting move.
Ajaxx set aside his own glass and returned the white pawn to it’s origin. Then he took up one of the white knights and maneuvered it over the pawns and into the third row.
“Ye be my knight.”
Japheth leaned forward, picked up the other white knight, and fingered it, leaning back in his chair.
“What do ye want me to do?”
Ajaxx moved some pieces about the board, at last maneuvering the white knight behind the jagged line of black pawns and near the black king.
“I want ye to be my eyes, Farsight.” said Ajaxx, using the honorary Borianis Dracis title used for lookout.
Japheth returned the other white knight to the board and looked at Ajaxx.
“It be many years since I spied.” he said, scratching at his eye patch, “It be hard to spy with a single eye.”
“Ye can do it.” said Ajaxx, continuing to move pieces, “I know ye can.”
“So what be I spying on?”
Ajaxx tapped a black rook.
“The Fire Breathing Fortress.”
He tapped a black bishop.
“Brigadier General Caimlin.”
Lastly, Ajaxx tapped the black king.
Japheth sighed, but not in a completely discouraged way.
“That be a challenge.”
“I know ye be up to it.” said Ajaxx, still moving both black and white pieces in a one-sided game, “Ye training with the Wolfpack those years ago aided the Brigade well when the Ninjas lusted after our land.”
“I be having two eyes then,” said Japheth.
“You don’t want to spy?” asked Ajaxx keenly.
Japheth sat up straight.
“Ajaxx, you be knowing that whatever you ask of me I be doing.”
“That be good. Because once we know the lay of the land--” Ajaxx moved the white king forward “-- we strike.”
Ajaxx moved a white knight and bishop, effectively blocking the black king in from all sides.
Ajaxx knocked over the black king with a flick of his hand.