I had high expectations for Lorenz and Mr. Finn when they took off to parley with the Emerald Arrow and Drowning Devil. But never in my wildest dreams did I think those two could arrange an intimate dinner with the other Captains. From what Thuxfeldt told me, we had a better chance at the Cathedral of the Starstone than getting a Hellknight Paralictor to change his mind. It was nothing short of a miracle. Lorenz is a dangerous man! His limitless negotiation capabilities are like weapons of mass destruction, no one is safe from his grace. Hellig almost shit a brick when Lorenz told him to whip up some haute cuisine for our illustrious dinner guests. It was funny as hell to see an army of halflings scour the ship for ingredients like chickens with their heads cut off. But out of their chaos came culinary gold!
Captain Marcellano of the Drowning Devil, Aspis Consortium Gold Agent
Rilka, Marcellano’s halfling aid and probable spy
Paralictor Fames Rutilus, Hellknight of the Order of the Nail
Captain Denthanus of the Emerald Arrow, Prideful Andoran Green Half Dragon Elf
Captain Reskafar of the Deep Sea Current, honored host
Mr. Finn, Venture Captain, Bounty Hunter, Elaborate Story-teller
Lorenz and Kaledith, Power Couple of Legend
Goethe powerful wizard, scholar, and foot rest
Myrrh ninja vanish
1st Course: Whipped Salt Vosh Cod with Midvale Gratin
“I refuse to eat a single bit if that Tiefling is on board! I do not like being played for a fool. I demand recompense as a free dragon”, angrily grumbled Captain Denthanus. He sat with his arms crossed across his chest and fists clenched like he was makings diamonds out of coal. His emerald eyes were grenades ready to explode. Damn it all, the introductions were going so well up to that point. I scrambled.
“I do apologize for Goethe’s transgression. He isn’t quite right in the head if you know what I mean. I have an idea! How about you use him as a foot rest this evening?”, I offered. Denthanus scratched his ivory beard, his brow furled as he thought about it.
“Hahahah! Yes, I suppose that will do. Bring me my foot rest. Now I’m glad I haven’t washed my feet in ages”, Denthanus croaked. He unconsciously took a bite of potatoes.
2nd Course: Frothy Mordant Spire Lettuce Le Portage with Alkenstar Onion Custard
Goethe came up from his lab, stone-faced, and dutifully crawled under the table to assume the foot stool position. He looked like he was about to cry. Mysteriously the sobs were coming from his groin area. What was even odder, he didn’t say a single word when he normally runs his mouth non-stop. Still, it was great to see Goethe finally obey my orders. He may have found his true calling! Denthanus was pleased and his hostile mood faded. Well, his hostility towards the rest of us faded, he still took great pleasure rubbing his foul calloused feet on Goethe from time to time. Ugh, it sounded like sandpaper on leather! I don’t know how Goethe didn’t lose his shit.
“I’ve never tasted lettuce quite like this. Wherever did you find it?", asked Denthanus.
“It’s from the Mordant Spire. We were there on a humanitarian mission. It always good to help out people in a jam. You never know what rewards it may bring”, Lorenz charmed.
3rd Course: Deep Sea Serpent Meunière and Caviar Infused Crème Fraîche
“Like I was saying earlier, these waters are ripe with sea serpents. It was only by fortuitous circumstance that we survived. Better for us to sail together for safety”, said Lorenz. Marcellano raised an eyebrow and nodded.
“Sea Serpents are quite delicious! By the size of the head on your deck, big too”, Rutilus blurbed between mouthfuls.
4th Course: Apsu’s Ambulatory T-Rex Dry-aged Steak Tartare with Raw Egg Yolk
“I haven’t tasted such fine lizard in so long. Reminds me of game from the forests of Andoran”, delighted Denthanus.
“Tell me about your homeland”, Mr. Finn asked.
“Ahh! Andoran is the birthplace of freedom…”, replied Denthanus with excitement. The two of them got into for awhile.
5th Course: Qalli Saffron Oil Sorbet with Magnimar Green Apple Bits
“What is your business Captain Reskafar?”, Captain Marcellano expertly interjected in a moment of silence.
“Transporting sensitive cargo to Westcrown”, Lorenz answered.
“Hmmm cargo…I smell a Dragon on board!”, spouted Denthanus.
“Wow, it’s hard to get anything past you. Don’t get me wrong we weren’t trying to hide the fact. I don’t think my dragon is as big as the dragon on your ship. But size doesn’t matter, only breaking the chains of this infernal pakthryxl", I excited said.
Denthanus nodded, “I agree. Let us discuss business while I still have this sweet taste in my mouth. What do you propose?”
“We would like to join your convoy, friend. There is safety in numbers plus the added benefit of avoiding the Chellish Navy with an official escort. Of course, we would naturally split the costs”, Lorenz offered.
“Before we go any further. Prove yourself a friend to true dragons!”, demanded Denthanus. He gave Geothe one last stinky foot wipe.
6th Course: Nylgune Seaweed Salad with Obari Moules in Caster Atoll Amandine
I looked down at my well arranged salad. It reminded sometimes your the lifeline like in Nylgune and Casters Atoll, but other times your at the mercy of the doldrums on the Obari. If Denthanus wanted proof from us, we would have to extend the olive branch and be at his mercy to accept it.
I lead the dinner party below deck to the stowage. There a humongous blue dragon was awkwardly packed in tight with other assorted cargo and draped with golden tapestries. Macellano admired the rugs.
“Please meet Lirovilex, the God of the Sewer Dragons of Absalom. He is a prisoner to the pakthryxl. We, his humble servants, have the charge to wake him”, Lorenz introduced.
“Yeah. We signed that damn Devil contract with Darkatithquent”, I croaked.
“As you can see. There is no way we can pass a Chellish inspection like this. We need your help”, added Lorenz.
Denthanus approached Lirovilex and bowed deeply. He stood up and stroked Lirovilex’s blue scales for a spell.
“All should be free. I believe even a blue dragon should be free, free of this pakthyrxl. You are loyal servants, Achiuk would approve. Would you like to meet him?”, said Denthanus in a soften tone.
7th Course: Rudhale’s Experimental Ooze Cheese Whiz #5 on Artisan Bread
We moved the meal to the Emerald Arrow. Hellig looked very dejected while he frantically loaded the next courses onto the dinghies. We rowed past the titanic Drowning Devil. All my instincts told me I shouldn’t touch the water near that ship. I had a vision of a vicious whirlpools pulling me under to the flames of hell. That ship was dangerous!
“I like this cheese! It is something different”, remarked Rutilus.
“So is the guy who made it”, I snickered.
We got along side the Emerald Arrow. Out of nowhere, living branches sprang from the hull and wrapped around us. The branches lifted us up from the rowboat, passed us upward like batons to more branches, and gently placed us on the top deck. Now that is what I call service!
Denthanus led us into the bowels of the ship. In the middle of the hold I saw a gigantic green dragon covered in protective roots, vines, and leaves. Sound asleep. Lorenz gave us a look. And we all bowed before Achiuk.
“We are honored to be in his presence”
8th Course: Azlanti Tamarind Vol-au-vent with Sugared Spellscar Cacti
“Is Goethe, spying on us. I don’t want that bastard spying on us”, Ashen peppered before we stood up. “And another thing. Tell him I want my Uncle’s horn back. And I want an apology for his behavior earlier…”
Lorenz and I looked dumbfounded by the onslaught. Denthanus and Macellano watched intently. Mr. Finn slipped away when everyone’s attention was pulled to Ashen. I think he was more interested in the living ship than the sleeping dragon.
“He not here, but we are in contact. Shall we cancel the connection? Will that satisfy you?”, offered Lorenz.
“It will. Tell him I hope my Uncle tears his head off!”, she answered. Goethe has a strong effect on women!
Hellig served his tasty puff pastry confections and the atmosphere mellowed, including the cloud around Ashen. She apparently has a sweet tooth. Also, Mr. Finn rejoined us with a big smile on his face while patting his breast pocket.
9th Course: Sun-dried Sedeq Lopi Luwak and Triple Distilled Katapeshi Cognac
“What say you?”, asked Denthanus to his partners.
“It is my experience to keep a close watch on this crew”, Ashen responded.
“I don’t like it. But they got great grub”, boomed Fames.
“I can see the value”, nodded Marcellano as he sipped his third glass of cognac.
“I will help you. Coming to my domain where I could crush you where you stand is proof that you are loyal to your cause. I have one condition. Upon entry into Westcrown, Achiuk will be roused first then Lirovilex. You will go second”, decreed Denthanus.
“To be added to the escort contract, let’s say 2000 gold. Additionally, you must bring me to your meeting with Asad Grulios. I have a feeling you will be meeting him”, slyly offered Marcellano. Lorenz and Marcellano stared hard at one another for a long time sipping cognac. It was always a mystery to me why Lorenz did this. It sounded like a win-win to me.
“Deal”, Lorenz finally said and offered his handshake.
We returned to the Current. Tiny had to carry Hellig back like an exhausted child.
Midnight Snack Drumish Vanilla Crepes
Goethe paced back and forth like a metronome. His brow was furrowed like he was in the deepest of bad memories. Luckily before Hellig passed out he made us some snacks.
“I think you guys should know something before we get to Westcrown. We’re going to see my father, Asad. My name is Grulios!”, Goethe finally spat out.