We sat at the table. I let Matt do the talking. He spluttered with annoyance at Marik’s demands. He hemmed and hawed and finally looked at each of us. “Do you need to go to that island?”
“Yes, I do.” Everyone was in agreement
“Fine.” Matt looked to Marik, “Then I’m calling in my favor. It’ll take too many favors to get that many mages anyways.”
Marik nodded, “Are you sure? Call in your favor, and I still want Beauregard gone.”
Matt frowned and hesitated but finally agreed. They shook on it.
We left with Matt back to estate to discuss our options. Tychus, Etrix, and I proposed drugging or enchanting the first mate in fearing the ocean permanently. Doc proposed drugs just to make him very ill. The catch was finding some way to permanently remove him from first mate, since most our ideas were only temporary. We debated for some time, ignoring Matt, who didn’t like any of our plans to otherwise incapacitate a highly ranked lord. Matt left the room at some point to stop Sharra throwing carpets out a window to see which one flies.
When he returned he finally interjected that he could instead send Beauregard on a mission, getting him assigned as a ship’s captain of his own for it. Apparently in the military, once one takes a captain position there is no returning to first mate. It would permanently remove him. Matt looked through his files and removed one from the top.
“Vyrilla’s most wanted” he said, “Blackheart has been terrorizing and harassing merchants for a few years, but a year ago he stole the flagship.”
“So that’s why they made a new one, huh.” I hadn’t heard that one yet, though I had heard of Blackheart. “Didn’t realize that was his ship, but not even the hardest of privateers will trade with him anymore. He’s killed almost as many pirates as he has merchants.”
There were murmurs of agreement from the group.
“I heard he got his name because, if he doesn’t burn the whole ship, he leaves a corpse with a burned heart tied to the mast” Tychus offered. I shuddered.
[need to add other traits here]
“So, we send Beauregard after Blackheart, with his own ship.” Matt summarized. “It’ll keep him gone for a while, and he can’t go back to being first mate.”
We all shared glances for a moment.
“Or…we could go after Blackheart.” Tychus offered.
“I would settle for the previous flagship as my new ship!”
We were all in agreement, that taking down Blackheart was our next plan, then we’d go to the island on my shiny new ship. Matt spent the rest of the afternoon and evening writing a proposal for the king, that we would go after Blackheart, we knew where he was, Beauregard would need his own ship as captain to be our backup while we went on the flagship, and a list of supplies we would need.
As a small favor for Matt, I agreed to say nothing to Marik that night. Matt wanted to see the look on his face.
The next morning we took the proposal to the King. He read it over, and asked in disbelief “You know where Blackheart is?” We nodded. He asked again. “Well, you have impressed me. Here I gave you two months off and yet you’re back within two days with a self-assigned mission to find Vyrilla’s most wanted! What else do you need?”
“An additional crew of mages for the flagship” Matt replied instantly.
“Access to the mages academy” Etrix replied
“My glove removed” Tychus held up his hand
“The old flagship.”
The king held up his hand “Bring back Blackheart and we’ll talk.” He said to Tychus (did he? I don’t remember the reply here) and Etrix. “The mages aren’t a problem.” He said to Matt. “Beauregard would rightfully take the old flagship Andromeda if it is recovered.”
“However, Beauregard’s ship would be in need of a captain, which might bear some discussion.”
I suppressed an outright grin, and nodded. “Thank you your majesty.”
We left with the signed proposal in hand, and headed to the docks.
Matt marched up the gangway first, in full Rage mode. He spotted Marik and told him to have Beauregard brought up.
He handed the proposal to Marik without a word, proud smirk suppressed with practice.
Marik read in silence, growing more serious. “Well, then.” He looked at Rage. “You should read it, Captain D’Mentri.”
Beauregard looked at him with confusion and took the scroll. His face grew redder and redder as he read, with anger and annoyance.
“We’ll make preparations to leave in a week then.” Marik nodded curtly. He caught my eye as he spun and started barking new orders his crew. I winced – he wasn’t surprised, he was annoyed and concerned with what, I suddenly realized, was a highly dangerous mission.