In the guest quarters of HMS Lightbringer, there was a certain sense of nervousness in the air. Or, well, an edge. The strange old man, journalist and the rich frog were all spectating the battle going on outside, but the others were merely sitting there, waiting for the noise to stop. Or most of them were at least.
Wind, the strange apprentice of Baba Yaga, was chanting something to herself in a language that hurt the ears of anyone who was listening too intently. Perhaps this was protecting all of the passengers there. Perhaps it was just protecting herself. Every other passenger thought she was somewhat weird and off, so most had not made an attempt to get to know her. Well except for Mog’Mog, but Mog’Mog wanted to get to find out everything about everything even remotely interesting. The only passengers he’d left alone were Malgosia and his bodyguard – the frog was apparantely afraid of the grim fishtailed Native.
Speaking of the two Natives, Morgana was dressed in her full armour, and wielding her nasty looking trident. She was ‘standing’ in front of the door to the deck, being ready to repel anything that would come through. Considering the scale of the opposition, it was basically a symbolic gesture, but it did somewhat calm down the more panicked guests. Of course, she was still paying attention to whatever the other guests were doing. Morgana did not really trust any of them. Not even the Observers, although only the Devil was present at the moment – his human colleague was observing the battle, he was observing the passengers.
Shadow had been talking to Malgosia regarding the objectives of his pilgrimage, writing down interesting details for later analysis. Native cultures were varied and mostly a mystery to both the Devils of Bastion and the Stolen Empire. Apparantely Malgosia’s entire race had been preyed upon by the race of Morgana’s, until some large cultural shift appeared and it became taboo to prey on the weaker race. The pilgrim was unwilling to go in to too much details, so Shadow guessed that some greater force had forced the peace, perhaps an external threat. Perhaps he should ask Guinevere, Shadow pondered while glancing at Morgana. She was probably the same race as this Morgana, and if what he’d heard from sailors was true, both had been named after characters in an old human legend. Which was rather strange. He had gathered that there was still plenty of bad blood between the two races though, which was not surprising considering one had literally been hunting the other for food – which made the arrangement between the two all the more curious. Neither one was willing to talk about the reasons for the arrangement of course, that would have made it too easy.
Still, while the two Natives were interesting enigmas, Shadow had been paying attention on a few of the nobles and merchants amongst the passengers. How they all had wanted to go the easternmost colony of the Stolen Empire was strange, at least based on what his British colleague had told him. And strange in the somewhat suspicious way, what were the chances so many were wanting to go there at the same time? Some of them seemed genuine, but Shadow was not sure if all of them had legitimate reasons for going there. Of course there had been no clear signs of any plans for foul play, so Shadow could do little but wait. He had gathered that the Officers of the ship were somewhat suspicious as well, but randomly accussing passengers was not very good for business. There was also the skinstealing monster problem.
“While we are stuck here Horned One”, Malgosia started, bringing Shadow’s attention back to the piranhafaced Native, “I was wondering where is the master of this vessel? The… captain was it? Wellington was his name?”
“Oh, he’s probably screaming in his cabin again.”
Thankfully there was a loud, pained and horrifyingly angry scream from something monstrous outside, so the Devil got an excellent opportunity to leave to the deck to see what was going on himself. Usually a sound like that meant that things were either over, or just about to end. Nodding politely to the heavily armed Native bodyguard, Shadow left for the deck, believing the passengers could handle themselves for the final moments of this battle.
Malgosia looked thoughtful. He had been under the impression the crew of this mighty vessel knew what they were doing, he could sense how the God of the Hunt had blessed this ship. He had not even considered that they might not be prepared for the Siren’s Haven. Well, he’d just inform Morgana of his worries, and she would handle it. She could go talk to that shaman of her tribe that was apparantely serving on the ship, Malgosia was fairly sure this would end well.