Quinvera had joined Ali, Sara and Jamila in the kitchen and helped to prepare the evening meal of ragout, pilaf and fresh-baked flatbreads (it was Uncle Kahaal’s recipe). Quin used the time well to get to know the other three slaves of the pirates. They were intrepid merchants, kidnapped in the desert when they had defiantly attempted to forge new trade routes into the city of Yhakkoth. They had been forced to work the kitchens and wait on the thieves for the past month, maltreated and routinely beaten and abused. They were desperate people, ordinary brave folk, but they were downtrodden and forlorn.
They looked up to Quinvera, in part because she was a Hero, the mage-blade that slew their captors, but also because of her blood. Although diluted, the fairy blood in Quinvera’s veins marked her with one foot in the aristocracy. Albeit the pale-furred stepchild. But Quin was accustomed to this and adeptly won their trust with her elbows in the sink and flour stains on her fur.
By the time they were carrying the many bowls of delicious aromas up the stairs to the lounge, they were laughing with one another as if they were old friends, reunited. In truth, Quin was pleased they were here, she was a woman of action, ambivalent to politics, and with a little luck these new arrivals would be able to listen to the Prophet’s daily sermons in her place. Indeed, Jamila, seemed quite taken with the druid, Quin chuckled to herself.
The Royal Oasis, was an opulent, decadent, and arrogantly-comfortable lounge bar located above the main passenger dining hall on board The Princess Parizade. Plush, thick, scarlet rugs adorn the floors while dark oak and pine panels line the walls. Seating is provided for only thirteen guests of the Sand King, while the other fortunate few took stools at the bar.
The Royal Oasis was the personal dining car of the Sand King. It was here that very apex of the Unseelie Court – Kings, Dukes, Lords and Baron’s – each a God in their own city, and each loyal to the Ishtaduk Throne; it was here that these living gods relaxed in private company.
Alriak and First Mate Hanbal joined the others, where they had shoved two of the tables together and were eating and laughing. Alriak had been on a walk around the ship, enjoying his new freedom. First Mate Hanbal had been pouring over the maps and charts in the Navigation Room; he clutched a few scrolls, still.
The genie was still at the helm, piloting the ship through the night, across the dunes.
And above them all, presumably, the Prophet Alias, was still perched in the web of rigging below the raven’s nest. The companions enjoyed an evening of quiet company, and new friendships. They remarked upon the incredible circumstances that had brought them altogether in the King’s own lounge. After they had eaten, according to the customs of the land, Hanbal prepared coffee and Quin served each of the others; the two faeries, the Captain and her First Mate assuming the role of host and hostess to the sibeccai.
Then they each retired, First Mate Hanbal escorting Captain Quinvera to her quarters with a strange sense of naval etiquette, and the others finding their own accommodations throughout the airship.
The Captain’s Quarters were located in the rear of the airship behind the staircase that led up to the helm. First Mate Hanbal, his goat’s feet clicking on the floorboards, fumbled with the large set of keys for several prolonged moments before he opened the heavy door into the Captain’s suite.
It opened onto a sober, yet professional room. Hard leather-backed chairs stood rigidly upright behind the Captain’s dining table, and armchairs were gathered by the wide bay windows, that when opened could only offer the most spectacular of views. Various weapons and trophies adorned the walls, but the place of honor behind the head of the table was given to a portrait of the Sand King stood by the entrance to the Royal Suite at the prow of this very ship, a not-so subtle reminder of the Captain’s duty.
The Captain’s bedchamber was largest Quin had ever seen, an immense four-poster bed covered with silky sheets and thick animal furs welcomed her into an otherwise sternly, masculine bedchamber. A warrior’s bedroom, built and furnished to honor the Captain who held the most trusted position in all of the King’s Navy.
And here was First Mate Hanbal handing the keys to such an imposing room to her. A half-blooded desert girl who didn’t even know who her father was.
“I’ve had a clean-up for you Ma’am. You didn’t want to see the state those pirates left the place in. If you need anything, Captain.” First Mate Hanbal bowed. “Anything at all, First Officer’s Quarters are just right above you, Ma’am, on the next deck. You just holler, I’m at your service.”
by Ian Hewitt
Ali, of House Summonel (NPC)
Alias, Prophet of Anaru (Doug Harris)
Jamila the Driver (NPC)
First Mate Hanbal (NPC)
Princess Parizade (NPC)
Quinvera the Tall (Donna Hewitt)
Sara, of House Summonel (NPC)
Game Master (Ian Hewitt)