Island Empire - A Warlock Alone Part2 - Page 70


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    The startlingly well dressed and well funded Ogres march off smartly in high spirits. They look more like the queens of small town harvest festivals than fierce Ogres being so filled with pride and elan. There heads are held high and they move in step rather than the usual surly stoop-shouldered shuffle associated with Ogres.

 

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    Having done what he can to secure profits and crew in such a short time..MIchael will keep his afternoon appointment with the Port authority

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    The dwarf arrives promptly on time and formally requests permission to come aboard. Lord Stonebender cuts an impressive figure standing on the dock wearing fine chain under his uniform and with an imposing axe strapped to his back. His uniform is impeccable with creases that look carved of stone rather than cloth and gold braid that sparkles in the afternoon sun. His long beard is the only part of him not battened down with military precession. The fluffy beard seems to have a mind of its own dancing about in the sea breeze of the harbor.

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    Michael is somewhat suprised at his appeareance as he thought he was going to report to the man's office. "Permission Granted Port Master" Michael will say and call for the man to me piped aboard. "You do us an unexpected honor as I was going to report to your office." Michael will then send a hurried messeanger to grumbar to put out the best we have to honor quickly,. "May I offer you the courtsey of my salon'

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    "That would be most agreeable Captain. I'm sorry if my appearance here caught you off guard. That was not my intent. I have been hearing some very strange rumors and I thought it best that I see your ship myself. I have never been one to merely sit behind a desk. I see it as my job to go where ever I must to do the Empire's work." Almost immediately, a sailor carries in a small tray loaded with some particularly fine aged cheeses and an assortment of the rock hard herbed crackers favored Dwarves and a pork summer sausage neatly cut into slices. A second man follows with a bottle of Riesling in a bucket of ice and crystal goblets. "I say lad is that Stilton with candied ginger?" asks Lord Stonebender of the sailor. "I believe that is what Grumbar said M'Lord. This other is a two year old Gouda and that last is a blue veined cheese from Crosscroft." The dwarf looks up, "Ah one of my favorites, I must commend your hospitality Captain."

    Lord Stonebender loads a cracker with the gingered Stilton while the wine is poured. "Excellent, really quite nice," he comments as he tastes the cheese. Once the sailors have left and Lord Stonebender has sampled each of the items he returns to the Stilton and comments, "I saw you effecting some repairs as well as some men convalescing from their wounds, tell me what exactly happened to your ship Captain."

    Despite his affable enjoyment of your hospitality, it is clear this is not a man to be trifled with.

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    "Very well then" Michael says "Let me start at the beginning so to speak, it may take a bit"...Michael will then tell the unvarnished story from mermaids rest to the battle at icewatch even including the evil dagger and his attempt to place it with the druids" he concludes with "After the fight at Icewatch, the port authority there asked for assistance as he planned to go into a state of siege, pending imperial reinforcements this springs. He stated he had already dispatched messegners to the Empire about his intent. I sold him all the arms i carried at market rates as well as all the food we had for trade and the voyage home to help last out the siege. In proof of what i have said, I have affidates from my entire crew, notable townsfolk and imperial receipts which i will gladly surrender to you for your review.

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    As you give your narrative Lord Stonebender asks inciteful and sometimes uncomfortable questions. He listens to the horrors stoically, but he pales somewhat as talk of necromancy and other evils continues. About a third of the way into the story Grumbar's man brings in more fine cuisine, but it is ignored in favor of the brandy which accompanies it. By the time the story is half complete he requests paper and pen to make some notes. At the conclusion he nods approvingly. "Captain, I thank you for bringing this to me. While I cannot condone all your actions, you have done a great service to the Empire. I believe the Empress herself must be notified. I suspect that when she receives the news she will want to call you in for an audience. I expect this information will reach her very shortly. I suggest that you offload your cargo and effect what repairs you can. She is currently on the Southern leg of the Imperial tour going to the Winter palace at the Southern Capital. She should be well into the Wheelands by now. I will place the full resources of the Port here at your disposal for repairs and unloading. I'll have 50 additional stevedores here within the hour and will arrange for the best drydock in Bronhelm to be at your disposal before dark. I will also summon the best ship builders in the area to do the work and they will effect repairs around the clock so that you can attend the Empress as soon as possible." He pauses and for the first time hesitates. "This gruesome dagger you spoke of...I must ask that you not put it up for sale here in Bronhelm. I suspect I know what you hoped to accomplish, but the risk is too great. I also believe that the court Arcanist's council will want to examine it. I can have representatives of the major temples here to place bindings upon it before you sail if you wish?"

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    As the dwarf ends his speech Michael will say, "Agreed I will continue on with the dagger" then "Your assistance is most appreciated, I will sail in 7 days if that is acceptable, that is what it will take to unload sell my cargos, as i need the funds badly, and effect solid repairs on the ship. She has been hard used these last 6 months and will take some repair from the keel up."

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    Seven days is fine with me, but if you receive a summons from the Empress I suggest you act with haste. As I said I am putting the best shipbuilders we have at your disposal and they will work around the clock. So your ship should be ready to sail well before 7 days time.

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    Seven days is fine with me, but if you receive a summons from the Empress I suggest you act with haste. As I said I am putting the best shipbuilders we have at your disposal and they will work around the clock. So your ship should be ready to sail well before 7 days time.

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