“From the aft-deck you can watch Zobek become cloud as our air-ship climbs and we begin our journey south. Avail yourselves of the hospitality and enjoy the comforts of our facilities. If there is anything you require merely ask the Steward or the Purser.”
The passengers dispersed below deck whilst the dwarven deck-hands were busy with various tasks, the first mate barked commands at them seemingly relentlessly. One hand on the wheel, the captain, Old Ruag, took a swig from a silver flask and offered it out to the sole remaining passenger, Arcael, who still stared back towards Zobek, as if trying to pierce the cloud.
“Don’t linger, everywhere is jus somewhere else to leave boy…” he offered, “Heard tell yu’v flown before?”
Arcael unmoving replied, his voice hollow, “Flown before? I have seen beyond the Ouroboros, rode the leviathan and resisted the temptations of the god-flesh, death has taken me and I returned, lich-queen and geomancer have been swayed by my words, the sentient earth has tasted my blood and yielded to my offering. I have mastered the fey, the clockwork, the elemental, those of undeath and with further time and travel I will thwart even age itself. Yes, in many ways, I have flown before.”
Ruag took another swig and studied the sorcerer, he reiterated his offer of the flask to Arcael, “Fancy words. Dwarves speak more direct. My advice to you in the south? Water is life and sand is not solid ground.”
Arcael took the flask and had a swig of the spiced fiery spirit, he coughed as it seared his mouth, Old Ruag smiled a near toothless smile.
“Two hunerd years I’ve been doing this journey but that’s nothing to some things in the south. The south is full of age, old things, ancient things are everywhere. You’ve a sense of age about you too, even though you’re a slip of a boy. I see more than mortal dangers for you there.”
Arcael handed back the flask and finished coughing.
“I thank you for the warning Captain Ruag, but I am capable and as I have said, I have faced many dangers. I AIM that my journeys in the south enable me to become greater.”
The dwarf put his flask away and put both hands on the ships wheel. It was time to return to his work, as a parting farewell the white-bearded dwarf nodded and began singing to whole wide sky. Arcael listened a moment then decided to head to his cabin below decks. As he disappeared out of view Ruag thought to himself ‘Aye boy, you may become great, but it’s probably greatness you should be most afraid of.’