“So you see, I would be a terrible captain.” Ballast concluded. “We’d all be drunk, dead and fucked — not necessarily in that order in a week. And we lost a good bit of the crew during the Symphony of Blood..we need someone level headed, cool under pressure, but someone that can scare the tar out of all the grunts on board.”
Mara picked up the strange wide brimmed hat, surmounted by long dangling rabbit ears. The gunslinger thumped one with her index finger. “Okay. But I’m not wearing this.”
“But, it’s traditional, Mara.” Ballast protested.
“Aye-aye, Captain!” the sinuous rogue snapped into a sarcastic salute. “You heard the captain!”
The crew of the Red Rabbit snapped to attention, including a scarred dark elf, wearing smoked goggles. A half-orc with bright green skin nudged her, and grumbled.
“I should’ve stayed in Pice, selling my hot dog sammiches. The new boss looks tough.”
“I don’t know.” a halfling with a wild tuft of hair crossed his arms confidently.. “She’s not too bad, and wait until she sees how I can control wind!”
He raised his hand, and a small gust of wind briefly tousled his hair.
“Pretty cool, right?” Mobius grinned proudly.
In a quiet corner of the world, a small tree sapling grows next to a lake. It’s leaves are a quiet green, but edged with black. The lake’s water is pure and clean, but the grass nearby has begun to twist and yellow.
The tree grows. The tree waits. The tree remembers.
The Keeper of the Grand Library in Carroway awoke, yawning. He felt a slight headache, and was surprised to look into the concerned eyes of his daughter.
“Father…you’re awake!” she said with relief.
“Well, of course I’m awake — that’s what people do in the morning.” he grumped.
“You don’t understand, Father — it’s been months. You contracted the extremely rare, but incredibly dangerous Plotzia Influenza Convenialus — the Convenient Coma Sickness! We weren’t sure how long you were going to be out, we feared for your life!”
“Listen, Alice. I have studied my entire life, and that sickness is pure superstitious poppycock. The idea that someone could be comatose for exactly as long as some larger narrative required — preposterous! As if disease gave a rip for plot. Now help me pack my things, I must make haste for the Library in Flenelle! The first Ritual must be completed!”
Alice sighed and gently pushed the old man down onto the edge of the bed. “Father…I think you need to hear a few things first.”