In the weeks following Bianca’s attempted capture, our heroes found themselves free to explore their own interests while awaiting the completion of their mighty ship. Orfeo, who had always had a place in his heart for music, decided to learn how to play the guitar. Knowing that Don Diego was a composer, he worked with him to learn. Meanwhile, Diego took up the violin. After obtaining a moderated amount of skill, Orfeo and Diego sought out a guitar player they had seen once before at the Powder Keg Bar. Upon meeting with Angelina, the three decided to form a musical group known as La Sparde.
As the final night before their voyage across the sea approached, the heroes gathered at the Powder Keg for a night of drinking and revelry. This final night in Vodacce would also mark La Sparde’s first public performance. Well into the night, Bianca, having already consumed a sizable amount of liquor, was convinced to sing a song to welcome the band to the stage. Soon after, the band began to play, and there was much rejoicing.
It was at the highest point in the nigh the dastardly Alfredo made a very unwelcome intrusion into the bar accompanied by several of his closest men, and quite frankly, ruined everyone’s evening. He demanded for Bianca to be handed over too him. Orfeo, drunk and upset, stepped down from the stage. In an attempt to get the men to leave, he nodded to Diego, and smashed a guard with his guitar. Taking the cue, Diego and Angelina struck up a song. Elise stepped in to defend her love. Alfredo took her challenge and drew his sword. Taking his opening stance, it was Elise that would strike first. Orfeo, who had agreed to be Elise’s second, stood close by. Near the fight’s end, he heard a whisper of allegiance and felt a pistol placed into his had. With a furry of strikes and parries, the battle ended in Elise’s favor, the scoundrel Alfredo on the ground. Furious at his loss, Alfredo pulled a pistol from his coat and took aim at Bianca. Orfeo reacted quickly and decisively, and shot Alfredo before he could pull the trigger. Alfredo’s wounds overtook him, and he lost consciousness. His men picked him up and took him out of the bar, and the party continued well in to the wee hours of the morning.
The next day, our heroes boarded their brand new ship known as the Foxbane. Four cannons rested upon the deck, and a prow ram had been fitted to the front. Vodaccan ship builders were a particularly superstitious lot. They had done everything they knew how to imbue the Foxbane with a certain amount of Luck to her. During the voyage, the crew and the heroes enjoyed fair weather for most of the trip. On the third night of sailing, the ship battled her first storm, and came trough it without a scratch.
Arriving in Montaigne, Thors decided to stay with the ship while the rest of our heroes rented a carriage on the docks for passage into the city. The road winded through the Montainge countryside creating a beautiful landscape.
About halfway up the road, Orfeo, ever vigilant, heard a peculiar noise up around a corner. Requesting for the carriage to stop, he dismounted his horse, and moved ahead quietly on foot. He discovered another carriage, much more expensive than their own, being ransacked by highwaymen. Running back to his horse, he informed his friends of the scene up ahead. Draken and Orfeo rode at a gallop to the robbery, while Don Diego decided to walk. Elise stayed with Bianca in the carriage to protect her in case any more men were to appear. Riding at full speed Orfeo closed in on a man pointing a pistol into the carriage. Leaping from his horse, Orfeo drew his knife mid air and landed on the man, pierced the man’s neck, killing him instantly. Standing up, Orfeo drew his sword and turned to face the other men. Draken fought with men on the other side of the carriage. One nervously demanded surrender after seeing his friends go down. On the other side of the carriage, Orfeo made quick work of the bandits, leaving only the two leaders, who surrendered promptly.
It was just about this time that Don Diego’s walk came to an end. He arrived at the battle precisely at its end. Diego and Orfeo opened the carriage to find three people inside, grateful for their help in defeating the bandits. In the carriage was Donadieu Deneuve du Surlign, the court composer at Château du Soleil, Madelene Prevoye, a young violin prodigy, and her father Alphonse Prevoye. They invited the heroes to stay in the Château du Soleil while they were in Montaigne. Graciously accepting, the heroes regrouped and rode into the city with the other carriage.
To be continued….