The Iron Lung-Part 2

Iron Lung-Part 2

Walking the swaying decks of the Wharf, Milo and Julius make their way past merchants and mercenaries, both selling what they have on offer while pirate captains and knights a questing share bar tables with orc chieftains and gnome tinkerers.

Julius rambles on as they walk, “…and this here’s the elf quarter. They’s good folk. A might fey and strange fer my own taste, but good folk on the water.” Crossing over swaying rope bridges and jumping the small gaps between decks they move from the graceful, sweeping lines of elf ships to other, more common human vessels. “…and this be where a fellow like yerself could find him and his some vittles and powder, food fer yer crew and yer ship, ya ken?”

As they enter a general store made in the smokestacks of a Gnomish ship, an almighty and terror filled ruckus fills the air. Shouts of “TO ARMS” and the screams of the dying mingle with the cannon shot sound of splintering wood.

“ACKK the bitch beast is back again!” wails Julius, “she’s got our scent and means to finish us this time I reckon!”

“Wait, what? What’s happening? Julius…JULIUS, WHAT’S GOING ON!” Milo shouts to get his attention.

“Death Under the Waves! An ancient monster from the dawn a time! DEATH! Run to your ship m’friend, escape with your crew if you can but HURRY!” shouts Julius in a state of hysterics.

Taking one last look at the aged pirate and sensing true despair in his tone and stance, Milo begins to run towards his ship. As he leaps from deck to deck and charges through the crowd he pulls from his belt a small, snub nosed pistol and fires a flare to signal his crew. Man the guns it says in a red burst, prepare for battle it screams as it falls.

“GENERAL!” yells Yuri as Milo reaches the docks, “YOUR ORDERS?!”

“ARM THE GUNS AND RELEASE THE BAGS! GET US AIRBORNE, NOW!!” he yells as he clambers up the side of The Spectacle.

The Guild trained crew leaps into action, releasing two giant bags  that float up from the sides of the ship, slowly raising it above the water and the Wharf. Two great propellers slowly crank out of their housings and begin to rotate and shift, guiding the vessel towards the action.

“Helmsman, mark our course and make our height 100 meters. GUNNERS, discretionary fire if you please, collateral damage is not an option at this time.” Yuri calls from Milo’s side.

As The Spectacle clears the mast and rigging of the ships between it and the commotion a sickeningly monstrous site greats the crew. A beast up from the deepest sea and out of our darkest nightmares looms out of the water, tentacles waving and smashing. Stinking with foul ooze and the stench of a thousand half-digested meals it grabs those brave enough to stand against its furry and crushes them to jelly before dropping them into its ancient and terrible maw. Soldiers from a thousand realms stand side by side, all thoughts of payment and tensions forgotten in the face of mutual destruction. Rearing up out of the water and sinking ships with its great bulk, the beast threatens to sink the entire Wharf if it’s not stopped.

“AIM FOR IT”S HEAD, SUCH AS IT IS! POUND THAT BEAST BACK INTO THE DEPTHS!” yells Milo to his crew.

With a shuddering series of booms The Spectacle fires its first volley causing the warriors on the decks of the Wharf look up in astonishment. If the sight of a flying ship is surprising,  the higher pitched whistle and rapidness of its guns is even more shocking. Keeping up a rate of fire that would put a ship of the line to shame, the Spectacle begins to slam and smash the ancient sea god back under the waves. Grasping at the opportunity offered by the Guildsmen, the warriors on the Wharf grab pole arm and axe and begin to hack at the tentacles clinging tenaciously to the ruined vessels. Several dozen men and women are spilled into the water by the frantic activity on deck and the thrashing of the beast.

“MEN OVERBOARD, MEN OVERBOARD!!” cry several voices, unable to come to the aid of those in the water.

“HELMSMAN, BRING US DOWN TO DROP HEIGHT! PROMETHEANS, ROPE UP!!” orders Milo as he runs to attach himself to one of the boon arms stationed in the fore of the deck. Once the rest of the Prometheans are ready, Milo gives the order…rescue and recovery… “Let our guns deal with the beast, those folks need aid.” he orders and then jumps and is quickly followed by his men. Pulleys and gears engage slowing their descent to a breathtaking but manageable speed until, with suddenness not easily trained for, SPLASH! into the water…

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