Chapter 7, Part I: Boats, Boats, Boats

The Talons spent some time trying to inquire about another method of passage down at the docks. They went into the local Veeps and Beeps Shipping to see if they could charter a boat. Unable to do so due to the shutdown of all sea traffic due to the voyage of the SS Tincture, they proceeded towards the boat to see if they were able to gain passage on the Tincture. In the long line to the boat, Blake spots one of Faraday's assistants waiting in line. The rest of the people in line are of noble lineage and carry vast amounts of wealth and private security. The Talons are approached by a man named Milton who tells them the price to board the vessel would be 500 gold pieces per person. The Talons and Flossy are stunned by the exorbitant price tag and ask if there is any other way they may be able to board. Milton agreed to offer them passage in exchange for working in various roles on the ship. Additionally, the Talons have to pay 1,000 gold to store their wondrous wagon.

Each person is assigned to a main job and then also allowed to assist someone else with another job. Nohki offered to be the chef and asked Xerxes to assist with cooking. They were tasked with presenting a fine dining experience for the captain and his guests that evening. Using his new knowledge of the florklift, they put together the meal to outdo all meals. Everyone was so very impressed at the culinary expertise shown throughout the evening, and the captain even walked away with something a little extra, a brand new phantom steed.

Blake, as the resident strong man, was put to work carrying luggage to the various state rooms. He asked Drez for assistance and the two of them made mostly short work of the task. Drez, in a display of acrobatic aptitude, attempted to impress a passenger with a comical backflip. He did not account for the fact he was standing in the door frame and proceeded to hit himself in the head while doing the flip. Thankfully, this did amuse the woman leading to a nice tip. Blake delivered his luggage to a family on the 2nd floor who have a young girl named Violet. She is a handful but delightfully accepts the luggage from Blake and shows her appreciation by kicking him right in the groin.

Firebrook led a class alongside Nohki on minor artificing and tinkering. "How to build an abomination" was a huge hit with the attendees. During the class Nohki assists a young woman who is struggling with her construct. With quick wit, he told her that abominations are supposed to look all messed up. This made the woman very happy and she continued to mess it up even more. Firebrook sees a gnomish man with very shaky hands trying to inscribe some runes on his constructs. Quickly identifying that the runes being so poorly written would make it unstable, he convinced the gnome to help him spruce it up a little. The gnome is cranky but also thankful and gave the abomination to Firebrook as a gift.

The dexterous Drez was tasked with cleaning the hull of the ship while it was moving. With the help of Dr. Hoo and Blake, he was able to take care of the clean-up most effortlessly. Blake's sturdy build held onto the rope as Drez carefully repelled off the side of the ship to clean it. The rough waves crashed against Drez and but they were no match for his endurance. The last spot to clean was a bit more challenging as the rope could no longer be tied to the ship but instead had to be solely supported by Blake. Blake's bulwark-like body held together, allowing Drez to complete his task with ease.

Pious Xerxes took to the altar along with Vance and provided a moving church service for the crowd. Using his deep connection to the deities, Xerxes prayed directly to Marista in hopes of ensuring safe passage and good tidings to all for this voyage. Marista responded favorably in turn which was a shock to all who witnessed. Vance took the opportunity to sing and play "Under the Sea" to keep with the nautical theme.

Finally, at the dinner, Vance and Flossy put on another showstopping performance for captain Trevor Fitesbough and his guests. Feeling moved from the music, he praised them for their hard work and gave out a generous tip. The captain offered to teach Drez a few tips about how to handle his vessel and Blake and Flossy used this opportunity to chat up the chief steward, Henrik, about setting up an impromptu GGS match for all the patrons tomorrow.

After a day of hard work, the Talons retired to their carriage where they rested for the remainder of the evening. However, instead of a nice quiet evening of rest, they were swept away once again to the dream suite. Adalair and Trixie and all the adoring blurred faces excitedly greeted them for a formal "year in review" evaluation. The Talons competed to test their knowledge of past events. Most of the questions were straightforward and some hinted at missed opportunities. Xerxes, for example, was shocked to discover that the Platinum Talons had already encountered his arch-nemesis, the Masked Man, at least once already. At the end of the test, the Talons were given the opportunity to grade their performance over the past year against the scores that Adalair and Trixie gave them. The scores were close together and to reward them for their honesty and accuracy, they received the Orb of Control Z.

Completed: March 2024