Krivs’ blueish purple scales itched in time with the elevated heartbeat he could hear in his own ears. They always stated to itch whenever he was scared. He was crouched behind some crates and what appeared to be a sack of potatoes in the sky pirates’ poorly lit hold. The smell of oil from the engines below him and the scent of his own sweat filled his nostrils. He breathed in deeply trying to scent out if anyone was in there with him, and was grateful to find he was alone and his intrusion had likely not been noticed. Kriv was terrified he wouldn’t make it time, Roscoe had been taken by these bastards hours ago, he had to find him. They’d been ambushed at the edge of The Devils Beards by Molochs’ very own sky pirates, notorious for their ruthless brutality. Kriv had managed to evade capture but Roscoe had tripped over an ill placed root.
He always found himself in tight spots like this and had always managed to get out of them too…so far. If memory and experience served him well, The Twins Rama and Reis would rise in the morning and he’d find himself in an even tighter situation before the night was done. He slipped his daggers from their sheaths and slid along the shadows of the darkened hold, doing his best to keep his steps light and his breathing even as he quietly cracked the door to the hallway. A quick glance informed him the long dimly lit corridor was manned by a single guard, thin as a stick and lazily napping against the wall. He slid out of the room and moved to secure the guard.
“It’s all that damn halflings fault”, Kriv thought to himself as he drug the man into the hold. “Everything went to hell the day I met him.” Kriv had been minding his own business perfectly well, brooding over his sudden and unceremonious and much undeserved expulsion from his guild, when the little man with glowing tattoos on his forearms had burst into the tavern with a purse full of gold, an eye for trouble, and a tongue made of pure bafflement surrounded by a knowing smile. At first he was only a mild irritation, slowly gathering a crowd around himself. It was after the second hour of boisterous laughter and obnoxious tall tales that Kriv finally lost his temper. Tired of hearing his jovial little voice, Kriv threw him across the whole damn building and against the far wall.
It didn’t take long for him to be thrown out, for the second time in one night. He’d stumbled into a nearby alley to sleep of the ale and sulk when two thugs took him for an easy mark and confronted him. Drunk as he was, they were right. He’d just grabbed for his daggers when he suddenly found himself on the ground, the back of his head throbbing from an unseen third assailant. Just as they were about to slit his throat when suddenly the little man was there, fighting the three off with a Halfling sized rapier. By the time Kriv had recovered enough to stand, the he’d killed two and the third was gone.
“Thanks for the help” Kriv had said “You saved my life…” The Halfling cut him off, “Think nothing of it tall dark and purple” he said with a half bow and a flourish of a gaudy red cape Kriv hadn’t noticed before, “just helping out someone in need.” As he turned to walk away Kriv grabbed him by the shoulder, “You saved my life” he repeated, “I am now honor-bound to save yours or die trying.” The Halfling gave him a devilish smile that had made Krivs’ scales itch, “Roscoe. And you, sir, are going to have a devil of a time cashing in on that oath.”
That was two years ago, two very long years. Kriv had seen Roscoe talk his way out of more perilous situations than he could count. He’d seen him fall ass-backwards out of even more, always just as Kriv was about to regain his freedom the tiny tyrant. Kriv was no longer sure whether the rogue was genius or insane, but he guessed both by the utter lies he tried to pass off as a bibliography. But this time was different, Kriv knew. He could feel it in his bones. The pirates were brutal. They were world renowned for their cruelty and viciousness. This time, Kriv would make good on his oath and finally be free.
Kriv snaked his way through the bowels of the ship, after interrogating that guard he had a decent idea of its layout. As he came near the galley, he heard laughter and knew he was too late. He stood, sheathed his daggers and opened the door with resignation. Roscoe Tosscobble stood on the table in the center of the galley, surrounded by the evilest pirate band the world currently knew, with a hearty sized mug of ale in his hands. Everyone in the room fell silent except Roscoe as they all turned to look at him. Roscoe regarded Kriv with that same devilish smile that he’d grown to truly fear, “Kriv, my Dragonborn buddy! So glad you could join us. I’ve just finished arranging us safe passage to the Night City.” Kriv hung his head, Rama and Reis would most certainly rise in the morning and he’d found himself in an even tighter situation than before.