I had a quiet word with Banon about posting a double watch, then went down with the third mate to hand out the rum. To my great surprise, most of the crew were already gathered around assorted tables and chairs waiting for us. A great cheer went up as we hauled the keg through the door, the men lining up in an orderly line. I grinned – word travels fast when there’s rum to be had.
Several tables invited me over for games of chance, which I was quietly pleased by, but I turned them down and went up to the starboard lookout to stand my watch. All seemed quiet, but I couldn’t help straining my eyes for the trailing ship.
Not very far below us we were passing over the long chain of jagged peaks, moving through one of the many valley passes of the Raventops. A few apex predators floated alongside us, raptor-like forms performing slow aerial acrobatics alongside.
One of them did not look quite as lively as the others.