A Game of Cards
Tricky game, cards. Three of a kind apparently wasn't good enough. Still, it was only money. Bernard moved a stack of silver coins across the table into the pot. Money was only good for what it could bring, rather than as an end in itself.
What did Bernard's coins bring tonight? Fine wine, excellent food and superb company. Something for everyone and something to deal with the little difficulties the shipwright had with this Hendryk character, who was by repute a celestium engineer. Bernard needed them to work together, for the glory of the Empire. Superior design and superior artefacts were both needed to defeat the the jackals of His Majesty's Navy,
It just would not do to have shipwright and engineer come to more blows over a little gambling debt. Hendryk was winning enough to repay some of the money he owed. A few stacks of silver to smooth over wounded pride was money very well spent. Also, the vol-au-vent were excellent.
The choirmaster won the final pot, but everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Tensions were easing. A late night impromptu concert at the church, with the troubador Megane's singing and the choirmaster's virtoso skill with the organ raises everyone's spirits further. High culture tonight and breakfast at a very fine lakeside bistro to look forward to.
Perhaps Bernard should eat less of the smoked salmon next time. The strangest of dreams. A ship of metal with fire in its heart. An outlandish but handsome woman working on the craft. What does it mean, other than stick to the roast beef and horseradish?
Morning. Dreams put aside for now. Breakfast is as pleasant as expected and Hendryk discusses celestium artefacts. A ship without oars or sails can be made. Maybe the dream was a premonition...
Lady Acasia wishes to come with the Baron's party. As a young woman of rank, travelling in the Emperor's lands, Bernard swears upon his life and his honour that he will protect her. It's time to ride again, back to Solrayon, so the work on the new shipyards can begin.