Leopold Briar - Banshees (part one)

Seconds later, the air rumbled with a deep humming, and the Jackdaw descended from the sky. Wind, billowing from the mighty fans of ship, swept sand up from the beach, and rippled the waves into white spray. Leopold leaned over, to see, with some relief, Sage and Drakmor backing away from the noise and wind. He waited until the ship had settled onto the water, before shouting out to them. Sage half-expected the words to be ones of reprimand, but it seemed, rather, that the Captain was as relieved as she.

"So there you are!" Leopold called. "At long last! Good thing Stalworth saw you from the lookout, this little island's a mere speck from the sky!"

Drakmor appeared confused, but growing accustomed to his surroundings, as though he had just woken up from a deep sleep. Sage, however, appeared alert.

"Captain!" she shouted. "Strange happenings!"

"I'll come down!"

A few minutes later, the Captain appeared from one of the holds in a little mechanical hover-ship, which whizzed towards the shore.

"Good to see you two. When I heard from Dina that you'd fallen off, I feared the worst, I must say. Good to see there hasn't been any trouble. Now, what actually happened?"

Drakmor, still distant in expression, turned his head towards Sage, who spoke for them both.

"Suffice to say there was a dragon. A much larger one than the others, it startled me, but Captain, there have been strange happenings on this island too."

"Yes, we killed the dragon, but what did you say? What sort of strange happenings?"

"First, a man. He threatened me, but simply vanished when he was attacked. Then, not long after, a siren" - here, the Captain froze, while Sage struggled to find the conviction for honesty, even though she was aware of the light it would cast Drakmor in - "appeared from the ocean. It turned Drakmor against me..."

Before Drakmor could even say anything upon hearing this, the Captain, standing up, asked harshly "and what did you do to it? How did you make it stop?"

"I scratched Drakmor with this seashell, while he was attacking me. It brought him out of the trance."

Drakmor felt his wound, but his expression was still of guilt - in his mind, he immediately knew who the siren had imitated in order to induce such mindless aggression... Leopold, meanwhile, looked relieved, and was about to sit down, before he realised that Sage had not quite finished, the next part of the story stuck in her mouth.

"...but then, before it happened again, I..." She glanced at her bow. Leopold glanced at it too, his brow furrowing and his eyes widening.

Not even knowing the fault in her actions, Sage implored "I had no choice! It would have come back!"

Leopold could only say "Maybe not. But when her absence is noticed, and her ashes are smelt as they dilute into the water, the others will - yes, when there is one, there are always others, and not even Heaven's fury would be able to stop them. If you remember, Drakmor, what I said about unmentionable dangers, well right now we're within a quarter turn of the clock of being right in the midst of one, and the Devil have us all if we're not in that sky in half that time. On board, both of you, it's time to high-tail it!"

The End

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