The Cat Captain's Coffers
By Devin Reid
“Is it true, Quartermaster?”
“A wealth beyond our wildest fantasies, mate. A fortune from the exotic corners of this lush world, and a share for each of us, soon...” The quartermaster leaned in, whispering.
And those words pricked a pair of cunning ears on the far side of the room. A figure moved gracefully across a crowded room towards the sailor’s table. An image of delicate tattered cloth and rusted trinkets attached to straps of leather, intertwined into a skirt that seemed to flow like the calm, clear waters in the bay. A simple violet top strapped around delicate shoulders, matched a head of lavender, wild, loose curls flowing almost halfway to the floor. A faded palette of colors mirrored the spectrum of the seas, clashing with a bright gold chain draped around a dirty neck. The chain carried a pristine charm of a portal, gold-shining, swaying softly as the figure slithered.
Her name was Fiona Faund, owner of The Urchins Kiss, Kazan’s premier harborside tavern. The tavern was busy tonight, as it was every night a sailing vessel docked at the small trading outpost. These nights were her favorite, for the men and women coming from the sea would be setting sail soon, and if the travelers would wake with empty pockets, they would never suspect anything more than a sloppy night of drinking. Those who rarely return, rarely ask questions after all.
She approached the men, placing two glistening drinks on the table. Before they could even speak, an effervescent cloud of jade mist burst from the pair of gem studded goblets, wandering quickly into their lungs. The two sailors, rowdy and excited to be on land after weeks at sea, looked curiously at their steaming drinks. Any tension the men felt was gone now, and the sailors looked at Fiona with glazed eyes, relaxed, and smiled.
“How about another round, boys?” The barmaid smirked as the sailors nodded in agreement. She snickered as the Quartermaster emptied his coin purse onto the table. “Why, how generous of you, but I’ll be taking that glistening key from your belt instead.”
The men looked at each other, silently nodding again in agreement. Without hesitation or question, the Quartermaster slid his key ring across the table. Fiona smiled again as she sauntered back behind the bar, opening a wooden drawer containing many keys and placed this one on top of the others.
This wasn’t the first time something like this happened at The Urchin’s Kiss. In fact, this was quite a regular occurrence, for Fiona Faund was an enchantress.