The Avalon tied to the plush chair at the head of the table was sweating bullets. The handsome planes of his face were marred with bloody bruises, one eye nearly swollen shut as he glared at the unexpected dinner guest sitting across from him. His right hand twitched, the shattered fingers sending jarring waves of agony through his body. The wound in his shoulder from the corkscrew on the table in front of him oozed a slow trickle of blood down his chest. He breathed deep, shuddering breaths as he tried to remain calm.
“And so, my friend,” the Montaignard in ragged finery rasped softly, “We have come to the end of your road. You have cost me everything… my ship, my crew, my life. And now I am going to take everything from you in return.”
The Montaignard pushed his chair back from the table and stood with a smile.
“Have you any last words, before I depart?”
The restrained man took his opportunity to spit at his captor.
“Now you see, this is the attitude you Avalon have that gain you no friends,” the ragged man said with a wicked grin, wiping spittle from his cheek, “I bid you adieu. Sleep well with the fishes.”
The Montaignard turned and left the captain’s quarters, shutting the door behind him. As he strode across the deck of the docked ship, he came to the sentry who stood guard beside the gangplank. He made his way around the sentry to face him, and looked into sightlessly staring glazed eyes. The Montaignard’s lips curved into a wry smile as he reached down to grasp the long wooden handle of the weapon propped against the dead man. His eyes dropped to the deck beside the dead sentry, and the Montaigne bent to pick up what lay there.
The Montaignard dragged the head of the match he held over the rail of the ship while he lifted a fine Castillan cigarillo to his lips. The match flared, and he dragged deeply from the cigarillo as he lit it. He exhaled the smoke slowly, and let the still-lit match drop to the deck.
As he began to walk down the gangplank, the lit match sparked, and something on the deck sizzled. A burst of fire sprung up and slowly crawled its way from the match. As it made its path along the line of powder that fed it, the fire illuminated the faces of the corpses sprawled across the deck, their eyes still wide in the horror of the moments of their deaths.
The Montaignard whistled as his boot heels clicked over the dock in his slow departure from the ship. The curved blade of his long-handled weapon dragged its tip behind him as it dangled from his hand, scoring the deck deeply. He made it nearly to the end of the dock before sighing, and stopping. His eyes closed. He tugged his cloak about him.
“Boom,” he whispered, lips barely moving.
The sudden roaring rush of fire and splintered wood enveloped the docks, sending charred debris everywhere as the Sea Spray exploded. Yet the Montaignard was unmoved, untouched, in the swirling inferno.
His eyes opened, and it was more than just the flaming, smoking debris surrounding him that reflected from their surfaces.
The fires of Legion shone from within them.