You were warned about the heat the engine puts out, which helps you brace yourself somewhat. Your raw, buzzing enthusiasm regarding the mere fact of being on the ship also helps you withstand the wall of sweltering air that hits you when you open the door.
Sweat plasters the cloth of your mask to your face. You tug the thing down around your neck and take a deep breath that you immediately regret. Your lungs swell with stifling fumes. The engine master takes notice of your obvious discomfort as you amble towards him, and his flame-wreathed expression is pointedly devoid of sympathy.
Making an admirable attempt to ignore the heat, you manage to wheeze out an inquiry regarding the state of the fuel stores.
You are burning with further questions. Unfortunately, you are also literally burning.
“Thank you, that would be all.” You pull your mask back over your face as you power-walk out of the engine room and back upstairs, to where Belfryn is waiting for an answer. He seems to find said answer unsurprising; you can’t help but wonder if he sent you below deck just to indulge your curiosity. You make a mental note to return the favor at a later date.
Failing to resist temptation, you also trot up to the quarterdeck. Illithids are, for good reason, anathema in Andunor. But the tall, spindly lich looming above you can hardly be considered an illithid anymore, having been severed from the rest of its kin. As you approach, the alhoon’s tentacles squirm and writhe in what you hope is excitement to see you.
The creature’s voice echoes throughout your mind, loud and clear despite being little more than an auditory hallucination. “Who are you?” You ask.
‘The logic of your question is null and void. It is futile to ask such meaningless questions.’
“What do you do here?”
It briefly seems to contemplate making a meal of your brain, as you are clearly not using it.
‘It might not be obvious for lesser creatures such as yourself but I manage and maintain the device that shrouds this here vessel with darkness. It covers us from the blight of the surface sun. A protection, both defensive and offensive, if you will. Without it we are limited to travel the seas by nightfall only.’
You squint at the device in question. It seems to double as an arcane map, of sorts; peering into it offers an insightful glimpse of the sun’s position in relation to the Dreadnought.
As majestic as the ship is, however, you can only stay at surface sea for so long before your heart begins to yearn for the depths below.
If you tighten your grip on the handle hard enough to grey your knuckles, you can feel the runic inscriptions of your dagger pulse with faerzress, as soft and warm against your skin as a whisper. The sensation makes you homesick for the underdark. It calls to mind glowworm-lit caves, rhodochrosite rosettes, towering zurkhwood, luminescent spores drifting through the darkness like wayward stars, and stoic figures carved into stalactites, looking down upon the caverns like hanging sentinels.