Of all the things that Thaedron thought might happen then, a blood and bag covered woman stepping out of a magical door floating in the air wasn’t one of them.
Of course it wasn’t like he was able to see the whole event very well. He had a few pressing things on his mind at that moment–like the big mountain sized dragon coming straight at the ship he currently captained, it’s cavernous mouth ready to spew it’s terrible breath–like the fact that he had to get the prince the Lighted fuck out of there, and the idiot fool was standing before his own destruction waxing romantic–like he was about to watch the last of the Celns, the few remaining ships full of former slaves, give one last desperate offensive push before being obliterated by some abyssal and invincible flying beast. Unsurprising perhaps, the magical outline of a door appearing in mid-air didn’t immediately grab his attention.
And then, there she was. In point of fact, he’d say later that he didn’t see a woman at first, but the door she came out of. It simply appeared in the middle of the air suspended a few inches off the deck next to the prince. Then, like a wife returned home from the farmer’s market carrying her happy wares, he saw her bags of loose papers and objects dangling from them, followed by the owner of the bags. Her knee high boot came first, followed by another, and then her legs in trousers and torso in simple leather armor, followed by her head hidden under strawberry blond hair, blown around her face as though she had stepped out of a hurricane. She bore a rapier at her side, and held of all things, a shovel in one hand. With the other she was turning a door handle.
She looked not at Thaedron, but to the prince, who himself did not seem to notice she had arrived. For he, like Thaedron and all the other men aboard had been staring up into the sky, at the approaching behemoth. It’s wings were open partly, now wider than the ship by three spans. There was a great creaking and groaning of metal all around him and Thaedron found that his feet, and those of the others around him wearing metal armor, were sliding and skidding along the deck towards the massive object hurtling itself downwards towards them. Even the ship’s masts and beams, full of metal parts, bent towards it as if they were being called by some magic that he couldn’t see.
And just like that, there was a great whoosh! And the wings of the giant beast spread out to their full width, slowing the dragon down for it’s final approach directly over them. The Celns aboard fell to the deck around him, but somehow he stood his ground. So too did the prince and the pretty bag lady. Thaedron looked up and saw a storm inside it’s mouth, a blue spark igniting and growing, sizzling, and he knew then, that destruction had come for them all. Accepting that, in his exhaustion and pain, he instead looked down and so therefore had the only view of what happened to Lady Iricah and her prince, Good Prince Genoran. It was a story he would tell many times. A story that would give others a rare moment of happiness and pride in the much much darker days to come.
Like a trick of the eye, some nymph ducking back behind a tree in a glade at twilight, she was quick to her work. I know her, Thaedron realized. How do I know her?
She adjusted her feet as fast as she could after the creature’s gust knocked her back, and came quickly to stand next to the prince, whom Thaedron was certain still did not see her. She had not much time, for in that exact moment, the jolt of electricity was beginning to singe the hairs on Thaedron’s arms. It’s coming. Death is here.
In a blink, she dropped her shovel and pointed a solitary finger in the air. The finger rose rapidly, then turned and fell down, outlining a rectangle, which, Thaedron now saw highlighted another magical door, complete with a door handle. She twisted it and threw it open. Thaedron could not see it, for wherever it went, his view did not show.
All the while the prince simply stared into his destruction, as the others aboard did too. Sword sheathed, hands to his sides, her hand fell into his, and with a great effort she pulled him mightily aside so that the two fell into the doorway, which then winked out of existence as though it had never been there before.