The crew of the Ajdaha were lined up on the deck of the warship. The dragonborn relieved them of all their weapons, then turned to salute an old officer who had been observing the brief fight from where he stood on the quarterdeck. The officer nodded in response and walked down onto the main deck; Vivi glared at him, studying him intently. He was wearing a black wool coat with a black tailored shirt underneath, and he looked much cleaner than any Eskiholti sailor Vivi had ever seen—his hair was combed and seemed to be recently washed, his greying beard was neatly trimmed, and his clothes were spotless. His most distinctive feature, however, was much less neat: a large scar that stretched across the side of his face—it vaguely reminded Vivi of an acid burn.
"My name is Captain Einar Pétursson of the Eskiholti warship Morgunstjarna," the man barked, turning to address the prisoners. "I have a few questions to ask you; your cooperation will be appreciated."
"What have you done with the Onyx?" Aenwyn asked coldly, clearly having no intention of cooperating.
"You may speak when spoken to," the captain replied calmly, drawing an expensive-looking revolver from inside his coat—Vivi recognized it as the kind of pistol usually carried by rich elves back in Uyalon. "To begin with, you'll tell me who hired you to attack one of our privateers."
"I will?" Aenwyn snorted. "Over my dead body." Vivi knew she wasn't joking—not even a seasoned captain like her would dare betray the Thieves' Guild.
"That can be arranged," the captain growled, pointing his gun at Aenwyn. "How'll it be?"
Aenwyn remained stoic, and the two stared at each other for an almost uncomfortably long time before the captain finally gave up and looked away with a grunt of frustration.
"I see how it is," he muttered, turning his back on the prisoners and staring out into the fog, which had only now started to lift. "Oh, and to answer your question," he continued after a few moments of silence, "we did sink another of your pirate guild's ships on our way here. Of course, we were in a bit of a hurry at the time, so we didn't stop to make a note of its name—or to take prisoners."
A chill went down Vivi's spine at the captain's words, but Aenwyn looked like she hadn't even heard him—she simply continued staring out into the distance with cold, empty eyes. The captain glared at her, clearly expecting more of a response, but before he could say anything, a commotion broke out on deck. Turning to look for its source, Vivi spotted several new figures arriving on deck: the centaur and the wizard, who were in lively conversation with a few of the warship's other officers, as well as the Crow. Vivi glared at him and noted with satisfaction that, although he had received medical attention, he seemed to be in quite some pain.
"Ah, Captain Nijem," the captain said, shaking the centaur's hand. "I'm glad we could render assistance in time."
The centaur only bowed his head in response, which suited the captain just fine. He instead turned his attention to the assassin, who was busy handing over his weapons to the dragonborn. He had already surrendered his bow and his sword, and was currently pulling various knives and daggers from increasingly improbable locations; fourteen from his belt, another ten from the inside of his jacket—throwing knives, by the looks of them—and then two big daggers from sheaths mounted on his lower thighs.
"Any more?" the dragonborn asked dryly, patting the elf down. He pulled out two more hidden in his sleeves, and two hidden in each of his boots. Vivi couldn't help but smile at the endeavor.
The captain, however, was less amused. "So, this is the famous Crow," he said silkily. "I wasn't aware we'd be hosting celebrities this morning." He grabbed onto the elf and roughly shoved him towards the other prisoners. "Get in line, scum."
The elf stared out into the distance in grim silence as the captain pointed his gun at him. "Now, how about you?" he said, giving the assassin a searching look. "Anything to divulge about your current occupation?"
"I have nothing to say to you, sir," the Crow growled between his teeth.
The captain glared at the elf until Vivi thought his eyes would pop right out of their sockets. Finally, he stepped away and started pacing the deck, growing more frustrated by the second.
"Anyone else?" he asked, raising his voice to a roar. He swept his gun back and forth over the row of prisoners, finally landing on Owen. "You. Do you have anything to add?"
"Me?" Owen said innocently. "I am but a poor kitchen boy. I'd only be qualified to tell you Terry's special gravy recipe—but alas, I'm oath-bound to keep that secret with my life."
The captain snapped his arm upwards and pointed the gun at Owen's chest, clearly pushed to his limit, and as he did so, Vivi's mind flashed back to the alley in Sheo Caelora.
"Wait!" she shouted instinctively—she couldn't let Owen put either of them in front of a bullet again. "What will you do if I tell you what you want to know? Will you spare our lives?"
The captain smiled, clearly pleased with the progress he was finally making. "Perhaps I will."
"I want your word. Will you spare them if I tell you?"
He cocked the gun, keeping it firmly pointed towards Owen. "You have my word."
Vivi held the captain's gaze for a moment, searching his face. "I trust your word," she said slowly. "We were hired by Earl Roland von Bumbleberry." She cast a quick glance towards Owen, who was visibly struggling to keep a straight face upon hearing the false name—she hadn't had very much time to come up with it, but she hoped it would be enough.
The captain didn't seem to know what to believe but eventually decided he wasn't going to get anything better out of his prisoners. He sighed and holstered his gun, turning to the dragonborn. "Throw ‘em in the brig, Mr. Krazas."
The dragonborn saluted and grabbed onto Vivi and Owen, gesturing to some of his crew to take the others, and led them down into the hold of the warship.