As I conversed with the Mistress of Fire in Desolis, I gazed something strange in the distance. True, there are many strange things within the walls of Desolis, but this caused me to stop and take notice. In the distance, under the dim veil of night, there was a balloon. Again, it should be noted that there are several balloons and thus wayward balloon pilots in the realm. But this pilot seemed to be up to mischief.

His course seemed set for the Desolis prison itself. His altitude put him on course to clear the wall and breach into the interior. From my vantage point, this appeared to be the makings of a daring prison break under the cover of stealth. Although to my mind, the balloon did not come across as the most advantageous of choices due to unpredictability of the craft’s direction, it’s rather obvious location in the sky and rather poor getaway speed. The guards could verily follow it on foot and should they have a prankish turn of mind, it wouldn’t be beyond them to hurl rocks, sticks, swords, daggers, cactus and other sharp, pointy things in their general direction and bring the whole affair crashing to the ground.

But, from my own brief and completely uncalled for incarceration within those walls, I can understand the desire for freedom. It is a vile place full of strange creatures, a never ending series of empty bottles of grog and relentless taunts from the other prisoners about how they’re not going to come and rescue you, how you’re on your own past a certain point and it’s better to be inside the walls than out. Their dreary outlook on life is a life sentence of it’s own!

I can only speculate on the life they must have lead before calling the Epitaph home, but it must have been quite bleak and devoid of meaning and mead if they prefer it to the splendor of Braemar or the Hollow. Even the company of Hal mar is superior to that place.

I felt compelled to stand and take in the spectacle yet the whole event seemed to go unnoticed by the citizenry. I’m at a loss to determine if they simply didn’t see the craft or if such events are so common place that they no longer take heed. Could balloon inspired prison break rescues really be the norm in these parts? Such a thing is hard to imagine.

While I am loathe to bring it up, I suppose there was no reaction simply because the balloon may not have existed at all. I’m quite sure it did, but I have spent a lot of time in the sun of late and with this helm upon my brow, my brain has been subjected to above average conditions. I have taken the proper precautions and hydrated myself with plenty of ale, so I’m quite sure there was a balloon.

Alas, the wind did not seem favorable for a late night rescue and while I looked onward, the balloon seemed to make no ground at all. I felt bad for the lot of them. I have no doubt the local constabulary would soon make a move to disperse this airborne intruder or at the very least, conditions would push the balloon in an unforeseen direction thusly pushing it into the mountains turning the whole menagerie to sticks and kindling.

I wished them well and hoped that whomever they were searching for was not cast asunder at being so close yet so distant from freedom.

There is of course the alternative wherein they could just open the gates, hand the guard a couple of coins to look the other way, walk out into the crowd babbling about how majestic the Epitaph is and how they’re seeking knowledge about the Obsidians and blend in with all the other townsfolk. It’s far less dramatic, but a worthy plan nonetheless.

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While I admire your pluck lads, I don’t believe many prison rescues are done at the hands of a balloon for a reason. I wish you luck, although I think the winds of change are in the opposite direction at this time of night.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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