OOT: I got permission from TRG to move things along, so I'm gonna try to get the main story going again. After a little more discussion, Captain Donavan and I manage to work out a deal and we finish up our little talk with a firm handshake and a smile. I'm already feeling better about this mission now that we've got an experienced, battle-hardened pirate crew backing us up! I mean, I'm sure we could handle these elves on our own, but more allies means less casualties in the long run and I don't want to lose any more crewmen than I have to. After all...we've already had more than enough losses on this journey. I look up to the sky with a slightly sad smile on my face. "I hope you're watching us, captain...this one's for you." I whisper to the air before turning back to my crew to give them their orders. "Ain't any sense in lollygaggin' around here any more. Get yerselves movin' already, we been keepin' the princess waitin' long enough as it is!" After a loud cheer from the crew rings out and subsides, I continue. "Make no mistake, ya sea dogs. This be the final battle! Them elves are surely just 'round the corner and we're meetin' 'em head-on with all the steel and fury we can muster! Don't let 'em see any fear in yer eyes. Stand yer ground an' strike 'em down!" I draw my saber and raise it high! "CREW OF THE DRAGON! WE MARCH ONWARD TO VICTORY!!" The crew lets out a deafeningly loud battle cry, shouting, yelling and chanting my name! I can't help beaming with pride when I see just how much faith they've placed in me. I can't let them down! I can't let the king down, either! We'll win this fight, that's all there is to it. Just as I'm about to turn around and lead the charge, I hear something coming from the portal and immediately, we all look towards it. We all fall silent in an instant, leaving only the loud hum of the now glowing portal ringing through the air. Soon after, the gateway opens up to the other side, just like we expected...the only question is, who's coming through? I see a figure step forward and... "Ahh, if it ain't me first mate! Ye know, ye really shouldn't keep yer captain waitin' like that!" Leif, who wore a dour expression and was looking slightly ragged from the long and difficult march, took a second to catch his breath before slowly lifting his head to look at Leon. "Yeah, sorry about that. You see...we were held up with some very strange and mostly unfortunate circumstances. I'll tell you all about it on the way back." He shook his head and rolled his eyes. "Let me tell you...it's quite a story." While Leif was giving his brief explanation, the rest of Leon's crew started coming through the portal in small groups of two or three, followed by Mordred and Trinity who were the last ones to come through the gate before it closed. Now that's the look of a man who's had a bad time. I can't help but wonder what, exactly, happened to Leif and the rest of the crew but it looks like they're all safe, so I guess the details can wait until later. Besides, it's not like we have a lot of time to spare. With a confident smile, I'm about to call out to the crew once again to start marching forward when I notice that Mordred and Trinity are still right in front of the gate, lagging behind the rest of the crew. I point Leif in their direction and whisper to him. "Why don'tcha see what be takin' 'em so long?" Leif nodded back to Leon. "Leave it to me. You can get the crew moving while I see what the holdup is." With that, Leif made his way to the gate while Leon took his place at the forefront of the group, once again raising his sword boldly to the sky. Leif let out a quiet groan as he knew right away there would be more unnecessary shouting from Leon and the crew, trying his best to ignore it as he approaches the two stragglers. "Hey, how come you two aren't keeping pace with the rest of us? Heh heh. Don't tell me you're getting cold feet about this." Mordred scoffed at the idea. "Hardly. I simply need to discuss something with my pupil." "You sure picked a great time to have a chat. Can it wait?" "No." There was a brief moment of awkward silence. "...Just no?" "Precisely, "just no." We will rejoin the crew as soon as possible." Leif wanted to say something back to him, but he decided to drop it as he shook his head in defeat. "Alright, fine. Just don't take too long, okay? If the elves find you here, you'll be in danger and we'll lose the element of surprise." "We will be fine. Your time would be better spent worrying about your crew and captain." Leif shrugged and turned to walk away. "Fair enough. See you around." With that, Leif ran back to rejoin Leon and Donavan. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- This is it...it's go time! I proudly stand in front of the combined forces of the Dragon and the Boar and in that moment of glory, I feel invincible. I feel like our united crews can take on any challenge, any army, even the gods themselves! I can't help beaming with pride as I loudly announce my next orders. "Pirates of the Dragon! Pirates of the Regal Boar! Now that all of our comrades are here, no force in this world-- elven or otherwise-- can stand in our way!" I can see a brief glint of light from my blade as slowly lower it, pointing the edge towards the path ahead. As vigor and determination fill my body, my crew waits with bated breath for me to give the order. I won't keep them waiting any longer. "The time has come to take this fight to the enemy's doorstep! All forces, FORWARD MARCH!!"