The Vingilot cut across the skys as fast a diving hawk, her sails trimmed tight, and howling in the wind. There was a storm buring over the capital, filling the sky with bolts of lightning. Prince Graeme stood on the foresail yardarm, his eyes oepn, searching for his foe. He drew back in shock, it was immense, not some lowly crawling serpent, but a divine dragon.
The air was thick with the smell of blood, and the smoke from the ruined airships of the Imperial armada. Their great size had become a liability in this strong weather. Undaunted, the Vingilot bore on into the storm, daring its wrath with its own defiance.
"My name is death, and Divine One, I come for you." Graeme said as the graceful ship banked hard to avoid a jagged bolt of lightning. He hefted the spear, taken from the ruins of ancient Kasmir, a holy, or unholy blade, that had once before tasted the blood of dragons, though there was not great sorcery placed within its iron head, nor in the forging of its edge.
In the ancient days of the mighty Kasmir, there was a terribble war with the dragons, one that ended when the dragons were banished for eight millenia. An unnamed hero, forgotten after 8000 long years had carried the same spear in his hand, the iron head blessed with the seal of the crawling chaos Chamos.
The hero had died, but not before cutting the heart of a divine dragon, also left unnamed, though depicted in colors of gold and tawny brown. Graeme had prepared the ritual, attaching a new shaft to the iron spear point, and annointing it with his blood, and renewed with the pact of Chamos, one that would make Calan as great as Kasmir.
Now was the time of the Glorious Battle, for it was the way of things that the two two should face one another in combat.
"Hard astarboard, make your keel heavy and your nose light!" Graeme shouted. At the helm, the first mate drew on the control rudders of the ship, and she rolled onto her side, as in a tight turn, but she rose instead, still in the cutting turn. Graeme felt the sureness of the lifeline tied around his waist, and secure to the haft of the spear. He let the rope out a bit, and moved farther out on the yardarm, his coathardie flapping in the wind like a banner.
"Above the wing! Above the wing!" he shouted. The ship cleared the forward edge of the giant blue wing, but one of the rudders clipped the beast as it passed, shattering the rudder and tearing it loose from the ship. Graeme struck, extending the bladed edge of the spear with as much force as he could, but not letting it fly. The edge ripped into the membrane of the dragons wing, ripping the thinner, unarmored flesh. He shielded his face as the bowspirit of the ship snared in the rising membrane of the wing.
The wooden spar shattered, and the entire ship shuddered as it grounded against the rising wingbeat of the dragon. Were the Vingilot in water, sh ewould capsize, but instead she rolled, snapping the sweeps and yard arms off as she pitched. Graeme lept from the yard arm he perched upon as it broke under the weight of the ship. The lifelin caught, saving him from being lost over the edge of the ship, but he was still caught in the wake of debris from the ruined Vingilot.
The ship cleared the wing, raining behind it a storm of shattered wood, and fouled rope and sail. Graeme drew himself up on the lifeline, spear still clutched in hand. The Vingilot, mortally wounded righted itself, and the helmsman struggled to hold her on a steady course, even though one of the wooden spars had skewered him through the gut.
"I can get her on the ground my prince, but she will never fly again." the helmsman said, wiping a trickle of blood from the side of his mouth.
"I commend your courage." The Prince said. "Have no fear." He watched as the wounded ship fell from the heavens, nursed along by a dying helmsman. The ground rose swiftly, but to his commendation, the ship survived the landing, ripping a deep furrow in the earth as she slid to a stop, a mess of creaking timbers and ripped sails.
Graeme lifted himself from the deck, and held the spear ready. The dragon would be seeking him shortly.