Inistella [14 Hispis 4385]
Ochirion stared at the far-viewer. "Is it an island? Windigar said it is an island. Does an island have sails? Is it a ship? Windigar did not say it was a ship. He said it was a island. He said it was a star island. But it is not shaped like a star! It is shaped like a kite! Why did he say it is shaped like a star? A star is a pentagon or a hexagon or a square!"
Windigar laughed. "I didn't say it was a star island. I said it was an inistella."
Inistella are very big kite-shaped glittery-scaled people. They are far too big to live on branches; they live in the open space between them. They do have sails: two above, four horizontal for the one chasing us. They often have passengers, or even colonists.
"Oh! Why is it an inistella?" asked Ochirion.
"I imagine it was born that way," said Windigar. "Unless it was a pestery Rassimel boy that Vae turned into an inistella."
"Did Vae do that? Oh, no! Is it Feralan? Did Vae turn Feralan into a star island?"
I had to inspect it. "No. It's not transformed; it's a real inistella. My question is, why is it heading for us?"
Windigar cocked his head. "I was hoping it's friends of yours."
"I don't know an inistella, or anyone living on one," I said. "And often ulgrane or other sky monsters live on them. You stay here, Windigar -- you too, Ochirion. If it looks at all dangerous, take Strayway away quickly. If that doesn't work ... don't attack first." We have various reasonably good escape tricks, and various reasonably mediocre weapons.
Sometimes inistella take prime passengers; sometimes ulgrane or other sky monsters. They make wonderful floating pirate bases. For one thing, they are rather dangerous warriors on their own: they are big enough and strong enough to crush nearly any skyboat.
"Right," said Windigar, and poked around with the far-viewer to find good places to teleport to.
"Where are you going?" asked Ochirion.
"I am going to find Vae," I said. "She is far and away the most dangerous thing on this ship, and I'd rather make sure she's awake before the fight."
"Why is she asleep? It is not time to sleep!"
"I don't know that she's asleep. I just want to make sure she's awake and aware."
"She's a where?", asked Ochirion.
"I don't think she is," said Windigar, "Maybe Grinwipey offered to pay, but I don't think she took him up on it."
"Ochirion said 'where'. Just for that, you get to explain your joke to him. In age-appropriate terms," I thundered (in my usual unimpressive hissy little voice.)
I flew off as quickly as I could, and gathered our defenders: Vae, Rheng, Yerenthax, Grinwipey, Kantele, Phaniet, and me. Only Vae and maybe me really count for much at a distance, but if we're boarded by ulgrane, the others can do a great deal.