27th of Floodtime 383 ONT, 1:12am, Champions Fist, Estos Ocean, Argyle.
“So then we come to the bow deck, areas I want checked are: over starboard rail, over port rail, over front gunners position, check to assure powder and weapons lockers are locked, and that lantern oil is filled” Maddax said to the assembled guards. He had been working through what the hourly sweep of the ship would look like and was assuring his team was on the same page. “Ok so we are going to run a few pop quizzes here: Douglas… you are doing a sweep of the bow area, and find a crew member slumped on the ground in a puddle of blood… what do you do?”
The big human scratched his head in concentration for a moment before answering. “I grab my med kit and see if there ok?” is answer was shaky. Maddax face palmed
“No Douglas, you blow your whistle raising the alarm, and secure the Captain… an invisible intruder, and mark my words on this ship there will be invisible intruders, often use a body as bait to take out another guard… raise the alarm, secure the Captain, only once that is done, do we go forward and offer aid”
“um…. I have a question Ser Maddax” A younger human named Terry called out, hand up and eager. Maddax rolled his eyes
“It’s just Maddax Terry, I am not a knight, and as stated before, you are not a guard, so I’m not sure why you’re here”
“Well… sir…” Terry began “I am off duty now, and wanted to learn so I thought I might tag along… my question is… if we don’t offer aid immediately, don’t we risk someone dying while we are raising the alarm?”
“Well Terry… the Guard, not you, but the guard have certain priorities on the ship, Rick what are those?” Maddax asked turning to Rick
“Captain, Officers, Crew, Guests, Ship then Cargo” Rick rattled off without much interest
“That’s correct” Maddax said “Captain first, then if you have to choose we save the officers, they are best able to save the others so we do what we can to keep them on their feet and moving, then we save our companions and crew members, after that lives in general are the responsibility. We all die if the ship sinks so next is the ship and at last if we can we save the cargo. Yes one crew may die following our procedures but if our throats are slit while providing aid, then the alarm isn’t raised and everyone dies… so we raise the alarm and secure the Captain… anymore questions?” he asked… seeing none he waved them forward “Ok then, we are heading to the bridge, we’re going to learn how to do a security check without getting in the way of the officers running the ship… follow me”
Cargo Hold B (Mandy’s Workshop)
She wiped the sweat from her brow as she peeled away another sliver of wood, the whole task was a bit ridicules, she would much rather be working on her forge or spending time with Taaj, but instead she was stuck trying to carve legs for a legless sailor.
“Mandy, you’re a carpenter right, you can just whip up a couple legs for Giuome can’t you?” she said in a mocking imitation of Flitt’s voice
“Sure Flitt, I’ll just take all my personal time and make whatever you want cause you want me to and I’m an idiot who never says no” she grumbled back to herself putting down the chisel and beginning to sand down the piece of wood. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to help but she had a project that was consuming her, she desperately wanted to keep working on it. In addition to that there was poor Taaj, being hustled around under guard like a common crook. She was mad that the Captain didn’t trust him like she did, but also it bothered her that she was mad at the Captain, that had never happened rally before… the whole thing put her stomach in knots. She continued to sand down the leg and turned it over in her hands… it wasn’t fancy but it would be durable and comfortable, it should allow him to get around on the ship until they could find better materials in a port. She placed the leg down and picked up another piece of wood, time to start leg two.
“I think without a doubt I can find the extra leather we need in Honastice. I should be able to do it in about three days if that can work for you Captain” Bronwyn said putting a few marks in her notebook.
“That will do nicely Ms. Penrose… thank you” The Captain said looking to the others assembled around the table. Aurelia, Flitt, Teagan and Hakari, Miriel and Bronwyn made for a crowded room. They would likely need to close the mess hall if they were ever going to meet with the entire command crew at once. Thankfully Mandy was working in her shop, and Willhym had the bridge with Ku-Aya being on the deck crew. “Who among us has ever been through Honastice?” the room was quiet as only Teagan and Bronwyn raised their hands. “Ladies… can you please tell us what to expect?” Teagan stood to speak first
“It’s definitely resting on its laurels from days gone by” Tegan began, venom clear in her voice “It is filled with the architecture and trappings of the ancient order of knights, but now is little more than fat rich men trying to become fatter and richer”
“The grain and corn fields have become the breadbasket of the eastern Dwarven Empire which has made the land owners very rich. Since they use slaver to work those fields it is the cheapest source of food on Argyle.” Bronwyn put in
“That means there are a lot of parties and events and festivals to keep people occupied while the slaves work” Teagan said “They have moved away from the ancient jousts or melee’s and now it is all about slave fights, small and intimate fights to the death with big gambling rings about it” Teagan added
“A lot of the slaves are of monstrous races, you see a fair chunk of humans as well, usually branded and a good mix of Halflings. Elven slaves are not rare but are less common, being this close to the elven court there are often raids for treasurers done by wealthy nobles, if they bring back a few slaves… so be it, it’s not like the elves are sending anyone to investigate.” Bronwyn said eliciting an eye roll from the Captain
“Essentially dwarves are the only none touch race, the Empire will not tolerate any of its citizens being a slave; it is also firmly against slavery, but won’t move to stop it as long as it stays neatly in Honastice Boarders. Most of us will be fine walking about the city and such, but anyone not of a ‘regular’ race… no offense” Teagan said looking at Flitt “should be sure to have their ID marking them as an employee of the ship with them at all times”
“Let’s make sure that the entire crew have ID before we get into Port, Bronwyn can you handle that?” Thalion asked eliciting a nod from the Quartermaster who made another notation in her book
“So tell me about this place that my friends have bene taken to, what can we expect?” Thalion asked.
“Most of our information shows they were taking to his main estates for processing, The main keep is more of a mason or villa sprawling along the lower end of the Stoney-Baynard Plantation, that would be about three days journey south and west from the city of Honastice. Longer if you are going on foot. If they are being kept for the fights then there is a good chance they will be somewhere on the plantation itself. If however they are being used for mining, which I would assume they wouldn’t waste a Lycan on farming… then they would be another day west of the plantation in the quarry. If you spring them violently that is a lot of open fields and a lot of time that you would need to be out in the wind before making it back to the ship.” Bronwyn said all business
“Even if we made it back to Honastice with them, it’s not like the City guard will smile favourably with us “stealing” a bunch of slaves” Flit put in.
“If we broke them out, we would need to find a way to smuggle them overland and through the city, or make our way south far enough to a new harbor… we don’t have charts onboard for all the elvish coast lines, but we can check how feasible that is once we arrive in Honastice” Teagan put in.
“Ok, I want everyone thinking on this over the next week, let’s get brainstorming folks” the Captain said