12th of Coldeven 6pm 382 ONT, lost at sea.
The ship was too small for there to be much in the way of privacy and when one is leaning over the side ‘feeding the fish’ with the little she’d eaten since boarding the Champion’s Boot she’d overheard almost all of what was going down with the Don-Ton warships and the state of their food supplies. None of it was good news and Rikka was feeling more than a little useless since coming aboard beyond being another mouth for them to feed.
Not even Alyss would see her yet, still grieving over her lost love and probably angry that Rikka had taken all of her pointy object away. She was a Honalian though and magic dropped from their very essence so if she’d really wanted to end things there was not much Rikka could’ve done. No, Rikka wanted to comfort her and give the woman an ear willing to listen and hear the story of their lives together and their love. Someone who could remind Alyss of the good they’d had and that giving up would be an insult to the sacrifice he’d made for her. Well that and apologize again for not getting back in time. She’d been cautious fearing to be caught again and thrown in another suit. It meant the knight had died.
‘It won’t help. Apologizing to her I mean. She needs time to come around on her own and you made the choice that had the best chance of getting you and the knight out of there in one piece. No one else stayed to help him.’ Rikka could only nod glumly as her sword intruded in on her brooding thoughts. It was comforting in its own way. ‘The fact that you dwell on it so much shows how much you cared but it won’t change what has been. Show them you are not just baggage they’ve been saddled with. Show them what only you can do and come up with.’
Ok, it was mildly inspirational and enough for Rikka to pull her thoughts back to the matter at hand. They were being blockaded in the ice by the Dontonians and running out of supplies to the point where they might not all make it even if they managed to get past the blockade. “I need a drink!” Rikka exclaimed and went back below deck to do exactly that. She’d had some of her best, and worst, plans while drinking and the mess with a splash of whiskey in hand was as close to a tavern as she was going to get for a while. It was also warmer and cozy with the lantern light making the shadows dance around her.
She began by making a mental list of all their assets both materiel and otherwise in her head and trying to fit the pieces together in a way that would form the key to unlock the puzzle and lead them to an escape where they didn’t all die. It wasn’t until Robinson’s large frame blocked the lantern light that she finally had her epiphany. “Hey big guy, you busy for the next little bit? I’m in need of your brain to help me solve something.” He looked tired but nodded and Rikka smiled, “Great! Here, have this.” She slid her drink ration over to the half-ogre sad to see it go but knowing it was sacrificed for the greater good. She’d mourn its passing in the proper way when they reached port safely by drowning her sorrows at its loss by consuming an entire bottle herself.
“I’ve become very interested in boats since I came on board this one,” “Ships,” he interrupted and Rikka waved it off in her excitement to explain herself. “So yeah ships like this one and the ones the Don Ton navy use. They’re very different in appearance and layout but I was wondering how different. And you have been on both. So I was hoping you could tell me about how they set up the inside of their ships like where do they eat, sleep, store their food and other goods that aren’t gunpowder and the like. I’ve got a plan and if it works we won’t have to fight them at all and they will go home on their own.” A dangerous plan but it was the one that offered the greatest reward for a calculated amount of risk.
It took a little while to get what she needed from Robinson but then it was off to find their resident flyer, one Miriel by name and strix by birth. There wasn’t many places one could hide with wings like hers though when Rikka found Miriel she was staring at the tattoo on her stomach as if something on it would move if she looked away or blinked. It was a well done and intricate tattoo to be sure but Rikka didn’t really think it was more than that. She’d seen the eidolon summoned and the spell to greatly enhance the Strix’s ability to carry used and once her patience had worn down enough to clear her throat and ask Miriel more about what kinds of magic and spells she could use suddenly Paprikka’s plan got that much closer to being a workable thing. One last look over the manifest of magical gear she’d made and Rikka was ready to bring it to the First Mate’s attention. The dwarf was going to be a challenge given the way he stormed about the deck like ‘Chīsana amagumo’ her sword suggested and she nodded. But the worst he could really say is no and they would be right where they are now.
So off she went to find him and find she did in the same dour modd she’d yet to see leave his features. In fact if she had to say he only had three expressions; annoyed, mad and really angry. So far he was only at annoyed. “Mister Ironbraid sir,” Rikka finished climbing up to the bridge and hesitated as his expression darkened towards anger.
“You’ve got ten seconds to get off me bridge before I throw you off the ship.”
“But you rarely come down and I need to speak to you.”
“Six seconds left. Port or starboard?” The dwarf cracked his knuckles and stepped towards her.
“Even if it meant losing out on a way to not only resupply but send the Dontonian ship running for home without firing a single shot?” Rikka stood her ground but the words of a spell were going to be the next on her lips if he continued any closer. But her words caught him curious enough to listen and he stopped.
“You’ve got my attention until something comes up. Then I toss you off my bridge if I don’t like what you’re saying.”
“Right, well here it goes.” Rikka took a deep breath and launched into her plan. “So I had Robinson go over the internal layout of the Dontonian ships as to where they keep their foodstuffs and the easiest ways inside. With the frist light of the morning, when the sun is low on the horizon have Ser Thalion and Elthoron harass the ship from the sun side. This’ll make it difficult for them to hit and they are both well versed on dodging from what I saw fleeing the castle. While they have the attention of the Dontonian ship, Miriel and I will slip on board invisibly and flying. We’ll head down below and right to where the food is kept. One ant haul spell, some large netting and her ability to portal away later and she has all their food and winging back to the Champion’s boot. I get out with what I can carry and we solve our food problem. They can’t keep up the blockade without food and turn back to resupply and seeing as how the other two ships just left they won’t be thinking of sending any other ones out here for a few days and we escape in that window of time.”
“Now, things could go badly too and that is why we’d have Mr Flitt and his shark below the surface to intercept us or any food we might toss over if needed. I’d use the rod of the Aboleith to help swim away if that was the only way and the brilliant helm for the interesting powers it has if we had to fight our way out. Miriel would blast out their ship from within using that ring if she needs to and I also have my euphoric cloud spell to fill the hull with a hallucinogenic to keep them confused. If they have a war wizard we hit them with the force bead and trap them inside while we escape. Miriel and the food would be the priority and I would cover their escape. Ser Thalion could signal the Champion’s boot to bring some firepower into the mix if things are really and truly desperate and with Miss Aurelia at the cannon it would not take long for them to decide a retreat was in order. And once away with the food they cannot follow us in here and can no longer wait for us to come out.” Rikka paused for a moment going back over things in her head wanting to not miss anything and added, “In the end, with Miriel’s ability to port away you are only truly risking me and that loss would mean more food for the others. Not that I want to be caught or die or plan on it but I believe the risk to your crew to be minimal and the possible reward to be more than worth it. it also keeps your passengers safe.”
“Also the wizard Ser Thalion and I met with back in Don Ton said he would be popping in for a visit to read something if we made it out of the harbor so there is still the chance that he will and can be convinced to send us some food or something. Though I thought he was lazy and too well off to be all that reliable.”
She watched close for a reaction from Thitmed and was ready to jump back off the bridge rather than be thrown to the waves. The water was cold enough she felt she’d probably only a have a few minutes at best before she froze to death. “So, what do you think?” She knew it was a lot to take in and she was not a known entity to this group so their trust in her would be low. But Rikka was a doer and this was something she could do.