Balance

Roebuck Chase

11th of Planting 383 ONT, The Roebuck, Upper Promethean River, Cainia, 6:31pm

“Mr. Rodak, collect my senior officers, and have them assemble in the briefing room… have the Bosun send a skiff to the Magdalen to assure they need no assistance and get a full report from them” Captain Kinnotox said, his voice showed his annoyance as the anchor took hold and he watched the Champions Boot flitter away behind the now flaming river.

“Aye Captain” The First Mate called as he snapped a firm salute and went about his business. The Captain turned to his Mate, a stocky dwarven women who had served for some time.

“You have the Bridge Ms. Carole, I suspect we will be hold position for at least an hour”

“Aye Captain” She said, stepping up to the helm and assuring all was as it should be. The Captain turned and stocked off the bridge, quickly heading down a short flight of steps and entering into the briefing room. It wasn’t long before a small dwarven boy, maybe twenty years of age entered; The cabin boy nodded to the Captain before lighting a brazier and placing a full kettle on it. He went to a near drawer pulling out tea cups and set the table. The Captain took his seat his fingers drumming on the table as he awaited his officers. It was under five minutes before they all drifted in, each knowing their seat and taking it. Once assembled the Captain began.

“Liam, how long before you can resuit the griffins into scouting armor?” The Captain asked, looking at one of the twins who sat at the end of the table

“Maybe fifteen minutes, but I wouldn’t recommend it Captain… They tire faster in the heavy barding, but that other ship as an eagle rider… a real one from Wing Hove… I guess what I am saying is he knows what he is doing, I wouldn’t want to risk the Griffin’s without their armor Sir” the half stammered out, he had always been more comfortable with animals then people. The Captain scratched his chin in thought before responding

“What’s the flight time that they can handle in the heavy gear?”

“Maybe twenty minutes Captain… I can stretch that to thirty if the wind is with us and we are gliding home, much longer and we can have troubles especially if you want them to be battle ready” Annaka replied for her brother. The Captain shot a look at his First Mate, understanding the unspoken question Khov spoke up

“Maybe ten kilometers of scouting sir… not much farther, and he is right… The eagle will catch them even if they are in their light barding… best be ready for battle when it comes” The Captain nodded briskly

“OK, keep them in the heavy armor for now… give them a fifteen minute breather and then have them do an initial scout… do not engage, just get eyes on the Champions Boot again for us”

“I can’t believe the crew of the Champions Boot would do this? Blow up the tavern? Murder guards? Steel our wages? Light the town on fire… it just doesn’t seem like them” Kennedy said a little sadly

“Actually lighting the town on fire is kind of their MO” Khov said with a bit of a grin, the Captain didn’t seem to find the jest funny though, giving his First Mate a stern glare

“Believe it…” he said to the sorceress “I have confirmation that this was the same command crew as at Kezranad, they committed these atrocities and broke the law… that makes them pirates, which puts this squarely in our domain”

“Pirates sir? Don’t you think that’s a little harsh?” Kenndy asked, knowing how her Captain treated pirates

“No I Don’t Ms. Martins… they robbed our store house, lit a peaceful town on fire without provocation or warning and opened fire on several ships. Good men and women are dead, some of them peaceful townsfolk… In my book they are murderers and pirates, and that is likely to good for them. The Champions Boot will be scuttled and its crew executed!” the Captain’s voice boomed, he appeared to be personally offended by this bunch, Kennedy had never seen him get this worked up before. But she gave the

“Aye Sir” along with the rest of those assembled

“Mr. Rodak… as I recall it is one of their sailors who is the Grippli?” The Captain asked… Khov reached into his satchel pulling a bunch of sheafs of parchment out

“Aye Captain… Flitt Fargazer, from reports of the dinner last night he appears to have made Bosun”

“How very fortunate for him” The Captain said dryly, venom dripping from his words “We will need some counter measures against him and that shark he was riding. Ms. Martins that was excellent thinking to lightning bolt the water, but we won’t be able to count on you having the spell ready always, Rodak, have something else in store for the Grippli before we encounter his ship again.” He turned looking further down the table “When you aren’t scouting I want you two practicing specific tactics on how we are going to bring that eagle down, we were lucky this time that their Strix didn’t get involved, but she is a known flyer, and we will have to assume that without archer support from land we will have to deal with both, a long engagement is not to our advantage”

“I have some thoughts on that sir” Kennedy offered, receiving a nod from the Captain “The way she changed after the archers hit her, and then alter changed back… she may be a shifter… or even a necromancer, siphoning life force from someone or something to maintain superior strength… we saw it before on that Orc Ship the Gromp Eye… If that is the case, she must have a magical item, usually a crystal or pendent that is allowing the siphon to operate, we should attack or disarm that and it should reverse the spell. Destorying it may even kill her depending on how much life force she has siphoned.”

“Excellent point Ms. Martins… make sure that memo gets to all crew members to keep an eye, and take targeted attacks when possible. What else do we have?” This time is was a short blond women who spoke up, her hair pulled back in a tight ponytail

“Well Captain, they are firing a standard bow facing Bombard, considering they seem to only have a three man team they were holding up a reasonable rate of fire. Their crew also responded quickly with a mix of pistols, muskets, longbows and crossbows, them seem to understand the benefits on black powder but are not dependent on it”

“Excellent point Master Gunner Hopkins… Rodak?” the Captain queried

“it is as you thought sir..” Khov said shifting through his parchment, “they didn’t have the bombard in Kezranad or Lockland, that is new… Their Master Gunner used to be Aurelia Ouellette… no sign of her on the ship or in Faurther Port… their new Master Gunner appears to be Sir Horace Altman… The Oakleaf Knight of Pelagius.” There was a sharp intake of breath around the table at this revelation, the Captain quickly interceded

“It is not Sir Horace! I don’t believe that the hero of Pelagius is burning down small towns… an imposter, out smearing his good name, and helping buy credibility in unfamiliar ports” The Captain Hrumphed

“That may be so… reports showed him wielding some kind of firearm, and there was no sign of his legendary sword, also no sign of magic use from him…” Rodak trailed off looking back over to the Master Gunner

“Either way sir, they are capable of putting up a reasonable ranged defense, but actually seem stronger in face to face combat…recommend extreme caution when boarding, most of their crews seems skilled with a blade, and none appear to have any misgivings about killing”

“Understood Master Gunner” The Captain nodded “Mr. Rodak, assure any boarding party is at least three to one odds in our favour, and assure that at least a third are fully armored before going over”

“Aye Sir” Khov said, making the appropriate notes. The Captain stood from his seat and looked down the table at the officers assembled

“Ms. Martins, please connect with Arjunn and OMAR, see what else we can find out about these Pirates and if there is any more information that we can use in battle” The Sorceress nodded to the Captain as he continued

“I want them found, and this business dealt with quickly, the good people of Faurther Port will need our aid in the rebuilding process, let’s try to have this… unfortunate business settled in the next three days. Mr. Nortron…” He said turning to his Master of Sails “let me know as soon as the river has cleared enough that we can be underway without distress”

“Aye Captain” he said

“The rest of you have your orders, see to them”

“Aye Captain” They intoned as they stood and shuffled out of the room.

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Fly you Fools Fly pt 3

11th of Planting 383 ONT, Faurther Port Harbor, River Promethean, 6:23pm

Ser Thalion noted the sails on the Champions Boot unfurl and fill with wind, perhaps they weren’t completely doomed he thought, leaning hard to the right and thrusting above his head as the eagle rolled in mid-air, passing close by one of the Griffin riders. He grunted in pain taking a slash back in the exchange from the second rider’s sword as it zipped in at the ideal moment. They were good, the eagle rider had to admit; and well trained to work as a pair, one always waited until he committed to the other and took advantage of that moment to come in and land a blow. Eltheron let out a shriek of agreement, the Griffins were well trained as well, taking any chance to rend or claw or even peck at the eagle whenever they passed close enough. Add to all this the damned wizard on the Magdalen firing off a spell whenever the fought took him in in range, or the archers along the shore line, shifting to target him if the battle drifted to close and Thalion was finding his sky was a little too small for his liking this day. He ducked uselessly as five magic missiles unerringly found their way to him, each offering a small shock as they collided into him. The Griffins took the opportunity to circle for a joint pass and that made up his mind, pulling Eltehron into a dive and wheel maneuver he turned flying maybe twenty feet over the water and passing right in front of the bow of the ship.

BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG

The Griffin Riders got a taste of their own medicine as Willhym and Aurelia opened fire on them as they followed Thalion’s course. One rider remained committed but the second hearing the protests and seeing fresh wounds in his mount broke off, setting wings wide and gliding for the safety of the Magdalen.

Willhym reloaded his pistol with uncanny speed taking aim at the faltering creature before Aurellia barked at him.

“Kill the ones still fighting first, then we can worry about the wounded.” The Halfling grunted but didn’t argue as he turned and squeezed off a round at the other rider. He then went back to work on getting the bombard loaded once more. They had a slight reprieve on the port side. Most of the elves were running to cut the corner on the point, likely getting a little down river where they could fire on the ship once more, until then however there weren’t arrows whizzing passed his head while he futzed with the ammunition.

“POWDER!” he called, already kicking the box open and reaching for the large leaden ball that would follow Tar-Di’s black powder. He opted to take a glance behind him and was surprised by what he saw on the starboard stern deck. There was Captain Dastron and his boys, huddled around three large tubes and quickly pulling components out of what seemed to be an unending bag. Willhym squinted more closely trying to figure out what they were doing when he heard the words from the Sergeant and his eyes widened.

“Mortars ready if five Captain” Willhym smiled, this would be good

“Lieutenant Ambertoe… Get Sir Thalions attention, Lieutenant Deepstone, Please find me Ms. De’Jairi, I’m going to speak with Captain Cailana. Sergeant, you have until I get back to get these mortars operations and secured… no excuses!”

“Boo Ya” the three offered as they went about their specified tasks.

Rikka killed off her final elven swordsmen and she looked across the bow. Four Chokers had just winked into existence. Doing a quick mental calculation she figured they must be summoned, there was no way that the enemy just happened to have four flying chokers stationed here in Farthur Port.

“They have a wizard or a summoned, they need to be close, within 60 feet of the ship, probably invisible” she shouted to his crewmates as he joined Trenton in the battle against the Chokers.

As the wind took up the sails and ship picked up speed there was a rush of Ceilia, Thitmed, Robinson and Thor coming up to the deck. Ceilia grabbed the ropes with THitmed trimming the sails to better catch the full breeze. Robinson crouched by a locker grabbing his war club and a crossbow. As Thor began to spin his Hammer and approached one of the Chokers.

THWAM

With one mighty strike he sent the Choker flying backwards and hurling off the side of the ship, it vanished from existence before it hit the water.

“I doth declare these cowardly foes!” Thor proclaimed spinning his hammer and approaching another enemy “I shall smite them in my Father’s Name and send them back to…”

WOMP

The breath was knocked from the dwarf as he lost grip on his hammer and sent it spiraling off into the air towards the shore. He looked down at his chest where the amethyst light had hit him

WOMP WOMP WOMP

Three more collided with his chest as he dropped to his knees. At last Robinson grabbed him and pulled him flat onto the deck

“ARCHERS ARE BACK, GET DOWN!” He cried desperately trying to patch the dwarf’s now gaping chest.

“but… but… I… am… a… God?” he whispered, the confusion evident on his face as he shuddered another breath and fell still

“NO!” Robinson cried, scooping up his comrade and carrying towards the stairwell. He took two arrows in the back for his trouble, but still the mighty ogre raced onwards, crying for Hatrutt and Belinda to make room, more wounded were coming. The clear red of the evening sky began to disappear as clouds raced in unnaturally fast and thunder began to rumble. The temperature noticeably dropped as the first freezing cold droplets began to fall.”

“By Yolo’s Big Brazenly Brass Balls!” Sergeant Thunderpike shouted as he pulled off his cloak throwing it over the mortars he was still working on trying desperately to keep the tubes dry from the oncoming rain. “Can’t we just get one little break!”

BOOM , The bombard fired into the shoreline causing some of the elves to dive for cover

BOOM BOOM came a response. The bow cannons on the Roebuck. The shots fell short by about 30 feet, they were likely just getting a sense of the range, but that didn’t bode well.

Captain Dastron jumped over the rail from the bridge bringing him back down by the mortors, he pulled of his cloak giving the tubes some extra protection as he reached into his pocket pulling what appeared to be an entire twenty five pound barrel from it. Deepstone came running up with Miriel

“The Ginger dwarf says you require my assistance?” the Strix said kneeling beside the dwarves. She was a little surprised as Rikka ran up stepping off her shoulder and diving towards the bridge

“THERE!” the elf said, her sword glowing brightly as she took a huge swipe and rolled to land on the bridge… her efforts had worked, A human winked into existence, floating maybe five feet above the bridge and directing the chokers he had summoned. Rikka turned and began a dizzing series of attacks and thrusts battering at the wizards magical armaments desperately attempting to keep him from casting anymore spells. If this fazed the Strix of the dwarves they did not show, keeping their minds on the task at hand.

“Ms. De’Jairi? I’m gonna need you to take this barrel and spread its contents between us and the Roebuck, don’t get close enough to be in trouble, just enough that we have a little room”

“I will do as you ask strange bearded man” she said taking the barrel and taking flight. Eltheron landed midshipon shaky wings.

“Flitt, Eltheron needs some love when you can” the elf called as he began racing across the deck to the dwarves.

“Aye” Called Flitt madly dueling with a large summoned ape.

“Sir Thalion, with your permission we believe we have a strategy that could help end this engagement, or at least buy us some significant time. If you like I can go over it with you…” Captain Dastron began

“What do you need?” The knight asked cutting off any explanation of the plan. The Dwarf watched the Strix finish her task, with a look to the Sergeant and another to the Captain both nodding they were ready he turned.

“I need a large wave of water pushing everything directly behind us back up river, them a wall of ice right behind the Champions Boot, I know it won’t block the entire river, but as much as it can would be good, it only needs to last about 30 seconds.

“Done” Thalion said. They waited for Miriel to be clear, before the large wave was summoned, as soon as it was the Captain turned further down river and called for all sails to be opened as he headed further from the shore line.

BOOM, the bombard fired once more, keeping the elves in the cover of the trees. Thalion summoned the long icy wall.

“Fire the mortars Sergeant” Captain Dastron ordered. Sergeant Thunderpike pulled the cloaks off the mortars and set the fuses causing all three to fire off in quick succession. The rockets did not fly for the Roebuck, but exploded along the surface of the river, lighting up the thick greasy substance Miriel had poured out.

The results were immediate, The Roebuck seeing the danger, its wizard ran and began filling the front of the sails with wind to slow the ship as oars came out and began desperately back paddling. The anchor was quickly dropped as well. The Magdalen being further back began a long wide turn to avoid the danger area. Meanwhile the ice wall slowing the advance of the flames gave the Champions Boot Plenty of time to speed onwards down river. The pursuers taken care for the crew and Banana Slugs looked to the few who were left onboard or near their ship. Willhym and Aurellia focusing on the last griffin rider while the swordsmen finished off the wizard and his summoned creatures… carefully the ship glided forward, being granted a brief breather if nothing else.

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Fly you Fools Fly pt 2

11th of Planting 383 ONT, Faurther Port Harbor, River Promethean, 6:19pm

THIG THIG THAWMP…

A trebuchet from shore launched something that came arcing through the air. The Captain kept a steady eye on it as he nudged the helm to port, causing the massive haul to splash into the water twenty feet starboard of the ship. He looked across the harbour doing the mental calculations. The Magdalen was free now and its war wizard was blasting wind into its sail trying to lurch the ship forward and after The Champions Boot. The Roebuck had turned away from them opting to try and enter the current first upriver and use their new momentum to cut them off. The Captain wasn’t sure they were wrong in that maneuver, either way it was going to be very close.

“If you haven’t already, arm yourselves” The Captain called to the crew banging a small bell beside the helm.

Flitt and Bitey were making all haste back to the Champions Boot when he saw the splash. A large grey boulder just missed the ship and sank before him. The shark adjusted course without issue, but both were shocked when two hands reached out grabbing Bitey and slamming him into the ground, dislodging Flitt from his back. That was no boulder, Flitt realised in horror as he ripped his scimitar from its sheath and took a swing, he belatedly recalled the downside to his weapon as the blade passed harmlessly through the damaged Clay Golem. The Golem reached its massive hands towards the Gripply surely spelling the frog’s unfortunate end; when Bitey came up behind the hulking enemy, biting and thrashing the one who dared attack his food bringer. Flitt had barely begun a sigh when he saw one large Golem hand grab the shark by the gills as the other began to punch poor Bitey over and over again, pummeling the poor shark. Summoning his courage he said the ancient war cry of his god

“Not cool Bro, Not cool” and leapt to the defense of Bitey, swapping to his other scimitar and unloading a fury of assaults.

Ser Thalion circled overhead, with his view of the harbor he could see that Flitt was in trouble below

“What do you think Eltheron? Can we dive that deep?” he asked the eagle, trying to gauge the depth himself. Seven to fifteen feet… that was a stretch for even Eltheron, especially considering the weight they would be trying to grab “Remember, we just want to fling it fifty or sixty feet behind the ship, it will be too slow in the water to catch us once we are in the current. The eagle ruffled its feathers, but offered no comment, merely circling to gain altitude and align its run. The knight loosened his straps… he would jump off in the water, saving a few hundred pounds of weight for the eagle so he could better complete the maneuver. Eltheron could circle back for him once he had dumped his payload. The eagle twisted and began its dive

BOOF! BOOF! Thalion looked to the left and in horror wrenched on the reigns pulling his friend out of the dive just in time as two large Stingers fired from the Magdalen, a massive barbed net stretched between. The eagle beat its massive wings and it twisted, just missing the upper corner of the net. Thalion pet his friend in appreciation, that had been no small feat of flying, as the eagle realigned for another approached he took the opportunity to fire two shots from his bow, focusing on the stinger crews on the bow of the Magdalen to slow their second attempt. His eyes scanned the harbor and he signed, signaling with his knees to wheel left and cancel the approach. Two Griffins were launching from the Roebuck deck and turning towards them. Thalion holstered his bow, shrugging his shield into place and drawing his spear. His eagle wheeled again allowing the Griffin riders the honour of equal altitude. He hefted his spear signalling a challenge and nodded as the two hefted their lances in return. A Joust it would be then.

THUD, THUD THUD.

Three arrows with wood biting arrows sunk into the port side of the Champion Boot. Long slender ropes connected them to trees along the shore