12th of Ready’reat Champions Boot, Eastern Ocean, 42 miles off the St. Elmo’s Shoal
Mandy woke from her hammock in a start, her senses were bombarded immediately and it took a few seconds to catch her bearings. Ms. Ouellette was standing over her; one hand braced on the bottom of her hammock, the other on the wall. The lantern hanging in the room was swinging wildly as it appeared the ship was pitching from port to starboard badly
“ALL HANDS ON DECK” Ms. Ouellette called, not harshly, just to be heard over the thundering waves that were crashing into the boat. “DRESS WARM AND DRY FAST AND GET UP THERE!” she hollard. Mandy nodded rolling out of her Hammock, she landed ankle deep in water, her heart jumped into her throat, were they sinking? She looked around to see what was happening. Mr. Fargazer was up and already dressed, Prancer was getting dressed quickly, a worried look on his face. She moved to her box and started pulling out clothing and getting changed. The door opened at the end and another flood of water cascaded into the room. Hatrutt waddled in, wearing a thick waxed leather coat with a hood, he was soaked through and much of the coat was icing up as well. He carried an odd device and several hoses.
“Prancer, soon as yer dressed lad, help me get the pump set up, we need to get this water outta here. Mandy, Captain needs ya on the bridge as soon as yer dressed. Flit and Aurellia, Bosuns looking for ya on the bow deck soon as ya can” the little gnome declared as he started flaking out hose. Prancer pulled on his coat and joined him as Flit and Aurellia quickly headed out onto the deck. Mandy dressed as quick as she could and followed.
She climbed the deck, losing her footing twice before she could made it up the stairs. Looking out onto the ocean her timing was perfect as the sheet lighting set a white glow across the clouds showing a raging sea with massive swells. Several of the incoming waves seemed larger than their little ship
“Kelezandri save me” she swore unconsciously, immediately resigned to her death. She saw the Bosun and Master Gunner by the mast huddled with Ms. Ouelette, Mr. Fargazer, and Ms. De’Jairi. She could hear the Bosuns strong voice carry on the wind
“First Mate says ropes are too dangerous for most, will get tangled in your jobs, Flit, you are rescue man, we have three hundred feet of rope secured here with the other end on you. Perch here and keep eyes on the crew, anyone goes over, you go over and get them>”
“AYE AYE BOSUN!” The little Grippli called over the storm
“Mirel, please help the Master Gunner secure Jonathan, extra lashings, he’s tak….”
The very ship rocked with the blast of the thunder, Mandy was sure she may have wet herself a bit, never had she heard thunder like that before
“taking a real beating up there!” the Bosun finished “Watch the deck all, it’s slippery as hell… Aurellia….” Mandy turned back towards the bridge, remembering her summons. She carefully made her way across the deck towards the bridge, it was slick, the rain was coming down in chunky bits of ice, freezing with anything on contact, the entire deck was a skating rink constantly being doused with more water. She made it to the stairs as a wave washed over the deck. She was underwater, and freezing, she was going to die, she couldn’t hold on, and then she was on deck breathing…. She had been lucky enough to hold the railing as the wave had washed over her… she couldn’t imagine how she was going to carry on. She coughed and sputtered as she climbed the steps coming up onto the bridge. As she did a pair of warm hands grabbed her and pulled her aside. She could see Ms. Featherfoot, tied to the rail grab hold of her and offer and very scared smile, the kind meant to comfort idiot children who couldn’t tell that they were doomed. Mandy knew she had to be brave so offered the same smile back, hoping it gave some comfort. She looked back over the deck and was shocked to see the ships wizard out near the bow, he was glowing a sickly green and seemed to be firing of spells to dissipate the larger waved that threatened to capsize the ship. She could see the entire crew working at one thing or another and turned back to the bridge. Mr. Cane and Master Ironbraid were working together wrestling with the Helm to desperately try and hold a course on the ship. Even the Captain seemed to be hurrying about adjusting bits and pieces of the ship, when he wasn’t helping the other two hold the course. He saw Mandy and their eyes locked, with a skip that would put the finest of acrobats to shame he soared across the bridge landing in a crouch in front of her. He leaned over and spoke into her ear, his tone conveyed importance and urgency but also confidence, as if this was little more than an inconvenience, worthy of attention but not worth getting worked up about.
“Mandy my dear…” he said speaking directly into her ear, using her real name sent a shiver down her spine “I am going to need my lute please” she pulled back and looked him in the eye assure he hadn’t gone completely mad. The Captain gave her a look that made her feel a deep sense of shame and she leaned in to hear further instructions “in the dresser, by the armor stand in the third drawer are a set of strings, they will be a dark green in colour, I need you to please, carefully, unstring the loot and put the old strings in the drawer, and sting it with the green strings, top to bottom darkest to lightest in colour, understand?” he pulled her back to look her in the eyes, his were clear, he seemed here in the moment, she nodded her understanding.
“MAN OVERBOARD! MAN OVERBOARD STARBOARD BOW” a call arose from the deck below.
“Go now Mandy, and hurry, our lives are in your hands” the Captain said, turning her around and ushering her to the stairs, he then turned and yelled to the men on the Helm “BRING HER AROUND! HARD STARBOARD HARD!” the Captain did not wait to see if his orders were followed, he dove over Mandy taking all the stairs in one go and rolled across the deck towards the mast. The ship lurched hard to the right, causing Mandy to near lose her footing, giant waves crashed over them. She waited until they abated enough for her to slide down the stairs on her but and find the refuge of the Captains Quarters.