Opportunists and Scavengers - Depths of Depravity
Ladies Thea Malvici and Amieli Igniseri have discerned the name and likely location of the ship suspected of stealing aid from the Lowers. It's time for the active part of the investigation, boarding the vessel at sea.
July 10, 2020, 10 p.m.
Outside Arx - Crownlands near Arx - At Sea within Sight of Shore
Comments and Log
Zoey gets stiff leather bracers from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Zoey gets a supple fitted sharkskin jacket with a violet sailing ship from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Zoey gets a lilac-tinged grey pair of sleek sharkskin pants from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Zoey gets a lilac-tinged grey pair of sturdy sharkskin boots from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Zoey gets Dawn's Light, an alaricite bow from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Zoey gets a beautiful, shiny, beaded, striped scarf from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
The sun shines unrelentingly on the deck of The Runner, as Tancred stands before the mast, arms folded behind his back. The Runner has laid anchor off the coast of the Crownlands east of Arx, strategically hidden by a stretch of coast from the cove, which, according to Thea's information, is the favored landing point of The Manta Ray. The galley is suspected of selling food stolen from relief efforts, and of participating in the disappearance of many desperate young men and women.
Standing not far from Tancred is Heruna, her hair in braids, and a dagger in her belt. Frowning, her dark eyes scour the ocean, searching for any sign of The Manta Ray. Luigi, wearing a dark black leather vest marked with the sigil of House Seraceni, a black ship on a golden flame, runs a whetstone over the blade of his cutlass. The rest of the sailors look hot and bored. "'S a waste a' time. We should be looting in the Chain," says a sailor as she coils some rope. "Aye," says her mate, scratching at his sweat-stained bandanna. "But I wouldn't mind feedin' theys as steal from the desperate to the sharks. Just the fuckin' waiting I can't endure."
"Endure it," says Luigi glancing toward the sailor, "And get back to work."
Zoey puts a lilac-tinged grey pair of sturdy sharkskin boots in a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Ian puts Folded Collar, White Laced Linen Shirt, Vest with steel buttons, and a hinged star iron portrait case and chain in Oiled leather bag.
Ian gets beat up leather coat from Oiled leather bag.
Ian gets a star iron shoulder guard from Oiled leather bag.
Ian gets hardened leather vambraces from Oiled leather bag.
Zoey puts Sinister Spider Shimmering Silken Shift in a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Zoey puts Sinister Spider Specially Selected Silk Slippers in a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Zoey gets a lilac-tinged grey pair of sturdy sharkskin boots from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
Ian is not, shall we say, especially sure-footed on the deck of a ship. In fact, he is the opposite of that, like he can't feel the ground move under him and adjust accordingly. But a combination of a well-honed spacial and situational awareness and all of the various things that can be held onto on a ship means that there are only a couple of falls. In fact, he moves faster, and with more confidence on a ship than he does on land. He's willing to lend a hand to the sailing, but doesn't insist on doing so.
Thea lifts her eyebrow a bit at the sailors. The flecks of gold in her eyes look amused as she asks them,"Do you always complains so much?" stepping over from her place. She herself moves quite well on a ship and the heat doesn't seem to bother her much. "Need anything help,"Thea asks.
Raja had performed her duties while sailing to their stake out point. So now comes the wait. This part can be nerve wracking, but something Raja is accustomed to. So, from her vantage on the ship, she keeps a look out, scanning the horizon. She plants her hands onto the railing of the ship, leaning forward just a bit. Eventually, the unrelenting sun gets to her, so a bit of water is used to pour over her head to keep her cool.
Zoey finds a place to sit out of the way and enjoy the sun. She is dressed in her leathers again, with a violet and white scarf coiled at her hip. She watches those more nautically inclined go about their work, but does not interfere.
Also apparently unbothered by the waiting, Amieli follows Raja's example, standing in quiet vigil under the sun somewhere she is not interfering with the crew's work around the ship.
"Normally it's twice as much, m'lady," says the sailor to Thea, chuckling and switching from scratching his head to his arm pit. Luigi frowns. Tancred observes the movements of Ian with some fascination, but has the tact to keep his thoughts to himself, clearly recognizing him as an experienced seaman.
"Ship's off the port side!" yells a sailor from the crow's nest atop the galley's mast. Heruna leans forward, squinting against the sun. "To oars!" roars Luigi, rushing to take one himself. "Lower the sail," bellows Tancred, as ship, like a disturbed bee hive is instantly alive with activity.
Raja perks up at the sight of the ship. A rather feral grin crosses her features. When the orders are called, Raja hops to action, she moves to the rigging attached to the sails, using her knowledge of sailing to manipulate it and assist with the sails.
Ian helps with lowering the sails, and then takes a position where he'll be in a good place to participate in a boarding action. He still just has his cane (hanging from a little loop on his belt probably crafted for that purpose right now) and divers knife, but otherwise seems unarmed. Of course, the cane was more than enough back in the bar.
Ian checked command + sailing at difficulty 25, rolling 18 higher.
"Lovely,"The declares with a chuckle. She too hurries to go help with the lowering of the sails. Thea hates being idle and this she can do.
Zoey watches Raja up in the rigging with slight concern for a moment, then looks out toward the other ship as they approach.
The Runner picks up speed as the oars touch the sea. The sailors pull, and the wind begins to fill the sail, aided by the swift actions of the Sword of Stormward. The incoming ship, bearing the flag of Seraceni sailing at a fair speed and making for the sandy cove, while The Runner is on course to intercept. "Row!" roars Luigi, as the ships move towards each other.
Raja and Zoey notice a row of sailors aboard the incoming vessel lining up with bows in hand.
Zoey wields Dawn's Light, an alaricite bow.
Raja watches the sails unfurl and fluff out in the wind. Her gaze lifts and looks back out to the ship as they approach. "Archers!" She calls out in warning! She dips down, taking a bit of cover. No need to be standing in the open as a target!
Ian checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 25 higher.
Thea hears Raja and--Gods. Thea isn't stupid! She doesn't have a bow or anything to fight back. Not THAT way. She goes to take cover for the time being, just in case. Thea goes where she can still see her surroundings, so there's that.
Also being no archer, Amieli leaves her vantage point with the shouted warning, joining Thea at her place of cover.
Zoey's warning, causes the Seraceni sailors aboard the Runner to grab for shields and form a wall. A hail of arrows is launched from the enemy galley.
At Raja's cry Zoey readies her bow. As the arrows rain down she readies to return fire from behind one of the shields.
Ian checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 14 higher.
Zoey checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.
Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 35 higher. Zoey rolled a critical!
Raja checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 48 higher.
Thea checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 51 higher.
Amieli checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.
As the ships come together, Ian doesn't retreat from the place he chose, a place where boarding will be easy. Even under a hail of arrows, he stays where he is, his confidence probably helped to small degree by the fact that his coat is lined with steelsilk. Indeed, he uses his arm to deflect one of them, and it skitters off his coat like he was wearing metal armor. Good metal armor.
Raja immediately slides from the rigging and hops down to where those muscle-bound oarsmen are with their shields. She lands with a crouch, scurrying under cover as the shadows of the arrows begin to hit the deck. From behind her belt, she pulls out an alaricite dagger, grinning ear to ear. The thrill of the fight seems to fill her with adrenaline and excitement.
Seeing the men in the boat, Thea silently makes her way down. Queitly. She's not known to be stupid, so she ducks behind one of the oarsmen-you know-the one that has a shield. Meanwhile, she slides her dagger out, just in case. It's far smaller than her kopis at the moment. Thea's eyes do lift up to Ian, shaking her head,"And you wondered why I said I was making you a post Ian injury box."
When the break comes after the first volley, Zoey pops out from behind her cover to return fire. One, two, three rapidly fired arrows find their way into the chests of enemy archers. With a spin she gets back behind her cover, mumbling a prayer while she awaits a second volley.
Ian looks back at Thea for the barest moment. "I'm not hurt," he promises her. Then he follows Zoey's deadly arrowfire by yelling out to the other ship: "LAY DOWN YOUR ARMS AND SURRENDER! THIS WILL BE YOUR ONLY CHANCE!"
Fast enough to reach the shelter of the shields between the shouted warning and the loosing of arrows, Amieli stands unharmed and listens for a reply to Ian's shouted request.
"Victory or death!" roars Elroth, holding a two-handed falchion high in the air aboard the enemy galley. "Kill them, and take everything!" A cheer rises from archers who survived Zoey's onslaught, and a number of other traitors of House Seraceni draw cutlasses, daggers, and clubs.
Ian checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 16 higher.
Raja checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 31 higher.
Thea checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 20 higher.
Raja checked command + intimidation at difficulty 30, rolling 34 higher.
Amieli checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.
As the ships crash together, Ian uses the change of momentum to his advantage (or more, the fact that he still has forward momentum and the ship does not) to swing over the railing and drop into a roll on the other ship. It's not exactly graceful, and there's some flailing to make sure he's on his feet at the end of it all, but if anyone were inclined to laugh, the alaricite sword that he draws from within his cane is probably going to do a lot to shut that up. An alaricite sword that he had in his confrontation with Elroth and did not use.
Raja uses her knife to cut at her fingertip. It is a small cut, just enough to bring out a small amount of blood. She smears it on her fingers and then swipes it across her face in a streak. It is meant to make her more scary. With a feral roar, she emerges from behind the shield and charges into the other boat! Her alaricite dagger is now tainted with a smear of blood and a crazy Culler running at them like a terrifying banshee!
As the boat gets closer, Thea hurries and slides her dagger back into it's sheath and draws her kopis into. Just as they crash, she effortlessly climbs over the rail, landing gracefully on both feet. Kinda like she's done this before. SURPRISE! ANYONE?! No? Damnit! Diamondplated kopis in hand Thea wields it and off she goes.
Thea wields Skystrike, the finely crafted diamondplate kopis.
First her husband and then her protege board the enemy ship. Zoey knocks another arrow, ready to cover them. Oh, and there goes Thea too. She cannot mind them all.
As Raja leaps onto the deck of The Manta Ray, roaring - the sailors, hardened though they may be to fighting merchant sailors, recoil, leaving an opening for the dread Culler. As Ian lands on deck, armed sailors surround him, and a few chuckles are heard when the alaricite emerges from the cane. "Should be gettin' spoon fed on yer death bed, Mate," says one of the traitorous pirates. Several other Seraceni pirates join Ian, Raja, Thea and Amieli on board the Manta Ray. Elroth roars, "Kill them!" and a violent melee breaks out on the deck of the galley.
Boats are not Amieli's favored terrain, but where she lacks skill she makes do with either luck, or an almost uncanny ability for timing; She is jumping in the second before the ships properly meet, and even then it seems the Igniseri might miss and fall into the ocean. But luckily that is not the case, and she is across, rolling to her feet with a cutlass she most definitely was not holding before, perhaps taken from one of the victims of Zoey's exquisite archery.
Thea checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 57 higher. Thea rolled a critical!
Ian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 16 higher.
Raja checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 30 higher.
Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 20, rolling 42 higher.
Amieli checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 14 higher.
Raja charges towards the closest sucker, screaming like a crazy woman. Her alaricite dagger slices out, cutting through thin leather like it was butter. She manages to slice a deep gouge into sucker number one, then spins and shoves her dagger upwards into the soft jawmeat under the chin. Raja is brutal, unforgiving, and shows a ferocious bloodlust in her attacks.
"I don't see any of you wielding a spoon," Ian deadpans right back. "ELROTH! Face me like a man." Ian's uncertain swaying and almost-falling on the ship makes his movement unpredictable and makes him very difficult to hit as he works his way over to wherever Elroth is, once shoulderchecking someone who's in his way to be not in his way, and once using the shaft of his cane, which he holds in his off hand, to ram someone in the stomach. "I surprised you last time," he tells the big man, almost conversationally as they engage.
The trade of swordstrikes is brief before Ian, once again, uses the dirty shipboard combat that fighting pirates most of his life has taught him. He knocks the man's sword aside, drops the cane bit of his cane sword to free up his hand, and performs some kind of complicated motion with grasping Elroth's shoulder and hooking his foot, throwing him over his hip and ending with the both of them scrambling on the ground, and Elroth with weapon still in hand...
Zoey takes aim and fires again from her place on their ship. She is less concerned with any possible threat to herself now, instead watching the people she cares about on the other ship and striking down any who threaten them from a distance. Another one, near Raja, drops like a puppet with cut strings.
As sailors fall to the deck under Raja's blade, a wide circle emerges around the Culler. The sailors, held by fear, cannot attack her. Pushing through the circle, Captain Vena arrives. "I don't know who you are," she says, her brown eyes gleaming in the afternoon sun, "but I will send you to the depths." She moves her coat, and draws a rubicund cutlass from its scabbard, lunging at Raja with a well-timed sweep of her blade.
Raja checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 50, rolling 20 higher.
And that appropriated cutlass is certainly no alaracite: Amieli wields plain steel, chipped and dulled, and makes do. At least, one would presume. Plainly dressed, of unassuming stature, and holding one of the enemy's weapons, she vanishes into the press of bodies. Then her blade parts not leather armor, but the fleshy neck of a pirate, and she is gone again.
Raja checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 23 higher.
Zoey checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.
40 inflicted and Zoey is unharmed.
Weaving her way through the sailors, throwing a punch and and elbow here and there. Because Gods! They're everywhere! Thea hurries over to where she hears the voice of Ian and Eroth, her diamondplate kopis in hand,"Shite! Eirene and Caly are going to kill me first!" But oh! Ian really is in a prediament. "Hey Elroth. Nice weapon you have there,"Thea declares first. While he's scambling about Thea quickly cuts his hand. THAT hand! The weapon hand! The fatty flesh. So that it drops. THEN THEN, she hurriedly kicks him in the side before she looks him in the eye. Above him. And stabs him. In the gut. There is no finese in what she does. None. The Malvici simply wanted it done and over.
Amieli checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 15 higher.
"If you plan on stuffing your box with moves like that, I'll take it," Ian tells Thea, while he staggers to his feet. "You think you've got another in there somewhere?" He's already moving to engage Vena.
Ian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 50, rolling 14 higher.
Blood coats the deck, spilling out from the fallen crew around her. She spins around, looking for her next victim with a gluttonous glee. However, the crew has smartly given her a wide berth, trying to avoid her blade. "Cowards!" She taunts at the pirates. Then, there is a real threat. The woman comes out and Raja pauses simply to size her up. "You steal food from the mouths of my people. I will see you punished this day." Raja says with a feral grin. Then as the sword comes in to lunge towards her, Raja steps to the side, the blade going past her. She turns to engage, but there is crew surrounding her once more. "Fine." Raja comments before lunging in to slice up even more pirates!
Elroth coughs up a red froth as he holds his gut, blood oozing onto the deck. "Damn you, Malvi...." his eyes roll backwards, and his soul returns to the Wheel.
Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 33 higher.
Thea checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 50, rolling 1 lower.
80 inflicted and Thea is harmed for serious damage.
An arrow strikes Zoey's shoulder, and for a moment she thinks it might have gotten through. Lucky for her though, the sharkskin leather has saved her skin again. A quick sigh of relief, and Zoey takes aim again. Vena has two guards, and Ian is heading her way. "Let's even those odds." She looses one arrow, then another, dropping them both.
A glint of steel, another slain pirate, and Amieli uses the chaos afforded by Raja's frenzy and the forming circle to move with the crowd in the hopes of not being associated with her stealthy deeds.
Amieli checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 31 higher.
Ian stumbles and sways his way towards Vena, once literally catching himself on one of the enemy pirates before he can fall and then stabbing said pirate in the side before continuing on his way. His expression betrays a profound serenity as he approaches the captain. His electric blue eyes show the calm of the sea a few days before a hurricane. "You should have surrendered." And with that, he engages. No cutesy Eurusi wrestling moves this time -- Vena is a real opponent, and Ian has to focus on dodging a couple of her guards on top of fighting her. That is, until he doesn't. He looks at Vena, a moment of true understanding between them that she has -all- of his attention now. "You shouldn't have made an enemy of me."
Their swords move almost too fast for the eye to follow, but there's a moment when Ian ducks in a direction she didn't expect, straight under her guard, delivering a nasty wound when he drives the alaricite blade of his blade right through her shoulder.
Thea smirks at Elroth as she withdraws her blade from her belly. Hurrying from there, she scurries up and chuckles at Ian,"I don't know. Let's find out." She darts off, avoiding the fallen bodies already piling up. Her adrenalin is high now as she shoots off, her longs carrying her off toward Vena. "You-!" the Malvici calls out! "How dare you take what isn't yours!" And you guess it, she's off helping the Kennex again.
Thea is a flurry of red. She's quick. She's always quick. Fast. She watches for Ian as well, her strikes landing well until well..they're not. With a spin and a parry, Vena slashes her, right in the left leg. Thea winces in pain, and falls to one knee. Refusing to cry out, but gritting her teeth.
Amieli checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 10, rolling 49 higher.
"They took my whole family!" roars Vena, as she spins, blood flying from her shoulder wound to face Ian - a fierce rage in her eyes. "Everyone I care about is ~" Thea's attack is met with a parry, and she manages to slash Thea's leg, giving some ground.
Raja checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 30, rolling 42 higher.
Zoey checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 25, rolling 3 lower.
Raja checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.
Ian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 50, rolling 15 higher.
Thea checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 50, rolling 18 higher.
40 inflicted and Zoey is harmed for minor damage.
It'd take someone with a quick eye to see it, but Ian has switched from attack to defense, fighting off Vera's attacks with the wall of steel (well, alaricite) that he's famous for his ability to create. He's right there, right in her face where they can have a rational (or not) conversation, but he might as well be on the moon for all that she can get through his guard to strike him. "Tell your men to lay down their arms, and we'll sort this out. I'll answer for making sure my people honor a truce."
Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 50, rolling 14 higher.
Raja manages to fell her opponents. She pauses, glancing around to see who needs to be stabbed next. Her gaze falls upon that Captain. It would seem she is distracted by Ian and Thea. Being an opportunistic fighter that she is, Raja stalks her newest prey. With bloodied dagger in hand, she stalks closer and closer... Suddenly, Raja lashes out to strike the captain in the back! The blade goes deep into the back and she steps closer, "My name is Raja Culler. Now you know who I am." The knife twists and she rips it back out.
This arrow was aiming for her eye, and thank the gods that Zoey turned her head enough that it only grazed her cheek instead. Time to do what she should have done before and aim to take the head off the snake. She aims for Vena, and looses her arrow in a clear arc.
Thea grits her teeth with sheer determination and raises back to her feet. She hears Ian, but then she hears Raja. So much for talking she assumes. Thea lifts her blade again, her gold-flecked green eyes determined,"You took from people who have NOTHING,"her voice low and eerily calm. That said, the Malvici darts forward and proceeds at Vena again, no fea.
With the maelstrom of the melee still raging overhead, Amieli finds herself belowdecks, sneaking through the rations and wine barrels. Combat is muffled here, quiet enough she can hear conversation through a door leading deeper into the hold. Carefully, attempting to remain in hiding, she sneaks as close as she dares and strains to listen to the words.
Amieli checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.
"It doesn't have to end this way." Even with Thea cutting Vena to ribbons, Ian's still not trying to strike her. "If you order --" Then, suddenly, he's moving. He darts straight into Vena's guard, grabs her by the shoulder, and spins her away from... Zoey's arrow buries itself in his shoulder, causing him to grunt in pain. He deliberately stepped in the path of that arrow.
80 inflicted and Ian is harmed for moderate damage.
Zoey checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.
Zoey's arrow slices the air in a perfect arc, descending swiftly towards Vena. Ian, however, steps in the path of the arrow, and it sinks deep into his shoulder. Blood splatters on the face of Vena, and her eyes widen in shock and amazement. She drops her sword.
Raja checked command + intimidation at difficulty 20, rolling 12 higher.
Thea digs her sword out from Vena and--stares at Ian. "Ian. You're going to be death of me. I swear to Gods." She lowers her sword for the moment, watching Vena do the same. She's not going to the stab an unarmed woman. Not when Ian is getting all shot for proving something.
She does not cry out and she does not drop her bow, but when her arrow lands not in the torso of her intended target but in her husband's back Zoey is stunned. Ian is injured by her arrow. She freezes in place.
"Why?" Vena looks up at Ian in disbelief.
No one is downstairs. At least, not in this section of the hold. So it is in the safety of solitude that the Igniseri works the lock with deft fingers. She reaches for the door handle and looks up in time to spot the powder trap. As quietly as she can, the Igniseri positions the nearest crate of supplies, providing her with enough leverage to unbolt the box, and finally safely swing open the door.
"Because I'm very good at what I do," Ian says to Vena through gritted teeth. "So I try to be careful about when and to whom I do it. Would you please tell your men to stop fucking shooting at my wife?"
A cacophony of calls emanate from the various cells of The Manta Ray towards Amieli. At least 30 people are spread through the six cells, each chained together, nearly naked, and desperate.
Raja watches as the events unfold. She knows the woman is defeated. She has no qualms with outright killing the woman it seems. However, Ian is talking to her and even saves her from Zoey's arrow! She blinks and does a double-take back to Zoey. However, what is done is done. More crewmen begin to move in and Raja straightens up, turning to brandish her bloodied blade and blood-spattered form. "I would /love/ to slice up more of you gods-be-damned morons." A nasty smile is offered. "But, if you lay your weapons down now, your lives can be spared. You have three seconds to comply. Three. Two..." She steps closer in a menacing manner. "One.."
A significant number of the sailor drop their weapons at Raja's command. "It's over," says Vena, wincing from Thea's wound. She looks up at Ian, and says more softly, "It's over."
On the deck, a number of Seraceni pirates who sailed aboard Tancred's Runner lie dead - but far more of of from The Manta Ray have joined the Shinning Lands.
Thea watches the scene unfold around her. She turns her eyes toward Vena, a bit of distrust in her eyes. "I can tend to your wounds if you swear your done. If you talk and answer whatever questions that will be coming your way--because I promise you, there will be questions." Her voice her low, quiet. "But I promise to look at your injuries and any other that needs tending to.."
Amieli resurfaces into this atmosphere, her voice finding its way over the unease of post-combat.
"I could use some help downstairs, please?" She glances back where she apparently came from. "Fairly soon, if at all possible."
They are dropping their weapons. Zoey sees this when she realizes no more arrows are coming and glances around. She puts away her bow and steps toward the railing, but she does not leave the ship that carried them here.
... until she hears Amieli and goes to help.
Ian stumbles with a rocking of the ship, catches himself with the arm that has an arrow in the shoulder, and swears a steady stream under his breath. From his face, he's not in agony or anything, but lord that's got to hurt. "I'm going to ask Lady Thea to take this arrow out of my shoulder, and then we can sort this out. Keep your people calm." He looks to Raja. "Let's hear them out before we decide what they deserve. There's no bringing anyone back to life if we find out later that we killed them for the wrong reasons." He's probably hoping she'll keep everyone from going back to fighting, because he's losing blood now, and probably won't be in a position to exercise that kind of control for a little while. Then Amieli's asking for help and he looks in her direction.
Raja looks around and then to Amieli. She wipes her blade off with a bit of cloth, then the blood from her face. She sheathes her blade and turns to head in Amieli's direction. "I can help." She says to the woman.
Thea starts to head over to Ian, looking to Amieli,"What is it?" She'll remain here for the moment. Make sure no one gets backstabbed..Well, again anyway. She starts working on on that arrow, sighing, muttering something about sewing.
"I'm not saying shit," says Vena to Thea. "Dio will hang me anyway." To Ian, Vena says, "I did what I had to do. The Gray Woman will enslave all of Ischia. Nothing will stop that. Best we can do is take what we can in the mean time."
Meanwhile, Raja makes her way into the galley's hold to stand near Amieli. The prisoners in cages call out for help, a wild, desperate plea for freedom, from people who have clearly been captive some time.
The Igniseri allows the cries to speak for themselves: seemingly satisfied, Amieli nods, waits for anyone to approach who might, and turns back to the hold. It would only be a matter of seconds to notice the mass of chained individuals through the door she left open, after all.
Zoey checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 144 higher. Zoey rolled a critical!
Raja checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 10 lower.
Raja descends into the bowels of the ship. Her eyes go wide. The Liberator's face says it all. Her breathing quickens and her hands ball into fists. "I'm going to kill them. I am going to kill them all." The Culler turns on her heels, taking out the blade again, marching back up. "YOU ALL DESERVE DEATH!" The Culler rages.
Thea lifts her eyebrow at Vena,"Who is the Gray Woman?" Ignoring the first bit--but then Raja is up, pissed. "What is it?" Thea asks her, concern on her face.
Once Thea breaks the shaft of the arrow, Ian's able to take off his jacket to give her better access to the injury. Without his coat on, and with Thea cutting away his shirt on the left side, the extensive scarring on his left arm is much more visible. Not scars from swords, nor from arrows. A beast did this, but a beast bigger than any beast bigger, even, than a bear. Whatever put its teeth and claws into him straight up shouldn't exist. He'll give Vena a chance to get a good look at said scarring before telling her: "I've faced unbeatable monsters before. Tell me..." Then he hears Raja telling and swears again and, arrow still in his shoulder, excuses himself.
Zoey pauses by Elroth's body when she batches a glint of something shiny, and snatches a ring of jingling keys. It takes a brief moment, and then she rushes to where the shouting is going from. "Help is coming!"
"The abyss is behind this," Ian snaps out to Raja without more than a glance at the caged people. Pain puts strain in his voice, but it's still strong. "You kill these people now, you're just cleaning up loose ends for the slaver, and someone else picks up where these people left off. More people taken. Is that what you want?"
It is not long before Zoey and Raja pass each other, with the Voice of Stormward decending into the Manta Ray's hold, to see cells filled with desperate men and women. In her hands, Zoey Kennex holds the keys to their liberation. Meanwhile, on deck, the crew of the Manta Ray has thrown down their weapons. Luigi has set about organizing the prisoners, and turns to exchange a word with Tancred, as Raja makes her way out, and Ian speaks.
Raja had marched up to random pirate npc number 14 and grips him by the collar, yanking him closer to her. She lifts her blade in the air to simply murder the surrendered man. Her hand trembles as she fights off the urge to just outright murder the man in front of her. After a long, tense moment, she just shoves the pirate back to the floor and spits on him. The blade is resheathed and she spins on her heels to go back into the bowels of the ship to assist the people there. As she descends, the rage subsides, leaving her eyes misty and hands balled up at her sides.
Perhaps quietly relieved to have someone else in the horrible room of chained and naked slaves with her, Amieli trails behind Zoey and the keys.
Thea works on Ian arrow wound, fully knowing where the other large beastly scar came from. She looks back and calls out to Raja and Zoey,"If they need tending to, let me know! I'll be there as I can!" There is a slight anger in her tone. Not at them, but at the situation. Her lips thin, but she continues working with a steady hand. Never forgetting her training.
Keys in hand, Zoey quickly goes about unlocking the cell doors. Each door seems to take a few tries, both because there is trial and error in finding the right key, and there is a slight shake to her hands as she tries them. "You are all going to be okay," she assures the prisoners. "We are going to get you home."
Ian lingers in the room with the desperate, caged people. There's still an arrow in his shoulder because he hasn't had time to let Thea take it out beyond just breaking the shaft, but he lingers. This is a lot of people and a desperate situation, and damned if he's going to let things get out of control and end with Zoey getting hurt. He makes for a stark, even threatening figure in the doorway, his off-white shirt stained with blood and a sword in hand, with no trace of sympathy in his expression.
The pirate spared by Raja sinks to the ground, having no doubt seen a life of vile deeds pass before his eyes. Luigi says to one of the crew of The Runner, "Make sure they're all bound, and get them aboard The Runner."
"Aye, Sir!" says the mate, and the victorious sailors set to binding the surrendered pirates, and moving them to The Runner, which is now lashed alongside The Manta Ray.
Thea gets there. She really does. But you know, she took a nice cut to the leg so she's limping pretty nice now. Stopping for a moment, she reaches in her bag and ties a scarf around the wound to stop the bleeding. "Shite!" she exhales. That done, she gets to the others--wanting to see for herself how they are.
Thea checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 20, rolling 39 higher.
Ian checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 20, rolling 3 lower.
Raja stops before the cages, watching and looking. She furrows her brows. She then moves forward to help the people get free, pulling free shackles and assisting various people up the stairs. One particularly frail woman is lifted in her arms and she carries the woman up to the deck above.
Zoey has the keys, so Amieli brings what supplies she can find in the main hold in the wake of her reassurances. Following Zoey's progress through the cells, each of the freed victims is offered food, drink.
The freed captives gaze upon Amieli with a sense of wonder, and devour the food she offers them - a few so much they get sick. The majority, however, find themselves much relieved, though the wasting of their bodies shows the complete disregard the traitors had for their 'cargo.'
Once all the cages have been opened, Zoey hangs the keys on a nearby nail sticking out of the wall. Like Amieli, she then goes back and starts helping with the prisoners, making sure they are given fed and water, and helping the weakest of them to exit the cages. The scrape across her cheek burns an angry red, and she very deliberately avoids looking at Ian.
One by one, Thea maticulously checks on those that were caged. Each gets fruit and of some kind and some dried fish-who cares--it likely came from Southport and Dio can suck it if he says anything. She will happily have words. "They are all definitely malnurished,"she says, finally straighening. "The coloring? It's yellow. My guess--two weeks. Maybe more." Thea begins handing them various medicines, explaining their uses and what their for. Each a different remedy.
Ian withdraws once it's clear there's not going to be some kind of riot that ends with Zoey getting stabbed. He's not going to pull Thea away from people who need her attention way more than he does, so he finds a place to sit, and uses cloth torn form the body of some nearby dead pirate to staunch the bleeding while he tries to pick out exactly where the shaft part of his cane rolled off to after he dropped it.
Tancred makes his way to Thea, Zoey and Amieli. "The prisoners have been taken aboard The Runner. We'll set some of our crew to beach the Manta Ray here, and return with the prisoners immediately to Arx." His eyes pass to the freed people. He frowns. "We can see them home as well."
Raja is silent in her work. But, it is clear she has a sensitive side. She is very gentle with the frail, malnourished people being rescued. She makes a point not to look at the imprisoned pirates as they are filed away. She secretly hopes their chains are too tight and make their hands or feet turn necrotic. But, she gently offers water and food to the people. Not -too- much food as too much can hurt a malnourished person.
Once he's bleeding a little less and he's managed to put his cane back together, Ian goes looking for Vena again. He's leaving the wrangling of people to people who are good at wrangling people.
Thea lowers her voice quietly to the once captives,"There. Don't eat so fast, alright. I know you're hungry, but you'll get sick." She then double checks to make she's given them everything they need before stepping back. The pirates? The pirates her gold-flecked green eyes flash with anger. A dark anger that she swallows before she says,"Who else needs me?" Knowing full well Ian does. She will at some point, she knows. But she can wait..
To Tancred, Thea bows her head, thanking him with a small smile,"Thank you. To you and your crew. We appreciate everything you've done." Thea's southern accent, her tone, it's all genuine and sincere as she speaks.
Veena, her hands bound by a leather strip, stands with her head held high. Her skin is paler than usual from lack of blood, as she watches Ian approach her. Something catches the captain's eye, and a look of sorrow passes over her face when Tatanya comes from the captain's quarters, and gazes at her with tears pour down her cheeks.
As the captain is walked past her, Raja glares hard at her. She then spits at the woman's feet. She says nothing and returns to her work with the freed people.
Zoey finishes helping get the freed people settled and comfortable before going back to the deck to find Ian. She too sees Tatanya, and pauses a moment when she sees Vena crying.
Ian seems to have no idea how to process Vena suddenly bursting into tears. He follows her gaze to Tatanya, then looks back at her with confusion written on his face.
Zoey checked perception + empathy at difficulty 25, rolling 10 lower.
Thea looks between Vena and Tatanya. Confused as well. She's not sure what to say about that. Or how to go about that. "Did we miss something?"
Ian checked perception + empathy at difficulty 25, rolling 17 lower.
Thea checked perception + empathy at difficulty 25, rolling 21 higher.
Amieli follows Thea and Zoey to Ian and the rest of the gathering, observing in habitual quiet.
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