Safer Water - Lay of the Land
In this episode ships set out to gather information about the pirate kings, their strength, and their island homes.
Risk 3 Scouting focused scene open to anyone. Priority to Malespero and Gilden characters. Maximum six players.
June 6, 2021, 4:30 p.m.
Outside Arx - Lyceum near Nilanza - Small Islands off the East Coast of the Lyceum
Comments and Log
Silk, the Seafaring Spider arrives, delivering a message to Orland before departing.
There are many moving pieces when it comes to Malespero's hope to make the waters to their south safer for the merchants that are the Houses lifeblood. Discussions, negotiations, Plans, supplies, volunteers and mercenaries. Mercenaries and volunteers is where you come in.
On this day in particular you are being paid to provide extra security, muscle, advice and assistance to the captain of a longship called the Mothwing. The Mothwing has been tasked with scouting out the general lay of the land in the area and, up until now, the entire trip has been spent lurking at the far edge of the islands making dubious maps of the coastline through various impliments that somehow, apparantly, enable the captain to know which way is what. The crew are mostly professional and cautiously welcoming. The sun is shining. The wind has been high enough that the oars haven't been touched in three hours and the scouting expedition seems to be going entirely to plan.
Strange then that the captain has asked that the two of you join him up on the aftcastle.
"See that?" the Captain points at a tiny smudge on the horizon with his brass gizmo. He looks at the three of you as if he actually expects you to know what you are looking at and when you dont immediately respond he huffs out a sigh and says "Theres two longships engaged in a fight over there. One with a green sail and the other with a red one. Both of them are as military as we are, so its not like we've merchants to save or anything but I dunno, it feels like an opportunity. Since you'd be the ones doing the boarding if we got involved what do you think? Shall we go on in or skulk around and follow the victor home?"
Audgrim spends most of his time on deck but out of the way of the crew itself. He works on some leather, or offers to fix people's if they got some chafing or broken straps - just to keep himself occupied. Otherwise, he trains a lot. He runs round and round when given the opportunity, or do other exersises. Sparring, if someone wants to. But now he's washed off, and ready when the captain calls them over - he joins him up on the aftcastle, staring out across the water. "There's people, and people can talk. I say we go for it."
The old blade, known by some sailors simply as Whitebeard, or Zakhar by others looks at the map with intense interest. Then looking over to Audgrim with a faint smirk, as he pulls on the tails of the long scarf strip of the shark leather around his neck. "Aye. We can do either. If yer seeking people to talk, the more that are possible to grab can give a better story. Though if ye wish to see the type of force yer up against, then letting them duke it out and follow the winner with a little pickup of whatever is left of the loser would be my suggestion."
Orland was helping with the mapping, best that anyone could tell, learning if not physically replicating the work himself for later study and making copies to help out the exploration team. All those impliments, were touched and played with, until they were likely grabbed out of his hand. Though when the Captain asks for him up front, he leaves the cartographer to their thing and steps up over toward where the Captain explains what the fuzzy blotch on the horizon was. Hands behind his back, he considers, "Do you know what a green sail or a red sail means in these waters?" He asks the Captain, listening to Audgrim and Zakhar's opinions on the subject, looking toward whatever blob on the horizon the ships were without the brass gizmo to look through, "Hey can I look through that?" Since why not, he's young enough to get away with the curiosity factor. Then he notes, "I don't think people are going to be willing to talk to us while they're engaged in battle. I mean... I wouldn't. But as Zak says, can wait to pick up scraps of the loser or at least wait until they're boarding each other to come alongside them and find out what's going on."
The Captain asks "So you reckon we should let them soften each other up and then go pick up the losers huh?" before lifting his glass up to spy on the fight. "The winner could get away whilst we're busy but" The captain lets loose an almost vicious smile. "I reckon we'll see the most loot that way too. Can never be paid enough huh?" He looks at Orland. "Theres three factions I think. One uses a green sail marked with a hand, one a red sail marked with crossed oars, and the third a plain black sail. I've seen some others too but those are the only ones i've seen with ships i'd call military grade." Since Orland asks he gives him the gizmo he appeared to look through before but if Orland tries to use it to see the ships better he's soon dissapointed to discover that whatever it does, it isn't helping people to see better. "So. We're all for boarding then?" he nods and calls for one of his men to bring the ship around and the others to get to the oars. "Are we doing what Greybeard suggested?"
(That should have been whitebeard)
"I'd say we'd be more concerned with learning about the victor, seems they would be the most trouble," Audgrim says thoughtfully. "But - the losers might know enough about them to be useful anyway. So, I'm good either or."
Zakhar shoots a look to the Captain with a nod, running a hand through his white locks before he starts to wrap the scraf around his head and face. "Anyone have some pig or meat that I can fry up while we wait to get alongside of the boats for boarding?" He pulls a frying pan off of the vest he wears, giving it a small spin, then lightly and carefully running his thumb over the edge of the pan. "Makes for a better slice if its been greased first."
"The loser will be more open to speaking to us if we rescue them from the waters," Orland opines with a look toward Audgrim, "We'd likely have to fight the winner, all jacked up on the rush of victory, to get any information out of them. I tend to think we should go after the weakest of the herd first." Orland looks rather interested when he's handed the object that the Captain uses, turning it around, trying to use it in the way that the Captain does. But for whatever reason it doesn't seem to aid him any and he merely hands it back, to the Captain. "Green Hands, Red Oars and the Black sails." He drags out a little note book from his pocket and jots that down, since they're here learning about the area, notes are taken. "Boarding the loser, or picking them up from the water if their ship sinks...or whatever. They might be ramming each other and puttin holes in the hauls," he puts the notebook away, side eying Zakhar's frying pan, deadpan, "Sorry I'm all out of pig." Like he carries it.
Audgrim squints at Orland. "I literally just said that."
For a few minutes its all action on board the Mothwing as the sails are brought down and the oars start to bite into the sea. Then the vessel starts surging towards the location marked by the Captain. Its not long before you can see details on the two longships ahead of you. The green sail has the three fingered handprint on it that the Captain mentioned and the red sail is marked by two crossed oars. There is chaos on the decks as the lightly armored crewmen shoot and fight with each other but the fight has clearly spread deeper onto the green sailed ship more than the red. Green then is losing.
The captain's second laughs at Zakhar's question and goes over to pry the lid off a nearby barrel half full of the gloopy (and not particularly good smelling) fatty stuff they use to keep the sails and ropes from rotting. "Knock yourself out."
Now that all three of you have given your input the captain turns his gaze towards the scene. "Alright then." he says loudly before shouting very loudly. "Point us at the red sail. Lets go in hard and fast!"
"I thought you wanted to go after the victor. Good thing we're on the same page," Orland gives a little thumbs up at Audgrim, brow arched for a second before he settles against the railing of the longship, folding his arms across his chest, expression stoic and set on looking ahead toward the vessels that are squabbling and while the green is losing, the Captain steers toward the red ship, and Orland scrubs his chin.
The vessels are hooked together side to side and there is a melee on the decks which has spread over much of the green sailed ships deck at this point. There isn't much fighting going on on the red ships deck. Your vessel is coming in to tie up to the other side of the red sailed vessel. They are armored in leathers and an occasional metal helmet and whilst there were some archers around early on they have either run out of arrows or been sucked into the melee at this point. Since some of the crew is gearing up to board numbers the numbers of healthy opponents seem a little higher than your own numbers but not by much.
"I thought we were fighting the victor, catching the crews, and looting the pair of them?" The Captain calls. "Oh well! To late now!" A few moments later he yells "BRACE" and a few moments after that the Mothwing shivers and bucks as it impact against the side of the red sailed vessel before sliding into position. The captain knows what he's doing when it comes to boarding at least even if he doesn't seem to be all that good at listening to advice.
Pasquale has called for a check of wits at normal.
Orland is successful.
Zakhar is successful.
Orland checks dexterity and small wpn at normal. Orland is successful.
Zakhar checks strength and small wpn at normal. Zakhar is successful.
Audgrim checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Audgrim is successful.
Audgrim checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Botch! Audgrim fails badly.
Orland checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Orland is successful.
Zakhar checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Zakhar is successful.
Orland looks amused at the Captain, "Next time we'll defer to you Captain." He snorts as he gets out his knife, bending his legs at the knees to prepare for the vessel colliding with the red sail ship. He leaps over with a quick bound of youthfulness, to board the other longship. He doesn't make any sort of cry, he merely lets the alaricite dagger sink into the back of someone's neck to down them in one quick action, frowning a little, "We should probably leave one alive right?" He may have gotten too carried away in killing that poor sod, gesturing to the next one, looking over toward Zakhar, "Get one with a frying pan and knock 'em out!"
Zakhar takes an unhealthy amount of the fat offered, slapping it upon the frying pan giving it a good shine to where the edge that is upon the pan is easier to spot and that it is not an ordinary frying pan. A nod is given to the Captain as the crew is given their orders. Settling up next to Orland for a moment to look out and see what can be spotted before they set in to board. Some light conversation is made before the Captain is calling out for the brace of the ship's approach. "Lord Orland." An uneasy glance is given to Audgrim as they get closer.
Calling out to the Captain, "Whaddya mean, Oh Well!?" As the boats collide with the waters rocking both, Zakhar is charging over the legdge of the Mothwing screaming at any on the other deck. "I'll fry yer fucking face and have yer bones on me neck when I'm done!" The grease from the pan is flung at whomever is stupid enough to turn around to his attack, then continuing the path of pan by smashing it into the next mook to be close to him. Zakhar squints a little in finding the next to meet and be had for dinner. "Who else, eh!?"
Audgrim checks perception at normal. Botch! Audgrim fails completely.
Audgrim checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Audgrim is successful.
Audgrim was reaching for his bow - but before he gets a chance to use it, as he stands on the railing, he is attacked by two of the enemy sailors. He weaves away and jumps down onto the deck, drawing his longsword in a smooth motion instead. He stares around with wide eyes for a moment, then starts moving through the throng of fighters, cutting one down - going in a specific direction.
In that first rush of combat you have the advantage of surprise and momentum. During the first few moments of the fight most of the enemy sailors aren't even looking your way, although the nimblest have already started to turn, and your initial charge is devastating. Several sailors end up in the drink, others get caught between the proverbial rock and the hard place as they try to face both you and a member of the green sailed crews forces, and even the ones who manage to turn tend to be off balance and disoriented. Multiple strikes are attempted in your direction but none find more than air. The line of foes before Orland and Zakhar soon becomes as much green as red. When Zakhar cries who else one of the green clad sailors actually turns and runs back towards his ship rather than be that person. Audgrim on the other hand is surrounded by nothing but red.
Orland checks dexterity and small wpn at easy. Orland is successful.
Orland checks command and intimidation at easy. Orland is successful.
Zakhar checks command and propaganda at normal. Zakhar fails.
Zakhar checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Zakhar is successful.
Audgrim checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Audgrim is successful.
Audgrim checks dexterity and medium wpn at easy. Audgrim is successful.
Orland was a squire of the Order of the East Light, the first kill wasn't exactly honorable catchign them off guard, so the second person he gets into a dance with he's a little more forthcoming with his attacks. The person could be a female or a male, hair short, tucked up underneath a hat, the features of face a place between, no hair growth on the face, youth and youthful. Orland dances around them for a minute and decides to give them a little taste of injury here or there, with the knife blade hissing across open flesh, followed up with some blunt use of elbows and kicks, sweeping the individual off their feet and pointing his weapon at them, "Stay down and surrender." He looks back at the crew he came with for a split second before he's wrangling the individual's arms behind their back and twisting rope around their wrist. At least one will be left alive to question.
Glancing across the deck, Zakhar grins to Orland. "Good job lordling!" Then he swivels to check on the scuffle upon their boat, "Blade?! You good?" Turning back Zakhar spots the sailor running from his request of who else is seeking to be /invited/ to his improve dinner, and starts yelling after them, waving the frying pan over his head with grease flying off of it towards those on the deck. "Your weapons are useless here and we'll overpower you. For I am Whitebeard of the Eswynd fleets! You know my name well, and I shall -- FUCK, Where'd you come fr--" He's in the middle of getting the opposing crews into a frenzy when from the corner of his eye there's a shine of blade, he's rolling down into a crouched position and screaming back at the warrior that has tried to catch him off guard. "Look fucker, drop the blade or we gonna have a meal that celebrates your skull!"
Audgrim's derring-do to get to that woman must have a purpose - he must think she's important and that killing her or bringing her down would make a difference. He parries a few attacks, dives under some swords in an impressive dodge, and is back up on his feet right at this tall woman, who promptly turns to him to meet his attack. The two have a sword-fight, blades clanging and mingling with the groans, cries and metal sounds surrounding them. But Audgrim finds an opening and goes low, sword going in where there is a weak spot in her armor, cutting deep and making her drop. HE swings around and looks faintly hopeful.
Orland's opponent goes down with a groan and hung head and all of a sudden Orland finds himself out of the remaining pockets of fighting that are going on.
One of those few remaining pockets exist around Zakhar and the warrior who tries to take advantage of his momentary distration to sneak in a dirty strike. Its almost the only fight remaining on this particular deck.
The handful of armed sailors that came with you when you boarded sweep away the mob that Audgrim had gotten into the middle of and stop to cheer and jeer. She falls and amazingly Audgrim looks up to find the fight has essentially ended. This longship at least has been won.
The reason the marines are jeering at the green clad sailors can quickly be seen. The green clad sailors are currently trying to cut their vessel free and escape from an event that has, for them, been nothing but an unfortunate bloodbath. You can let them go if you want - or you can press the attack.
Zakhar checks strength and small wpn at easy. Zakhar is successful.
Orland may be out of the fight, but there's other things to be doing... while the other's race to the green ship. Orland is presently securing his captive and shuffling about the red ship, like he was checking on the dead people... making sure they were dead or if they were injured. At least that's what it looks like anyway.
Whilst Orland is poking around he finds his way down under the deck and there finds a handful of prisoners in a very sorry state.
As the marines from the Mothwing start to cheer, Zakhar swings back to the one that tried to sneak upon him. A clean slice upwards gutting the sailor from thigh to collar. As they fall down, the old man is surprisingly nimble for his appearance and is climbing the sailor and smashing his skull in with the flat of the frying pan, blood sprays every which way. Nearly covered in his foes blood, "Told ya I'd wear yer bones!" He then looks up from the deck to the green sailed ship, slowly standing up and striding towards them pointing the frying pan directly at them as if it will be the last thing they see. "Care to surrender now?"
Orland is definitely one of those people that goes hunting for clues and whatnot before the fight is even finished. He's completely at ease with the fact that the green team is trying to get away and that Zakhar is trying to stop them. He's not at all helping. He's instead onto something else, poking at the people they cut down, shuffling them about, checking things, and then he of course finds his way to a latch that leads under the deck. He balks at first, then calmly squats before the prisoners, pulling out his knife, "I'm Lord Orland of Bravura. Where are you from?" He says as he offers, "I can cut you free. We did away with the folks that captured you." He waves the knife around, "My friends are dealing with another crew. Why don't you move up onto the deck, get some fresh air. I can't release you, yet, until I know who you are. So who are you?"
Audgrim checks dexterity and archery at easy. Audgrim is spectacularly successful.
Zakhar checks strength and small wpn at easy. Critical Success! Zakhar is spectacularly successful.
Raimon wields boarding pike.
Raimon is a bit of an oddity in that he's always been of a 'Defense first' mindset. At least it's -possibly- odd by the standards of this particular crew. But now that it's well assured that we won't be -losing- this particular fight, Raimon switches boats to the 'middle' one. He occupies his time ensuring that those making their attempts at the cutting of ropes will have a harder time of it, using the extreme reach of his boarding pike to that end.
As Zakhar approaches the green vessel splattered with blood and wielding a frying pan of all things a small group of the sailors start to gather with the intent to prevent him. One of them, the brave leaderly sort, starts yelling orders to control how the defense will go only to be rather spectacularly interrupted by Audgrim. After that the fight goes out of the handful remaining and they all slowly start throwing their weapons away.
Audgrim has more breathing room to use his bow, sword exchanged for his diamondplate bow in a swift and practiced motion and an arrow nocked in seconds and flying true. It goes right into the eye of the leader of the group, effectively shutting him up for good. "Lord Orland," he calls out. "What did you find?" His gaze remains steadily on the men that now are beginning to give up, bow still raised and another arrow nocked - just in case.
There is a bit of trouble communicating at first as the group of prisoners clearly didn't expect the compact to be involved here. They are suspicious, worn down, and in a few cases absolutely broken, but Orland eventually manages to tease out that they are from a place called the Anvil and are sworn to a man called Mugris Blacksail.
Zakhar dives over the railing to the green sail and goes to work on the crew and warriors there. There's no sign of him letting up. A growing laugh coming out from under his head wrap as each of the warriors start to throw weapons to the deck. "Oh! You think that will stop me? Take your knee and surrender, any of ya that still stand, weapon or not will be removed from this side of life!"
Orland gestures for the people found to follow him up onto the main deck, welcoming them up to get some fresh air, "Ahhh. People. Prisoners of the Red Oars. I've no idea what they're saying, but something about Mugris Blacksail -- do you think they sail for the black sails or would that be too easy? -- And something about Anvil. No idea. Who speaks foreign languages here? Probably some sort of shav by the sounds of it." He wages his knife at them but has /not/ cut them free yet, in case they attack him, "Up up up you go. That's it, keep moving."
Isn't it amazing how quickly a bunch of exhausted, blood splattered, sailors can follow instructions when suitably incentivized? The handful of sailors remaining on the green sailed vessel all kneel down.
Whilst the compact forces took almost no casualties there are a good number of wounded, dead and soon to be dead people on these two captured vessels.
Audgrim is less passionate about all of this, and just smirks as Zakhar calls out orders - he is happy to let the veteran handle that business, it's not his strong suite anyway. He glances over at the saved prisoners, shaking his head. "Sorry. Don't speak that language. But might be some things in logbook or on maps, so I'll take a look." He puts his bow back and heads for any cabin to look for documents.
Audgrim checks perception and investigation at easy. Audgrim is successful.
Raimon checks perception and investigation at easy. Raimon is successful.
Orland checks charm and performance at normal. Orland is successful.
Orland uses big sweeping hand gestures, to help him question the prisoners of the Red Oars. He also systematically releases them from their bonds. He side glances at the Red Oar he did capture and grabs them over, somewhere close, to keep an eye on the person. He then plops down and starts to talk with them, with the aid of those hand gestures where language breaks down, putting on a friendly face, trying to determine what information they have, for those of the Compact coming to investigate what's going on with the pirate Kings in this area. Was this Murgis Blacksail, leader of the ships with blacksails?! For instance. He offers them what water and rum he has, in the meantime.
Audgrim heads off to look at the papers and such on the red ship with the crossed oars symbol on the sail. He discovers the name of this longship and a number of navigational entries that let them identify where the main settlements tied to the Bloodoar faction are in the archipelago. There are records of attacks but most happened before the ship last docked. Only one entry talks of anything but weather, depth and other nautical things since then. It seems they came across a wrecked Blacksail vessel and says they took the crew for interrogation and stuff. (it actually does say stuff). It seems they were heading back to port when this fight started.
Raimon does the same thing on the green vessel. This vessel is part of the Galeheart fleet. As with the Bloodoar ship there are navigational details that help you to identify some settlements amongst the small islands towards the northwest of the cluster. It also talks about a place which is simply referred to as the gathering which doesn't seem to belong to any of the islands you've marked out on your maps so far. The last entries talk about docking to collect fish and rope.
From the deck of the Green sail, "Gud on ya! Now sit like a dog and stay put!" Zakhar yells at the capture crew, commanding it in his own way. Walking over to one of the fellen sailors, placing his foot on the body's shoulder and yanking hard until bone is heard snapping. Then with a spoon, the thumb of is removed by slicing through the skin and muscle as if a hot knife cutting into butter. As the thumb is collected and slid into a pouch on his belt, he looks over to the crew. "Which wants to talk first? Or should I collect your thumbs too?"
Audgrim spends some time going through the papers but he picks out the useful bits, showing some aptitude at something more than shooting and swording. He steps abck out, holding the documents aloft. "This here shows where we can find their settlements. They cam across a wrecked Blacksail vessel and they took the crew for interrogation. So, are these prisoners from the Blacksails?"
Zakhar takes A spoon from a curved flatware set from leather vest with straps.
"Seeing that we rescued them from the Red Oars," bloodoars but how does he really know that, he doesn't, "We might have a way to speak with Murgis Blacksail! And we have a few extra ships now. Could always give the blacksails one, have a good old chat with a pirate king, decide if business is good, you know.." Orland suggests, rather casually to go dine witha pirate king.
Raimon crosses on back over from the green sails boat, returning and filling everyone in on what those logs have revealed!
Nobody wants to open their mouths and draw Zakhar's attention when he asks. There is a bit of jostling and then the youngest one, a man of maybe twenty years with ginger hair and a whole bunch of freckles, nervously squeaks. "I'll talk"
The prisoners that Orland rescued are indeed Blacksails. The fittest one, a burly dark skinned woman missing an ear and an eye (and fairly recently at that) sits up, her eyes scanning the group, and says "King Mugris will pay well for our return."
The minute she's finished saying that the green clad man speaking to Zakhar adds "King Fayal will pay for us!"
"The captain of the Mothwing picks his way daintily through the carnage. "Good haul boys. Get the prisoners loaded up. We'll be heading back to Nilanza now."
"WE got paid to find information, for this trip." Audgrim says this matter of fact - he's not agreed to anything more, and won't do it for free, if he can even go somewhere else again. He nods to the captain, and relents the information to the captain for now.
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