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Hunt: Water Thieves

It began as a rescue mission. A small cargo vessel under contract with House Mazetti went missing while hauling goods from the Lyceum to the Crownlands.

Aboard a House Mazetti provided vessel, a search party hailing from Arx was sent out in search of the ship. The search party discovered a longship of dastardly marauders in the midst of pillaging the wayward cargo ship. Those brigands and their longship fled to a nearby small, rocky island with a large cavern fed by the sea.

Now the mercenaries and altruists must lead an assault on the pirate's hideout to eliminate future risks posed by such nefarious sorts and see what may be rescued or recovered.

OOC: Folks interested in a little pirate hunting action can find it in the Lower Boroughs - Dockyard and then through the <TI> exit at the appointed time.


Nov. 13, 2022, 7 p.m.

Hosted By


GM'd By



Gaspard Caspian Neilda Ilira



Arx - Lower Boroughs - Dockyard - The Inexorable - Deck

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

The seas churns and slaps against the hull of the small raft used to approach the stony wart of an island somewhere off the eastern coast of Arvum, only a day or two away from Arx itself. A short time ago a longship bearing surly sailors had only recently made good their escape to that small island. It was such a close pursuit at one point that the pursuers were able to watch as the longship was rowed into the mouth of a cavern set within the western face of the rocky island.

The raft rocks and sways with the steady roll of the sea. The cry of gulls overhead announce their own urgency and interest, simply hoping for something to come of the whole affair that will in some way benefit them. High above, the autumn sun provides a degree of warmth against the sea's chill, creating its own struggle between comfort and discomfort for those trapped in the middle of their battle. The wind is at the back of the raft however, which aids the rowers in their approach; a kindness given by the world, to be sure.

An attack on the tradelane thieve's hideout would be necessary. Not only to mete out some justice, but to also secure the area against future predation. If the issue was not dealt with today, then who could tell what manner of attack they may lead next! Therefore a group of mercenaries, adventurers, and goodly souls set out from Arx and have now found themselves amidst a hunt for pirates.

As the raft from the dromond begins to make its own approach on the cavern's mouth, its occupants must prepared themselves for what is likely the coming battle. Blades out, shields up; battle will soon be upon the invaders.

Checking over his armor first, Gaspard sits comfortably upon, showing no signs of sea sickness nor uncomfortability. He has a whetstone in hand, slowly sharpening Shepherd to razor-sharp edges. He had already greeted those he knows upon this adventure with polite smiles nods, notably ...everyone here, coincedentally. He's all business however, bearing a somber expression over his masculine features, liquid-azure gaze roaming the nearby shoreline, lips pursed.

Caspian is posted up with the sailors, helping row the small group out toward the cave. he was used to rowing, so he might as well help. gods know he wasn't much of a sailor in any other way. The oncoming battle did not seem to cause to much apprehension, and he was grinning as he whistled a tune to help row to. one of the sailros muttered something to him and he nodded, speaking louder. "it really is impressive. For all these fools lack in brains, they make up for in spine. Trying to reave this close to arx. We'll be sure to add it to their grave post. Here lies a very brave, and very stupid, pirate. They died as they lived, blessed with ignorance and burdened by ambition." he chuckled softly, standing as they neared the mouth of the cavern and tightening the last of the straps of his armor. He shot a grin to everyone. "and uh.. mind you dont fall in!"

eilda's eyes are ahead the raft -- bright blues scanning the shoreline with a smile that's starting to curl the edges of her lips and bring warmth to her gaze. Her grip on the haft of the boarding axe flexes, tightens, and her knuckles pale from a growing sense of urgency. She doesn't have a word to offer the group gathered, not currently, although her smile grows - and widens - with delight.

Ilira sits cross-legged and straight-backed in a space toward the rear of the raft. X and O crisscross her back in their sheathes, hilts rising like the tips of broken wings over her shoulders. Her gaze, wide and steady, remains serenely on their destination as it grows in the foreground. Dressed in leathers and metals from the tawdry to the precious, she is a promise of violence embodied, from the insouciant hint of a smile on her lips to her alaricite claws where they interlace in her lap.

Hadrian has rolled 1 4-sided dice: 3

Hadrian has rolled 1 4-sided dice: 1

The shadow of the cave's mouth begins to loom larger and larger as the raft is rowed toward it. There's barely enough time for a cry of alarm or warning to be shouted out when something travels swiftly from within the cavern. At such range the javelin would have been easily avoided, if it were noticed before it was already bearing down on the raft and its occupants. Fortunately it is that same range that has proven a boon, as the javelin sails harmlessly over the raft and Ilira's own head.

As the raft begins to pass from beneath the bright sun, into the realm of twilight in the cavern mouth's shadow, and then progresses into deeper darkness the sounds of taunts and jeers can be heard from the occupants of the cavern, "You comin' in 'ere to die, are'ya?! You're just lucky that Old Gregg can't throw worth a damn!"

Presumably it is Old Gregg that is swift to answer, "Then you throw it next time!"

Then among the gloom and twilight another voice shouts out, cutting across Old Gregg and his counterpart's budding argument, "Focus up, ya'idiots! They're in OUR home and they need to be dead before you two start your lover's quarrels!"

Even as the raft bumps into what may constitute a berth, there is already one of the marauders seeking to jab at Gaspard with a spear in a bid to prevent the invaders from even getting safely from their transportation. His attempt at skewering Lord Gaspard Blackram meets with failure, which only serves to open him to reprisal.

Even the briefest of glances throughout the cavern will find that a rocky shoreline exists, which is what the raft has bumped into. Already the marauders are stepping forward with an assortment of weapons and shields, preparing to throw back the invaders and prevent them from achieving a foothold in their home.

Gaspard checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Gaspard is successful.

Muscles tensing, Gaspard LEAPS from the raft onto the shore with a thud and a rattle of metal armor, thunderously loud. He meets th marauder head on, blocking the mans strike with his diamondplate shield, shoving the man back with it and creating an opening before he skewers the man right on through with Shepherd, now coated crimson.

Caspian checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Caspian marginally fails.

Caspian checks dexterity and small wpn at daunting. Caspian fails.

Caspian watches the spear sail wildly by and laugh before shouting back, "Old Gregg.. you know you are supposed to HIT with those things not fish with them!" When the raft thumped into the shore and battle broke out, Caspian looked around. fighting off the raft was going to be ugly, and ran the risk of hitting each other. an idea struck! he grabbed the oar from the nearest man and kept off the side of the raft. hew stabbed the oar into the water, like a pole vault, riding the pole as it propelled him toward the shore! sadly.. he had utterly misjudged the distance. "Oh shite!" that was all that was heard before, with a splash, he faceplanted right into the water. He did manage to scramble up onto the shore, water dripping from everywhere, half blinded, and waving his daggers wildly around as he approached on the fray again. he didn't hit anything.. but he was waving them! it was all he could do to wipe his eyes clean and prepare to do better!

Ilira checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Ilira is successful.

Neilda checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Neilda is successful.

Hadrian has rolled 1 2-sided dice: 2

Before there's even time for the fore of the raft to kiss the rocky shoreline, Neilda's running out to meet the marauders with a sunny smile and her sunburst blue eyes narrowed shrewdly - leaping up on a short rocking outcropping to gain momentum before she releases the haft of the axe. It's inspired, the trajectory it takes from Neilda's hand -- into Old Gregg's shoulder with a heavy, meaty sound. She grins once, fiercely, and continues on -- leaving that axe in his shoulder until an opportune time presents itself to retrieve it. Until then, she removes a cat's claw haircomb from her hair and turns it in her hand, wielding it slyly.

Neilda wields a rubicund Saik mountain cat's claw haircomb.

Ilira's gaze flicks upward just in time to track the javelin over her head. She doesn't even flinch, just rolls her eyes but resettles her focus on her surroundings with a razorlike alertness. Heedless of the jeers and cries, she casts her attention over each figure on the shore to note as many faces as she can before returning to the raft's crew, and gasps. She erupts into action so quick and smooth it at first isn't clear what she is reacting to, until Gaspard is off the raft and his opponent is being skewered. A sublime, satisfied smile plays across her face at Shepherd covered in blood. In one quicksilver motion, she reaches up to draw both five-foot blades from her back and brings them down before her in a protective arc, pivoting to face the side of the raft Caspian just dove off. Glancing at him askance, she stalks to the edge, crouches, and leaps, landing with a clang of metallic boots on rock. Her twin sabers flash forward and then from side to side, whistling before screeching against her first two adversaries' weapons. She advances on them, and in the shadow of the cavern, a fiery, wild-eyed beam can just be seen on her face. One blood-red blade blocks a strike at her ribs while the other thrusts forward, opening her opponent's side in a geyser of scarlet.

The battle is joined in earnest. The cavern swiftly erupts with the sounds of battle. Shouting, clanging, grunting, and even a scream or three from Old Gregg and his brand new shoulder accessory. There's even some splashing! The bodies of some marauders now litter the cavern shore, others stepping forward - and even atop those fallen - to join in the fight against the invaders. Counterstrokes, parries, and maneuvers are pitted against one another. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending upon perspective, neither side gains a distinct advantage over the other for the moment. The fighting is intense, but at least in this particular moment both sides seem equally matched in terms of their skill.

The only casualty is ego, more than likely. A rush results in Caspian taking a shield to the chest and - SPLASH! - he's hurled off of the shore, stumbling back into the water once again. Fortunately the fighting is pitched enough that his attacker doesn't have an opportunity to press his advantage. Instead he is swiftly engaged again by Ilira Starling.

Meanwhile, Old Gregg continues to shout and scream. He's even occupied himself with incoherently screaming at one of his counterparts, unintelligbly attempting to coax his mate into tearing the axe free and helping him GET THE AXE OUT OF HIS GODDAMN SHOULDER.

Gaspard checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Gaspard is successful.

Caspian checks dexterity and small wpn at normal. Caspian is successful.

Neilda checks dexterity and small wpn at normal. Neilda is successful.

Amidst combat, Gaspard appears to be entirely within his element. His posture is utterly relaxed, and for a man who says he cannot dance, he moves with a dancers grace amidst the battlefield, footwork impeccable, posture experienced, every movement fine tuned to every nuance of his robust, athletically cut frame. He meets another individual head on, stuffing their face with the rim of his diamondplate shield and caving their head in, while glaring around to those nearby. He towers at over six and a half feet, an imposing and frightening presence, displaying his giant strength wedded to shockingly incredible speed at which he moves. Blood sprays immediately over the shield and coats some of his gleaming white diamondplate a crimson red, kicking the individual once he wrenches his shield out to the ground from their crushed skull, "Whose next?" He bellows in a BOOMING voice, carrying and resonating throughout the small cavern.

Ilira checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Ilira is successful.

Hadrian has rolled 1 4-sided dice: 2

Caspian manages to wipe his eyes clear, stopping his wild swings and glancing around to see what the hell was going on. some algae dripped into his eyes and he blinked furiously. With vision restored, he could see Ilira, doing her best to keep the pirates off him while he recovered. "Ha! I owe you a drink IliraaaaaHH!" The charge took him by surprise and he took the bull rush square in the chest. He was lifted off his feet and sent flying back into the water with a splash. There was a good bit of thrashing, a fair bit of cursing, and a lot of spluttering as Caspian remerged once mofre from the waters, sea weed draped over his neck and algae clinging to him. "I said i was going to buy her a drink not that i needed a drink!" With a glower, he went charging back up the shore to hurl himself, blades flashing at the pirate. It was quick, and after a muffled cry, the pirate dropped dead.

Neilda cannot help it -- there's the faintest giggle of amusement that escapes her, between parted lips, at the fuss that the spear-man (Old Gregg - now Axe-in-Shoulder Gregg) is putting up. She shouldn't laugh, no, not when still thrust in the crucible of conflict -- she really still can't help it. Laughing still, she turns cleanly on a dainty kid leather bootheel as she lunges toward another pirate's face, clawing out, fist first. Perhaps trying her best to earn that Wildcat superlative she keeps swanning on about. Jaw tensed, teeth gritted. "-- I want my axe back, ser." She calls out, flashing dimples in the most unthreatening smile *ever* to Old Gregg.

Ilira advances in the same direction as Gaspard from a slightly different angle. Where he is felling and vicious, she cuts through the ranks with a subtler, tighter methodology, slashing her blades to separate back-to-back fighters and slipping between them, lashing forward in warning to the next pair of opponents. The tips of her sabers stab eyes, slice faces, rend limbs, but she purposefully withholds a killing blow--until a tall, mean-eyed woman steps in her way. She parries her first few strikes and tries to dance past her, but has to turn as a blade just wiffs the unarmored small of her back. Lips curling back in a snarl, she amputates the woman's sword arm with a one-two swipe of X and O.

Maybe it's Gaspard's focused onslaught. Maybe it's Caspian's perseverance and unwillingly to not just 'stay down'. Perhaps it is Neilda's grinning visage and the shout from at least one mouth of, "She's laughing! She's MAD! Is she one of them Smilin' Shadows you hear stories 'bout"!?! It could possibly be Ilira's own methodical sweep forward, both defending herself and those around her, while either taking lives or leaving scream heaps of men and women in her wake. It's entirely possible that it's a combination of it all, because that's precisely how cohesion and teamwork achieves results.

Regardless of the precise reasoning, the defender's initial defense begins to erode, which is soon followed by some of their resolve. While they do not outright rout, there's a distinct sense that wariness and weariness begins to take root. The fighters begin to back away, the clatter of makeshift decks beneath their feet announces their fighting withdrawal. The makeshift dock is primarily there to provide stability for those walking cavern's stony shore, preventing easy slips and falls.

The fighting persists, despite the slow retreat. Deeper into the cavern the fighting goes, with the invaders pursuing the defenders. Taunts and jeers are shouted amidst the tunnel's torchlight. Those same torches serve to bring light to the darkness of the cave system and with it comes the dance and flicker of shadows. Deeper into the heart of the cavern's tunnels the fighting goes with Lord Gaspard pressing forward with a booming voice that practically drowns out the metallic rings of blades against blades. Blade points, shields, and the occasional jab of a spear thrusts back at the group hailing from Arx; all a desperate bid to keep them from outright overrunning the withdrawing defenders.

Old Gregg's not about to give the axe back to his attacker either. As a result: amidst that slow withdrawal, Old Gregg kidnaps an axe.

Gaspard checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Critical Success! Gaspard is spectacularly successful.

Hadrian has rolled 1 2-sided dice: 2

Caspian checks dexterity and small wpn at hard. Caspian is successful.

Neilda checks dexterity and small wpn at normal. Critical Success! Neilda is spectacularly successful.

Ilira checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Ilira is successful.

Hadrian has rolled 1 4-sided dice: 4

Hadrian has rolled 1 4-sided dice: 1

Gaspard rumbles a low, gutteral growl, fire in his eyes blazing so hot, it could turn coals into cinders. He is unharmed, and stays that way, in a spectacular display of offense and defense. Charging into a group of four armed pirates, he kicks one in the chest, sending them tumbling away before spinning and beheading a man. As blood spurts and showers, Gaspard blocks a blow, spinning his shield in rotation to lock the blade in place and send it flying before skewering the woman on through with a peeled back snarl. In combat, Gaspard is a monster, a husk of his former self, replaced by a frenzied, almost-zerker zealous, bloodthirsty ambition. Taking two on next, he parries and ripostes their attack, slicing a leg before bringing Shepherd around in an arc to split their skull in two. Without even looking, he brings his shield up to block the next strike, spinning with grace to shield-bash them away in time for the pirate he kicked to come charging in. With a gauntleted hand, he CATCHES the blade, bringing his shield down and breaking it with a screetch of metal armor. The pirate gawks in horror, just before his belly is sliced open in the blink of an eye, innards spilling to the floor, hot and steaming. The final pirate turns to run, with the rest behind them after staring down this giant man of terror, and Gaspard swiftly closes the distance to grab them by their hair, slitting their throat in one clean slice.

Caspian hears Gaspard bellowing about the enemies falling back. "Oh.. NOW they want to run away. Well To late for that! you dont to throw spears at us and walk away!" he dashed down the hallway after the hurricane of carnage that was gaspard. Whipping his knives forward, the flash out, the chains whistling as they fly and embed themselves into the backs of two retreating pirates. He yanks the chains, ripping the blades back. HE takes a moment to gawk then, watching the chaos unleashed by his compatriots. Ilira dropped two more, and neilda massacred the one who threw the spear. "By the powers.. someone should write a song about you lot!"

Quickly, Neilda wipes a streak of bright red blood against the dark sleeve of her umbra jacket, secures her haircomb back into place, in her hand, tidy - just so between splayed fingers- and she quickens in a sprint, ducking through a pair of pissed-off pirates toward the spear-man, Gregg. She's getting her damned axe - Reliance - back as soon as she is able to. She springs up and over rocks, watching her shadows flickering on the cavern walls - equally as sprightly as she is. She's relentessly giving chase after Old Gregg -- bright eyes focused on her beloved cupridium boarding axe -- and when she finds him, she does get her axe back. And another axe for her troubles. Old Gregg's Dead Gregg now, raked by a rubicund set of cat claws. Returned to the Wheel without a wince nor hiss. Drinking cream liquor out of a boot until the next go-round.

Gaspard checks dexterity and dodge at daunting. Gaspard fails.

Ilira checks dexterity and dodge at daunting. Ilira fails.

Neilda wields Reliance, an overly ornate cupridium boarding axe.

Somewhere amidst the blood and screams, Ilira starts to have fun with it. Her stance loosens and her smile widens, azure eyes as candescent and jewellike as the snow-white dragonweep at her forehead. She trailblazes through the melee, a swath of the mamed or moribund at her back. Shadows and lights alike telegraph her progress, bouncing off the vermilion surfaces of her blades and sparking against her mismatched assortment of steel, star iron, jewels and alaricite. Two opponents leap in her path. Swiping first left, then right, she drops them both with long but shallow slashes down their torsos--wounds that will heal if treated in time. Batting away another's axe, she dances nearer to her fellow fighters and beams, flashing a handful of rosy dimples and pearly teeth. "You're all really hot right now," she fawns with a dreamy sigh, eyes lingering on Gaspard just long enough to distract her from something coming up behind.

The dead or dying fall at the sheer ferocity of the attacker's onslaught. Lord Gaspard in particular turns what had been a slow and orderly fighting retreat into a suddenly panicked rout. "Get out of here! They're monsters!" comes a shout, warning those at the back to step lively out of the way. Deeper into the heart of the island's caves the fighting goes. As with most advances, there's always that moment where the forward push peters out. Whether that is because one runs out of enemies to fight, physical exhaustion begins to set in, or one encounters an obstacle.

The obstacle in this case that slows the advance are a pair of maruaders. Outfitted with heavy gambesons, with thick breastplates and helmets, the pair in their heavy equipment step into the tunnel in a bid to block any further advance. Each wields an impressively sized hammer and immediately sets to work making use of it. The hammers rise and fall, swing and hurl. They graze and tumble, smashing whatever may find itself in its path. One of the torches fixed to the wall is sent hurtling through the air when the head of a passing hammer sends it careening away from its place on the cavern wall.

Beyond them an opening in the tunnels reveals a larger chamber, which is where the last of the marauder-defenders have come to congregate. Whether that will be for their last stand or their surrender? Is yet to be determined.

For the moment it is the two defenders in their heavier armor and with their bulky hammers that presents the immediate challenge.

Gaspard checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Gaspard is successful.

Caught off-guard by one of the big bois, their hammer SLAMS into his diamondplate with a screetch of metal. The sheer force of it causes him to stumble a few steps, soon recalibrating himself upright with firm, grounded balance. "Alright....the real fight begins." He grins broadly, pearly whites shown. Retaliating in kind, he moves at a near-blur, shining white streaking across as he makes contact with the mans neck - who leans out of the way just in time. He grazes it, causing a superficial cut and a tiny amount of blood to spill, gritting his teeth.

Caspian checks dexterity and small wpn at hard. Caspian is successful.

Neilda checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Neilda is successful.

Ilira checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Critical Success! Ilira is spectacularly successful.

Neilda's quick -- but not a blur, she darts left - feints right - and lunges back into the left with a silent snarl, taking a strike against the hammer-wielding, gambseon-wearing marauder. It makes an impact, although not enough to take him down. Yet.

One of those hammers slams Ilira's tiny frame to the wall, her chestplate crunching, and for a horrible moment she is lost amongst shadows and chaos. Then, feet from where she just was, she resurfaces, bursting out from a small cluster of fighters by Caspian's side with both blades raised. Springing off the balls of her feet, she leaps and swings, the edges of her blood-red sabers whistling, and decapitates the second marauder cleanly. His Head topples to the floor behind him, followed in slower motion by his body. She looks at her ex, flushed and smiling.

Caspian lets out a growl as he hurls himself toward the armored man. Seeing ilira get hit seems to cause to lash out in anger, blades flashing as he battered against the man's defenses. His distraction seemed to be good as ilira quickly returned to finish the foe

Mar, the Magpie arrives, delivering a message to Neilda before departing.

Hadrian has rolled 1 2-sided dice: 1

Gaspard checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Gaspard is successful.

Using his shield, Gaspard guides the blow away from his body, causing his shield to ring and vibrate violently against him. "Eugh...woah." He comments, steadying the shield with a gauntleted hand.

While one of the two marauders wielding the big hammer falls with relatively little fanfare under the careful ministrations of Ilira Starling? The other isn't going down without a fight. He attempts to block attacks with the haft of his hammer. A superficial injury to his neck only results in a furious growl which is muffled by his helmet. Again he swings his hammer, but this time his opponent is ready for it. Lord Gaspard's shield is there to catch the blow and send it away.

Still those which have began to congregate in the larger chamber have began to cluster together. They are still armed and have yet to drop their weapons. For the moment it appears it will be a last stand.

Gaspard checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Gaspard is successful.

Gaspard is relentless, merciless. He stomps on a foot, to lead up to a shield-bash directly to the face, rim-end first!

Caspian checks dexterity and small wpn at hard. Caspian is successful.

Neilda checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Neilda is successful.

Caspian dances forward till the last one, his smile growing wicked. "Rough day to be a pirate huh.." his blades lash out, striking against the man and carrying on the assault from gaspard

Ilira checks charm and seduction at normal. Ilira is successful.

Gaspard aims to bash the rim of his diamond-plate shield into the face of the first hammer-wielding raider, Caspian's providing witty commentary and carrying on the onslaught -- it's distracting, and Neilda takes that opportunity to sweeps in low, fast, and takes a well-aimed strike of her axe at the more vulnerable right thigh of the maurader between swings of his hammer, taking him down with a fierce grin.

"You okay?" Ilira asks Caspian in a moment of respite after their shared foe falls, expression losing its battle rage for a far softer, warmer look. Past him, she observes the skirmish between the marauder and her allies and trails the Champion with her gaze as he assists. With a thoughtful purse of her lips, she seems to decide something, and swift as a snake, she rounds the fray with Neilda landing the killing blow at her back. Raising her blood-slicked swords to the remainder of the pirates as they raise theirs, she strikes with her words instead. "Stop!" That first syllable booms through the cavern over the cacophony like an incantation. "Stop," she says, softer and more breathless, though neither her swords nor her eyes lower. "I've widdowed enough husbands and wives today. Don't any of you want to go home?" In this moment of reprieve, the exhaustion from the battle begins to creep into her voice. "I know why you're all out here doing this; I've lived a life of desperation, too. It doesn't have to be this way. You can stop.... It's okay to just stop. Find your treasure fairly." She lists her head, letting her star iron tiara with its five dawnstones and its cynosure of blazing, white-hot dragonweep shine in the light of their torches. She says no more, her cracked cuirass heaving.

"Golly, it would have been ever so much fun if we'd just be able to mow through the whole lot like a farmer reaping harvest," Neilda very nearly has the faintest pout of disappointment in her voice and wibble of her lower lip. She sighs little, narrow shoulders shrugging with resignation - acceptance. Afterward, she automatically slides the boarding axe back into place at her baldric, and steps into a less combative - but just as wary - stance, her hands in sight and empty of weapons.

Ilira cuts Neilda a look at once chastising and understanding.

Neilda shrugs, sheepishly, for her utterance.

They aren't met with immediate calls for more blood. This seems to surprise the remaining marauders. They look among themselves, even while Ilira's still speaking. There's a hint of disbelief in their expressions, along with a small kindling of hope present in some of those weathered, haggard features. Some nervously wet their lips with sweeps of their tongues, others warily lower their weapons, and yet even a couple outright toss their weapons to the stone cavern floor with an audible racket which travels throughout the tunnels.

That racket only serves to grow, as once the first pair of weapons are tossed to the ground in surrender? Yet more join the gesture, bouncing and tumbling across the rocky surface as their recent owners rid themselves of the tools. Some simply raise their hands in surrender, while others stand there glumly looking like metaphorical beaten dogs.

The surrender is made real, though there isn't enough shackles to hold them. Ultimately it is the sheer fact that their captors are armed and they are not. A few pilfered supplies from the Mazetti-contract ship are located and those too are reclaimed.

In orderly fashion the prisoners and bit of cargo are returned to the dromond that is part of House Mazetti's fleet. Thanks are paid by the ship's crew at the return of the lost cargo. The prisoners however? They're retained by the crew of the Hydra's ship. The helpers from Arx? They're returned to Arx. Notably the prisoners are not. In fact after returning those helpful mercenaries, altruists, heroes, and goodly nobles to the capital of Arvum? The dromond begins to set sail, heading south from Arx. It's entirely likely that ship, with its new cargo of those who would attack House Mazetti's shipping, would soon find themselves visitors to the Hydra's City of Walls.

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