Teros looked through the journals one by one until he found he liked, which turned out to be the tan one with the bronze buckle. After purchasing it, as well as the strange ink and the common pen he moved out to go and buy his final item. Although he tried to go without the group noticing him, he realized that the new girl, Marie, had gone too. Still it seemed that she wouldn't be much of a problem, and didn't seem to ask any questions as he bought the ring, which he carefully tucked away deep in his pack.
Finally the group met back up and made its way to the castle. The welcome wasn't exactly warm, but they did allow them to see the airship, which was just as magnificant as the last time he had seen one. Even though he tried he couldn't seem to remeber the name of the last one, and after a few minutes of trying he gave up in favor of listening to the man and taking glances at each party member and their reactions to the airship. The kender seemed incredibly awed, and already Teros was filled with a sort of deep dread about what he would do on this ship. But as he pulled out the diamond he realized he had enough sense to not freeze up and just stand their like an idiot, even if that haughty half-elf did help out.
As he made his move to the airship the half-elf and the bard seemed to get into a sort of standoff about something. Shaking his head Teros strode past them, brushing his shoulder on each of them and muttering as he passed. "Now is not the time." How were they to convince the captain they wouldn't be a problem if they kept doing such things? Without pausing he continued on to the captain.
Marie finished her breakfast and rose with the others, listening carefully at the y conferred and finally decided on a course of action. "Sounds good to me" She smiled and glanced around at the buildings around her, glad to be outside once more and then fell into step beside Teros as they headed to the desired store.
When they reached their destination she walked over to the clothes and ran her fingers across the fabrics, admiring the gorgeous colors. "I love blue.but it shows too much in the foliage." She sighed and glanced over the clothes. -We are heading south, to the weather will get warmer. I suppose the light green would be best.- She reached out and folded the light green tunic and leggings over her arm, glancing down at them. She didn't like the idea of her calves being exposed, but there wasn't much she could do about it and besides, her boots were bound to cover most of them. -Boots! I knew I forgot something!- She blushed and turned back around to face the rack again, having turned to pay for the clothes. -lightwe're going south here- Her eyes scanned the rack until they fell upon the light gray ones. She smiled and picked them up, adding them to her pile. After the things were settled she walked to the owner of the store and after a bit of talking dropped the appropriate amount of money into his out stretched palm. "Thank you sir." She smiled again and nodded to him, before going outside to wait for her shopping buddy.
As he emerged she fell into step beside him again, holding her purchase in her arms. As they entered the jewelers she looked at all the sparkly items on display, but soon getting bored with them went outside to wait once more. Then finally when he immerged once more they headed to join the others.
The group walked through the town to the where the ship supposedly was, there feet making as much noise as the individuals entailed with their shoe choice. Marie herself made little noise, if any in her small little boots. She stared at the wall as they approached, impressed by it's side despite herself. They walked along it to the side and after some questions were answer to her surprise they had a two guards escort them to the ship.
She had grown up in the forest in the charge of the leader of the Pack. She was not used to being escorted like a criminal or supposed thief, she did not like the feeling of the guards walking beside them, more than likely thinking they were under them so far that they would sooner step on the party then finish escorting them. She wasn't sure if that was how they felt, but that was what her wild imagination lent her to believe.
As the ship came into view all thought of the guards left her mind as she stared on ion wonder at the site before her. "It's like out of a story Faith would spin around the fire at night." Faith was a member of the Pack, a good friend of Maries in fact. She had sat by the fire for hours with Marie, teaching her lore and history alike in her stories, all of it was intriguing and the young Marie had soaked it in like a cloth rag, enjoying every minute of it.
The great ship was like any other she had seen, only vastly different. It was floating in the air! Her eyes grew large and she followed behind the others, not really seeing them at all but rather avoiding bumping into them by some strange means. When the rest stopped she nearly collided with one of the guards, getting a look for the mishap. She mumbled an apology and slid away, still staring in wonder at the ship, not really following what was going on around her.
August 12th/Wednesday Morning
City Of Eldarast/Thollin's Capital
Almost immediately after Captain Darrad had explained the circumstances, Elandor had bound forward, dodging rolling barrels and slipping by startled crewmen. Vilyamar began to explain their means of payment, but the captain didn’t seem to notice.
“Oye! You there!”
Elandor had made his way up the ramp and stood for a moment on the deck of the ship. A particularly burly looking crewman with a scruffy red beard and a stocking like, green cap clutched the kender by the back of his collar. He didn’t seem to notice. His eyes were wide behind their frameless glasses.
“Get the li’l rascal off me ship!”
Roared the captain, just a touch too late. Like an imp on coffee beans, the kender had tore himself free of the crewman and had leapt off the deck and in an instant stood before Darrad. He held the gem out in one small hand. It shimmered like the sea under a midnight moon. The captain’s eyes widened. The guards started towards Elandor but the Captain shook his head.
“Thank ye boys, for the escort. Yer business is done here. Ye can return to yer post.”
At this point Damien and Vilyamar were exchanging words, but Captain Darrad didn’t seem to notice. He had turned his sharp gaze back over his shipyard.
“Aye we’ll be casting off in a bit. I hope ye already gathered yer provisions.”
Holding one massive hand towards the kender, he added.
“I accept yer payment on behalf of The Nausicaa.”
Perhaps grudgingly for any being not of kender blood, Elandor handed over the stone, and Captain Darrad held it up in the clean morning sun. It covered the sun like an eclipse and spilt a blue shadow over his face.
"Sir I believe we have paid. May we board then?"
The voice was that of the dark skinned man in the bronze armor. Captain Darrad absently tugged at the long braid of his chin beard.
He grunted and made a note of glancing over each of the party members once more. For such an odd party, his eyes seemed to linger on Marie the longest. Even in her worn and frayed, green clothing, her elegant build and sun kissed skin stood her out as beautiful. Perhaps especially so to a man who spends the majority of his time in the air. Turning, he motioned them to follow and led them towards the ship and up it’s ramp.
The deck of the ship was by all means no different then a water-going ship, save it’s lack of a mass. The railings were thicker and more reinforced, and there were great coils of rope on either side of the cabin doorway, and at the bow. At the center of the deck, a massive trap door was open, and men were lowering crates into the belly with ropes and pullies.
“It don’t take a genius to know this be the deck.”
The captain grunted and opened the cabin door. Beyond was a room, dimly lit by ashy colored, stained windows on either side of the entranceway. In the corners were sword stands, filled with an array of common yet sharp looking swords. Halbreds, axes, and pole axes plaqued the walls. At the back wall was a heavy looking, oak door. The captain made no mention of it, and only pointed towards the stairwell in the middle of the room.
They made their way down the stairs and found themselves in what would appear to be the narrow hallway of an inn. Doors lined either wall, and at it’s end was a eloquently carven door, befaced with red and yellow stained glass. A bronze plaque sat over it.
“The crew will be using all rooms save the last two nearest my cabin. Those be for you.”
Leading them down the empty hall, he opened their rooms, one on either side of his doorway. They had no lock, and the rooms were indeed very plain, though spacious. Each room had two sets of bunkbeds (8 total). There were no dressers, no desks, no tables. Nothing save a large chest at the feet of each bunk (4 total).
“Drop yer gear off if ye wish. Lemme show ye the heart of the ship.”
The captain explained as he led them back down the hallway and up the stairs. At any inquiries as to where the cargo is, he explains that the ship has two lower levels, and that the crew is below the cargo.
Leading them back up the steps, into the room lined with weapons, he withdraws a long, bronze key from his striped pants, and unlocks the sturdy looking, oak door. As he pushes it open, the party gasps. Light, glimmering as if off of water floods through the doorway and splashes over them. The room beyond is small, and empty save a strange pedestal. Atop it sits a jewel the size of a mans head. It shimmers and glows with mystery and power. Strange, metal prongs reach like giant insect legs up the alter, and lay on each of it’s many facets. It was a beautiful, mysterious, yet strangely eerie site.
“This heres the heart of The Nausicaa.”
Explained the captain proudly.
“These babies’re what allow the ships ta fly. When arcanely welded inta an item, that item gains an energy enabling ta….levitate, ta put ‘er simply.”
He seemed to enjoy playing guide. Slamming the door shut suddenly, and locking it once more, he crosses his arms over his bare chest and says
“Never touch this door. Never touch the wheel above. Do not interfere with me crew’re me. Eat ye’ own food. Ye can partake of the water in the barrels up top. Don’t cause any trouble and I’m thinking we’ll get along just fine.”
Patting Elandor’s head, he headed out the door, obviously intent on inspiring his crew into hurrying their lazy arses up. The party followed. Who would wan’t to miss being on deck during take off? It was a well known dream amongst commoners. To fly like a bird, off the deck of a mighty castle, and to watch as the people and their city grow smaller and smaller. Just to feel the rush of take off was many a peasant’s dream.
The Nausicaa had about a twenty man crew, and at the moment every one of them was busy checking and rechecking ropes, bolting the now full cargo hold’s trap door, and inspecting the fabric of the wings. From where the party stood just outside the cabin, the material seemed to be woven from very thick layers of silk.
After a very few, incredibly chaotic moments, the crew was on board, the gate was closed, and the ropes that kept her docked were untied and thrown overboard. A shudder ran along the deck, and the party gripped the railing or the cabin wall for support. The ship tilted slightly, and rocked as if in water. Yet no water resides atop the catwalks of a castle. The captain sauntered by, winked in the direction of Marie, and headed up the 8 stairs to the roof of the cabin, where he took the wheel.
On either side of the wheel was a strange, wooden lever. The likes of which did not exist on water-going ships. Teros, who had been on a windship once before, explained that one lever determined the thrust of the ship, and the other controlled the wings, which effected could either cause the ship to skyrocket into the clouds, or dive like a falcon to earth. The latter, due to health concerns, was not a highly recommended maneuver under any circumstance.
Leaning over the wheel and peering down at the party, the captain grinned a very wide, toothy grin. For a man of the air he had very decent teeth.
“If ye never flew before, then yer not used to the platform ye be standing on to move. Hold on till yer body adjusts.”
With that he punched the lever on the right forward. Slowly, the ship began to slide forward, very smoothly. Once more the party had the sensation they were on a water ship rather than The Nausicaa. A very odd sensation when you can see the keep of a castle on you’r right, and the spread of a city below you and to your left….
Gradually at first, but exhilarating rather suddenly, the ship continued to glide forward, and, peering over the rails, the party realized they were actually over the city. Peopled looked up from not 30 feet below as it’s shadow glided over them. The captain pushed the lever further and the ship lunged forward. He was right. The party did need to grip the rails, yet the crew walked about the deck as if it was still in the yard. Buildings rushed by, just below, and a wind ruffled their clothes. Vilyamar’s hood flapped back, and he realized that, while on deck, he would never be able to keep it up.
The party noticed the buildings beginning to fade smaller and smaller as the ship gained altitude. It was a steady ascent, and noone was forced to grip the rails for fear of tumbling to the back, yet it was enough to cause the party to watch, wide eyed in awe as the Castle atop the hill, and it’s expanding Eldarast grew smaller and smaller. The distance seemed to surface, exposing rolling hills and flowing forests. Roadways lined the wilderness like veins. A cathedral gleamed like an odd, golden beacon on the eastern side of the city.
From above, Thollin was a land lush and green. Meadows rippled in the breeze, and lapped against rugged cliffs, or deep forests. The air glimmered gold with pollen and late summer sun. The party was uncertain how high they were. Not nearly high enough to rival the clouds, every flock of birds they saw was well below them. Elandor was certain he could see the very curve of the earth from this hight.
Most of the crew now pushed by them and headed to their own rooms. Once a course was set, men were not much needed. One man did stay at the bow, and another stood beside the captain with a map. A few others leaned against the railings lazily, yet none spoke to the party. A steady wind washed over the deck but it was not particularly harsh, which surprised the party. The windship seemed to be moving quite fast to them.
(Post you’r typical reactions and such. Then I ask for a basic of how you will spend your days. The crew never ask anything of you, and the captain will engage in the occasional conversation, or point out the few landmarks you pass, such as villages or the Lendollin River. It will be over a week until you reach Saradin. You can hang out on deck, or in your cabins. At night it does get a bit chilly with the constant wind, and higher altitude. In addition to that it IS late summer. So you may want to tough out one another’s company and stay in your cabins. With that said, Lets try and get all updates in ASAP, PLEASE. Thank you.)
Teros followed the captain, noticing each feature of the ship, just as interested as the first time he had been aboard one. When they got to the rooms he quickly took off his pack and turban and set them inside. He knew that it would be too hard trying to keep it on when they took off, and it would feel good to just sit up on deck. Turning quickly he continued to follow the captain until they came upon a beautiful jewel. He knew it ran the ship, but it was still a sight to behold. Indeed it had been several years now and the sight was welcome indeed. He idly rubbed his scar as he watched and then snapped back to reality when the door suddenly shut in his face. Without a word he moved on to the deck.
This was going to be the best part of the day. He looked out over the rail before explaining to the curious party how the levers would work, slightly proud he knew such things. After explaining it he turned to look out over the town again when he realized it was time to go. Knowing he would have to grib the railing eventually he took hold of it now, allowing his fingers to grasp it firmly as his eyes devoured the sights below. It was still a slight surprise when they picked up speed, but in his mind he knew it was comming.
When he could at last let good he glanced at the party grinning at the sheer joy of being on his way home. He noticed that the half-elf was without his hood, it was no doubt blown off, but it mattered little to him. Relaxing a little under the sun he simply watched, content for now to stay out of the way and enjoy the sights and sounds around him.
Teros will then head to his room after an hour or so of watching and organize his stuff in his chest and pick a bed. He'll pop open his journal and start writing (I'll make a post in the OOC thread that I'll update as time goes on) for a few minutes and then take a nap.
He'll spend the remaining days waking up close to when the sun rises and praying in the new light for about an hour each day. He'll then eat out in the fresh air and will try to do a little watching. He'll mostly just hang out here unless something really interesting happens or someone requests his presence.
Damien snorted when Vilyamar caught him by the shoulder and gave him what he figured was meant to be a lecture. The monk’s attitude was really getting to him. Best that he let him know.
“Don’t call me a human like its some way of making yourself better than me,” the bard snapped at Vilyamar, staring him in the eyes. “I’d rather be a human than the offshoot of some poor rape victim. You saw how those elves looked at me, at the rest of us. They look at us like we’re inferior. What kind of elf would willingly mate with a human? None. But you know what? You sure as hell aren’t an elf. You’re half like me.”
Tearing his shoulder away from the half-breed, Damien stalked away from Vilyamar, turning his head only once to state his last few words.
“Did it ever occur to you that we are going to a land that nobody but Teros knows anything about? Maybe you should step down from your high castle and let someone with a bit of sense in his skull take over for the time,”
His boots clunking on the deck, the bard watched the others go about their business for just a few moments before he made his way into the cabins. Debating throwing his stuff into a locker, he thought against it in case the kender decided to share a room with him, and chose to hang onto it for the time being.
After their tour of the engine room, Damien chose to leave the others alone for some time. Keeping to himself, he chose to simply stand at the rail for the time being, watching the landscape pass beneath them as they soared ever-onwards. Perhaps later on he would go and talk to either the captain or some of the crew members to try to gather information about where they were headed. It would be best to be prepared...
Scourge and Orion both were very quiet and stoic while being given the grand tour of the pride Windship Naussicus. With orange eyes, they took in every aspect of it's creation, paying particular attention of the Heart, the very power source which elevated such a vessel into the clouds.
When the rules were given and the companions were left to their own devices, Orion flew to the top of a mast and took his perch, enjoying the wind ruffling his ebony feathers.
Scourge on the other hand wasn't the fondest of heights, though he'd not admit it. He'd prefer to leaving the flying high to his companion. Instead, he took to a room, (for argumentative sake the one on the right) and took a seat on the bed, where he began to sew Elandor's outfit. He would spend his free time making his diminuative mate an outfit.
Marie stood staring in wonder at the ship before her, its majesty and grandeur plain. “How could any mortal lay eyes on this and not be amazed?” She wonder aloud quietly, so quiet that only the keenest ears could have heard, only the slightest whisper escaped her full, red lips. “This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen…” She stared in wonder at the billowing sails and the crew hurrying about the decks, in hast to get underway. She was drawn back to reality as the captain held the stone up to the sun and that sapphire array of warm beams played across his features. She started then, it finally dawning on her that she was going to be up in the air with nowhere to run or make a stand if the need arise. She thought about all this inwardly, none or her thought once shadowing her features. As the captains gaze settled on her she blinked slightly, not sure what to make of the man. He was a captain, one of a very famed class of vessel. As his gaze lingered on her she matched him gaze for gaze, not about to let him think her a common tavern wench. When his gaze left her, so did she look once more at the glorious ship before her.
Her footing when they first boarded was wobbly to say the least, she had never once set foot one a ship before. The closest she had ever come were the little fishing boats Tarem and herself used to race around the lake in the summer. Those were good times, times when the forests were safe, and the people within them kept from harm.
She staggered over to the doorway after the others and braced herself against it, slowly adjusting to the rolling sway of the ship. As the captain showed them the rooms she wondered what the sleeping arrangements would be, who would be with whom? She stood there for a while, pondering this before she realized that the rest of the party was heading for the stairs. She sprinted slightly to catch up to them, not quite sure she wanted to be left alone on this ship. As she toped the stairs again and stood with the others Marie stared at the captain’s face, the way it changed and moved with his emotions, the play of shadows and light across his face. He facinated her in some strange way.
The door swung open to reveal the most beautiful thing Marie had ever seen. The sun reflected off its many-faceted surface to light the room with a strange play of light on the walls, turning them different colors. The stone itself was so beautiful it almost hurt, was almost too beautiful to grace the land with its presence. She stared at it with awe, it surpassing even the great amazement that she had had for the ship itself. As the door swung shut once more she sighed, sad that such a pretty thing should be shut away in a room.
The party stepped out onto the deck once more and the captain over to where he would command the vessel. She listened intently as Teros explained the leavers, blushing slightly as the captain winked at her she casted her gaze over the edge of the ship to cover it. Marie clung to the railing tightly when they began to move, so tightly she feared she might gouge the wood itself with her grip. She had never been on a ship before, let alone one of such splendor and innovation. As the captain pulled it out of the dock easily her grip loosened slightly, not much, but enough so her knuckles were not so white. A smile lit her face despite her fear as they soared over the town, her hair whipping out behind her like a lone, auburn cloak. She might even have laughed as they sped away into the higher air, but that is not known for sure, she was too busy enjoying the feeling of rushing air and warm sun on her skin to notice.
She will spend alot of her free time on the deck, just looking out at the clouds and if she can, what ladscape she can make out. She would read later on, but I foregot to buy a book so she can't. Stupid me...oh well. If the captain showes any other intrest in her she will most likely be flatered. Not sure yet if she likes him....prolly will.
PS: Sorry the post is rather slopy, thought about it, but could not get it onto the page...
Elandor could remember ever being this exiting in his entire life! He found himself on a flying boat, high above the lands where people walked like ants. He touched the tattoo of the ant that he had gotten at the elven city. 'High' was a good description for the state of mind he found himself in. He rested his elbows loosely on the railing of the ship and inspected the new lands floating underneath his alseeing eyes.
(Sorry, I don't have time to complete this. Valimar knows what Elandor intends to do though.)
Northern Thollin-Somewhere over Arnakia
Half a day from Saradin
Nearly a week was to be spent on this vessel, without respite and without contact with the ground below. The first day or so, the excitement still lingered. Most of the party members remained on deck, staring fervently at the rolling, green landscape below them. Occasionally a lake would sprawl, like a shimmering sapphire in a sea of emerald, or a city would rise beneath them.
The sun of their first day aboard The Nausicaa slowly crept into one of the most beautiful sunsets any of the party had ever seen. The deep, lavender clouds were laced with a flame so brilliant and so close to their ship, that it hurt the eyes to look at. And yet they could not tear their eyes away. In the horizon, it was impossible to distinguish where the golden hills ended, and the fire of the sun began. Both land and sky seemed to have melted together in a myriad of pinks, oranges, yellows, and pale greens.
Stars seemed to peak earlier than normal, now that they were so near them. Before the sun had even first began to settle on shimmering horizon, full constellations could be made out. It was as if the stars themselves had decided to partake of the beauty of the sunset, all for the glory of The Nausicaa.
Night fell and the passing of The Nausicaa was like sailing through a dream. Beneath her slid an abyss of silken darkness, yet a canopy of stars shone so brilliantly that even the gentle breeze seemed laced in silver. The moon was only a crescent, but shone like a blade of white fire. Clouds drifted by lazily. Beneath their velvet surfaces loomed impenetrable, eerie darkness. The occasional lake they swept across glittered with the stars of the sky. Indeed it seemed the sky had begun to melt into spreading pools below.
And with the dawn, the party was able to witness the spreading gold of dawn as it crept lazily over hill and treetop below, until the land was cloaked in the light of day once more. Through all of this, the crew went about their business, rarely speaking to the crew, and when doing so, only out of politeness. Even the captain himself said little, and spent much time in his quarters, now that a course had been set.
Astonishingly enough, the party found themselves becoming less and less fascinated with flying as the days went on. The landscape was very much the same, day in and day out, and, despite the grandeur of it’s first impression, The Nausicaa was not so big. Not when it’s serving as your world for over a week. The third and fourth days dragged, and the party found themselves spending more time dozing lazily, turning to sleep to pass the time.
Scourge worked diligently at his new project, rarely speaking to the crew or party. His feathered companion spent much time wheeling about the ship, or swooping to the land below; always for short periods of time. Elandor found that his the thirst of his newest fascination was not so easy to quench as he had hoped. He longed for another peek into the room of the Elberiel Stone as he discovered from the captain was its name, yet he could never find the opportunity. The door was locked, and he remembered clearly Captain Darrad telling them not to touch the door. But surely he would understand? It wasn’t as if Elandor was trying to steal it. He was simply checking on it. Yet crew members were constantly in and out of the cabin, and he could never find the opportunity to even try and pick the lock. He had already been yelled at (Most unjustly) for loitering outside the door, and on the evening of their third day on board, had been told by the captain that he was to spend his time either on deck, or in his room, and that he had better not be caught in the “weapon” room again. He had ended the conversation with a promise to let the kender see the stone again on their final day, if he obeyed these orders from his captain. Needless to say, Elandor now fought diligently to suppress his most bothersome urges.
The party, as a whole soon found themselves sick of the air, and longing for firm ground and privacy once more. Despite the lack of physical exertion, they would be crammed in spaceless cabins, and forced to go without bathing for over a week. Shaving could be done via a basin of water and the dresser mirror’s of their cabin. To relieve oneself meant a trip to “The Bucket”, a small, outhouse like structure near the stern (back) of The Nausicaa. In fact, in all senses, it was an outhouse…save that through the hole in the bench, instead of a massive hole in the soil, there could be seen the landscape whirring by. As can be expected, the party overheard many a “humorous” tale told by crewmembers concerning “The Bucket” and trips over the cities of unpopular kingdoms…
Fifth day was rainy, yet the party didn’t get wet. With the first, falling drops, Captain Darrad brought The Nausicaa up and through the clouds, which the party was very surprised to discover were notsolid, but rather a very wet fog. Above the clouds they found what seemed an entirely different world. A landscape of ivory, splashed in gold and capped in azure. Massive, white mountains and cliffs rose on either side of them, and when directly ahead, the ship did not veer; she dove through. This day, at least, was somewhat of a respite from the usual view.
However, evening of the sixth day, (with the ship back to it’s normal altitude) the party were pointed out sight of possible concern. Standing at the stern, Captain Darrad pointed out a tiny black speck, lingering in the dusk far behind.
“It’s been there all day.”
“Tonight we’ll be over the Arnakian Coast, and there’ll be islands below us. Prolly tomorrow night or the next morning we’ll be in port. But I dun like the fact that we’ve been followed for a day.”
The speck was obviously too far in the distance to make even a remote shape out of. Returning to the wheel, the captain nudged the acceleration lever forward a bit more. Nightfall came, and the party went to bed, yet early on, Scourge was awakened by a nudging on his shoulder. Sitting with a start, he was hushed by Darrad, and led into the hall, where the others wouldn’t be awakened.
“The skys’re just lighting an we still being followed.”
Whispered the captain. Concern very clearly laced his voice. He lay his hand on Scourge’s shoulder, which stood equal to his own chin. Captain Darrad was a big man. Leading the hooded man down the hall, Darrad continued to explain the situation.
“Look. I dunno yer purpose for traveling with us, but ye paid and ye been good. But we still been being followed. Now tell me this honestly. Does this have ta do with yer party?”
Scourge simply shook his head. The heavy hood of his robe barely rippling with his response. The captain regarded him a moment, before nodding and replying.
“Then this be why I woke ye. Our pursuer is still too far back, out of range from me scope. Now, we need to know what is behind us, and if it’s cause for concern. So im asking ya if ye could send yer bird back far enough to identify it, and report back. This is all I ask.”
Scourge hesitated a moment, before nodding silently. The Darrad nodded back and led him on board. It was still very early, but the sky was painted gray and pink. Below, only the crowns of hills peaked from a sea of thick mist. Lifting his arm, Scourge allowed his companion to land on his arm, and the captain, grudgingly repeated his request directly to Orion. Bird ruffled it’s feathers, and fluttered wordlessly into flight. Both the captain and Scourge rushed to the stern to watch. Indeed now it was obvious that they were being followed. Even in the pale morning, a definite, black shape could be seen, but was far from extinguishable. Orion swooped once about the wings of the ship, before soaring high above, and over the void between the ship and her pursuer.
“I’ve called yer group together to let ye know of a concern of mine, and me crew. Not only does it concern us, but ye’s well. Until we land in’r next port, yer stuck with our crew, and our fate is yer fate. I figure it’s best not ta keep secrets, so listen up.”
The party stood, for the first time in the captains cabin. It was like any other captain’s cabin; maps lined the walls and a decorative, long oak table ran along one wall. It’s surface was adorned with fruit bowls filled with mostly apples. Most of which were spotted and old. His bed was a simple one, and the desk he sat behind was plain and bare. His hands were folded before him, and the braid of his chin beard had been undone. In it’s place was a massive tuft of coarse, blonde hair that hung nearly to the desk.
They had been woken up by Captain Darrad himself, not long ago. Scourge had been standing in the doorway, as stoic as ever. Orion sat perched on his shoulder, burrowing his beak under his wing. Until he spoke, he always seemed such a normal bird…He had given them time to wake up, with the instruction to meet in his cabin. Now here they were, and they did not know why.
“We’re being followed, an’ have been since yesterday.”
The captain paused, but the party didn’t react.
“I’m gonna make a long story short, and cut ta the chase here.”
The captain sighed and leaned back in his maroon, leather chair. It squeaked loudly.
“As a windship captain, I be well acquainted with air pirates and raiders. Almost never do they have their own ship, but there’re always means of flying aside from windships. Never have I seen the likes’a what be following us this day.”
The captain hesitated another moment, but again the party didn’t respond. How could they? They didn’t know what yet followed them, nor did they yet understand how this pertained to them.
“Drakes. I’m sure ye’ve heard of them. Large, dangerous beasts. They dwell along coastal cliffs an mountains. All but one kind. Aragothian Drakes, or Mountain Drakes, as they be better known. As their name pertains, they dwell in barbaric mountains ta the far north. What follows us be a Drake Skiff. Basically, a platform hung neath a team a-drakes. But I never seen what this fella’s bird described for me before. The Drakes’re Mountain Drakes, an never have the drakes a the barbaric lands been tamed b’fore. The skiff be a war skiff, and it carries north-men. Pirates by the looks.”
The captain hesitated once more, and studied the concerned faces of the party. This time he did not linger on Marie. His mind was elsewhere.
“I’m telling ye, because there will likely be a raid attempt. If this happens, all will need ta fight….With that said, ye may want te prepare yerselves. Dismissed..”
Needless to say, the rest of the morning dragged. A tension hung over The Nausicaa and barely a word was spoken. Words weren’t needed. They party members had enjoyed nearly a week in comfortable clothes and out of armor. Yet this day they were quick to done it again. Early in the morning, the land below had transformed into a beautiful, sapphire landscape. Green mountains rose from the blue depths of the Arnakian, and teal reefs swirled in motley patterns. For such a beautiful, and never before seen sight, it did little to ease the parties nerves. Fighting in the air? Never had any of them done that.
The sun was nearly directly overhead when the shape began to grow, fast. The Nausicaa had been accelerated as much as possible, and the wind tossed and tore at their hair, and yet still, it gained. By now the entire crew, and party had gathered at the stern, to watch. To any party member that bothers to count, they find that there are 20 crew members, plus Captain Darrad.
Within an hour, the shape had closed in, and had become very distinguishable as what Darrad had described. Four massive, dragon-like beasts flew in a square-like formation. Chained below them was a massive, flat platform. Darrad ordered all crewmen grab a weapon from the cabin. As they did so, he explained that under no circumstances, where the raiders to get to the “heart room”.
He explained to the party.
“That be what most raiders seek when they attack windships. The Elberiel Stone is worth thousands upon thousands of platinum. One Elberiel Stone can afford a full fortress. That be why our lifts be so guarded. Also.”
The captain headed to the wheel and lifted a large, scimitar that had been propped against it.
“Every crewman be a trained fighter.”
Despite his size, he lashed and parried the air with extraordinary agility. He had already been donned in scalemale, and his beard had been rebraided. He looked a barbaric warrior himself. Most of the crew stood in beaten, padded and leather armor, but as they sparred with one another, the party could see they did possess at least decent swordsmanship.
By now the Drake Skiff had closed in, and the party could see very clearly, it’s belligerent detail. The skiff was shaped like a massive long boat. At it’s head sneered a massive, evil looking dragon skull. It’s rails seemed forged from the spines of very long, serpentine beasts. Likely drakes. The belly of the ship was lined with ribs. Never had the party seen a more morbid ship. The drakes themselves were plated in rusted armor. Their bronze scales gleamed in the warm sunlight, and beneath brown, skullmasks, gleamed hatefilled, golden eyes. The beating of their wings were like wardrums.
The men aboard the Skiff stood along the skeletal rails, and bows were in their hands. Suddenly a man, that seemed to dwarf his companions appeared at the Bow of the ship, before the Dragon Skull. Despite the distance, he seemed bigger than even Scourge. As the crew watched, he rose a horn to his lips, and a booming roar filled the windswept air. Bows were knocked. Darrad turned hastily.
What cover can be taken on a ship? The crew fled to the nose, or lingered under the eaves of the cabin. Yet as they watched, the skiff gained altitude until it lingered almost directly overtop The Nausicaa. Another blast tore through the air, and a rain of arrows fell upon the deck. Several crewmen cried out, gripping their shoulders, or slumping in rapidly expanding pools of crimson.
The party glanced at Darrad.
“We don’t have bows…We’ve faced gliders and ropesmen…Never the likes of this!”
Another volley fell from above, and more of the crew collapsed. Cries of pain and death swept through the air, and the captain realized they would not last long on deck. Swinging open the cabin door, he ushered the party and what was left of the crew in. Six men remained, slumped on deck. 4 more gripped bloody arrowshafts. Yet despite their complaints, none seemed in too bad a shape.
Taking the butt of his scimitar, Captain Darrad punched out the ashy windows of the cabin. Sunlight streaked into the dark room, but didn’t comfort the huddled interior.
“They’ll haveta land if they want ta take us now.”
(Add any suggestion’s to your post. You could try and fire at the skiff….but you can’t really see their crew. They’re leaning over the rails and shooting down on you. You can also try and shoot the Drakes, but they are well armored. Next post they will unboard and melee will be engaged. Remember to post your “Plans” and backups, because we like to post several rounds at a time if possible. Scourge, you can try to use fireball, if you want to risk a rain of arrows. It’s your call. An interesting battle this will be! Have fun!!”
Teros spent the days bathing in the sun or sleeping. Not much was happening, and that was to be expected he supposed. At any rate he sort of enjoyed the break, there was no strain as you carried your bags or worry of an ambush. Just boredom. His journal still only had one entry, nothing could be written about days spent in boredom. And his companions did nothing to lessen his boredom or add any sort of excitement. And so his life continued in a sort of uneventful state...
That was until he was awoken one night and hurried into the Captain's room. The big man explained the situation and Teros listened without saying a word. As the man spoke of Drakes that had never been tamed before, his mind raced as he thought of the possiblities. Was this mere coincidence or where these "pirates" really minions of the dark god comming to destory them or at least stall them? Time would tell, if they survived. With a sigh he left the room, being dismissed and knowing what awaited them. Without a word to his companions he headed to his room and began to don his armor, muttering a prayer Ralnarian as he did so until his sword was the only thing left. As soon as he finished he turned, and with a heavy heart he picked up his sword and drew it, feeling its weight and preparing to use it once more. He made sure the enchanment still worked and then returned it to its normal state before sheathing it. With his turban on, his armor ready, and his blade at his side he was ready.
He strode out onto the deck, forcing himself into a state of calm. He would do his best to calm others by being calm himself. With one hand lazily placed on his sword in a common way, and the other on the rail of the ship he simply watched the scene below, only occassionally glancing over at the growing speck. In truth he was apprehensive. Which man wouldn't be? His prayers ran through his mind quickly and his thoughts of home filled his mind. He was ready for this, nothing would stop him. Even as this thought filled his head he heard the blast of the horn and turned, drawing his sword and activating the enchanment. And so the battle begins.
At first he thought that this would be fairly easy. The crew would help lessen the strain and could probably hold their own. However that was until he saw bows being drawn by his opponets and none being drawn by his allies. For a moment he thought about drawing and arrow and firing at the enemy who seemed to be rising slowly to a position above them, but stopped and tried to find some sort of cover. In the end he could only find an out of the way place, a small place where not many other people were. Such a place would lower the chance of them firing a volly in his direction since they would try to hit groups rather than individuals. He braced himself as the first volley flew down, he heard the cries of men and knew that they had to move into the ship. Still he couldn't just move into the ship without others doing so, he wasn't a coward and didn't want to be seen as one. Even so he was greatly relieved when the Captain finally moved them inside.
Teros heard few words that the Captain spoke. Out of 20 only a handful were left alive or at least alive enough to make it in here. It was up to this ragged band of adventures. The wierd thing was, he wasn't worried at all. For some reason he truly thought that in the end they would come out on top. However he knew that they had to do this right. Having defended caravans and tours of people in the past he knew how to defend against raiders when the odds were against them. With his sword barely raised above the ground he was the frist to move, and he made his move in front of the door, ready to fight.
Teros will declare dodge against the first enemy that comes within attack range. He will use his expertise to subtact 2 from his attack roll but add 2 to his AC. If any enemy enters his attack range he automatically gets an attack of opportunity (Hold the Line).
Should the first enemies he sights be bowmen he will abandon his post and try to find cover, possibly beside the door so that he can get an attack of opportunity against the first man who enters. If they do not seem to be entering then he will draw his bow, step out, fire, and then take cover until they do.
I might be a bit confused on our location but I think that works.
The days passed rather slowly for Damien LeBlaque, who was forced to spend his days in almost complete inactivity. There was absolutely nothing for him to do onboard the windship, save sleep or attempt to compose new works. Neither worked overly well for the man, though, but somehow, the days managed to slip by.
Damien made an extreme effort to avoid Vilyamar, who has come to bother him to an extreme extent after the attempted lecture before boarding. It seemed that the trip would pass very uneventfully, though the pass above the cloud cover was exciting in it’s own way. For much of his life, the entertainer had believed that the clouds were solid masses of something or other. Secretly, he always thought that they resembled mounds of snow suspended in the sky, but he usually kept that idea to himself.
One night, well into their expedition, Damien was aroused from his slumber and ushered into the captain’s quarters. There, briefed on what was happening, the bard understood completely the situation. He had heard of drakes before, but had never been fortunate enough to witness some of them. From the description provided, a clutch of them was carrying a war skiff to assault their ship.
Silently, not sticking around to wait for Vilyamar to attempt to boss everyone around, the bard slipped away and moved back to his quarters. Clambering onto the top bunk on which he had spent much of his time, Damien picked up his pack, which he has used in place of a pillow. By keeping it there, he was certain that it would keep the kender away from his belongings. His rapier and armor also lay within his bed, near in the case of emergency. Almost in second nature, he quickly donned his gear and strode out to the deck where they were to assembled to protect the ship.
Teros was already there, as were several members of the crew. One by one, the others approached afterwards. While the man from the desert stood at the rail, Damien preferred to have something more secure to lean against, and put his back against the cabin wall, crossing his arms and lowering his head slightly. With his eyes closed, he began to think everything over.
This is our biggest challenge yet. There is a good chance that we might die, but what difference does it make if its now or later? Still… These people have come to somewhat accept me…or so it seems.
Opening his eyes, Damien watched the crew members sparring against air, stretching for the battle. Thinking it might be a good idea, he drew his own weapon and took a few practice swipes and thrusts. As the skiff approached ever closed, he stopped and sheathed the weapon.
Suddenly, a rain of arrows showered the deck from above, striking down several crewmen in the process. The barbaric warriors overhead had a huge advantage – height and missiles. The call was made to hurry everyone into the cabins, and with a handspring and a tumble, Damien avoided the arrow shower and made it into cover.
Reaching up to push his hair away from his eyes so as to avoid being at a disadvantage, Damien mirrored the captain and smashed a window with his elbow. Looking out, he waited for the raiders to board. There was no way that their arrows could drive all the way through the roof of the cabin. But…
“I’ve got an idea!” Damien shouted, directing his attention at Scourge. “When they land, I need you to stay close to me. Keep them off me, and I can bring down those drakes!” Not explaining further, Damien whipped out his rapier and activated the threads of magic within, casting a coat of frost along its slender blade. We can come out of this alive…
(OOC: When the raiders land, Damien will tumble and fight defensively to get somewhere where he will have the best view of the drakes. If he can get close enough to them, he will use Glitterdust on the two leading drakes. If he can’t reach them, he’ll use it on the raiders and then attack with Fencing Stance and Flashy Attack.)
After being awoken by the captain and led onboard for Orion to head a reconnesance mission in the hours of morning before the sun had even decided to awaken from its slumber and extend the first of it's fingers from beyond the horizon; Scourge and the others were left to their devices on how to prepare for the comming threat.
As if heights weren't difficult enough, now there would be combat and the large man couldn't help but feel anxiety creeping in to mingle with anticipation at what would be his first airborn combat.
To calm his thoughts he returned to his room, and gave prayer to Erenall while memorizing his spells. Sleep would not return this night.
With his repetoir stored within his heart and mind Scourge met the others on deck as they watched the distant speck become clearer and clearer as it came closer.
He ran through his spells and went about his castings, Alerting the Captain and Crew of the basics of each spell he cast.
First, he placed a Glyph of Warding on the door leading to the 'Heart Room'. He explained that it would react to anyone touching it with 'Evil' In their hearts, and if anyone held such notions or ill will, that they had best stand clear lest the suffer the effects of the Blast Glyph.
Next, when he had gauged the time of attack to be about a half hour to an hour, he began the more time pressed spells, he cast with the Captain's permission, a Magic Circle Vs Evil on the inside of the Heart Room door, that if anyone were to overcome his magical trap, they would still have trouble entering the room, and accessing the Ebriel Stone.
Finally, he approached his companions, and began casting spells upon them telling them what each would do before casting. (feel free to deny my spells by stating so in the Q&A)
On Elendor he cast a Mage Armor, as well as another Mage Armor on himself. He next found Teros, and Cast True Strike upon him, informing him that "The outcome of the battle is decided after the first swing."
He next cast Status to monitor everyone's condition during the fight.
As the ship raised above them and battle was evident, he finished with a prayer to Erenall that he would claim only those whose time it was to go, and for his Blessing upon his allies and the crew.
When the hail of arrows fell upon the crew, and left many slain and more injured, it was time to make the first move, and so, from cover of the doorway into the weapons hallway, Scourge will cast a Fireball Spell aimed at one of the Drakes, particularly the point of contact where the chains clung. Taking out a Drake or two in theory would tip the skiff, and hopefully dishevel the enemy crew. After the spell is cast he'll take a free five foot step back into the hallway.
(I know it's alot of spells, but it's under the pretense that we've got all this forewarning.. let me know if I have to change anything.)
The half-elf did not worry any longer about humans knowing his origins. Questions didn’t arise, and as such proved his thorough lack of knowledge of this have of his bloodlines. His eyes drew towards the bard, who’s mouth had begun to make more of a sting than his rapier ever could. The human understood less than he presumed to, especially after his actions in the elven capitol, but Vilyamar forced himself to let the past go. Nothing he could do here would change those facts, but perhaps he could alter their current path, before it headed towards its certain oblivion. The days of the airship passed mostly in silence for the monk. He watched sometimes, the others, and once headed off the kender who was making efforts to enter the housing for the large gem they were shown upon entry. He sparred once with one of the crew, after being challenged during his exercises. The burly man thought very little of Vil’s lithe frame, but the half-elf proved him wrong. It was a short bout, and the monk proved the winner easily, not hurting himself nor the other man in their match. Most of the time was spent in meditation, stretching and exercises out on the deck. Vil refrained from traveling very close to any of the edges and rails, as well as jumping too much. He first discovered that jumping could adversely affect one’s travel experience and forewarned himself against any other attempts at such exercises, lest they be along the length of the ship. To his, and the party’s surprise, they passed through the clouds one day, before a storm struck. It was to most of their astonishments, and Vil believed that many others believed them to be more solid than misty. He had thought them more like paint, or like the unraveled wool that one might see in a tailor’s shop. He was not a man who interested himself much in the things so far above him. Vilyamar was on the ship’s deck when the captain pointed out the speck on the horizon. It had now been six whole days of air travel. A sense of anxiousness entered the monk’s gut at the very thought of being trailed by a rogue airship. None on board could make out what the speck was, not even Scourge’s raven. The captain expressed his concerns, but left the rest of the party in peace. The night came and went swiftly for the monk, as did most and he slept a dreamless sleep. Awaking as normal, with the rising of the sun, he stepped out of his bunk before the others had arisen. The half-elf’s ears picked up movement, but such was normal about the ship, as crew members were always moving about the ship, checking the thing for the gods knew what. It wasn’t anything to cause him alarm, until the captain returned and gathered him and the others together in the captain’s cabin. “I’ve called yer group together to let ye know of a concern of mine, and me crew. Not only does it concern us, but ye’s well. Until we land in’r next port, yer stuck with our crew, and our fate is yer fate. I figure it’s best not ta keep secrets, so listen up.” He said. Vilyamar wore a frown, but not for any particular reason. This had the sound of something that would not be pleasant. “We’re being followed, an’ have been since yesterday.” The captain paused, but the party didn’t react. “I’m gonna make a long story short, and cut ta the chase here.” The captain sighed and leaned back in his maroon, leather chair. It squeaked loudly. “As a windship captain, I be well acquainted with air pirates and raiders. Almost never do they have their own ship, but there’re always means of flying aside from windships. Never have I seen the likes’a what be following us this day.” “Drakes. I’m sure ye’ve heard of them. Large, dangerous beasts. They dwell along coastal cliffs an mountains. All but one kind. Aragothian Drakes, or Mountain Drakes, as they be better known. As their name pertains, they dwell in barbaric mountains ta the far north. What follows us be a Drake Skiff. Basically, a platform hung neath a team a-drakes. But I never seen what this fella’s bird described for me before. The Drakes’re Mountain Drakes, an never have the drakes a the barbaric lands been tamed b’fore. The skiff be a war skiff, and it carries north-men. Pirates by the looks.” The captain hesitated once more, and studied the concerned faces of the party. This time he did not linger on Marie. His mind was elsewhere. The captain would still see the frown upon the monk’s face. His expression did not change and stayed as stoic as did Scourge standing by the doorway. Vilyamar was not familiar with any procedures during air raids, and did not care to ask. This would not be a normal raid, for it was no normal raiding party. The captain himself had never seen the likes of the skiff towed by the untamable drakes of the north. Vilyamar had once traveled with a man who had been among those to slay one of these drakes. The experience had been a terrible one, and many among their party had been slain, not only in battle but also in reaching the thing. Perhaps it had been more powerful than those who had let themselves be harnessed, but perhaps not. The rest of the party departed, but Vilyamar turned to Scourge before he left, drawing him aside. “You are the next one among us that I trust the most. Should I perish, take the hilt of Cielanon, and guard it well in my absence, should it occur.” The monk said nothing, but bowed and turned before anything more than a nod could come from either the large magic-user or his bird. Vilyamar donned his cloak and stuck his nunchaku in his sash that he had belted about his waist. He had a few shuriken left and made sure they were on hand to be drawn if needed. He spent an hour meditating as the others donned armor and equipment.
When he arrived out on the top deck, he saw that the skiff was now clearly in sight, and the drakes’ wings could be seen pumping the air. The skiff came up level with the airship, and the party and crew could see the barbarians on board, huge men with pelts it seemed, though it was still none to clear. But the skiff continued to rise, until it was above the airship. The crew and party remained outdoors, since the only cover was the captain’s cabin. Then, in the middle of the deck, where Vilyamar, Teros and a few crew members stood a single, dark arrow whistled down from above, digging deep into the wood. It was followed by a series of twangs and whistles as a rain of death came from above. A few men screamed as the sharp points pierced limbs and torsos. “TAKE COVER!” A second hail of death and injury came as the crew and party dashed to crowd into the cabin. Vilyamar took a quick head count, subtracting from the known number and though luckily all of the party remained undisturbed, at least six crewmen were down, on the deck outside and four others produced bloody shafts. As the captain knocked out one of the ashy windows with the butt of his scimitar, he muttered loudly about them having to board to get at them. Vilyamar had no ranged weapons at all except his shuriken, which in this wind could not be trusted to fly true unless the target is close. He made a mental note to adjust for the airship’s travel when using them. The half-elven monk bared his teeth and set his feet, waiting for the first signs of boarding… (Sorry for being so late about this. I got it done. He’ll wait for the first few to exit, probably Teros and any other big guys, then he’ll move out and attack the closest barbarian in range with a stunning strike and then normal attacks)
August 19th/Wednesday Morning
Northern Thollin-Somewhere over Arnakia
As the party stood, huddled with the 14 remaining crewmembers and Captain Darrad, they struggled diligently to force their spinning minds under control. Everything had happened so suddenly, that it was hard to think clearly. Just yesterday they had been told that they were only a day away from Saradin. Thoughts of planting their feet on solid ground once more, and having a good meal in a friendly inn had them both pleased, and excited. Now, the very next morning; the day they were to land, they found themselves in what could easily be described as the most terrifying battle of their lives.
As they peered out the now shattered windows of the cabin, they could still see six bodies, unmoving. Great pools of blood had pooled on the wooden surface of the deck, and crimson rivulets ran towards the deck, as if reaching for the party, beckoning them to join the fate of the six on deck. There was no time, however, for shock. Already, Darrad and Damien had knocked out the windows, and Scourge had set about casting his spells on the door and Heart Room. As he explained to the crowded room that his spells were to target those with evil in their hearts, the crew seemed to press even harder against the walls. Each one had particular memories of barrooms in the past. Mahuo had set down her little Wolverine, and had begun healing the 4 wounded crewmen. Each one thanked her graciously.
The Drake Skiff still hovering directly overhead, like a terrible, torpedo shaped stormcloud. Though the crew was pressed against the door and windows (Which are all located on the front wall), the two nearest the door were Teros and Derrak. Darrad too, now pushed his way to the front. Laying a hand each on Teros and Derrak’s shoulder’s, he addressed the room hastily.
“When they land, we must rush ta meet em. They will try’n run us inta an island, an pick through the debris if’n we don’ come out’n fight. Fight men. Fight. I’ve not seen odds like this in my life. But we’ll prevail fa one reason an one reason only. We have no choice.”
Whether because of his…most inspiring passage, or the secret prayers of Scourge during his speech, an air of confidence seemed to hover now, over the crew and party. Noone spoke, but it was in their determined, unfearing faces. Or perhaps it was an air that lingers over men who have accepted their fate? Nonetheless, Scourge had pushed his way to the window, in an attempt to send a fireball at the drakes, only to see that the skiff had now moved, still directly overhead, yet closer to the stern. He could not angle a shot at the drakes.
Suddenly, Damien spoke up. Excitement laced his smooth voice.
“I’ve got an idea!”
Looking at Scourge, he said
“When they land, I need you to stay close to me. Keep them off me, and I can bring down those drakes!”
Another horn blast tore through the air, shaking the cabin. It seemed to come from overhead, and very, very close. A shadow stretched over the deck, and those who were peering out the windows caught their breath in surprise. The long, skeletal nose of the Skiff slid, not 20 feet above the deck. They would board directly atop the cabin!
The two, lead Drakes could very clearly be seen on the ends of the rising, chain reigns, nearly 100 feet above. Yet still the thundering of their great leathery wings beat down in an incredible wind upon the deck, casting ripples across the crimson surface of the blood lakes. Taking this opportunity, Scourge drew within himself, muttering the necessary words and pointed at the Drake on the left. A small bead of crimson light shot from his fingertips. Like a bolt, it cut the air, lacing it with the scent of sulfur. A massive ball of fire erupted overhead, half engulfing and knocking back the Drake. The chain rippled, and the Skiff’s nose shook, before the Drake gave a roar and returned to it’s position.
Immediately a barrage of thuds shook the roof. They were boarding. The crew was thrown off balance when The Nausicaa Suddenly lurched downward. It was ever so slight a movement, but enough. None feel though.
”I hate flying.”
Grumbled Derak, before patting Teros on the bronze plated shoulder, and throwing open the door and rushing on deck, followed by the entirety of the crew. From inside the cabin, the party was still to actually catch sight of the enemy. They were atop the cabin, yet the party could clearly remember that their were two sets of stairs leading to it’s top, where the wheel and The Bucket stood. One set of stairs lie on each side of the cabin, on deck.
Derak and the fourteen crewmen that joined him ran to the center of the deck, in the midst of the inescapable pool of blood, and turned to face the cabin. Though it was obvious their attention was bent on what stood atop the cabin, not in it. After not even a seconds hesitation, a great cry, encompassing the voices of many men rose up, from overhead, and from both sides of the cabin, poured a river of men. Indeed they were men. Big men from the north. Their hair was pale and long, and they bore beards or long mustaches. They were dressed in rags and furs, and bore an incredibly random selection of longswords, shortswords, axes, and spears. Like two massive warhammers, one on each side, they crashed into Derak and his circle of warriors, and in that clash, two more crewmen dropped, hard, beneath savage, swinging axe and sword.
There were about 15 Northmen, but as they collided with Derak and his circle, they seemed to more than double their numbers. Without hesitation, Teros, Vilyamar, and Darrad rushed into the fight. It seemed the Northmen were more interested in killing all on board, than obtaining any stone, at the moment.
All of this happened in what seemed like an instant, and the party remaining in the cabin were certainly caught off guard. Quick to regain their wits, however, each member sprung into action.
As the enemy from both staircases, one on either side, Derak gritted his teeth and raised his blade. He was terrified of heights, and the thought of fighting hundreds of feet in the air was more than enough to unnerve him. Yet as the enemy collided with his ranks, all thought was forced from his mind. A man equaling him in height and weight lunged at him with a spear, but Derak was able to swipe his stab aside, with his sword. Two crewmembers; one on either side of him fell with a crash, and blood sprayed the air. He didn’t notice. The man he was fighting pulled back and lunged at him again, but Derak was able to step aside. Grabbing the shaft of the spear, he yanked on it. It didn’t budge. The man was strong. Widening his stance, the man yanked back. It still did not budge. It seemed they were well matched in strength.
As he, Vilyamar, and Darrad rushed forward, Teros locked onto the man locked in combat with Derak. Both were fighting over the spear, and the mans back was to Teros. As he neared the man, he did not slow down. Pulling back his sword, and swinging with all his might, he clove deep into the mans back. Rags and flesh split open. The man said nothing. Only fell at Deraks feet, face first in the sticky blood. Derak Nodded, before turning to his left, to avenge one of the two fallen crewmen. Teros, put his back to Deraks and fought the man who had dropped the second Crewman, on Deraks right.
It seemed Derak and Teros were on the left side of the battle, and so, Vilyamar and Darrad headed to the right. Instantly, Darrad dropped a man, cleaving through his flank with his scimitar, and freeing one of his crewmen from a deathlock. Vilyamar, to Darrad’s left pounded his fist hard into the back of one of the Northmen, who was busy swinging violently at one of the Crewmen. His blow glanced off, but caused the man to stagger. Taking the opportunity, the Crewman brought up his sword, sliding it deep through the mans chest. Vil didn’t get the opportunity to readjust his focus. An explosion of pain erupted across his hip and up his back, knocking him on the ground, (11d) and causing him to smack his head on the bloodsoaked deck. A tremendous urge to vomit, from the pain swelled within him, and stars danced in his vision. Shaking his head clear, he peered up to see a man in brown leathers and rags. His arms were bare, and very scarred. They were like treetrunks. He sneered down at Vilyamar and raised a large, steel warhammer. Rolling out of the way, Vilyamar heard the deck crack as the hammer just missed his head. Struggling to his feet, Vilyamar cleared his thoughts and steadied himself in a fighting position.
As the battle erupted, Damien and Scourge slipped through the doorway and, skirting along the cabin wall, scanned both the battle and the sky. The Skiff had risen again, and hovered overhead. The Skiff was about 30 feet overheard, and the Drakes about 100. They were just in range. As Damien prepared himself for the spell he was about to cast, A lone Northman noticed the two, and charged. Yet as he brought down his longsword, it was crossed by Scourges Scythe. Sneering, the Northman swiped at Scourge, slicing open his left sleeve, and drawing a spout of black blood. (6d). Scourge countered with a swipe of his own, bringing his massive, crystal crescent in an arch aimed for the mans neck. He parried skillfully however.
Just then, about 100 feet above, a cloud of gold erupted, encasing the flame charred Drake on the left. Not many on deck would have noticed, but Damien watched as the Drake roared in rage, and batted it’s wings furiously in an attempt to get the annoying dust out of it’s eyes and nostrils. It’s furious batting lifted it high, however, tipping the war skiff. Since the skiff was directly overhead, Damien could not see how those on board reacted, but the Drake, in it’s rage continued to bat furiously, lurching one way and then another. It’s companion on the right, frustrated with the unsteady yanking on it’s chains also began lurching. The skiff careened back and forth.
Both Elandor and Marie had remained inside the cabin as the others left. Now it was only them and Mahuo. Elandor stood in the open doorway, uncertain as to what to do, while the other two took up their bows at each window. He wasn’t on the ground…He didn’t have any pebbles to launch!
Marie knocked an arrow and pulled back for her first shot. It was aimed at the warrior with the warhammer, facing Vilyamar. This was the first time she had ever been in a battle against another human, and it scared her. Yet her friends needed her. Muttering a quick prayer to Inenhalla, she let fly. The arrow sang as it pierced the air, and smacked the man in the thigh. He cried out, but it could not be heard, above the rest of the cries of pain and rage that had become a constant drone overhead. His left hand went to his thigh, and Vilyamar took the opportunity, attacking…
Mahuo let fly at random, nearby enemies, interlocked in combat. Some of her arrows hit their marks, and others failed too. Nonetheless, this was where she would remain for now.
Finally, with a sigh of resolve, Elandor reached into his pouches, and pulled out a handful of small, hard nuts. Knocking his hoopak, he let fly, smacking a nearby Northman in a side of the head. Instantly his hands went to his head, opening up for his opponent, who lashed out, slitting open the Northmans stomach. Wordlessly he slumped to his knees as he struggled with his now spilling innards. He would be dead in moments. The Crewman nodded at Elandor and went to another warrior.
The battle had opened up now, expanding the whole of the deck. Bodies lay like obstacles, and fighters slipped in the blood, which now poured overboard, raining a crimson trail into the sea below. There were less Marauders on deck then there were defenders, but they were better fighters, and the battle was still even.
They had started out, fighting back to back, yet the battle had opened up now, and Derak found himself fighting near the right hand railing of the ship. Teros was near the center of the deck. His opponent lashed at him viciously with a series of swipes from his bastard sword. Derak parried them all, and lunged forward, piercing the mans thigh deeply. Crying out, the Marauder fell back against the railing. Raising his bastard sword, Derak brought it down but the man dodged. His sword cut cleanly through the railing. It wasn’t so sturdy as it seemed….The marauder came back at him, but slipped on the bloody deck. Stepping cleanly aside, Derak swiped upward, slicing half-way through the mans neck. Gurgling loudly, the Northman fell facedown in the blood.
Teros found his match with the warrior before him. The man had parried his entire first attack, and had countered with a vicious slash across Teros’ shoulder.(10d) The pain was deep, and he could feel the warm wet blood as it very quickly coated his entire arm. Gritting his teeth, he tried to remain on the offence, with another series of attacks. His last swipe lashed across the mans chest, slicing open his leather. The rags and furs of his stomach quickly stained red, but it didn’t seem he had hurt the man very badly. With a snarl, and a curse in a language Teros had never heard before, the man came back at him…
Vilyamar’s mind was swimming in pain, yet he forced himself to focus. He had been caught off-guard. A disappointing mistake for a monk, and, were he not in so much pain, and facing such immediate peril, he would have been disappointed in himself. As it was, he had forced himself to his feet, and had just taken up a fighting stance, when a sudden arrow whistled by him, and stuck in his attackers thigh. The man gave a roar, and his free hand gripped at the shaft.
Snapping into action, the monk leapt forward, a blur of forest green robes. Before the marauder could react, the monk had sent a flurry of punches into his stomach, and with a swift, sweeping kick, put him on his back. Pulling his Nunchuku, the monk prepared to finish the man, but instead caught a very heavy foot in his stomach. Stumbling back and gripping his stomach, he could not prevent the man from rising back to his feet. Another arrow suddenly struck him, this time in the collar. Dropping his hammer, the man gripped at his throat and fell to his knees. Without hesitation, the monk slammed his nunchuk into the mans throat, breaking it, and crumpling him. Vilyamar turned his attention to the rest of the battle..
Scourge had saved Damien from the Northman’s attack, but he quickly found that this warrior was far too great a match in combat. He had already taken a hearty wound to the arm, and both he and Damien were cornered between the stairs and the cabin wall. Turning his attention from the Drakes overhead, Damien swiped several times at the Maruader, in an attempt to push him back. The Marauder, however, was focused on Scourge, and caught at unawares. Damien’s icy blade tore through his furs, rimming them in frost, and leaving a bloody gash across the mans flank.
Growling in pain, the raider parried another blow of Scourges and stepped back, before lunging at Damien, and landing a clean slice across his pelvis (5d). Taking this opportunity to his advantage, Scourge brought his scythe high above, and drove it through the vertebrae at the base of the mans neck, and down, through his chest. A fountain of blood spouted in an eruption as the mans already dead corpse slid off the Scythe and against the cabin wall. It was at this moment, that they realized just overhead, the Skiff had lowered again, and a man…if man he could be called, had unboarded. They had no opportunity to react, however, as another marauder came at them.
He had grown tired of watching the battle from his skiff. It was taking far too long, in his opinion, and was time to hasten things a bit. Hefting his massive axe, Thrundier waited until his remaining crewmen had lowered the skiff. When it was low enough, he grabbed two of his Magicmen by the collars and ordered them down the rope ladder, before he too, climbed overboard, and onto the cabin of The Nausicaa
The two Magicmen, with their black furs and shaved heads remained near the wheel of the ship, were the entire deck could be surveyed. They knew their purpose, and their attention was bent on the tall, cloaked man with the scythe.
Thrundier, however stood at the brim of the cabin for just a moment, overlooking the battle, before dropping down, just before the doorway of the cabin. Elandor found himself staring at the biggest man he had ever seen in his life. He was well over seven foot tall, and solid as an Avilon Tree. He bore black, chain and leather armor, and around his shoulders was a white, fur cloak. His bare arms bore two, massive, spiked bracers, and in his hands was a massive, toothed greataxe. His long golden hair swayed in the wind, and his full beard was braided. Bits of bone and beads hung from it, and strange, tribal tattoos spiraled over his cheeks, neck, and forhead. His eyes were the color of ice, and far colder. Elandor found himself backed up against the door of the Heartroom. The figure in the doorway stood for a moment, his hair and cloak billowing in the wind. Then, at last, he stooped his head, and entered the cabin.
Mahuo and Marie instantly ceased their firing out the windows, and turned, with wide eyes, to the mammoth barbarian, not 5 feet away…
I know it’s confusing…There was a lot for me to describe, and not the best of days for me to do it…Im exhausted. Nonetheless, I will try and describe the current situation as best as possible.
There are now 7 dead Maruaders and 5 more dead Crewmen. The captain of the WarSkiff and two Magic Users are now aboard. The deck is opened up with many individual battles raging. Captain Darrad is near the Bow of the ship, fighting. Derak is fighting near the right railing. Scourge and Damien are also on the right side, in the corner where the stairs that lead to the roof of the cabin, and the outside wall of the cabin is. Teros is in the very center of the deck, and Vilyamar is about 15 feet outside and to the left of the cabin doorway. Elandor, Marie, and Mahuo are all inside the cabin…Now..im very tired.im posting this. You can ask me questions if you are confused. And I promise my next post will be better. But, please post on time.
9 Crewmen-Decent Health
Captain Darrad-Decent health
Vilyamar-37/48 HP-Fractured hip
Scourge-41/47 HP-Sliced Left upper Arm/Minor Bleeding
Teros-51/61 HP-Deeply Cut left Shoulder/ Bleeding
Damien- 35/40 HP-Cut Hip/Minor Bleeding
Teros had rushed out when the battle began, eager to aid his allies in their fight. Almost immediatly him and Derrak were once again teamed up, fighting against the huge men. The mid-air battle was much like one on the ground, except that he knew to stay away from the sides. This single thought that gnawed at him in the back of his mind kept him aware, and soon he found himslef near the middle. When he suddenly found himslef alone in the middle he thought that it was an ok move, after all he could take a small breather, gather his surrounding, and plan accordings. Such things were always useful moves on the battlefield...
However there was one thing he did not count on, and that going one-on-one with one of these giants. Almost as soon as he engaged the man he found himslef cut deeply on his left arm. Gritting his teeth against the incredible pain he pressed forward, but was unable to do anything significant. Letting out a sigh he thought of what to do next.
With one arm damaged he wouldn't last long against this giant unless he thought of something. This man had two arms and Teros was sure that he had more endurance. A viscious assault may be what was called for, but if it failed it could cost him dearly and even if he dodged the counter attacks his arm would be exausted. If he went on the defensive he would have a similiar problem with fatigue.
All this shot through his mind in a second or two. But it spawned an idea. This whole fight he had been holding himself up with akward footing in an effort to stay balanced in the blood. He had never been very good at balance, in fact he had never gotten used to the dunes back home. But it was something more than this man had more likely, and it was one of his only options left. Raising his sword in an effort to throw off any attacks he took a few short hops back until the railing was only a foot behind him. In front was a pool of blood.
Teros gave the barbarian a smile and then yawned, ignoring the pain for just a few seconds. He put his sword down from its battle stance and half closed his eyes watching him only a little, pretending he didn't care. If this worked that big man would be no problem.
Teros will use the disengage action and get to this designated location. He'll then try to taunt the big guy into charging. Once get close enough Teros will try to dodge the man and have him topple off the ship. If this fails he'll fight defensively until he can think of a new plan.