Let's Vary Piracy
With cat-like tread, the Scale Emblem Alliance has located a band of pirates in the Fourlands Dukedom who own a ship they would very much like for themselves. They wait for the piratical band to come ashore to resupply before springing their deadly ambush.
Roll-based combat scene, run by yours truly. Open to all, but focused toward the Scale Emblem. Prophylaxis will not be appearing in this episode, but he'll be with you all in spirit!
Sadly, the first challenge will be waiting for a healer to join the queue...
In other words... they need a ship.
And as it happens, there's an opportunity to acquire one such suitable vessel.
There are a number of isolated islands and hidden coves all throughout the Fourlands Dukedom. Their maritime might has secured a vast number of them, but some are still used as favorite resupply points for vicious bands of pirates and other seaborne ne'er do wells. Scale Emblem scouts have kept a keen eye on one band in particular, the Brineblight Buccaneers, whose sickly sea-green banner flutters atop a long-stolen Fourlands galleon. They had been out at sea for quite some time, and it was high time for them to come ashore for a spell.
But how do you lure a band of pirates into a lethal ambush at a place of your choosing without tipping your hand...?
Fortunately, the de-facto leader of the alliance has a tool for the job. Prophylaxis is perched on nearby clifftop in the dead of night, peering into the dark for what he's sure is to be approaching. He lifts his staff when the time is right, waving it this way and that. Soon, Stormsong conjures an impenetrably deep fog all around the piratical vessel, swaddling it in conditions that can only be considered 'soupy.' Bereft of any other options, the pirate captain orders his crew to divert to a nearby cove... Just where the doctor wants them.
Now, the issue is that he's going to be somewhat preoccupied keeping up the fog, but it /also/ means that the rest of the team can sneak aboard the piratical vessel where it's anchored, deal with the crew still aboard, and set sail for safer harbors.
But first they have to get to the boat.
Setsuna was waiting for the fog that was suppose to be the sign. So what does he do while he sits and waits , well he is kinda fishing. Really its more like chumming the waters? He seems to keep pulling out rather fresh kills from his inventory and tossing them into the water for bait which gets exactly what he is hoping for, those nice expected fins to start appearing in the water. One even gets close enough so that Setsuna can touch it, however the damn thing is not exactly the happiest about it and suddenly takes off in the water with Setsuna holding on. Where the thing is going not even Setsuna knows but its somewhere.
Sorta. What he does have is a plank of wood, which allows him to slowly but surely make his way out to the galleon in relative silence. And there he sits, neatly tucked away in the shadow of the mighty ship's ponderous booty, until such time a the splashing of oars recedes into the distance. At which point he turns towards the nearby Vertina. There's the swift, murmured buzz of an incantation, a growing darkness around his fist that blots out the moon's reflected light. And then he waits for her signal, after which he'll unleash his spell on the unsuspecting crew before attempting to board.
She does, however, have a few other tricks up her short sleeves. And several small bundles of alchemical herbs and powder. The other part of the team was wrangling a rowboat, it was up to this second small party to try and reduce the chances of the watch on the galleon noticing the people that come back on the boat aren't the same pirates.
When Sprites signals he's ready, Vertina sits on her board, takes a bundle out of her inventory, and heaves it onto the deck. It doesn't matter if it directly hits anyone, simple contact is enough for it burst, releasing plumes of the concoction to knockout those unfortunate enough to get a whiff of it. Or back away from it, distracting them from Sprites' dark magic.
The other vessel, as it turns out, is going to need to be reserved by Setsuna, who narrowly avoids being sent far, far out to sea by an unhappy Rahab Fledgling when the creature abruptly turns and begins assaulting some of the other dinghies. Panicked piratical voices rise up in a shout of surprise, and the sound of combat abruptly breaks through the swirling fog. It could have been a disaster, and spelt an early end to their mission, if Vertina had not successfully stunned many of the sentries aboard the galleon... And if Robert hadn't immediately followed up by unleashing a wave of dark magic that knocked much of the deck crew unconscious. Now all that's left is to row over to the ship, cast some ropes overboard (helpfully already aboard the pirated rowboats) and make your way to the deck...
Setsuna was all wet, in more ways then one. His plan did not go as well as he had hoped but in the end it really only confirmed one thing. He wasn't good for water monster handling, sure if he was an undine it would be more natural. However he was but a simple human, so there for it was most obvious his place was in the sky. As he uses his skeleton leg as a floatation device and paddles back he day dreams about all the joy of riding a wyvern and not about the cold salty water. Eventually he gets himself into a boat and begins to help paddle, using his skeleton leg of course.
Especially considering that their captain is still, evidently, quite alive, awake, and looks absolutely livid when he hurls open the door to his private cabin and demands, "What're ye scallywags doin' not singin' yer lines right!? I can't sleep without me-- eh?" The pirate captain is a heavyset sort with dark, weather-beaten skin and that's about where the 'normal' ends, because he's /also/ a fishman. Or, specifically, he appears to be some manner of werefang aligned to the most awful and abyssal of monsters. A dangly tendril hangs from his forehead, terminating in a bioluminescent lump that illuminates his awful, needly teeth. He has a beard, because of course he does, but it is a nest of gnashing, twisting eels. His one eye is a fishy, bulbous thing, and the other is a strange hollow in his skull that has been carefully cultivated to be the ideal home for a balled-up isopod to hang out in. He stares agog with his one good eye at the party as they make their way aboard, and snarls viciously before furiously ringing a great, bronze bell. "All hands, we've got INTRUDERS in our midsts! Get ye out of bed ye lazy sumpgarglers! I want these interlopers strung up by their intestines 'fore sunrise!"
Thankfully, his available crew is significantly diminished-- and more helpfully, totally normal. They spill out onto the deck in mere moments, cutlasses flashing in the dim, fog-smothered firelight. As they do, the captain reaches into his coat and retrieves... a stick of dynamite!?
No, it's a flare. A sign that the rest of the crew best turn around and get their asses aboard immediately. It seems the party's on a time limit...
A -sea- monkey even.
What he does have is enough of his crew still standing awake to rally onto the deck. Vertina smirks a bit at this, even as she assumes her own fighting stance. "Finally we get to the part of this mission I'm here for." She glances over her shoulder a moment, and nods her head towards Captain Brinebeard. Then turns back to the matter at hand.
And SLAMS her foot hard onto the deck. Hard enough to make it vibrate as the shockwave rattles out from it with enough force to send the amassing pirate crew toppling away again! "Time for YOU to HIt THE DECK!"
An old Klingon proverb he remembers is that a thousand throats can be cut in one night by a running man. But that presupposes the sleeping victims are all lined up neatly, which they're not, having passed out wherever, which was inconsiderate of them, and also that he has all night, which he realizes he doesn't have when he hears the skipper's yell.
So he changes plan, and, wary of setting fire to the boat we're trying to steal, instead draws back a magically conjured bow, and fires a magical arrow, magically. It magically sticks into the skipper and docks him some HP, which is the main purpose of all this.
Setsuna looks annoyed as he finally gets on the boat and as the captain starts yelling he yells back, " I will have you know good sir! This is the worse cruise I have ever been on! I had to get myself on the boat, I had no one help me with my bags and god damn it what does someone have to do to get one of those drinks with umbrellas in it!" He stomps his skeleton foot on the deck for the moment before continuing to make the captain wish he was dead. " I swear I am going to file a complaint and I will be expecting a refund. On TOP OF THAT... I am going to give you a bad review to all the toursit companies. Don't expect any more passengers." Did Setsuna really attack the guy , in a way , it was a dark underhanded technique of the old world. To make one bleed without even lifting a finger. It is of course all he needs to do but after waiting for the captain to give some reaction he just smiles. " I'm just messing with you. " From the shadow of a candel he picks up the flames shadow and throws it at the captain, watching him begin to burn in black flame.
He purses his lips to avoid a most undignified, unprofessional, and decidedly un-Sprites-like shriek. Jump scares aren't fair. They're especially not fair if said jump scare happens to look like....well, the Skipper.
The flare catches his eye, and he crushes his original inclination to drop back. He darts forward, a hissing, rotating sawblade of water forming at his fingertips as he closes on the Skipper from 5 o'clock. He then swings his creation upwards in a diagonal slash. If his stars align, it'll take out the Skipper's flare on the way to the Skipper proper. But his first priority is on mauling the Skipper and mauling him hard. Fanciness is only a distant second priority, here.
The captain's gutteral snarls become inexplicably more incohate when his recently summoned crew abruptly begins stumbling all over itself, set offbalance by Vertina's unexpected shockwave attack! Unfortunately this also sets the /entire boat/ pitching this way and that, even as the top deck begins to creak ominously under the force of the blow.
"Are ye /tryin'/ to drown us all, lass!?" Brinebeard demands, moments before Ayeris seems to detect something is amiss and scuttles out of her eyesocket to take refuge in the captain's coat. A black blaze crashes into him, then, followed by a magical arrow that sticks into his chest like a brightly colored pin into a particularly tenebrous pincushion. "Grahh!" Brinebeard snarls, sweeping his cutlass in a wide arc, shattering the magic clinging to him. A wave of high-pressure water slices out from the biting edge of his blade, into the adventurers arrayed against him. "This ain't no pleasure cruise, ye damn boneheaded brat! Though I must say, that's an impressive leg o' yers, ye thinkin' about goin' into th' piratical business?"
Just then, Robert darts in. The skipper's flare sputters and dies as the watery blade passes through, but Robert's attack is met mid-way by Brinebeard's own sword. The pirate captain grins toothily as his eel-beard snaps and bites at Sprites' arms and shoulders!
But at least those reinforcements seem to be delayed... for now.
Meanwhile, the pirate crew seems to have finally gotten its act together. Armed with billhooks and harpoons, and crossbows that SHOOT harpoons, the pirates swarm over the party in a tide of unwashed humanity...!
Setsuna grin as the captain's sword cuts him in half and then he disappears only to appear behind the captain. " Oh well the doctor said we couldn't call it pirating, so I am going into the privateer business." The grin on his face grows to something that only a imp could manageto pull off. " I will be taking your hat though, and your boat, and your title. " Slashing his dagger in mid air a claw of dark energy rips across the captain as Setsuna finishes his threat, " You can keep your life and the life of what men you have left, if you run now. "
But he's found the one spell he can use that won't set the boat on fire or blast it to pieces, a basic magical energy attack of the sort you learn apprenticing. "DAMNED!" And there is an energentic impact of magical energy slamming into the captain. "Hah, take that!" he growls. There is a bit of smoke on impact, but no actual fire.
Until the pirates that kept their distance start shooting harpoons out of crossbows at her. "What the -- ow!" They fire several fast enough that even fancy kung-fu can't swat them away and the Salamander gets pincushioned several times.
"So, you wanna shoot things... fine. Be that way. Have a taste of -my- cannon fire!" Fortunately, it's not actually fire this time. Instead Vertina puts her recent training to use, putting her hands together and thrusting them palms forward, into a stance people that played certain fighting games in the real world might recognize. Except she doesn't just shoot a ball of energy.
She releases an entire -beam- of spiritual light energy into the mass of bootlegging buccaneers.
It is admittedly somewhat hard to talk when you're a piratical captain whose beard is presently preoccupied with slapping away and maw-wrestling a bunch of sprawling, thorned vines. But Robert's tactic proves to be an effective distraction none-the-less, as a bolt of arcane might from Schneider smashes into the pirate's back while it's turned, causing him to stumble.
"Th' cap'n's an angler, not a barnacle!" One of the pirates shouts at Vertina-- before being reduced to a spray of red sparks by her holy magic. A dozen more follow, and the captain double-takes when he sees what has become of his decimated crew. "Grah! Fall back ye lily livered buffoons! Leave this to old cap'n Brinebeard, hahahaarr!"
Amidst sounds of protest, many of the pirates who still survive begin leaping overboard, the waters around the vessel filling with the sound of splishing and splashing seamen. The Captain takes up his sword, but it's not the blade which is the problem. His glowing lure suddenly flares, the captain's laughter rising to a crescendo as bolts of luminescent energy lance from the radiant tendril, blasting the deck, the adventurers, and the clouds above...! "Come on ye burglin' bastards," the captain shouts, deploying one heck of a Taunt effect. Blades and spells are inexplicably drawn towards the Angler Werefang, pulling combatants close, where his dangly lantern can fry them! "Come and get me if you dare!"
He shouts, "DAMNED!" again, throwing that same basic attack, but it impacts again, striking true and sending the captain staggering back again with the impact. He looks around as the crew bails from the ship, but that's OK. As long as we're keeping the boat, that's a win for us, right? They can leave it or die, it's all the same to Schneider.
Somewhere, in the distance, Robert splashes down.
His angler beams have no shortage of targets, as suddenly he's surrounded by several Vertinas, who just poof into motes of light and smoke when struck by eerie evil eel's eerie rays!
Moments later the REAL Vertina is at his side, bringing one clawed battleglove in for a punch to the ribs from the flanking position, and then twisting and arcing with the other in a slicing uppercut!
So how does Setsuna avoid the entire deck being filled with radiant light? He disappeared into the shadows. Where ever he went to no one knows. Truthfully he is hanging out in the crows nest when he sees the hat. " That hat will be mine. " So what does he do, he grabs a rope and swings down from the top of the ship with his hand out aiming for the hat. His fingers even touch the rim when the rope actually jerks around and he gets whipped out to the edge of the ship. It was an unpleasant experience.
After all, in the dark, the light they emit shines even more brightly.
Robert's magic shatters abruptly as a wave of blinding light erupts from within, catching Setsuna at the last moment and sending him fumbling blindly for a hat he only barely brushes his fingers against. (it's delightfully, velvety soft). The light seems to spread without dispersing, a wave of energy that sears the eyes. When it passes...
There is no longer a pirate standing there.
In fact, you can hear the captain cackling from somewhere overboard, as he flees with what's left of his crew. Perhaps they'll see him again someday, but the crucial thing is...
They have a boat now!
They'll obviously need to make a few repairs and improvements, clean out the cabins and have the thing inspected for lice, but otherwise, they have a perfectly seaworthy vessel to make use of...!
Setsuna stands up and brushes himself off as he looks around annoyed that the captain ran away. " I swear I am going to make it so I can bind people to where they stand. I am so tired of people running away from me. " He says as he stomps up the stairs and takes the wheel. " So then where to? Also how do you turn the motor on ? " Setsuna seems to be very intent on trying to captain this ship even knowing all he does about sailing...absolutely nothing.
And then he might notice a fin emerge from the water... and begin heading his way...
Hey so remember when Setsuna summoned a Rahab Fledgling and then immediately lost control of it?
And then immeadiately heads below deck to find the galley, and the stores, and see if these pirates had any rum or other liquor stashed away on their ship. A brewer has her priorities!
Setsuna shakes his head, " We are near enough to the shore I am sure Robert can make it safely without any trouble. I mean these waters don't have anything to dangerous in them. " Setsuna then begins to do his best to pull together a gust of wind for the sail but sadly it doesn't seem to be strong enough. " Hmm , hey Vertina do you have any wind magic? I think we should get out of here... oh we should remember to pick up our other crew member. " Setsuna looks towards the sea , " Yep can't forget about Prophylaxis. "
Robert has company.
A Rahab is a terrible beast. A dragon of the sea, as some folklorists would describe. Fortunately, this one is only a baby!
That still means it's about as big as a shark, and just as hungry.
It's about this time that Robert would detect his COMBAT MODE engaging, and might notice a finned, serpentine head cutting the water like a meat cleaver, white water churning around its flanks...!
But there's a rope there! Grab hold quick, or else!!
An then combat engages. Red alarms blare, crimson tinges the edges of his vision. Robert's left to glance around wildly, fully cluing in nly when monlight lances off the Rahab's shiny back.
And then, out of nowhere, the merciful 'ploop' of life-saving rope. Which Robert immediately grabs onto with arms and legs, giving it three ferocious tugs by way of a signal. At which point he settles for slowly, steadily summoning an over-charged fireball spell.
Setsuna lets out a sigh, as he was busy with his captain duties but alas sometimes a captain must do other things for his crew. Grabbing the rope he begins to put serious effort into pulling Robert up, even if it doesn't show. " I mean where would a sea monster even come from they don't usually come in to such shallow waters. What did Robert do to summon such a beast. " Seriously he is so trying to help pull Robert in, but its slow going.
But most importantly, his entire right arm--everything below the shoulder, really--appears to have been replaced by a baby Rahab. A baby Rahab which, now that it's been hauled out of the water, glances first to one side and then the other. It glances around,first to Schneider, then to Setsuna. Its eyes widen with innocence. It didn't do nothin'. It's a good Rahab, it is.
Sprites just looks kinda pissed.
Setsuna looks at the fish and then back to Robert, " Throw it back. We dont' have any room to keep it. Besides I do not want to have to feed it when you forget. " The monster handling necromancer says nothing else abpout the situation he just goes back to the wheel to continue to do his best steering.
Regardless of the ultimate cause, terror turns to flight, and the immature Rahab flops overboard, splashing into the darkened depths from which it came.
"Thanks, Schneider," Robert responds, opening and closing his right fist, as though to make sure his hand still works. Not that this is an actual concern here. "Deeply appreciated."
Rattling fills the air, as Robert winches the anchor from its mucky bed and slowly slides upwards. It glides into place. Robert secures it, flashes a thumb backwards over his shoulder. "Everything's ready," he confirms.
The boat slowly turns around, sails unfurling, and it makes its way out of the inlet towards the open sea.