Storm Winds Headed South
(OOC: This is a followup to a plot I ran last fall which I am reviving now that the new check code is set up. I'm running it a bit early in the day server time to accomodate some different time zone folks, but opening it up to the public for anyone who wants to get involved. There will be combat, sailing, and medium risk. Should be adventure. Please contact Nina if you want to play along with this as I have open slots and know people were interested!)
Jan. 13, 2021, noon
Outside Arx - Lyceum near Setarco - Southern Seas
Comments and Log
Two seasons ago feels like a long time, but with the threat of war against Eurus, the preparations have been critical to the safety of the Compact. With the whirlpool cleared from the harbor at Arx, it almost seemed as if the time of rough seas was in the past. But the threat of Eurus and their possible magics had spurned some on to find solutions to counter their rumored powers.
Nina had been using Bard's College resources for some time to research information about a magical Lyre, and called several meetings with stakeholders to understand its possible whereabouts. The lyre was said to be able to control the weather, though by all reports, its effects were quite unpredictable. The search had first taken a few to Southport, where a team had discovered clues. The lyre was apparently used before House Malvici did some major reconstruction in Southport, and intially, traces of its presence had been erased. But with some sluething, the bards discovered that the Lyre had been taken by pirates flying a particular flag. Other clues had indicated that the Lyre had been spotted somewhere in the Cyrto Islands, in a place called The Last Viewpoint, and where ever that is, that seems to be a clue to its actual whereabouts.
Evaristo, getting a drawing of the pirates' distinct flag from Prince Niklas, had offered to lead the sailing efforts to track down these pirates. The caravel is now sailing south, away from Southport and into the Lycene seas, in search of a black flag with a white serpent... and whomever may be aboard that ship, whether or not they still have the prize.
Evaristo checks command and sailing at easy. Evaristo is marginally successful.
Ian checks command and sailing at easy. Ian is marginally successful.
Ian checks perception and survival at easy. Ian is successful.
Raven checks command and sailing at easy. Critical Success! Raven is inhumanly successful in a way that defies expectations.
Gianna is frigging useless on a sea voyage. She is terribly seasick and essentially has taken up post by the railings, where she clings miserably and rides out the horror of sailing the waves. Sometimes she goes belowdecks, if she doesn't feel like she's going to hurl immediately. Even then, she's claimed a bucket. It's the Nightingale's bucket. Feeling poorly has made her cross and irritable and really it's probably best to give her a wide berth. It is also super hard to be elegant when you're seasick and she is not so much managing. It's probably going to get worse from here.
Savio checks dexterity and sailing at easy. Savio is marginally successful.
Ian's not big on this magic lyre stuff, but someone, somewhere, said something about hunting pirates, which practically requires the presence of a Kennex. Today, Ian is that Kennex.
There's something a bit tragi-comic about someone who was practically raised on the water being as bad at keeping his footing on the deck of a ship at sea as Ian is. He's stowed his cane in favor of a basket hilted sword that he wears at his hip, and tends towards keeping at least one hand on some kind of line or railing at all times. Even with these precautions (and spending a lot of his time in the rigging, where there's always something to hold onto), he's fallen more than once over the course of the trip over. Even so, he's clearly a competent sailor inasmuch as the ship doesn't end up off course when he's in command of a watch.
Savio, your friendly neighborhood tropical prodigal, seems delighted to be back on the ocean. He's an islander, so much time on the mainland, it's unnatural! A student of Ian and Raven (both of which have endeavored to teach him how to be better at not dying) and a friend of Braxas, he might be known to a couple faces here and perhaps unfamiliar to the rest.
Savio is no commander of vessels or crews, but he seems to know his way around a ship, and has been engaged in doing whatever people tell him to do! No one is going to write home about his nautical prowess so far, but it's certainly not detrimental. Not even Raven could complain about it. Well, maybe she can complain a little. Work faster, Savio!
The caravel, of a cardian style make, is fast - but it has one disadvantage over the slower Eurusi style caravels; it can not sail up rivers. Assumedly, this won't be an issue. Evaristo has no problem letting others at the wheel and command the vessel - he can't be there all the time, and besides, he's pretty lazy, so if others want to work, he's happy to let them. He's surprisingly kind to Gianna and does NOT bother her much at all; in fact, he makes sure she has fresh water, cool towels to put on her head, and some very simple biscuits to nibble on, insisting she try to eat when she feels even the tiniest bit better between bouts of nausea. In between captaining and looking over maps, old and new, to try to work out a likely direction to look for the pirates, he plays his lute and sings, plays cards with crew and the party, and seems to be enjoying himself immensely.
Whilst Pasquale will have quietly told Evaristo that he can help with the sailing at some point he's not going out of his way to get his hands dirty, trusting most of the operations to the seasoned sailors. The first day or so he spent mostly in the sleeping areas but ever since he's adapted he's spent most of his time up on deck, near one of the rails, enjoying the novelty of having nothing to do.
Raven is grudgingly respectful of the captain of this ship's command though not so much so that she doesn't take some initiative. As soon as she got on the boat her boots came off with their long cuffs tucked into her belt at her back to keep them secure as she scampers around nimbly, steelsilk scarf keeping her hair out of her face. She sometimes physically hauls Savio with her to tasks other times issues a sharp whistle and emphatic point rather than get caught calling orders on an other captain's ship. More than once her companion, Moonsilver, interrupts Savio begging for scraps of a meal or demanding scritches-impervious to Raven's ire or scolding when Savio is thusly waylaid.
Clear skies and clear seas seem to be greeting the group so far as they sail out from Southport. A few days time on the ocean passes without much event, as it does take time to even get within the viewport of the islands. The biggest challenge they face isn't reaching the islands themselves, but considering their prey. The vastness of the ocean makes it difficult to track any one particular ship, and it is not as if in the middle of the ocean, they leave much of a trace behind.
Gianna's seasickness aside, this is a compentent group of sailors, the navigation to the southwest tried and true and steady on course.
Sailing into the sunset on the end of the third day at sea, the sky to the west is red, promising good sailing again tomorrow.
As things seem to be settling in for another night, an eagle-eyed topman on the caravel calls down to the main deck.
"Ho, Captain! There's a ship sailing up behind us from the north!"
Evaristo drops his cards and is on his feet in a second. "Everyone alert and ready!" he calla out as he jogs up to the platform with the wheel. "We will stay the course and try to act as if we haven't seen them. If they are aiming for an attack, let them walk into a trap. It might be the ones we are looking for."
Ian has, over the course of these few days, shouldered the often unwelcome position of commanding the night watch, and as such, at sunset, he's below, bolting down whatever kind of salt pork and ship's biscuit are on offer. He doesn't hear the shout above, but he takes note of the change in the behavior of the crew as they move between above deck and below, and takes a moment to put on his armor before eventually emerging abovedecks.
Pasquale turns to look towards the rear of the ship and then picks his way back there to see what he can see. He's not exactly hurrying.
Savio is feeding Raven's raven. It's a thing, him and Moonsilver are buds! The enormous bird is currently perched on his shoulder like a pirate parrot, but since Moonsilver is huge, this has tilted Savio off slightly to one side, his wiry frame bent at an awkward angle to support the spoiled avian he won't set boundaries for. But when the call goes out about sails on the horizon, alas, he does have to stand back up straight, and attempt at shooing is made! "Noooo, I know, I know, I'm so sorry," he informs Raven's bird, "But there might be trouble! I need my sword arm! AH, stop, I need both my arms! Both of them!" He'll extricate himself eventually.
Gianna is not enjoying the sunset. She hates everything forever right now. She is also belowdecks, but the news carries and she drags herself over to her armor and starts strapping in. It's not particularly heavy armor so at least it doesn't take forever. She'll definitely not be up on the decks immediately, however. "Mlrrf," she says as the boat rocks gently. Gross.
Raven pauses to yank on her boots, managing to do so on the rolling deck balanced on one foot. This done she loosens the knot keeping her scabbard secure of her diamond plated blade and rolls one shoulder then the other. Her green eyes showing a flicker of rather predatory interest. She points to Savio, "You are not allowed to loose limbs or die." as if she wasn't fully aware he's so much more competent than she gives credit for. She snaps her fingers, "I Need moonsilver to..ah..." She STARES at Savio until finally Moonsilver's up on the wing, ascending into the sky.
Ian checks perception and sailing at normal. Ian is marginally successful.
Pasquale checks perception and sailing at normal. Pasquale is successful.
Raven checks perception and sailing at normal. Raven is marginally successful.
Savio checks perception and sailing at normal. Botch! Savio catastrophically fails.
Evaristo checks perception and sailing at normal. Evaristo is marginally successful.
Raven grabs Savio's shoulder to stead herself and seems to be peering intently...at nothing.
"I'll keep an eye on him," Ian promises Raven as he comes up from below, listing slightly as he tries futilely to find his balance on the moving deck of a ship that he can't feel.
Raven lets loose her bird and it flies up to peer and see what the others are also trying to see. The ship approaching is coming from the north, and if this adds up, it might have been following a similar trajectory to their own ship from port. It won't gain on them fast, but it may gain on them by sundown. Ian and Pasquale can see with naked eyes that it appears to be another caravel. Raven seems to be looking in the wrong direction, at first, which possibly confuses Savio to also be looking in that opposite direction. He seems nothing of note there.
"Why? Pretty sure Savio can handle himself," Evaristo calls out, "and if he can't, why is he here?" He grins at Savio, then looks back to see of he can spot the ship following them.
"I can totally handle myself!" Savio's fresh-off-the-boat Saffron accent insists, and to prove it, he looks deadass the wrong way. "Oh, they left! How strange!"
As Ian reaches his position (or gets close enough that he doesn't have to yell at least) Pasquale glances to him for confirmation. "A caravel?" he looks back, raising a hand to shade his eyes, in an attempt to make out its indentity.
"Fighting a spar in the training center's a lot different from a fight at sea," Ian replies to Evaristo, raising his voice loud enough to be heard. There's something ominous in the flatness of his tone, something dangerous about his calm. "Especially if we're going to be fighting at night." He climbs up through the ratlines and into the rigging, seeking out some height to take advantage of the remains of the sunlight for as long as it lasts. "That's a caravel," he confirms to Pasquale. "There aren't a lot of pirates out there with access to a ship like that."
Raven blinks out of it and tugs out a looking glass, peering at it intently a looong moment before declaring, "Orange flag, white Diamond in it's center, this ring any bells?" Of course anyone else looking through their looking glasses won't see what Raven's reporting but she's apparently hoping no one else will notice.
Ian checks perception and sailing at normal. Ian is marginally successful.
Evaristo checks intellect and streetwise at normal. Evaristo is successful.
Ian climbs back down after squinting at horizon to report to Evaristo. "Orange flag, white diamond, like she said. I don't recognize it." He hangs onto a taught line, swaying in time with the movement of the ship. "Recommend we run up a signal flag and see what they do."
"Nobody said anything else, but you're making a LOT of assumptions of a man here," Evaristo replies, snorting amusedly. He gives Savio a playful wink, then focuses on the wheel and lets the others do the looking. Not that he's doing much more than keeping that exact course, like the plan is. "You all get ready - I'm not sure I want to be the prey here. Depending, I will do a hard turn and we will go at /them/." Hearing what the flag looks like, he frowns deeply and starts going through memories. "Orange, white diamond... Arrgh, it's like I have heard it. Or have I? Maybe it was a blue diamond on a white flag?"
Gianna checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Critical Success! Gianna is spectacularly successful.
Those who are from the more northern waters might be unsure of what is at hand, but Evaristo thinks he recognizes the flag from one he saw at port back in Southport. They seem to be a vessel owned by a merchantile company. Given the speed and smaller size of the ship, it's an exploratory force that is probably light on cargo.
Gianna, though she's rather seasilk, comes to the same conclusion... in the less inhabited waters, exploration ships from wealthier companies often travel these areas looking for new sources of goods. The Cyrto islands are a good source of cocoa in particular, and it does make sense that a peaceful force might be exploring here. They're likely doing so on permission...
But this leaves the group with a dilemma. Do they warn the possibly friendly ship about the pirate sightings? Let it pass them by? Or... somehow use a swank looking merchant ship as bait?
Having made his recommendation, Ian seems content to look to Evaristo for orders; it's likely he'll follow whatever those orders are to the best of his ability. He's shown a fastidious obedience to chain of command so far this trip.
Gianna emerges from below. Orange with white? Her eyes narrow as she thinks, and she steps out onto the deck to make a beeline to the rail for support. "It might be a merchant," she calls out, voice carrying well over the waves. "This is a good place for cocoa, I believe." Gianna loves chocolate. Except not right now, and the thought of the stuff makes her close her eyes for a few moments. Blerf. "They likely have permission to be here."
Raven hrrrms and shifts her stance as if already regretting donning boots, "Anyone else think this is an excellent opportunity to loiter and see what shows up? Not like warning them will help at all but maybe they'll draw out our quarry and if they do-a handy distraction while we approach to board said quarry."
Savio does not clarify whether he is or is not any good outside of a sparring arena, and he does not seem to mind either Evaristo's hint that he could be more than he appears, or Ian's offer to Raven to keep him all in one piece. His primary use at the moment is a prop to keep Raven upright while she zones out doing... whatever she is doing, and he performs this role far better than he did at looking for things at sea. Like Ian, he seems ready to accept whatever course of action is decided regarding the other ship, going with the flow as easily as any other piece of flotsam rollin' with the tide. When Raven comes to and voices her opinion, he looks up at Evaristo, to see what he will think of it!
Pasquale also waits for Evaristo to decide. He's the named captain afterall.
Those that know sailing, or maybe even those that don't, might have reflected on the odd color of the sails of the Pax Sincera, the name of Evaristo's caravel; they are a pale pink. Against the horizon, that makes the sails almost invisible, or definitely harder to see at any rate.
The Captain of Pax Sincera mulls over the options. "I think they are more likely to be attacked than us, and if we stay close to them, we might be able to intercept, aye. But, that wouldn't guarantee their safety in any way. I fucking hate pirates, and they don't deserve that fate." He calls out to the crew. "Raise the diplomacy flag, and we're going to slowly turn about to meet them!"
Raven checks composure at normal. Raven fails.
Ian moves to give the orders necessary to ensure that Evaristo's orders are carried out, barking out commands in his heavily accented Islesman's voice.
Raven frowns a bit and opines, "They're less likely to be approached if there's company, we may come all this way and wind up wasting a prime opportunity to set a trap." She looks up as moonsilver arrives, perching on the Crow's nest and begins to preen.
Pasquale gives a short nod of approval at Evaristo's decision and moves the short distance required to find a spot from which he can make both watch the approaching ship and a fair area of the surrounding seas. "We're also acting as another merchant vessel would." he comments after Raven speaks. "Which will help put any pirates more at ease. They wont come out if we look like a predator."
Gianna nods in Raven's direction, though she doesn't say anything.
Evaristo checks dexterity and sailing at normal. Evaristo is successful.
Savio checks perception and survival at normal. Savio is successful.
Raven checks perception and survival at normal. Raven is successful.
Gianna checks perception and survival at hard. Botch! Gianna is simply outclassed. This is monumentally beyond them and the result is ruinous.
"Yeah, we might be wasting the chance, but I was once set on a deserted island for four months after a pirate attack. Not that I'm angry NOW - it was also what made me decide to get my OWN ship, and here we are now," Evaristo says amusedly. He starts calling out the orders to turn sails and what not, and the large caravel slowly, and orderly, turns about to face the other ship to meet them. The large flag of diplomacy also goes up, and to make it easier to see, a secure lantern is raised with it.
Evaristo adds. "ALright maybe I am still a little angry."
Raven pauses at Pasquale's point-one that she'd certainly never hear from the admiral of the Black Fleet. The expression suggests that'd never occurred to her. She gives a single curt nod ceding Pasqual's point and without further commentary follows Ian's sterling example, following the Captain's orders rather than her own instinct. A somewhat reluctant, "Aye, Captain." To acknowledge she's finally ceded to the reality this is his ship instead of merely pretending like she knows that.
Ian checks perception and survival at normal. Ian is marginally successful.
Pasquale checks perception and survival at normal. Pasquale is marginally successful.
Evaristo makes the choice to hail down the ship, so he gets to the work of instructing the crew and gets to the helm to turn about. With his sailing skill, and the reasonably fair waters, it's not a problem.
Moonsilver, preening on the crow's nest, gets a sudden ruffle of feathers.
Prince Savio - who, as luck would have it, was before looking in the wrong direction totally, looks in that wrong direction again. But this time, it's on a hunch... the same hunch picked up by Raven's bird companion...
As the ship spins around, Gianna's seasickness overwhelms her, dizzying her so she must lean over the side for a moment to steady herself. Ian and Pasquale feel a sense of forboding but are not sure of the exact source. It's a change in the sea, which though it was calm a moment ago, is rocking more now.
Some wind is picking up to the south - Raven and Savio are the first to notice a small black cloud, but it is definitely a ways off.
Clinging to the rigging and in the middle of getting the signal flags hoisted, Ian calls down to Evaristo: "Captain! Seas are picking up. Might be a storm on the way."
"Oh... something isn't right. Something isn't right at all," Savio speaks up, and somewhat off brand for him, his accented voice sounds worried. "Do you see it?" he asks Raven, as though to make sure he's not going nuts, then he points toward the direction he was derping out in earlier. "Evaristo! There's a black cloud to the south where there wasn't one before, strange and sudden. Some kind of storm is rolling in!"
Moonsilver is disturbed from her perch and an alarmed Raven calls, "Moonsilver, don't you-!" But already the bird is flapping off towards the ominious skies over the choppy seas. An aggitated and nearly panicked glance is shot to Savio before she pivots and begins to pull up the sails, trying to make sure the ship masts survive sudden gale-forced winds if they happen, channeling an abrupt aggitation a few moments before a curt, "Savio." but she doesn't wait for him but rather latches onto to railing and again her gaze seems to focus someplace very far off indeed.
Savio resumes his role as Weirdtime Raven Zone Out Pillar of Steadiness. He is fantastic about being a stationary object. Book him next time you need a doorstop or paperweight!
Pasquale is a good enough sailor (well admiral) that those little changes to conditions cause him to turn and look south even before Ian calls out his warning. He doesn't call out but he does move towards the southernmost side of the ship in an attempt to get a better read on the situation. The cloud on the horizon is still being measured in his mind when Savio fills in the details and he decides to check the other headings for similar signs of trouble. He moves about the ship as he does this, to some extent, always choosing to expend the minimum amount of effort needed to achieve his goal.
"... well that is not ominous, not at all," Evaristo says and he leaves the wheel for his first mate as he runs to a better position to look at this cloud, at the warnings from Ian and Savio. "Uhm, so. We're chasing some pirates that have a magical lute that makes storms... I mean, I'm not saying this is it, but it damn well COULD be!"
He rushes to the wheel again. "Raise our fucking pirate flag! Let's get the merchants to run, and then we deal with the pirates! Better we scare them off now!"
"Liar," declares Gianna from her place at the rail. Wait, no. That's 'lyre'.
Ian keeps his attention, for the moment, on the other ship, watching in the fading light to see how it'll react to the signal flags. He doesn't seem especially concerned about the storm, even given the whole thing about the magic storm lyre. He DOES seem a little bit concerned that his captain is ordering that they raise a pirate flag.
It could ... just be an ordinary storm. Those happen too. It's far enough away that with good skill you could sail around, but... what about the other ship... not sure.
A bolt of lightning flashes across the sky far to the south. The kind of lightning sometimes associated with summer heat... not touching down into the sea. As Evaristo's ship has stopped and turned about, the merchant ship is swiftly gaining.
Gianna checks composure at normal. Botch! Gianna catastrophically fails.
Pasquale flicks a look over towards the helm as the captain orders his pirate flag be raised. Huh. Ah well. Thats something best asked about later, over rum, when all the weapons have been put away for the night and storm squalls are squatting all dangerously on the horizon. For almost the first time since he's boarded and learned that the crew and captain are actually competent Pasquale turns his efforts towards ship-work. He checks ropes, stows anything that needs stowing, and generally makes himself useful. At one point he glances to Ian before casually asking Evaristo. "Storm-ropes Captain?"
Raven's eyebrows knit and there's the softest string of uttered cussing. As the deck begins to buck and sway she remains oblivious but anchored by the ever dutiful Savio. She snaps out of it with an abrupt, almost visceral snarl of vexation and her gaze wildly sweeps about the deck to regain her bearings.
Having gotten confirmation from Evaristo that the goal is to warn the other ship rather than declare a imminent pirate attack, Ian suggests, and has approved, using the 'hey other ship, you need to fucking run' flag, instead. With a hint of relief, he launches into action getting the flag hoisted, showing little concern for the rising storm right at the moment. He's still not taking seriously the very possible supernatural shinnanigans that very possibly loom. It's like he never learns.
Raven checks perception and survival at normal. Raven marginally fails.
Evaristo and Ian come to the conclusion that they should raise a warning flag for the approaching ship.
The warning flag goes up, and flies... and the wind is starting to pick up.
The other ship seems to, for now, have seen the warning. But maybe they can also see this storm on approach. You'll see them start to turn about, turning the ship away from winds that are building up to the south.
The storm cloud is approaching, building to darkness that starts to blot out the sun. The sun itself gets lower, over the west horizon. To the north, stars start to peek out... to the south, the skies look hazier, almost purple.
Gianna is overwhelmed by seasickness at this point, forcing her to sit suddenly down to avoid tipping off as the ship sways this way and that. Someone may have to help her out.
Raven is trying to get a feeling for if there's anything unusual about this storm, but it's hard to tell. Evaristo makes the choice to sail away from the storm, and turns sharply to lead the merchant ship away. The oncoming winds want to push you back away from that cloud now... it's away from your previous heading and out into open ocean. The tactic to protect the merchant ship seems to be working, for now.
The sailing still goes smoothly enough, and it is with obvious relief that Evaristo sees the merchants turn and head away. He looks back towards the storm, then looks out towards the large open sea. "Damn," he calls out. "You don't think WE are being herded somewhere? Is this the trap? Keep a sharp look forward, this seems like.. too simple."
Ian proves himself capable of some pretty impressive volume when need be, shouting down occasional updates of the other ship's heading to Evaristo with a voice that carries even over the rising wind, leaving the preparation for the storm to other sailors. "I'm not thrilled about it happening as night closes in," he adds on the heels of another such update. It's an understated sentiment. Nighttime on the water with the moon and stars blotted out by clouds brings new meaning to the word 'dark'.
"I think we are being herded somewhere," Savio worriedly agrees with Evaristo, looking back toward the storm as Raven comes to again. "And I don't think it's any coincidence it's happening at night. ...But maybe if it's a trap we'll find exactly what we're looking for!" Gross, an optimist.
"If you're really worried about that" Pasquale replies in general. "We can always turn and sail into it."
Gianna squeezes her eyes shut and draws her knees to her chest where she's sitting. "Considering what we're after," she says, forcing the words to carry, "That seems likely. I could... use some help not falling... overboard. Maybe... rope?"
"Someone help out Gianna - and Lord Pasquale has the right of it - storm ropes should go up!" Evaristo calls out. "What do you all say - want to sail right into the storm and see what we find there?" He grins a bit madly. "If the lyre is there, that IS what we came for. I am wondering if we can sail in a semi-circle and come in from the side - I wonder how much they can DIRECT that storm."
As it gets too dark for Ian to keep watching the other ship, he comes down out of the rigging to follow the order to help Gianna. "The safest place for you is below," he tells her, hanging onto a line to keep from the increasing pitch and roll of the deck from tossing him off his feet. "If you want to stay on deck, I'll do my best for you, but it's not going to be as safe as going below."
Raven checks dexterity and sailing at hard. Raven is marginally successful.
Raven is quietly upset for some reason though that doesn't stop her from moving towards Gianna, "I'd be happier if you were below decks for this, my lady, but if you insist on remaining above deck we must lash you to the ship. Waves are likely to start to wash the decks clear of anything not lashed and even strong men can't argue with the sea." She is already tying an intricate knot in a thick rope, which she then approaches Gianna with, "Lord Ian, same might be said of you, safer below deck."
Gianna shakes her head at Ian. "Not yet," she protests. "Maybe later. Should be here." Raising her voice again, she calls, "Directing the storm... likely requires a lot of effort and skill... on their part. What they're... doing, using an instrument like that, is taxing and... very dangerous." She nods to Raven, reaching for the rope and trying to help secure it around herself. Hopefully she doesn't get in the way, but... she's trying?
It seems completely unclear if the storm has any intelligence or direction. It seems to be pushing the ship toward the northeast... more or less back the way it came, now, but any number of things could be true - it could be a simple sudden natural storm; it could be under control, or, it could be out of control. Whatever the situation, it's approaching. The easiest course of action for any ship would be to let the winds blast it back to the north east, and, as Evaristo's caravel is already turned back itself, that seems to be what it wants to do.
The merchant ship is now high tailing it in that direction, seemingly mostly to escape the storm. You may have prevented pirates from getting the jump on them... if that is what is happening, unless you are being herded.
It's hard to make out if there is another ship under that cloud to the south. But it would be possible, with good sailing, to try to angle and circle back into the winds, to meet the storm from the side.
"Sail into it!" If Evaristo was looking for someone to talk him out if that, Savio is not the right person for it. He sees a man grinning madly, he's gonna do exactly the same, he lives for that energy. His arms windmill briefly as a particularly rough wave lashes the ship, "I think that's a fantastic plan." Sailing in the semi circle coming at the side, what could go wrong?
Dry humor threads through Ian's voice when he assures Raven: "I've learned my lesson. I'm not going to take another swan dive off a mast. Once was enough." He lets Raven take care of Gianna, and switches to giving orders to help make the ship fast against the storm.
Ian checks command and sailing at normal. Ian is marginally successful.
"Alright, everyone secure yourself - but we will be a bit more clever than go straight in! ALL LIGHTS OFF NOW! We're going dark. Hopefully the merchant ship will still be visible to them. With night coming, we might be able to sneak in from the side," Evaristo shouts out. Crew begin to scurry around like ants in a hive at that, preparing the ship for a storm, securing themselves, the sails shifting to turn them about. "It WILL BE DARK! If you want a lantern, cover it under something and keep the light hidden! Use tarps, or wool blankets, but DO NOT START A FIRE. I don't think I need to tell you what happens when there is a fire on a ship," he is calling. "Everyone with spare hands, help with preparations, cause we are going to need it." And... he starts turning the wheel.
Evaristo checks dexterity and sailing at hard. Evaristo is marginally successful.
Evaristo ties himself to the wheel. Like a dramatic captain bard.
Raven checks composure at hard. Raven is marginally successful.
Pasquale helps oversee the task of storm preparations on his side of the vessel. Rather than tie himself to something at this stage he just fashions a hoop that can be attached to his belt at one end and one of the many lines on the other. Just in case.
Raven blinks in surprise and stares at Evaristo. She shakes that dumbfunded look off herself and worriedly double-checks the knots around Gianna and calls, "Savio! You secure?" Moonsilver has yet to return to the ship but this doesn't seem to worry Raven. Raven seems so concerned with making sure nearby rigging, ropes, and booms are not going to be a hazard to herself or Gianna, who she remains close to that she seems to be forgetting to lash herself, though she does finally remember, "Hello my lady, I'm Raven, Blackheart of Setarco, please keep at least one hand on my person if you loose sight of me so I may keep you safe."
All hands are on deck as the crew makes the scary, challenging choice to sail into the storm instead of away. The moment that they start rolling toward it, and turning the ship about, there's a DIP in the waves, as the wind currents are fighting against them. Sailing into the storm isn't impossible, but requires turning the ship at an angle rather than coming in head on. As the ship turns back to the south, the water gets choppier. A fog starts to roll in. There's no sign in this fog of some other ship...
Suddenly another bolt of lightning tears through the skies - close! It flashes with a flicker in the sky and a huge wave rocks the side of the Pax Sincera. Through darkness and fog, it's hard to see what's happened, but everyone being tied down and secured can keep their footing as the boat rocks from side to side.
Evaristo is very very focused on sailing the ship and steering it right, staring ahead - the ship begins to move away from the merchant vessel and turns about in a semi-circular way so they will come up on the storm more from the side and a bit at the backside of it, or so is his plan. Anything happening on deck, well - he can see the sails as shadows, and motion, but he has to trust everyone down there doing their job, while he does his. When that lighting strikes nearby, he's lit up there at the wheel, wind whipping his steelsilk cloak, his grin mad and wide. "Death? I love you, but I don't intend to see you tonight if I can help it. You know me - I always just flirt with you." He can't see a damn thing, but it doesn't stop him from keeping the ship steadily onwards, aiming for the center of the storm now - or the best approximation of it.
Ian barks orders as the wind and waves buffet the ship, as much to establish himself as a stable figure to keep the sailors from panicking as because there are orders that really need executing (although there probably are). His voice dies briefly as the lightning forks through the sky and the corresponding roar of thunder cuts through them all like a physical presence, but he picks up immediately afterward, unshaken, alternately encouraging and threatening, as necessary. Anyone who's seen his brother Aethan in action might, for a moment, think it's the elder Kennex up there; Ian does a very good impression.
Gianna has opened her eyes at some point - she nods to Raven and reaches a shaking hand to wrap it around the other woman's belt. "Gianna," she says, foregoing the usual titles. Such as they are. "Not actually a lady... not important." She swallows thickly. "Thank you, Raven."
Savio checks dexterity at hard. Savio marginally fails.
Raven checks dexterity at hard. Raven is marginally successful.
Ian checks stamina at hard. Ian fails.
Pasquale checks dexterity at hard. Pasquale is marginally successful.
Evaristo checks dexterity at hard. Evaristo is marginally successful.
It opens up suddenly, ripping up the sky in front of the ship as water slams into the deck. It makes it slippery, even for those tied down, as the boat rocks again to one side sharply.
A bolt of lightning, again, close, illuminates just for a moment what looks like the shadow of a large ship in the building storm. Its sails are being rocked just as hard by the building wind.
As the deck becomes slippery, Savio and Ian are forced to keep tied down, standing in particularly difficult spots when the weather keeps building and the ship rocks suddenly. But there's the hope that the rest of the crew could gain on that other ship, if they pushed for it... or at least see what they're doing at the next lightning flash.
Gianna checks stamina at hard. Gianna fails.
Pasquale moves closer to the rest of them before finding something to secure himself on. He raises his voice a little, fighting against the wind to be heard. "I think I underestimated Evaristo's desire to" He never quite finishes that statement as a sudden wave slams him uncomfortably hard into the nearby structures. Winding him. He points over towards that brief flash of sails in the storm but doesn't yet have the breath to put his thoughts to words.
"Don't worry about me!" Savio shouts over the storm back at Raven. That's usually a definite sign she should worry, but at least in this case, it just means he's secured himself in a fashion similar to Pascale, lending a spare set of hands and nautical know-how to the crew in his vicinity as they scramble to execute Ian's commands. When the ship is hit by rain and a huge wave, however, it's all he can do not to test that safety line, struggling to stay afoot and not go over. "Okay maybe worry a little."
Ian just focuses on hanging on for a moment as the ship pitches, his voice once again dying briefly; apparently he was serious about not intending to take another swan dive off the mast during a storm.
Evaristo checks dexterity and sailing at normal. Critical Success! Evaristo is spectacularly successful.
The ship tilts hard to one side, then almost FALLS forward - and more water is added to the rain as the wave washes over. But the ship is builty sturdy, it won't break from this, even if there's some discerning groaning from the masts, creaking heard through the planks that people have beneath their feet. Evaristo clings to the wheel and manages to keep them in the same course - and there's a triumphant grin as he FINALLY spots the big ship ahead, a shadow in the light of the lighting. "Got you." He isn't sure the others can see him up there, but he waves insistantly forwards and points, almost hopping in excitement. "Woops," he says and grabs the wheel firmly and stands steady as a rock. He shouts - he isn't sure he can be heard - commands that will increase their speed; it's dangerous, but calculated.
Raven checks strength and sailing at hard. Raven is successful.
Gianna just clings to Raven's belt. She is perhaps regretting her choice to stay abovedeck. Also she makes a horrible little sound, like someone who might throw up like... any moment. Hopefully not on Raven. There's not much else Gianna can do in her condition. At least she's not flying overboard, but there's still time.
Raven looks over her shoulder, "How do you have anything left in your belly, woman? Well, I don't care what you do-/don't you/ let go. If you loose your stomach the silk's had worse, just you keep on holding on." one hand reaching back to steady Gianna briefly, she keeps her words ONLY loud enough to reach the other woman least they give away the ship.
Evaristo is busy at the helm, but the other ship in the darkness seems to be headed on its previous course... tracking that merchant ship, not yours. Only lightning flashes illuminate it.
With some incredibly skilled sailing, Pax Sincera pulls up close enough to see the other ship... illuminated by lightning, there is a black flag with a white snake, fangs bared, emblazoned upon the flag...
Just for a moment, before things go completely dark again as the lightning settles.
Only now do they realize you are upon them. The ships in blinding rain become almost close enough to kiss, yours pointed roughly south and theirs to the north east, trying to bear down on the other ship which was apparently their previous target. A shout from the enemy deck is completely covered by the noise of thunder.
The two ships almost literally collide - there's a scraping sound, the crew are throwing out hooks, sails are being dropped in a few seconds in practiced motions. It's going to be another rough moment when they come to a rather abrupt halt, and they got to be fast. Evaristo is just holding it steady right now, the real work is down there on the deck.
Pasquale moves closer to the others once its obvious that a boarding action has been called. Half walking, half pulling himself along, as he moves to where Gianna and Raven are clinging to each other. He reaches for the ropes tethering them, intending to help loosen the restraints. Calm enough that he might do this every day and entirely grateful he invested in a storm-proofed sailing cloak. "Either get below or get ready to fight." He gives the last knot a tug and then moves towards Ian's flank. "Your call Ian."
Like that's even a question for Ian. As the waves pitch the two ships and their hulls scrape against each other, up in the rigging, Ian has little trouble swinging from his ship's mast to the other one with a rallying shout to the sailors; he acts in a moment when both masts are pointed at each other, their rigging all but tangling together. He displays the unnerving serenity that he always shows when things get really dangerous, like what he's doing (and everything he's about to do) is a totally reasoned decision made by a sensible man.
"I'll stay and defend my ship!" Evaristo calls out, untying himself as well, drawing his - warpick. Cause what fun would he be if he just had a sword, like normal people? "LOOK FOR THE LYRE!" He rushes down to where Gianna is and starts ordering the crew that will stay behind to line up along the railings and defend, stopping enemy crew from climbing over. "Keep an eye on the masts! They can come at us from above!"
Gianna checks perception and investigation at normal. Critical Success! Gianna is spectacularly successful.
Sensible and reasoned is not Savio's thing. He is no Ian, he's an absurd scrap of a person who is unwisely in possession of a sharp object. But there's BOARDING and he is HERE FOR IT! Safety line is thrown off; they left safety behind with that merchant ship, long ago! He braces for the thud of one ship against the other, and then leaps forward with the others! What could go wrong?!
Raven looks pained at Gianna, "IF you feel queasy the spilling of entrails is unlikely to help." Raven cuts her own lashing to the ship wigth a knife, "There is reach enough to reach the hatch to the deck, just cut the rope once you reach it." So much for sticking by Gianna! She makes to follow Savio and Ian in boarding the ship, inexplicably not drawing her sword just yet until her feet land on the other vessel's deck and THEN her diamondplate blade is drawn.
Evaristo wields Valiant, Warpick of the Carnifex.
Savio wields Diplomacy, an elegant rapier.
Ian wields Basket-hilted Rubicund Sword.
Pasquale wields a sleek rubicund reinforced crossbow.
Gianna wields Nightingale's Song.
Raven wields Blackheart Halfmoon Blade.
Evaristo keeps the ship steady, or at least as much as he can in this weather, enough for the two ships to pull together. Ropes are tied, crews set up... and...
The crew of the Storm Serpent now realizes, too late, that this other phantom ship is boarding. There's a bit of a rush as they go to arms, the men grabbing cutlasses, a few going to ropes. It's clear they were caught unawares at first, but now they're springing to action.
Pasquale remains on deck to try to fire arrows. It's possible for a skilled archer, but the very high winds - caused, one might guess, by the lyre of such name? - does make shooting into the storm a challenge. For the others on deck, they will realize that their opponents weren't prepared... but there does seem to be a lot more of the pirates than there are of you...
Gianna's senses are particularly tuned to music. As the others begin to race to the battle, she hears... something. A strumming sound that is coming from the opposing ship's mast.
Ian checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Ian is successful.
Pasquale checks dexterity and archery at hard. Pasquale marginally fails.
Savio checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Savio is marginally successful.
Raven checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Raven is successful.
Savio checks strength at daunting. Savio marginally fails.
Ian checks strength at normal. Botch! Ian is simply outclassed. This is monumentally beyond them and the result is ruinous.
Raven checks strength at normal. Raven is successful.
Gianna checks mana and performance at daunting. Gianna is marginally successful.
Gianna nods to Raven. She reaches into her boot and removes a wicked-looking diamondplate knife but she doesn't move to follow the woman. "Go!" she agrees. "No point... staying with me." She tilts her chin and squints into the storm. "The lyre! He's at the mast. Aim for the musician! Even breaking his concentration..." Thankfully she's got a voice that can carry. She's a singer. She'd be the first to say she's the best singer ever, but she has an ego. Gianna twists about, trying to straighten up at least a little. She casts her gaze about for an archer, sighs, and then raises her voice again in song. "Arrows alight!" she sings. "Arrows strike true --- the musician cannot play their tune. Harsh winds betray, danger anew! Arrows alight, arrows strike true --- to Pax Sincera, my song a boon!" She throws her hand out toward the other ship's mast, as though she can guide arrows there.
Savio checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Savio is successful.
The captain of Pax Sincera is moving behind his men, shouting orders, trying to keep the ship steady and make sure the ropes are staying attached to the other, or calling out for new hooks and rope to be thrown. He's trusting the rest to do their part - and he looks UP at the mast when Gianna points out where the lyre is. "Aim for him!" he shouts excitedly, then his jaw drops a little as he witnesses Gianna doing the spellsinging; that IS an amazing thing to hear and witness.
Ian swarms down the mast, drawing his sword as he goes, and is thrown up against a couple of sailors right away. Steel rings against rubicund and Ian crosses blades with one of the pirates so that their blades lock. He manages to use his vambrace like a buckler, to deflect an opportunistic shot from another sailor while he grapples with the first.
Raven hits the deck and feet braced on the rain-slicked deck she slides a bit but pivots to utilize that motion and her own momentum to duck under a swing and come up to drive her blade clear into another sailor's chest just below his ribcage, giving the blade a gruesom twist before yanking it back out and effectively spilling his entrails down his front as she shoves the now upright corpse away.
Rather than leap onto the other ship during that first, most deadly, of moments, Pasquale stays back and unshoulders his crossbow. He slots a bolt into place, checks the mechanism, and then takes aim over at the foe most likely to interfere with Ian's boarding. It misses, which doesn't seem to surprise Pasquale much, and soon after he hands the weapon off to one of the crew, takes a deep breath, and draws his sword instead. Luckily for Raven and Evaristo he doesn't immediately jump onto the other ship but instead almost seems to be waiting for something. And whilst he's waiting he catches enough of the song that his attention goes up that way, the sword goes back in the scabbard, and the 'lucky' sailor who was given the crossbow gets suddenly recruited into his new role of crossbow cranker. Taking the crossbow back Pasquale once again takes aim but this time he's aiming at a certain musician.
The rough weather makes it very difficult for an archery shot to take, at first. A shot goes ringing off into the wind and is battered down.
Evaristo holds the ship steady. The storm is rocking both ships at once...
Magic is not predictable. That's a fact of the world that everyone has been told, and yet there's another thing entirely to see it in action. Even if a magical lyre has caused this storm... is anyone really in control of it, even the person who so supposedly has the lyre they're looking for?
Gianna sings, a song to try to steady not the winds, which are raging out of control, but the shots flying at the crossbow. This time, Pasquale is aiming a bit higher.
On the deck, Ian and Savio get counter-attacked. Ian is barely harmed, doing more damage from his own swing when he slightly tweaks his wrist, and Savio dodges aside. Their weapons are of a better quality than the steel that the pirates use, at least.
Into the fray! Savio hits the deck of the enemy ship as though this might not be his first time doing exactly that -- what's he been up to in the Chain, all those years? No hesitation, no regrets, he looks a lot more comfortable here than he does when he's trying to figure out what not to say to Arvani princesses. Battle is joined against the first available target, neatly stepping over a pile of bloody viscera from Raven's victim as he tangles blades with one of the black-flag sailors!
Pasquale checks dexterity and archery at normal. Pasquale fails.
Savio checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Savio is marginally successful.
Ian checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Ian is successful.
Raven checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Raven is marginally successful.
Savio checks strength at daunting. Savio fails.
Ian checks strength at normal. Critical Success! Ian is spectacularly successful.
Raven checks strength at normal. Raven is marginally successful.
Raven checks strength at daunting. Raven is marginally successful.
"Lord Pasquale! I got an idea!" Evaristo shouts out. "I can raise you up in the mast quickly, you get MUCH closer to shoot!"
Raven checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Raven is successful.
Savio checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Savio fails.
Gianna checks mana and performance at daunting. Botch! Gianna is simply outclassed. This is monumentally beyond them and the result is ruinous.
"Harsh winds carry us!" Gianna sings out. "Guide us on through!" The ship rolls. Gianna sways to the side and sprawls on the deck. That's... probably not good. She has faltered, and a cry escapes her lips.
Ian resolves the dilemma of his blade being locked with the pirates' by virtue of drawing his diving knife and stabbing him in the side, then reversing and smashing the basket hilt of his sword into the pirate's stupid face. He pivots, using brute strength to swing the profusely bleeding man around and use him as a human shield against a strike from one of the other pirates, then shoves him into them as he dies. All of this with an eerie calm about him, a sense of confidence and control.
Savio seems relatively evenly matched with his opponent, but as they continue to to clash, he's just a bit too reckless, not watching carefully enough, and the other man's blade sinks in to graze him across the left thigh. Ian warned him about this. He did! It's not a bad cut, but it does startle him right out of Arvani for a second.
Savio says in Arakkoan, "Ouch FUCK!"
Raven's blade clangs loudly as she rebuffs an attack and she lunges again, again dtabbing up under ribcage, but not as far. There's a girlish grunt as she shoves her mortally wounded but not quite dead foe away and looks for the next. She looks around for Savio but in this chaos it's impossible to keep track of anyone not trying to stab her at the moment, "WASTREL! You better not be dying!"
Pasquale fires off another bolt and briefly peers after it, trying to work out just where the wind currents tossed it. Nope. No idea. He prepares for another shot.
Evaristo rushes to Gianna to help her up as she is thrown to the deck. "You alright?" he asks and offers her a hand, looking back over to the other ship to try to gauge what is happening.
Gianna attempts to guide the magic...
Which, in a strange way, sort of... works?
She immediately feels a shift in the winds. At first, it's good. The arrow that Pasquale fires, however, seems to disappear in the wind... it's hard to see if it hit anything.
She tries again, and the magic happening around them all intermingles. A sudden gust of powerful wind strikes the side of the ship... striking her in particular so hard she is knocked prone on the deck. The wind literally takes her breath away, for a moment. An acknowledgement - the forces are working, but they are not happy.
Lyre music abrupty ceases...
(... in the mast, far from where you are all able to witness, a man cloaked in black looks slightly to the side. The dark scarf pulled over his face shadows eyes that glance toward an arrow... which slammed into the mast next to him, far too close for comfort.)
The winds suddenly change direction as the music has stopped. They ABRUBTLY start pushing toward the east rather than the north, as if to shove Evaristo's ship away from the other, or shove the ships into each other? The ship tilts.
The pirates on the deck are starting to thin out. With a few downed, and their realization that their opponents are better armed, they're attempting now to get some distance between the two ships somehow.
Ian checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Ian is successful.
Raven checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Raven is marginally successful.
Evaristo checks dexterity and sailing at hard. Evaristo is marginally successful.
Savio checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Savio fails.
Gianna shakes her head at Evaristo, squeezing her eyes shut. "Pushed it..." she tells him. "Should have known b..." She gags. She turns her head, thankfully, and a glop of greenish-yellow stuff bubbles from her lips. Bile. So gross. And it gets in her hair, which is whipping about in the wind, and... look. She should have left well enough alone. Gianna spits miserably and cracks an eye open to peer at her Mockingbird. "M'gonna... lie here."
Unaware of the mysterious figure on the mast, Ian makes his way at a lurching not-quite-run assisted by his left hand grabbing onto whatever he can grab on his way to keep him from ending up on his ass on the deck. It's not graceful. It's the exact opposite of graceful. But his weird zig-zagging path and tendency to randomly pitch one way or another makes him a lot harder to pin down and stop. He's been on enough ships to know where the helm is without being able to see it. "DROP YOUR WEAPON OR I TAKE IT FROM YOU!"
"You lie down," Evaristo nods and he grabs a tarp nearby and pulls it over Gianna, to cover her from the wind and water for now. "What you just did - it helped. You are, as always, magnificent." He winks at her, and then - he goes about doing something crazy. He is running towards the wheel again, while gauging the wind and the new directions of it, and the rolling of the waves and the way his ship is hooked to the other one. "EVERYONE! When we dip into the next wave, I want everyone to RUN TO THA SIDE!" he shouts and then he is grabbing the wheel to help with the insanity tilt he is about to make of his ship. "EVERYONE HOLD ON!"
Savio checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Savio is marginally successful.
Ian checks command and leadership at normal. Ian marginally fails.
It had started out as an ordinary day at sea....
Savio trips and falls on the slippery deck of the pirate ship as the pirates all run for cover. One of their remaining men tries to take advantage, and grabs his blade... Savio rolls to one side, unharmed, but still prone and unable to stand as the ship rocks about. Raven sees him fall - he looks as if he avoided a direct stabbing, but he might need help up.
Ian runs to the helm, shouting warnings...
Evaristo makes a daring move. His ship lurches, sliding sideways in such a way that its mast, canting sideways, starts to contact the mast of the opposing ship. It scrapes against it... not hard enough for either to break, but enough that several men from atop fall down and crash to the deck. There's a sound of screaming and at least one broken back.
Ian sounds authoritative. But the man at the helm - is he the captain, or just the helmsman? He has a hat and a beard, but many of them do - seems not to be listening. "SAVE yer own SHIP! We still have ye outnumbered!" he shouts back at him. Another pirate tries to attack Ian by running at him from the side with a blade bared.
Raven checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Raven is successful.
Raven slides across the rolling deck water slashing in her wake. She comes behind the swordsman troubling Savio and swings wide, letting the tip of her blade open an ugly gash across his throat.
Savio is having a time, here, as the rain and the pitch of the ship have knocked him to the deck, which is awash in seawater and blood! He's having a hard time getting back up, since there's the additional problem of not being stabbed while he does so, and he's erring on the side of not getting stabbed. Pirate steel takes chunks out of the deck around him as he scrambles, though it's met with a HA as the other man misses. "Eat salt, you unfashionable fuckwhistle!" he informs the pirate (from his position prone on the deck), before it's all over in a spray of blood that splatters all over him when Raven steps in. "Ohh I'm glad you're here." A new attempt to rise is launched!
Savio checks dexterity and athletics at easy. Savio is successful.
Evaristo checks perception and investigation at normal. Evaristo marginally fails.
"WHERE is that bastard? DId he fall?!" Evaristo calls out and tries to spy the lyre player up there amidst the chaos, from his position behind the wheel. Everyone's still ON his ship, after that crazy dip, so that's a good thing. "GET THAT LYRE!" he is shouting, leaving the wheel to his first mate again as he rushes forward, now about ready to try to get over there and climb up.
Savio checks perception and survival at hard. Savio fails.
Raven checks perception and survival at hard. Raven is marginally successful.
Ian checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Ian is spectacularly successful.
Ian checks dexterity and medium wpn at easy. Ian is spectacularly successful.
Raven checks command and intimidation at hard. Raven fails.
Ian seems to have found his rhythm. The sailor comes at him out of the dark, from the back and side, with people shouting and the howling of the wind making hearing anything meaningful impossible. Ian should not have known he was there. And yet he lurches out of the way as the ship rolls with the swell, comes around, and just casually runs him through the throat. It's so fast, so effortless, that the full enormity of what he just did isn't really clear until a nearly decapitated pirate is sliding off his blade. He turns his attention back to the helmsman and closes in. "Offer's still open." It's not going to be open much longer, and he's clearly perfectly fine with that.
Raven is a young, not impressive looking woman with rain washing away the blood and making her look like she's participating in the worst wet tunic contest ever, "YIELD NOW OR WE WILL CUT YOU ALL DOWN WHERE YOU STAND!" She bellows-looking like a soggy kitten or a child playing pirate. D'awww.
Ian checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Ian is marginally successful.
Pasquale checks perception and investigation at normal. Pasquale is marginally successful.
Pasquale checks dexterity and archery at normal. Pasquale fails.
Nothing is controlling this storm now. With the winds blowing hard to the east, the storm may blow with it...
Savio is still getting back up, but as Raven looks around to see how many pirates are left... she gets a vibe that some of them are trying to retreat. It's hard to hear from this distance, because of the noise, and rain, and a lot of shouting, but they may be going to life boats with a few of them. Surely the captain wouldn't do this... would he?
Pasquale is looking for the signs of the actual lyre player ... he was in black, in the dark, in the rain, and so it's a pretty big challenge. But he also does see what Raven sees - some of them are retreating.
Raven may get, for just a small moment, the impression that they're retreating from her. No, wait. They're just retreating in general for some kind of tactical reason?
Meanwhile, at the helm, the one Ian is facing down is fearless. He has to let go of the helm however to pull his own blade, giving Ian time to dodge aside. A clash of swords ensues. The uncontrolled pirate ship shifts slightly to one side. The sudden shift prevents another shot from getting off at the flash of black... but it was kind of a long shot.
"Lord Pasquale - you point me where that lyre player is, I'm heading over there to climb up. Which mast?!" he asks and is getting ready to make a mad dash. "You need to take the helm!!" And assuming he does get some directions - he will run over and try.
Raven checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Raven is marginally successful.
Gianna keeps the nice tarp pulled over her head and stuffs her knife back into her booth. She tries to wiggle away from the small pool of sick. Hopefully she doesn't get in the way.
Savio checks dexterity and sailing at normal. Savio marginally fails.
Pasquale squints as he tries to pick out the musician he was asked to shoot from amongst all the other targets. Its kind of impressive that he can even work out who to shoot but that part he seems confident of. He's calm when he shoots but again spends moments after firing peering out after the bolt, not having the confidence to /know/ where his shots going to land as the more expert archers would. The bolt he soon loses track of but the lack of a stumble in his far off targets movements declares he missed well enough. "He's on the deck." he calls back to Evaristo. His voice surprisingly strong compared to usual. "Fourth post fore of that tackle." Said tackle gets pointed at. "With a dark scarf."
Raven sprints for the far railing, slipping and almost falling once or twice but still managing to move pretty quick. She peers down, getting a look at those escaping the ship, seeing how many ships there are and perhaps, tell which one is most likely to have what she's looking for.
Ian checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Ian is marginally successful.
Ian checks strength at daunting. Ian fails.
The ship is careening out of control, ah! Savio weaves and ducks his way around Ian's melee without being stabbed by said melee or falling off his feet again, and makes a mighty leap to seize control of the helm! But a huge ship careening out of control is a difficult beast to tame, and what follows is a not completely pathetic, but somewhat inglorious battle against the wheel, accompanied by a trailing "AAAAaaaaaaa..." as Savio doesn't quite... quite get it under control.
Ian clashes blades with the helmsman around the helm while poor Savio tries to get control of the ship. He turns aside a blow only to have his own counterstrike parried with enough force to shove him back.
Ian seems evenly matched with the helmsman, neither of them immediately getting the upper hand in the struggle. A swashbucking fight ensues as the pirate strikes, repostes, clashes with him under the bolts of lightning from the sky.
At least, in the chaos, he manages to push the pirate back from the helm, leaving it unprotected so Savio can step in. But the out of control storm is still making the ship lurch, and it will take more than a tug to get it stable again.
Evaristo gives up the helm on Pasquale's instructions, knowing who their target is now and approximately where.
Raven gets there first, but it's chaos. The men are scrambling to life boats now trying to protect those who are leaving. She'll have to cut her way through to see if she can get to the pirate musician, or, just try to tackle through and hope for the best. Of course she also isn't quite sure what she's looking for, as she never saw who had the lyre, but help is on the way...
Savio checks dexterity and sailing at normal. Savio is marginally successful.
Ian checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Ian is successful.
Ian checks dexterity and medium wpn at easy. Ian is successful.
Pasquale checks dexterity and sailing at normal. Pasquale is marginally successful.
Ian checks strength at normal. Ian is marginally successful.
Evaristo checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Evaristo is marginally successful.
Evaristo checks perception and investigation at normal. Evaristo is successful.
Raven checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Critical Success! Raven is spectacularly successful.
Raven checks perception and investigation at normal. Botch! Raven is simply outclassed. This is monumentally beyond them and the result is ruinous.
Raven backs up a bit and then takes a running leap, free hand helping her vault off the railing, her legs tucking in and her arms spreading wide like she's about to take flight as she steadies her center of balance "OH NO YOU DON'T!" on her way down onto the WRONG BOAT!
With the ship lurching underfoot, Ian faces off with the helmsman, their blades clashing as lightning forks overhead, lighting up the scene in snapshots. Each subsequent snapshot shows a worse situation for the helmsman as Ian wears his guard down, his expression slack and calm. Savio's been on the receiving end of this, but Ian wasn't actually trying to kill Savio -- not the case for this man. Finally, he uses his sword to pin the other man's blade against a railing while, at the same time, he lurches in, drawing his knife, and drives it to the hilt into the other man's abdomen. Their faces are inches apart, Ian's calm eyes staring into the pirate's as the man starts to slump to the deck.
"Hey, hey he's----" Evaristo starts shouting as he's making an impressive leap over to the other ship, landing in a roll and coming back up to his feet, just in time to see Raven leaping over the ship into... well, not he right boat, that's for sure. "Damn," he says and then shouts as loud as he can. "HE IS IN THAT BOAT!", flailing wildly as he runs to jump into the OTHER life boat. "WITH THE BLACK SCARF!!"
Struggle. STRUGGLE. Savio is pulling hard against a helm that seems to hate him personally. This ship hates him, it hates what he's trying to do with it, it hates his clothes and his hair and 17 generations of his weird Abandoned ancestors. This pirate ship just hates him as hard as an inanimate object can hate a human person. But nonetheless, Savio is WINNING, and the ship is steadied slightly as he wrangles the vessel under some control.
Nearby, of course, a fight to the death is happening, and he looks at Ian, down at the corpse that just went down with a wet bloody thump at their feet, and then back at Ian. "Hooray!" He sounds legitimately cheerful.
Pasquale steps over to the helm when Evaristo makes it clear that he's about to join the boarding team. Almost immediately he starts sending instructions to the sailors - his leadership style is vividly different to Evaristo's. Most importantly. Nothing bad happens to the Pax Sincera.
Ian looks at Savio; something about the cheer he gets in response gets a sudden and broad grin in response. He laughs, his electric blue eyes sparkling like the lightning sparking overhead. Then Evaristo is yelling about... something. "I think he wants to stop one of the lifeboats," he says to the other man, a whiff of amusement still present in his voice. "If I give you a heading, you think you can run them down?"
Evaristo checks dexterity and athletics at hard. Evaristo marginally fails.
The boats start to steady on. At the helm of the pirate ship, Savio gets enough control to keep it upright, and sail with the wind instead of away. The rain is hard, but now that the storm has no particular control or destination, the wind itself is at least blowing in a predictable direction. If the boats were able to hold back enough, they might let the storm blow over as natural systems take hold of it ... Pasquale seems to think likewise, and a tense equilibrium is reached, the caravel also holding steady for now and turning with the wind rather than rocking against it.
Raven realizes, too late perhaps, that she's in a lifeboat FULL of pirates and they are all her enemy. Evaristo is shouting about the other lifeboat.
In that other lifeboat, a man with a dark scarf is looking up with gleaming eyes to see Raven's incredible leap. He has a heavy leather coat, soaked from the rain.
Savio offers back to Ian, "It's a hell of a ship and a hell of a storm, but I can try." He has the skill, theoretically, but will luck pan out?! "Or I can hand it over to your capable hands, and I won't cry myself to sleep over that."
Ian steps over the body of the man slowly dying on the deck. And the other one almost without a head who is done with the dying part. He catches himself on a railing as the ship swoops over a wave and crashes down into the trough. "Hold onto the helm," he calls back to Savio. "Try and get her ready to turn to starboard. I'm going to try and stop that lifeboat from getting in the water. I'll call out a heading if they start pulling away."
Evaristo leaps. It's looking good, he's going to make it! It's going to be an amazing feat of heroism and he'll save the day! Except... right as he is about to land, the boat lurches DOWN quickly, and that means he leaps beyond and JUST manages to twitch around and grab hold of the edge of the lifeboat that tilts outwards a little from the added and sudden weight. With just one hand he's dangling for a second before the other joins. Still... this isn't good. He's hanging off a lifeboat with only enemies, above storming waters.
Ian checks command and leadership at normal. Ian is successful.
There's something about stepping over the bodies of two dead men that gives a person an extra added air of authority. Even someone like Ian who's still having to hang onto things to keep from getting knocked off his feet by the pitching deck. "You. At the capstan. Belay. Bring that ship back to the deck." He snaps out the orders with the air of someone comfortable with the authority of captain. Command at sea is obtained through some kind of Highlander-esque 'There can be only one' means, right? Because there's a lot of lightning overhead.
Raven checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Raven is marginally successful.
Evaristo checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Evaristo is marginally successful.
Pasquale focuses on keeping the Pax Sincera and the pirate vessel from dashing each other to pieces in the storm. Keeping her close, but not too close, to the other vessel.
Ian shouts for a man to stop lowering the lifeboat...
In the genrealized confusion, for a second, the man does stop, turning around and looking frozen. This was the ship that Evaristo is now hanging from...
A man pulls a knife out, which, Evaristo only sees as it gleams in a ripple of lightning.
Raven sees the man in the scarf, too. She has a chance, now that the lifeboats have stopped...
Raven hastily sheaths her blade even as she urgently leaps off the bow of the lifeboat she SHOULDA been in if she'd listen to the captain to begin with! She flails a bit midair to keep her momentum going and that look on her face is NOT FLATTERING but with some more unceremonious leg-kidding and a girlish grunt followed by a sharp "EEEP!" she climbs up and vauls head over ass to land on the right liftboat on her back, face up with the wind knocked out of her.
Savio is hanging on to the helm of the pirate vessel, doing his best - like Pasquale - to keep it from damaging the Pax Sincera! He is keeping a sharp ear out for further directions from Ian, as well, with a minimum amount of the sort of irresponsible mind wandering that would prevent him from listening to his teacher.
Evaristo somehow manages to swing, and then bring a leg over the edge of the boat and NOT being stabbed - and then he's up on it just as Raven lands there. It sways precariously, but he's focused on ONE thing; the warpick is brought up and he swings at the Lyre Player...
Ian raises his sword, bringing the point in line, at a dangerous angle. "Bring it back to the deck. Do it now." There's blood on his sword. There's blood on his face. There's just... there's blood everywhere. And his eyes, as they lock with the hapless sailor's, are peaceful.
The man with the lyre was the target - always was...
Evaristo lowers the pick for him. He's got armor from his heavy coat. But he's no tougher in a fight than any of the others - honestly, perhaps less so.
Ian makes an order...
The man by the lifeboat ropes, seeing the blood and mess, raises his hands and stops drawing the rope down.
Suddenly, from the boat where the lyre player is NOT, a pirate reaches out, CUTS the rope, and the entire boat tumbles down into the water. They might still make an escape....
But they're abandoning ship, it's clear, and the man who was playing the storm to life seems to be bleeding out in the boat still hanging from the side of the pirate ship.
A cursory examination of him may reveal something fascinating - his hair is mostly missing and his face is a strange patchwork of weird scars... scars that look like the broken blood vessels of someone who has been hit by lightning.
The storm itself will pass.
Evaristo didn't think he'd hit the guy THAT hard - he never does, but that hammer is lethal. He's threatening anyone else on the boat now, and there's Raven right there to back him up. "Pull us up!" he shouts up, seeing the other lifeboat being tipped over into the water, some of the pirates escaping. He doesn't care - he bends to start looking for the lyre, the instrument they did all this FOR.
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