The Pendulum, part 2
July 17, 2020, 7 p.m.
Outside Arx - Mourning Isles near Tyde Hall - Isles of the East Wind
Comments and Log
Following the assassination attempt outside Eswynd's hall, warriors had been scouring the coasts and heaths for the fleeing Shavs throughout the night, while the nobles took what rest they could. As first light broke, that search was still underway, but no Shav ship had been discovered. According to the natives, this meant the Thundershield warriors had landed in the west and approached overland. Knowing the clan who had attacked them, and that their home island lay just over twenty miles to the north, a bit of aggressive investigation was being prepared.
The Thundershields were a minor tribe, which made their daring and ill-fated attack all the stranger. Typically, they relied on the strength of their more powerful neighbors against the Arvani, perhaps trusting that this protection would dissuade any retaliation. If that was their plan, they were sorely mistaken. The Eswynds had assembled a fleet of twenty small warships by daybreak to escort the Arvani party, so that when the Tydes and Kennexes (and Emily) set out in search of answers, they sailed in strength.
Some miles from their destination, signal horns sound as sails are sighted to the north-east: a dozen Shav'arvani longships bound for Tordenskjold. At the approach of the Arvani-Prodigal fleet, these new vessels draw off to the north, spreading out and warily looking to keep distance. Both fleets of longships draw in sails and run out oars, as is the habit when facing battle.
As they near the island and the shav ships are sighted, Emily moves towards the fore of the ship. They certainly have the numbers to run donw their foes but her gaze turns towards the island with interest. As the cog rocks a bit she rolls her shoulders back and draws Absolution from its place. Stepping over it she braces the bottom curve against her foot and bends it over her thigh to quickly string it. She carefully pulls her leg out and lifts the bow up in hand, the rubicund catching the light as she turns her attention towards the boats that are readying for the approach.
Emily checked intellect + war at difficulty 30, rolling 14 higher.
Zoey checked intellect + sailing at difficulty 30, rolling 2 higher.
Ian checked intellect + sailing at difficulty 30, rolling 25 higher.
Wash checked intellect + sailing at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.
Gideon checked intellect + war at difficulty 30, rolling 12 higher.
Wash paces the deck in full armor during the approach, feeling a bit out of his element. He's no investigator, enforcer or diplomat. And he doesn't have a ship to command. He's too anxious even to enjoy the rigours of sailing which are like mother's milk to him. As a result he is among the first, lacking any other responsibilities, to spy the northern sails and raise an alarm. "Well, this is more like it!" He declares, all of that anxiety transmuted immediately into enthusiasm. He assess their formation and their sailing, reviews his knowledge of currents and the prevailing wind to assess what the correct course of action would be. This might not be the only enemy in the area, just the first they've seen.
Zoey goes to stand near Emily, but does not draw her bow just yet. "They are out of range," she tells her. "Might as well wait. If we are lucky, we will not even need to fire on them."
Having gotten the blood off of his armor, and put on other armor for the journey, Ian is on deck, hanging onto something so he doesn't fall over on the rocking ship. "Something feels wrong about this," he mutters. It's clear some aspect of this whole adventure isn't sitting right with him. His electric blue eyes move, taking in the movements of the enemy ships. "Wash, what are the odds of making straight for the island? If we land, we might have a better shot of asking someone what the fuck they think they're doing."
The Shavs continue to back water, spreading out and striking back North and East, keeping outside arrow range of the stronger Prodigal fleet. Horns and booming voices between ships have the Eswynd vessels moving swiftly from a tight escort cluster into three loose divisions to cut the Abandoned off from the Thundershield home island, without pursuing fast or far enough to be drawn fully away from the defense of the exotic Tyde cog.
The captain of the vessel has any number of nobles to consult, but he chooses to direct his inquiry toward Gideon, the Duchess Tyde's champion. "What says my Lord? We can make clean for the island if you like. Looks to be a good harbor on the North shore, or we can chance the shallows and send a boat on the south coast, nearer the settlement. Or is it your-" the collective nobles "Will to seek battle?"
Haakon had been in the forward Eswynd longship, and looks to be directing the left division of Prodigals.
"The thing is..." Wash says, eyes narrowed. He doesn't try to tell the Eswynd commanders or admirals what to do in Eswynd waters on Eswynd vessels. "I don't know that this force is allied to our targets on Torgeslannd." Yeah. He butchers the name of the island, which he refers to by the name of the shavs on it. "I think we may be looking at a raiding party, sent to make sure they couldn't talk. From what I've gleaned, this is too large a force to belong to the tribe alone, and the timing is suspicious." Wash is known for speculating outside the box. This might be too far outside the box. "I think we can safely split the fleet. Send one or two ships at most to the island. Allow the rest to pursue the shavs. Notice that they aren't releasing smoke, and their horns have tapered off? They aren't signalling any allies. They are spreading out too much to be a coalition of shavs, not as single force." Wash looks around when the captain addresses Gideon as if suddenly realizing he has been thinking out loud.
Emily nods to Zoey, "Yes but best to be prepared in case the wind changes, as it were." The ranger narrows her gaze and glances as the force splits and her attention turns to the island with a curious study. "Drawing us away possibly." She murmurs with a look to Wash and Ian, and finally Zoey. The Deepwood considers. "The men who came after us had Arvani coin on them. It could be that Torgesland was paid off to do the work but it was someone else with the interest of harming the Duchess and Marquessa."
Gideon had remained on the ship, after all dinners and niceties were more up Margot's alley. After hearing of the attack though, the prince did go somewhat into a rage, immediately setting forth to join the effort against these assassins. Now, on the cog, Gideon paces back and forth impatiently, the clanking of his axe bouncing on his back as steady of the waves and possibly quite annoying to hear to anyone sensitive to those kinds of sounds. "Their leader comes back alive, regardless of how much of him is missing." The prince growls in a low tone, his eye turning to look ahead of them, and to the ships that seem to be trying to draw them away with a snarl of amusement. "These shavs tried to attack the Duchess of Tyde, the Voice of Thrax. I hope I don't see anything as foolish as mercy today!" He suddenly speaks up, his eye coming back to travel over those present, before returning to the captain. "Push on, if they want to lead us away and buy time it won't happen. If they chase us they die." He finishes bluntly. "This is not a negotiation by any means."
"I'd like to try and figure out what's going on before going to battle," Ian comments to Gideon, eyes narrowed. He always speaks slowly, his flat voice slowed down by the sheer thickness of his Isles accent, but he's really feeling out his words right now. "I don't like the idea of killing people who haven't done something to make an enemy of me."
Wash clarifies. "We are pushing on to the island then Prince of Thrax?" He calls back. "We've surprised this fleet, but an engagement with them is less likely to bring us a leader than landing among the Thundershields." He doesn't seem concerned that on their home turf they might be outnumbered without the rest of the fleet to back them up.
Wash checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 10 lower.
Gideon glances to Ian. "They'll stay out of our way then, won't they?" He asks coldly, but continues to dismiss the questioning. "Their leader is what matters. If you want to tell them to surrender or stay out of it, fine."
Ian checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 1 lower.
Gideon checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 9 lower.
Emily checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 0 higher.
Zoey checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 0 higher.
The Tyde captain nods to Gideon and calls a command. The crew begin to heave to, guiding the two masted sailing ship westward toward the low island which any Arvani crew have begun to call 'Torgesland', drawing looks of resigned loathing from any of the few Prodigals on board. The captain does voice to Wash, inviting the Admiral's advice, "Does my Lord Kennex advise seeking the deeper harbor on the northern coast, or chance the shallows to land nearer the settlement to the South?"
Standing with Zoey her attention has shifted to shore and she lifts on her toes a moment. "Zoey, do you see it? Tell me my eyes are correct that there are longships at both harbors...southern and northern." This report made she glances down to the Kennex lady to be sure her eyes are not playing tricks.
Zoey shifts her gaze in the direction of the norther harbor. "I see it too," she confirms to Emily. She turns around, notes Wash's deference to Gideon, and says, "Your Highness, we have spotted a longship in the northern harbor."
"With respect captain, they know we are here. The longer we stay at sea, the more time they have to prepare for our arrival. The middle option is to put twenty of us in an away boat while you steer to the North and cut off the far vessel. It would be a greedy course of action, we might capture neither." Wash instinctively analyzes strategies an options, but frames them as options, not orders. He has not been offered command, and isn't about to upstage the Prince or the captain who he sees as both outranking him, if for different reasons.
"There is also one in the southern. So we have natives on the island," she remarks, glancing then to the ships. "They are trying to draw us away most like," Emily remarks thoughtfully.
Ian still doesn't look thrilled about going in with the intent to fight, but a lifetime as a sailor has drilled into him that it doesn't matter whether he agrees with an order -- it's still his role to follow it. He looks towards the harbors when Zoey and Emily point out there are ships there, shading his eyes against the sun.
"The fuck is that ship doing over there?" Ian says of the ship on the north side of the island. "There's no houses over there."
The Tyde captain eyes the small island as Wash theorizes. "If any folk wish to take a boat, I'll permit it. Only way we have to land on the south." To Ian he ventures, "Deeper harbor, my Lord. That ship may be deeper in draft, or carry a more feeble pilot," he guesses.
Gideon sets his jaw in annoyance at the situation of having opposing directions, but nods at Wash. "Sending a small crew of good fighters to handle it is best, away from the enemy ships..." He ponders aloud. "We can't risk either one potentially being an escape vessel. Do it, the larger force can handle the populated area and deter the shav ships from bothering those who seperate."
"Probably visitors, kept at arm's length." Wash comments to the side. "Ready the away boat!" Wash relays the Prince's commands, with the captain's blessing. Again, Wash defers to the Prince's judgment, not just because the man is the highest ranking noble, but because his deference creates an immediate chain of command that others will be inclined to follow, allowing them all to react with less decision paralysis.
Considering the options being offered, Emily looks to the southern harbor. "I will go with the small ship and get aground. I will be able to better help all of you there." she admits in regards to the island. Once the boat is readied Emily climbs aboard to join the small crew that will head for the village.
The exotic cog has a very un-exotic launch prepared, and lowered into the water. The nobles have a handful of common crew join them (no blisters from rowing, thankyouverymuch). In short order, the cog has tacked near the island a d the longboat is away, while the larger sailing ship sets sail to round the northern cap. All the while, they are witness to the large game of cat and also-cat between the Prodigal and Abandoned longship fleets.
As the launch is rowed to shore, a number of humble dwellings become visible, as the Tordenskjold (or 'Torg' as future scholars will recall them) common folk peer out curiously at the exotic ship, before cautiously starting to backpedal as the boat makes landfall. A small fishing boat watches them row past, frantically trying to haul in nets, so as to avoid losing them.
As the launch rows through the water towards the village, Ian addresses the crew with the easy authority of someone who's just assuming he's in command at this point -- and has the bearing to make that assumption stick. "Prince Gideon wants whoever's responsible for the attack on Duchess Tyde and your Marquessa. We're going to get him what he wants, if it's on that island to be gotten, even if it means killing every last person in that village to do it." His voice is grim; he's not lying about his willingness to execute bloodshed on that level if that's what's necessary. "But I want to make damned sure the people we want don't get away, so nobody attacks without my order. We're going to see how many flies we can catch with honey."
Emily checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.
Ian checked command + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 32 higher.
Zoey, the designated honey, disembarks as soon as she reach the shore and starts toward the village at whatever pace with which Ian can reasonably keep up. She adjusts her expression and posture to keep an appearance of being open and friendly.
Once Emily steps off the boat upon landfall she is quickly lowering to the ground to find the first tracks. Then she rises up and quickly moves forward to inspect the land around. As she looks at the village from a distance. "Most of the tracks here head intowards the large building in town but some lead to the Northern harbor. Do we want to go see if the ship in the harbor is abandoned or would you all prefer to head into town?" She makes a motion to the path that cuts upwards towards the North in the direction of the harbor rather than to the west and the town with is fishing village. "Fisherman..don't seem like warriors."
Emily checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.
Ian checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.
Zoey checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.
Ian sights the gathering on the lake and shoves his hand through his hair, muttering something to himself about how it'd better not be another fucking demon sacrifice, then orders everyone towards the lake. "Don't draw your weapons, yet. Put up your pikes." There's no way for this force not to look threatening, but Ian's trying to at least look like they're not about to run in and stab everyone. "Zoey, stay behind me until we know what we're walking into."
Zoey nods to Ian and falls in.
As the decision is made to head in towards town, she glances up towards the northern harbor foot path but sticks with the group. Best to approach together. She adjusts the arm band around her bicep and tries to make it more apparent - for reasons. Emily keeps to the side, allowing herself the ability to watch flank and front for the group so that she can respond should things go pear shaped as it were.
Zoey checked intellect + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 69 higher. Zoey rolled a critical!
Wash checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 3 higher.
At the center of the village, on the shore of a small freshwater lake, a triangle of three chairs has been set in front of the largest Shav hall, two of which are filled, the remaining chair sitting empty. In one chair sits what is clearly the chieftain of the tribe by his iron armor and standard bearer, with over a dozen warriors around him, mostly male, but with a few Shav shield maidens among them. In another chair sits a man wearing blacks and greys, with a hauberk of bright steel and a bodyguard of twenty swordsmen, all male and in uniform coats of maile. The third chair, set to cardinal north sits vacant, awaiting someone.
As the cog rounds the northern cape, and bears down on the fine, deep water harbor, they come upon a grounded Longship, rigged in the Arvani style. A quarter crew remains aboard, peering in alarm at the unfamiliar ship.
Taking in the scene before them, Emily has her bow in hand but now arrow readied as her gaze scans each seat and then finally the third. Her gaze narrrows and she slows a bit, wanting to keep with the group as a whole and not present herself first. A curious glance is given to the others as she clears her throat. "A meeting, but about what is the question." And hard to tell presently who exactly is responsible for the attack.
Zoey takes a moment to observe. "It is more symbolic than anything," she explains to Ian. "But they are waiting on someone. Someone northern, if I am interpreting correctly."
Wash arms himself for a fight. Not that a quarter of a longship crew would be much of an obstacle. Gideon could probably handle them himself. But he waits for Gideon's command.
Ian nods to Zoey. He looks to Emily. "He'll be coming from that northern trail you found. If you could head up the trail a little ways and give us some kind of heads up before he gets here, it'd be helpful." As they approach the meeting, Ian lifts his hand to show that it's empty (his other hand has his cane in it, but there's no helping that). "We're here to talk," he calls. As long as it doesn't look like anyone's about to open fire, he'll urge Zoey out to do her thing.
A fire of drifwood logs burns at the center of the three chairs.
"Hopefully the northern ship is the head of this little assassin group." Gideon says after the small ship has been lowered down. "It'd be much easier than having to get through a populated area to try and find them. We don't have a whole lot to go on here." He admits with some disdain to Wash. "We may have to provoke or force out whoever was behind this if they don't talk, or cooperate with the away crew. The city people will make this a headache if this ship really is being separated by the locals for bot being part of them, not making an incident is second on the priority list. Failing to catch someone who tried to assassinate our voice is just as bad as any other reputation hit. Victus will be furious... Until we confirm they're not enemies, treat them as suspects. Don't risk your lives, if they don't disarm and cooperate, they can be removed entirely." He gives out the order calmly, before loudly declaring alongside the northern ship. "Keep your arms and no harm will come! We are not pirates, we are not here to rob you, but resistance will not be tolerated!"
"They aren't Eurusi at least." Wash says to Gideon after inspecting the rigging always a possibility with the Compact having lost track of the remnants of the Skal'daja fleet after Sungreet. "If you raise arms, you die." Wash adds his voice to the Prince's. "Your orders don't include throwing your life away without gain." Wash tries to impose a little structure in the smaller crew by appealing to their command structure, or lack thereof.
Zoey checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 50, rolling 7 higher.
Head high and posture open, Zoey approaches the gathering with Ian at her side and the rest of their followers behind. After an appropriate, carefully-worded greeting and a respectful dip of her head she says, "We come to understand the grievance with the Duchess Tyde and Marquessa Eswynd, and seek peaceful resolution."
The bearded warrior on black, grey, and bright steel had just drawn out a scroll case when Ian's hail turns all eyes toward the newly arrived Arvani. The Tordenskjold Chieftain is on his feet in an instant, the ceremonial bearers of his spear and shield hastening to arm him, but the brown bearded warrior pauses long enough to hear the words. The twenty maile-clad swordsmen cluster close around their Lord, several raising shields. Zoey's words forestall an immediate outbreak of violence, causing the native chief to turn his eye toward the unknown man in black and grey. It is a weighty moment's pause.
In the northern harbor, there is a clear edge of 'oh, shit' as a Gildorian cog with Tyde flags and unexpected nobility aboard bears down on them. Alas, laying down arms doesn't seem to be their inclination, and the sailors scramble for bows and bludgeons. One among them sounds a long note trailing upward on a large horn, the booming alarm of which echoes among the island hills, even to the shores of the Tordenskjold ("TORG") lake. Eyes snap to the north, prompting a curse from the letter bearing Lord. Rising sharply to his feet, the Arvani points at Zoey and/or Ian, shouting, "Kill them and avenge your failure!" He casts the letter case into the fire and draws his sword.
Emily checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 50, rolling 6 lower.
Emily had been looking to the North, having heard Ian's suggestion but its the sudden horns that stop her, freeze her in place and with the call for them to attack she comes about. Its what gives her a view of the leather case. "Get that case!" she says sharply. Even if they do not kill each other its important enough to burn so its something to go for. In fact the Deepwood digs her heels in and starts past some bewildered figures but despite how close she gets there are others suddenly in her way and she skids to a stop as spears and shields are not between her and the satchel, her sharp blue eyes narrowing on the armed figures as she backs up more than a few steps to keep from getting gutted.
Ian holds up a hand to keep his people from drawing their weapons; it's as much a display of his own authority over his men, and how well trained they are, as it is a display of peaceful intent. He gives orders for a couple of guys to peel off and guard Zoey. He looks directly to the chief, behaving as though this man is the only person with power in this situation. "Give us the letters, and this ends. We want who ordered that attack, not who executed it." His calm is eerie, his voice flat, eyes serene.
"There is no need for this to end in violence," Zoey adds from her place between the guards Ian ordered to her sides. "Once we have what we seek we will leave your island peacefully."
The Thunder shield chieftain is visibly torn, looking from the small knot of Arvani to his sable-clad guest, to the north, where a second horn signals danger. The appeal to let them take the letters is met with the shouted answer, "Come and get the fucking letters, then!" Clarity in communication must not be a strong suit among Shavs. An invitation or a challenge??
Wash checked command + sailing at difficulty 60, rolling 0 higher.
Indicating again that his men should hang back, Ian goes ahead and takes that as an invitation. He approaches cautiously, not so much because he's showing fear of the shavs but more because he's still a guy who walks funny, and this is really uneven ground that he can't feel under his feet. If they let him get close enough, he'll hook whatever handle the scroll case has with the end of his cane and draw it out of the fire.
(Lack of fear doesn't mean lack of alertness, of course. Ian's fully prepared to get rushed. It's just that he's confident his armor's going to be up to the task.)
Gideon checked strength + huge wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.
Haakon GM Roll checked strength(3) + oh god(3) at difficulty 40, rolling 8 lower.
Wash scrambles to the deck and presumes on all that goodwill he's built up with the captain over the past few hours. "The helm captain?" And he's calling out orders as he does it to rig the sails for an abrupt heeling action. He intends to block the longship in, give the frothing Prince a chance to get into the fighting directly. "All hands, brace for impact. Helm about full. Stabberd lines, release on my mark!" Wash waits an agonizing three seconds for the sailors to follow his orders. He grows more vociferous for the second. "NOT the LUFF LINES you SWAB! Pull the STABBERD or we'll beach! Get the lead out your boots or I'll clamp you in them and throw you to the sharks!" He waits for all of the sailors to be in position, but he'll need to compromise between the optimal moment and every sailor being ready at the same time. "MARK!"
The ship was already swinging wide left, when the starboard lines all released at once, the ship heeled far over. This of course, raised their keel allowing the deeper draft of the cog to slide across the sand between the rocks on either side. It is a careening maneuver for the dangerously insane or stupidly lazy. In this case, it comes to a halt before the beach because said beach is already occupied. The deck lies at a steep angle, but it's much like being kissed by a boulder and finding the boulder stopped at your nose.
"I see." Gideon, for the first time on this trip, seems completely calm as the enemies start to arm themselves. "Ship's all yours." He says to wash, hardly casting a glance at the captain as the prince trudges towards the front of the ship, pulling the axe from his back as he goes to the edge of the ship. The muttering descends into a laugh, starting as a low chuckle and finally erupting into a solid, hollow laugh as he jumps down onto the deck of the longship, the alacrite axe glinting before it slams down through the first unprepared enemy crewman. Like a hot knife through butter, the man is split down from the shoulder, and a wet sound accompanies a thud as his freshly bloodied axe hits the deck, followed by a spray of crimson, dulling the gleam of his diamondplate. "Here I was afraid I wouldn't find you!" He manages within the manic laughter, with a tone that could only suggest one thing; relief.
Ian's gamble that the Chieftain was being inviting both pays off and.. doesn't. The Shavs don't descend upon him, howling, and he is allowed to advance.. at his pace.. toward the fire, which finally sets the bloody dominoes falling: the outsider in black and grey gives a low curse, and a silent command, and the knot of twenty armed and armored men burst into motion, surging southward with several of the nearest swinging at Ian in passing.
Emily checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 47 higher.
Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 32 higher.
Ian checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 50, rolling 13 lower.
The surge begins and Zoey swiftly draw, nocks, and fires at any man aiming to strike Ian.
Haakon GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + shield(4) at difficulty 30, rolling 27 higher.
Haakon GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + shield(4) at difficulty 30, rolling 26 higher.
Emily's arrow is already nocked but the creak of her own bowstring is lost in the sudden surge and cries. It is nothing amidst the chaos that errupts and she steps a half step back and aims down the line of the arrow. Breath held she lets her aim settle at one swinging upon the Kennexi lord and releases, the arrow flying to embed itself in his upper left chest to spin him to the ground and possibly be trampled beneath his own comrades.
Already another dark fletched arrow is drawn as she tries to keep her breath eased as the adrenaline begins to spike through her system. She then begins to track their leader with her bow.
Ian checked luck at difficulty 40, rolling 21 lower.
Ian lurches towards the man in black and gray as he tries to flee, but his care with the uneven ground wasn't for show; something goes wrong with his gait, his foot lands funny, and he collapses IN the fire before rolling away. But at least he got the scroll case?
Into the fi-yah! 21 inflicted and Ian is harmed for moderate damage.
Haakon has rolled 1 4-sided dice: 4
Emily checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.
Emily checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.
Haakon GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + dodge(5) at difficulty 50, rolling 4 lower.
Gideon checked strength + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.
Haakon GM Roll checked strength(3) + medium wpn(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 7 higher.
Haakon GM Roll checked strength(3) + medium wpn(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.
Wash doesn't engage in the melee at the rails directly. He braces one foot on the quarterdeck's railing and watches Gideon's back. If ever someone looks like they have the drop on him, he'll throw one of his remaining rubicund daggers. It's now only a set of five.
Emily does not stop there, her bow swings with the moving leader and quickly rushing down to the south with him and staying low she manages to get a good enough angle when he's not expecting it. She sets up her shot with a held breath to steady her aim before releasing with a resounding TWANG that goes off beside her ear. Dark hair is given a shake to remove a curl from her field of view as the ranger hurries down the slight slope towards the southern harbor, trying to keep pace so she can manage to pick up a few more and possibly bring down their leader.
Her long legs leave her swiftly in movementa nd she relies on the force of gravity to pull her rather than her own quick motions.
"Cut those cowards down!" Ian snaps out the order once the scrollcase is in his hands, sending his men (minus the Zoey guard) to harry the rout. His own attention is on the shavs, and the path leading north. He can't run after the people who're running away.
Gideon stomps across the deck over the corpse of the first enemy, and as a shav approaches with their weapon high in the air for a swing, the prince harshly swings his axe up, not for the man's throat but to swiftly remove the arm by going through the elbow. As another spray of crimson fluid covers his helmet, there's a clank as on his blind side, a dagger is shoved harmlessly against his plate. A low rumble of laughter appears again, as his axe is pulled away from the agonizing screams of his first enemy. "What'll it be for you? A leg? If you slit your own throat, maybe you won't regret life so much..." Gideon offers between low cackles before raising his voice. "Lower your weapons and I won't nail you to posts along the beach. Ah, the old man did know how to make an example..." He adds with a slightly lower tone, frustrated to admit to such a thing.
Haakon GM Roll checked strength(4) + medium wpn(4) at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.
Haakon GM Roll checked strength(3) + medium wpn(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 3 lower.
As the violence erupts, the Thundershield Shavs seem to embrace the idea of 'don't raise arms and you'll live' as they stand apart from the furious running skirmish, lending no hands to either side. The chieftain grips his shield, painted with its elaborate thunderbolt and leans on his spear, watching the fight between outsiders move through his island. The native warriors follow his example. The northern path stands empty.
Despite the arrow their Lord takes in the left shoulder- seemingly from NOWHERE- the swordsmen clustered around the ringleader power past the first push of Tyde men, making good headway toward the Shav longship on the southern shore, leaving three of the sailors badly wounded or worse in their wake.
Emily checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 30, rolling 4 lower.
Ian struggles to his feet with the help of his cane. There's no way the contact with the fire didn't burn his legs where the diamondplate braces line his boots, but he's showing no sign of feeling it. He makes a wry face and gives a slight shake of his head to the chieftain; it's pretty clear he can't run after his men, and he's not going to try. "Lord Ian Kennex." He nods to the man, and then extends a hand to shake. Just, you know, introducing himself while his wife tries to shoot a dude in the face. As you do.
Gideon checked command + intimidation at difficulty 30, rolling 2 lower.
Emily keeps up with the group fleeing, continuing to move as she lowers her bow and rushes in towards the group that surround the leader as they continue to head for the ship. Even as she keeps low, using the brush but alas she is seen before she can get into the midst of them and the ranger has to quickly skid and dodge to the side, trying to find another angle in to the leader that is surrounded. She hisses through her teeth, hand reaching out to keep her from falling on her ass as she slides a bit and reverses her step.
Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.
Haakon GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + shield(4) at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.
Wash checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 6 lower.
Zoey nocks another arrow and takes aim at the retreating leader. She aims, then lets the arrow fly.
Haakon GM Roll checked strength(4) + weapon(4) at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.
Haakon GM Roll checked strength(3) + weapon(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.
Haakon GM Roll checked strength(3) + weapon(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 2 higher.
Gideon checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.
"No takers?" Gideon asks in a bemused tone, looking across the enemies on the deck, before laughing again. "Good! People like you don't deserve it!" He growls out, moving forward to meet another enemy weilding an axe. As it comes down, Gideon lifts his own, knocking the enemy's weapon away as he charges in.
Wash marks where his dagger flew. He'll want that back later. He readies another one. He knows better than to fling his lightly armored body into the fray directly. If the crew of the cog starts to get pushed back from their rail though, he'll commit there.
Ian gets a sardonic look back from the chieftain, who grunts in flat humor. "Andrey Tordenskjold," is given in return. A brow is raised, a d his nose wrinkles in distaste. "What the fuck is that around your neck?"
The running fight grinds on. The Tyde sailors are giving a bold accounting of themselves against the armored bodyguards, but they lack the weight of numbers to fully break apart the formation of shields, and the unknown Lord with the arrow in his arm draws nearer to escape...
Not so fortunate are the Arvani sailors in the northern harbor, several of whom have declared a rousing 'fuck it' and are taking their chances leaps ng off the ship and running inland.
Emily checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
Wash will cautiously advance once Gideon has routed the enemy. "Well done my Lord Prince." Wash says well before he's within reach of that blade. No way he wants to be mistaken for an enemy. Until then, he guides the men on the cog to the best of his ability. Keeping them organized and moving forward at the Prince's back.
Emily checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 45 higher. Emily rolled a critical!
Haakon GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + dodge(5) at difficulty 50, rolling 0 higher.
Gideon checked strength + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 14 higher.
Haakon GM Roll checked dexterity(2) + bravely ran away away(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 19 higher.
"It's a scarf," Ian answers, deadpan, because in addition to being captain of ships, he is also Captain Obvious. With a slight softening of his manner, he adds: "Maybe one day we'll have cause to sit down with drinks and I can tell you why I wear it." His eyes are still moving, always moving, keeping an eye on the shavs, keeping an eye on the northern path, keeping an eye on the remains of the battle. He takes note of the explosion of blood as Emily puts a brand new hole in black and gray's face, then looks back to the chieftain. "Look, I'm not from around here. I don't know what kind of feud you have going with the Eswynds. But the next time someone shows up on your doorstep and tries to get you to attack the Marquessa or Duchess Margot, my suggestion would be to send them packing. Next time it won't be me showing up looking for answers. It will be one of Donrai Thrax's bastard sons, Prince Gideon Thrax, and it won't be answers that he wants. Do you understand what that will mean for you and your people?"
The guards are proving to be veterans and Emily swings around quickly, moving to the other side. Skidding across the ground she continues to find the best shot and as she pulls and arrow her foot catches and propels her over a rock and through dense bushes that give her some cover. As she comes out the other side she gets her opening. A growl leaves her lips as she lands upon her knee as she again slides, wincing as her knee drags upon the ground but cushioned by her armor.
She lifts that bow and without waiting to calm her breath she releases the arrow for her target. He can not get away. The arrow flies quickly and lands as the poor man turns. It goes right through his eye socket and into his skull. It drops him effectivley and she curses beneath her breath.
Time to leave fighting to the soldiers. Zoey puts away her bow and, flanked by her guards, she approaches Ian and the chieftain. She takes a place by her husband's side and gauges the chieftain's reaction before adding anything to it.
Gideon dashes to the side of the ship at those attempting to escape, violently bringing his axe down towards one who's heading to jump, only to bury his axe into the railing. With a frustrated growl, he slams his fist down beside the axe head. As Wash approaches and speaks, there is in fact a moment where the prince starts to turn, axe readied in his hand before he sees the would be target, and slowly his panting breaths turn into a sigh of resignation. "Secure those who remain, they didn't see us coming so any evidence should still be here somewhere. Those men were too loyal for pirates, figure out where they came from." He orders broadly, before resting back on the railing, somewhat hanging his head as if they'd suffered the defeat. "The captain of this vessel isn't here and they're running south, so he probably is in that village. Ian has probably captured him by now."
"The Thrax has no power here," the Tordenskjold states, in a moment of bravado. How much he believes that could be debated, but as the Tordenskjolds (TORG) watch the ongoing skirmish, Andrey adds, "But I have no more use for outsiders. Take the Southron's letters. Take any of his men, and go. The next Southron who seeks to buy my spear will find only his head atop it."
Ian and any others with and eye on the northern path will gradually see three men running in the distance, pursued by a fourth, who appears to have a massive axe drawn back over his head. ".....aaaaaAAAA!" the wailing builds steadily.
Ian doesn't argue the point -- he knows he's made it well enough. He seems inclined to withdraw, but nods towards the northern path. "Will the third you were expecting give you trou -- Nevermind. That's Prince Gideon. Please excuse me."
Gideon checked strength + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.
"Before we go, if you do not mind," Zoey says to the chieftain, "for whom was the third chair?"
Emily checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 13 higher.
Emily is given to her task now that the leader is down and no longer able to be taken in for questioning. She does move after the others though and without needing to try to pick out one in particular she aims for those at the back in clear shot of her.
Lifting her bow she releases her next arrow as it whistles through the air to find her next poor unfortunate soul.
Andrey looks aside to Zoey at her question and considers for a moment whether to answer. After three heartbeats pass, he voices, "The King of Norrock Vorod."
Ian takes a leasurely stroll over to where Gideon is running down the last couple of people. He has no interest in killing them himself, however. Zoey has guards, so he's comfortable leaving her to talk. He holds up the (slightly charred) scroll case for Gideon to see. "This is what you're looking for, I think. It should have everything Duchess Margot needs. There's a man on the beach with an arrow through his head who might have more information on him somewhere." He gestures over to where people are frantically running away from Emily's arrows, and some aren't running fast enough.
Sure enough after a while, the prince has made his chase, unwilling to let the would-be troublemakers get to run away. Though the slippery fellows do avoid the axe again, the blood coated giant continues his pursuit, hacking at arms and legs to properly punish those involved. At one point though he does stop, looking at the away party panting and dripping with crimson. "Did you find the captain? None of the guys I killed fit the bill." He asks with a more casual tone, after all these men had just about nowhere to run any longer. However at Ian's words, he's only silent, looking over at the corpse with a barely contained rage as a shaking hand comes up to accept the charred case. "I hope we find more on the ship then." He finishes coldly as that casual tone slips away.
Wash isn't much of an interrogator. So his plan is to secure the longboat and then collect logs, maps and other belongings that might indicate a home base. Those that remain on the ship will be disarmed for the moment, and given the choice to swim or die later.
Once the bloody skirmish has left, and the bodies are searched, a curious detail emerges: all those in service to the unknown dead man carry distinctive silver pieces, not of any known realm, either Arvani or Eurusi: they are stamped on one side with a pendulum in forward, center, and back positions, and lettering on the transverse that reads: 'Never too far without recovery'.
"King?" Zoey asks. "I am not familiar with this particular monarch." She glances around. "I would ask for more, but I fear we have already worn out our welcome. Thank you for your cooperation." She dips her head and takes a step back before turning to leave him.
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