"That question..." Tatalia thinks on it for a moment. "I think that if we are on this quest for Connac's sake, then it seems right to ask what Connac would do. I think he would want to make sure something is done for the boy. He wouldn't leave him to his fate, and neither should we.
"We can't simply turn the ship around, and I don't plan to. But if we can offer the captain a large enough sum, perhaps he could be convinced to make a special trip to return the boy home. Or..." The halfling chews her lip for a moment, deep in thought. "Or - I hate to suggest it - we could take him with us until we can find someone who is bound for Andoran, perhaps for trade." The halfling's nose wrinkles about in discontent. "I don't like the idea of bringing a child into Cheliax, however."
"Do you have any suggestions?" Tatalia glances about the deck, then continues, "I'm not even sure where we're docking, precisely. But I'd be glad for some opportunity to earn enough coin to help the boy."
"Then we'll just have to see what opportunities present themselves," Tatalia says with a nod. "For now, I'll talk to the boy, then think about what to do once we've entered Westcrown. And..." Tatalia goes quiet for a moment as she considers exactly what to say next.
"I think we'll need to tell each other more about what we do," the paladin decides to say. "I don't want to press you for information you'd rather not share - but I do want to know more about what you can do, and I'll tell you more about what I can do, whenever you are ready. The more we know about each other's skills, the better we can work together."
The woman watches Tatalia for awhile then says, 'An honest appeal, for an honest purpose. It has been many a year since I heard that..." She laughs then, a real laugh, 'Well, do you want a magic show? How do I explain the intricate of the divine powers of nature to you, Tatalia? Perhaps I should send fireballs into the air, summon a shark?"
She seems honestly amused, not stung.
"I don't think I'll need all that," the halfling answers with a snort and a grin, "but thank you anyway. No, but that you can use magic - druidic magic? - is good to know. I'll be sure to remember that.
"I can fight with a sword well enough, as you know," Tatalia continues. "And Connac taught me a little of the bardic art of inspiration. I'm still learning how to wield magic properly, but you know I am a paladin. And... I have some small skill in a few things you might associate with thieves." Tatalia rubs the back of her head, seeming a bit ashamed of that last part.
"Then I'll simply try and find a way to help him on my own terms," the paladin says with confidence. "When we dock, let's begin our search for a means to earn the gold we'll need to get him passage back home - and a bit of extra coin for ourselves, so we can outfit ourselves better for this adventure. As long as it's nothing I'd object to morally...
"And if it involves activities aimed at giving the Chelaxian government a punch to the throat, I don't think I'd find that morally objectionable." Tatalia can't help but smile at the thought. "Just a thought."
With that, Tatalia's going to go find Farnell and ask him some questions, who his family is or who takes care of him being the most pertinent. We can either RP through it as usual or do a "You talked and this is what you learned" sort of deal - I don't mind either way.
Tatalina goes below and finds the young boy. Hanes, the mate, has him scrubbing the deck. The work, done with a holystone and lye filled water is tedious (but required) work that sailors detest. His hands are red and bloody, with calluses not formed yet. The mate sees Tatalia coming and says, "Have some questions for the newest member of the crew?"
"I do," Tatalia says with a nod. "And if it's alright, the sun's nearly gone below the horizon - may he rest for the day?"
Hanes nods and ruffles the boy's thin brown hair, "Fair enough. Easy for the first day, right?" but he does look back over at the halfing and says, 'Everyone carries their share aboard ship, ma'am. We aren't being cruel. On other ships, boys like him are sold at on the block."
Hanes makes a face, obviously finding the very idea of slavery disgusting. The big man leaves and Fanrell sighs and leans back against the wooden wall of the ship, obviously exhausted.
Tatalia talks to the boy and learns his parents run the inn in Cyremium. The paladin doesn't know them personally, but is aware they are fine and upstanding citizens of the community. The boy seems downcast, and is suddenly facing a long time at sea doing hard labor. He mentions a younger sister and an older brother, both at home helping with the Inn. Farnell claims he left a message with someone to tell his parents where he went.
Any else you want to ask?
"I know, Hanes. But I'm aboard this ship too, and nobody has given me a task yet. Please let the captain know I'll be helping the boy scrub the deck tomorrow." Tatalia pauses, then adds, "And thank you, sir, for being patient with me. You all have been."
As the two of them speak, Tatalia reaches out and touches Farnell's hands. Holy magic radiates from them as she heals his blistering, bleeding hands.
Lay on Hands to heal Farnell's hands: 2d6 ⇒ (2, 5) = 7
Afterwards, the paladin explains to the boy that she's going to try and make sure he gets home sooner than later, but she needs him to promise to not run off on his own in search of adventure. She asks a few more questions, too.
She's just going to make sure she knows their names properly so she can potentially purchase a Sending spell later. She also asks if Farnell knows anyone that can come and bring him home if need be - someone from a town closer by? And finally, she wants to make sure that if he promises not to run off / find adventure / etc. that he's telling the truth. For that I'll roll Sense Motive.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Rubbing his healed hands Farnell reluctantly promises to avoid further adventures. He does mention he hopes to buy a sword soon, "just like yours".
Tatalina can tell he is telling the truth but he is an impulsive boy. he very well might break his word later.
As they are talking she hears shout from up on deck and the sounds of hurrying feet.
Tatalia sets her hand on her sword and jumps to her feet. "Stay here," she tells Farnell very sharply. She looks to see what Hanes is doing - staying with the boy, she hopes, but she doubts it - and dashes up onto the deck to go see what's going on.
The mate is already gone. He left during your conversation
The top deck is dark, lit only by star and a sliver of moon. Even to her limited sight though, she can see what looks like the entire crew, quietly talking and pointing.
Out of nowhere Bronwen comes up to her saying, "Off towards shore." Her arm, black against the darkness points north, toward the now invisible shoreline.
There, close and getting closer are the running lights of another ship.
"Chelaxian?" the halfling asks Bronwen, squinting at the ship ahead. She tries to make out what sort of vessel it is, and whether it's flying any colors.
Perception (to make out the ship's details): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
As she looks ahead, she glances around to see where the captain is and what orders he's giving.
Tatalia approaches the captain immediately, asking, "What's going on and how can I help, sir?" Her hand is still on her sword.
The captain looks a bit startled when you step behind him, although the dark hides his face.
'We, um, have a bit of a problem ma'am." he says and his voice is tinged with..embarrassment?. 'That ship out there is well known local pirate vessel, the Leaping Ray. See that blue third light? It is his calling card, so ships surrender instead of fighting."
Looking out the paladin does indeed see a little blue light among the others, bright and cheery. Even so soon, Tatalia can see the other vessel is closing quickly.
Tatalia clenches her hand about her sword tightly as she eyes the approaching vessel. "What do you know of its crew? I am ready and able to fight, and Sarenrae willing, I'll be the first into the fray." She glances over at Bronwen, then motions the elf over. We could use some magic, she thinks to herself.
How many minutes away is the ship from closing in? And does it have cannons?
Probably have ten minutes or so. No cannons you can see
The captain says, 'I, um, actually know the crew quite well. You see, the captain, Rajeer Kalmath, well..." Luek is uncharacteristically nervous. 'Well, we used to work together. I owe him quite a bit of money. I think this attack may be personal."[
Hanes grunts, "You think? He promised to hang you from the yardarm and feed your crew to the sharks, over the course of several days."
Even as this is said, Jaerl (the birth-marked half-elf) comes up, looking nervous. "Cargo is all stowed, captain, like you said."
Bronwen glides over, 'Have a plan, young paladin?"
"I do," Tatalia begins as she stares at the approaching ship. "I do. We need to either drive off that vessel or slay its captain should they attack, by the sounds of it. We need to scare its crew off.
"You told me that you have magic," the halfling says, looking at Bronwen. "You mentioned fireballs and being able to summon creatures - what else can you do? Can you call down lightning, or destroy that ship's sails from a distance?"
Tatalia thinks a moment longer, then turns back to the Captain. "Should we be forced to fight, I can call on Sarenrae to bless my weapon and inspire your men, and I can heal the wounded. I'd rather not have to fight if we can avoid it, but if this Rajeer is out for blood... Does he have any magic-users in his crew?"
Bronwen's eyes widen, catching a glitter of starlight, 'You are quick to the blade, young paladin. No qualms about defending the old ill-gotten gains of a smuggler? I thought holy warriors often fretted about such thins." She seems relieved you do not.
Answer that, if you want, before we get to tactic?
"There will be plenty of time to fret about it later," the halfling grumbles, looking back out at the approaching vessel. "Right now, I know there's a pirate ship approaching whose captain wishes to kill Captain Luek and perhaps others on this ship as well.
"And," Tatalia adds quietly, grabbing her holy symbol, "I swore thusly when I took my oaths: 'I will protect my allies with my life. They are my light and my strength, as I am their light and their strength. We rise together.' The captain approached me when I was in need, and so I will help now that he is in need.
"Now, Captain," Tatalia says, turning back to the old smuggler, "I would like to avoid bloodshed if we can. What do we have at our disposal?"
Bronwen shrugs, and adds, "Getting captured by pirates would delay us. I will fight with you."
Luek looks a bit pained, "Not much. We are not a war vessel, just a trading ship. We rely on speed, not strength to get us through. Normally we'd be able to outrun him... but not in this wind and he got the drop on us in the dark."
"We have the crew, and enough cutlasses to arm everyone. Not much more then that."
"Then I'll hope it doesn't come to a battle," Tatalia murmurs. She looks over to Bronwen. "Do you have any magic that can destroy their sail from a distance, or turn the winds in our favor?"
Thinking on it, the halfling nods. "The more we know, the better. Thank you, Bronwen."
The elf grin and spreads her arms. The shadows that always seem to cling to her seem to whirl, dazzling the eye. Her slender form shifts and changes, with a weird low humming sound. Soon it subsides and where Bronwen stood, a man-sized bat sits on the ships rail. With a squeak the long wings extend and silently propels the druid into the darkness. In a second she is gone.
'Gozreh..." Luek murmurs reverently.
But still the pirate ship comes on, growing closer.
A man-sized man? What sort of bird was that meant to be?
"We'd best make good use of this time we have," Tatalia murmurs. "Captain, we'd best arm ourselves properly. We've cutlasses, you said. Do we have spare lamp oil? Slings?"
Hah, it's cool. I have to edit my posts all the time.
"Perhaps, but I'd rather give them something to worry about than just hope we can outfight them. Maybe Bronwen could drop a few pints of burning pitch onto that sail and slow them down, even." Tatalia keeps her hand on her sword's hilt and watches the approaching ship.
Inwardly, she also considers that fire is the domain of the Everlight, and wonders if that might color her perception of the matter.
"A more brazen plan might be to see if Bronwen and myself can somehow get aboard their ship and sow some discord before the fight begins should it come to that, but that might be too brazen."
Luek orders for the cutlasses to be brought up on deck and for the lamp oil to be gathered. Then out on the water there is a flash of arcane light arcing up from the ship into the inky sky above the ship.
There is a series of hoarse shouts and cries and the pirate ship looms nearly right on top of them. Tatalina can make shadowy figures running on the other deck, the barest glint of steel in moonlight.
Then a loud voice rolls across, "Evening, gents." the voice is rough, uncultured. "Quite a night for a nighttime cruise, ain't it? Sorry to cut it short, but I'm needful."
A pause then, 'Needful for the company of Captain Luek. Turn him over and there is no need for any other violence. If not, we storm aboard and kill every last one of ya. You have till the count of ten..."
Tatalia looks to the captain to see his expression, then back to the other ship. She seems worried, and uses the next few seconds to gauge the situation.
"Captain?" she whispers. "Do we fight?"
Making a Perception roll - can she see Bronwen? And is the other ship getting close enough to leap aboard or grapple onto? And can she gauge how many men are on the other ship / compare them to the men aboard this one?
Perception: 1d120 + 8 ⇒ (119) + 8 = 127
Err, ignore that above roll. That was a d120, apparently.
Perception (no, really this time): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Oh, and I want to roll Sense Motive to determine how honest the pirate is with his claim that he "only" wants Captain Luek.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
127 Perception. Nice!
In the gloom it is nearly impossible to tell, Bronwen is a master at vanishing into the shadows. She thinks she sees a shadowy shape circling overhead but it is hard to be certain.
The magical voice is so loud it is hard to tell, but he seems to be telling the truth.
Luek looks at her, "You want me to surrender and get killed?"
The ship isn't quite close enough to leap aboard but that will obviously be the pirates goal. They will close, grapple and then board.
"No," the paladin answers, "but I wanted to know your answer." With that, she steps toward the side of the ship the pirates will approach and readies herself for battle, one hand on her holy symbol.
If they can close for combat within a few rounds, I'll go ahead and cast Divine Favor, and on the round before they attack she'll start chanting to Sarenrae (Inspire Courage). That assumes no more interesting developments happen between now and then.
The speaker counts down to ten, then sighs. 'Very well. You asked for it!" The pirate ship heels sharply toward them, making little white waves dance between the ships. It rushes toward them, and Tatalia can see sailors, vague black outlines, crowding the deck. She casts her spell, asking her deity for help (she feels a tiny pang at using this holy power to defend a guilty smuggler).
Ok, we can go forward in narrative or we can pause until I get home and have time to make a map. Your choice!
We can wait until you get home. Also, it's obviously not going to come up for a bit, but if she and the crew survive the battle expect Tatalia to try and use this as an opportunity to convince the captain and his crew to give up smuggling.
Okay, I logged into Roll20 and now have access to the map. I'll roll initiative. No surprise round for anyone, right?
Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
...Uh, since I'm probably going first, I'll delay my turn until the first enemy swings/whatevers aboard onto the ship. I'm assuming 1 round of bardic performance is already used, and that I've cast Divine Favor and 1 round of that has passed, leaving 9.
OK! Usually how I do these big combats if all the bad guys have one initiative and you (and your allies) have another. Speeds things up. You natural twenty beats them so you go first. Do you give any orders to the NPCs? They might not listen or obey fully, but you are clearly more trained at battle then them, and they know it. Any questions about the map? Seems pretty straightforward!
My understanding is the enemy pretty clearly is about to board, they outnumber us, and they have a wizard, right? They're equipped with melee weapons (right?) and are about to grapple or leap aboard? And Bronwen is probably still out there...
Tatalia will hope that Bronwen (who's smart) will drop down and go for he wizard while the enemy tries to board. She DID think she saw her shape vaguely before.
I hate to slow things down, but I'd love to know a few more details in this case. I have to go to work, so I'll post again tonight, and declare actions then (after I know what all Tatalia can see).
Nevermind, here's what we'll do.
"Back up," Tatalia tells the men behind her. "Back up, steady on, and wait for my signal." She, herself, does not back away, but rather gets into a defensive position where she is.
Total Defense action - song maintained. 2 rounds of Performance and Divine Favor used. I'd like for them to be in charge distance when the enemy grapples/leaps across; unless their ship moves closer, those are DC 20 acrobatics checks OR time spent grappling aboard. And Luek's crew doesn't have ranged weapons.
Correct. Tatalia sees no bows , or worse, guns among the pirates.
The smuggler sailors all back up, cutlasses gripped in white-knuckle hands. Luek doesn't retreat though, staying at her side.
'If you surrender, you may live." The captain says, then lowers his voice. Tatalia can't hear but sees him gesture to his men. They spring into action, a few running tot he rail, two others going over to the robed figure.
The wizard casts a spell, although he is too far for the paladin to even guess what he did. Instantly though the two pirates run across the deck and try to leap the gap.
The gap is 15 feet, so a 15 DC
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 12 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 12 + 4 = 17
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 12 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 12 + 4 = 22
Both of the sailors make it cleanly, brandishing jagged swords.
The other pirates manhandle a large plank and try to throw it across the gap. Soon a rickety wooden bridge connects the two boats, swaying above the waves below.
You can go
Tatalia waves her sword forward and points at the two pirates that leapt across the gap. "Quick! Knock them overboard!" she calls out. "We can win this!" For her part, she rushes forward and slashes at the nearest pirate.
Normal attack bonus +2 from Divine Favor and +1 from Inspire Courage. Not charging. Using Piranha Strike
Longsword: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (12) + 13 = 25
Damage: 1d6 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
I reckon the crewmates can use Charge + Bull Rush to potentially knock some of them into the water and potentially reduce the number of participating combatants. That'd be a+2 from charge and a +1 from the song.
Tatalia's high voice rings out over the shouts of men, the slosh of water and the rattle of swords. Her first blow, powered by not only her skill but with holy light, slays the pirate, sending his head tossing into the dark waters below.
Besides her Luek runs over, sword in hand. He tries to attack the other jumping pirate but his own blade goes wide, the dark and moving ship defeating him.
The other smugglers looks scared but Tatalia's instant kill seems to rally them. One runs up, shouting as he charges.
Bullrush: 1d20 + 4 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 4 + 2 + 1 = 15
He slams into the pirate, and it shakes the man. The enemy teeters on the edge, then a slick of wet wood makes him slip and falls into the water below, cursing as he falls. The other smugglers run up, except one, who simply looks too scared.
Tatalia sees a flicker of on the edge of her vision as a large bat lands and turns back into Tatalia. She looks slightly injured but says, 'They have a wizard aboard and...someone else. I detect some faint magic when I fly by the hull, just above the waves. There is more then meets the eye here."
Bad guys turn
The captain barks some orders and Tatalia notes one pirate heads below, vanishing into the hold. The others rush across the rough board toward the smugglers.
Cutlass rattle as they attack the smugglers.
Cutlass: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
Cutlass: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Only one of the blows hits and it does little damage. Perhaps these pirates aren't so formidable after all.
The pirate wizard takes a step forward and raises his hands. There is a flash of orange light and suddenly Tatalia feels her longsword grows blazing hot in her hand, and glancing down, it is glowing dull orange.
You can roll a Reflex save to drop it (and avoid burning) or hold onto it and take fire damage.
I am a paladin. I will TAKE that fire damage, and heal it with Lay on Hands. Swift action.
Tatalia grips the burning hot hilt all the more tightly as the heat singes her hand. She tries to soothe the scorched hand with healing energy.
Lay on Hands: 2d6 ⇒ (2, 2) = 4
"Alright," she tells Bronwen. "Help our friends. I'll see about the wizard." Hefting her bloody sword up, she dashes along the deck, trying to get past the pirates and to the wizard.
Tatalia provokes an attack of opportunity from both pirates as she goes by. AC 24.
"Keep fighting!" she calls out to the smugglers as she rushes up to the wizard. "Darkness is followed by the Dawn! We will persevere!"
Double move. I provoke from the wizard as well.
Fire Damage: 3d4 ⇒ (1, 1, 3) = 5
Tatalia can feel a sharp burning pain in her hands, burning right through her gloves. The halfling endures it however, clutching tightly. As the heat passes she calls on her god to heal her, which she does, only leaving a tingle and a few blisters.
The paladin sprints past the other pirates heading for the wizard.
AoO: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
AoO: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
The thin cutlasses ring uselessly off her armor as she rushes past. Tatalia darts across the wood planking of the 'bridge' boots hammering on the boards. Soon she is on the pirate ship, and she notes the rolling of the deck is less on the larger vessel. She runs up to the dwarven wizard, noting his long grey beard, the spell of incense about him, and a small rat on his shoulder.
The dwarf doesn't attack her but glares at her, although he eyes her long sword with fear.
Back on the smuggler boat battles continues but with Bronwen's help the pirates look overwhelmed.
Bad Guys turn
The dwarf wizard begins casting a spell, taking care not to let Tatlia attack him with her sword.
Casting Defensively DC 17: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
He takes so much care his spell fizzles though, leaving only a trace of blue light arcing on his fingers, fading.
The captain roars at the wizard, "Undark, get away!"
At his orders the dwarf moves away, and Tatlia gets to attack him.
Roll an AoO at the top of your round
The captain then turns to the paladin, "I don't know who you are or why you have come between me and justice, but I won't allow it. I demand vengeance from that smuggler, in the name of my brother. No one will deny him his rest."
Just as he says it a new, hulking figure comes out on deck. A half-orc of towering size and strength, his grey-green skin is criss-crossed with scars and burns. Rusty chain mail covers his body, overlaid with dirty leather. A long greataxe hangs from his massive fists.
The tusked mouth smiles at her then he yells loudly. "I am Larsk, now you die!"
As he roars, his muscles enlarge, his shoulders growing, lungs working like a bellows. Fully enraged he dashes toward Tatalia. Larsk makes it right up to the paladin, towering over her. Snarling he says, "I snack only...."
You are up
As the wizard tries to slink away, Tatalia jabs at his side with her longsword.
Attack (Piranha Strike, Inspire Courage, Divine Favor (6 rounds remaining): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25
Damage: 1d6 + 12 ⇒ (5) + 12 = 17
Okay, there's my attack of opportunity.
Tatalia begins stepping after the wizard as he flees, focused on bringing him down before he can cast another spell. Even so, she lifts her sword up to parry whatever blow the half-orc may throw at her. "I offer you all this chance to surrender!" she calls to the dwarf. "If this battle continues, your men will die needless!"
She provokes an AoO - BUT I'm going to spend a point of Panache! I will use Dodging Panache as an immediate action when the half-orc attacks, adding +4 to my AC (bringing it to 28).
As she closes with the wizard yet again, the halfling makes a wide, vicious swing at him.
Attack (Piranha Strike/etc): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (19) + 12 = 31
Damage: 1d6 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
Tatalia's blow nearly fells the dwarf, slicing a huge gash up his back. His dark, arcane robes are slick with his own blood, leaving a trial across the deck. The dark flesh goes white and he staggers, leaning again the deck of the ship, breathing hard.
Oops. You went and edited it! Right then! Just so you know non-lethal damage doesn't stack with lethal. Ie, he has one HP left but to knock him out with non-lethal you have to do his full HP in non-lethal.
They don't count together.
Do you still want to hit him non-lethally?