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The sounds of battle filled Queshem's sense. She had been in fights before, on land and at sea but nothing with the fury of this one. The smell of burning powder and charred rigging. The roar of the cannons and screams of dying men. The bright lances of spells and magic, combined with the searing light of the tropical sun. The taste of blood and salt on the racing wind. The feel of the pitching and rolling deck as the two ships bumped and rammed each other.
As battle raged around, Queshem reflected how well the cruise had been going. Headed north out of Sargava, two days from the closest island in the Shackles, Firegrass Isle. Weather had been good, with clear skies and strong winds. Captian Algross had maintained the ship well, with Queshem as first mate.
Then the ship had appeared on the horizon, a fast well armed-sloop, typical for the Shackles. It had used the weather gauge How much do you know about sailing? Ie, does that term mean anything to you? and cut them off. Instead of running Algross had raised the battle flags and engaged.
Now the ship, the Second Wind was in the fight of her life, with the two ships lashed together by ropes and debries, with both crews fighting on all decks. Cannons thundering, spells sizzling, it was touch and go.
Algross, feet spread wide on the quarterdeck, turned his weathered stern face to Queshem and she thought she caught a glint of a smile, under the well-kept beard. 'I think we have them. All we have to do is..” A boom of cannonfire and suddenly the Captain is gone in a shower of blood and wood splinters.
Queshem was in command.
Do you want a map? It is a tricky environment to map due to t he dynamic nature of a battle at sea
Fine with both play by ear and maps. I googled the term and have a sense of what it means now :). Think I can get by with that.
Queshem threw an arm up to shield herself from the gore and debris that marked Algross' passing. This was bad. Worse than anything she'd been in, except for the raid on her childhood home that had torn her family from her decades ago.
Think, woman! Queshem raged at herself as she got a grip on herself, she wasn't a frightened young girl anymore and everything, at this moment, turned on her. The Captain wanted to fight, to close with the bastards, he thought we had them... all we had to do was...? Abadar grant me savvy!
Queshem grabbed a rope and steadied herself and in a momentary pocket of calm shouted out Those bastards blew the Captain up! First Mate taking command! I say we board those blighters and pay them back ten fold for what they did! Helmsman! Turn into the bleeders! Everyone else who can hear, TO ME! TIME TO SETTLE ACCOUNTS!
Per:Oratory: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
Orders given, Queshem draws her crossbow and starts moving towards the attackers, and looks around to see who's coming with her.
Queshem's voice cuts above the violence like a seabird above the wind. All eyes turn to her, despite the carnage below.
"To the Mate!" they cry, not knowing or understand that Queshem is the Captain now. Cutlasses raised, they pour over the rail tot he other ship, taking the violence to the pirates.
Queshem scans the deck, picking out those she knows.
There is Polos, fighting like a devil with a hulking half-orc pirate, almost falling into the water between the two struggling vessels.
Leading the charge is Magner, the official Sea Dragon officer here. Never caring for Queshem, he was a druid of some creed or other, and the inquisitor wondered where his octopus companion was. Magner wouldn't take to Queshem's Captianship well but for now he was fighting hard.
Professor Draflo was nowhere to be seen, rightly. She was probably down below, helping the wounded and the dying. She was no doctor, but she had some skill and knowledge of the human body and a cool temperament.
Ok, up to you. Other questions?
Queshem moves and vaults into the other ship. Screened by the marines of her own side and with her crossbow at the ready, she first calls upon the aid of The Master of the First Vault
Deeper in! Put their backs to the sea! she urges as the blessing washes over her own.
Then she scans to see what kind of crew they're actually fighting on the decks.
Per Demographic of pirate crew: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
The pirate crew is a bit smaller then Queshem's 60 sailors, probably 50 or so hungry, rangy pirates. They look to be a battered and desperate lot, probably why they ventured to attack the Second Wind, a ship obviously crewed and manned for battle.
Most of them seem to Garundi, but there is a sprinkling of all humanoids. Most are humans, with the odd half-orc, hulking and huge standing out. She spots no other beings. The inquisitor spies the Captain, a wild-looking Linnorm woman built like an ox, waving a battle axe, blonde braids flying in her fury.
If Queshem sees any spellcasters then that's where she focuses her attack. Otherwise she fires at the half orc fighting Polos.
Before she does so though she invokes the judgement of her god.
Abadar chain the lot of you and sink you into the brine!
SA: Judgment of Destruction
Blessed, Judgement Xbow: 1d20 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 8 + 1 = 261d10 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 + 1 = 8
She then reloads her crossbow with incredible speed.
Nice roll. Having fun with the pirate speak?
Queshem's bolt flies through air and slams into the half-orc, making even his bulk pause for a moment in pain and confusion. In that brief instant Polos strikes, knocking the half-orc into the water. He waves at Queshem before launching himself back in the fray.
Suddenly, from below deck, a torch bearing man appears. The torch crackles a sickening green, some kind of magic. Sprinting it runs right at Queshem, waving it at her, and obviously trying to get to the Second Wind behind her.
He is 20 feet away
She's not going to descend to Yarr! and Matey!. Also I'm going to be very sad at her first bad roll :(.
Stop the man with the Green Torch! Queshem shouts out the order as she imbues her crossbow with a Bane against humans and fires.
Blessed, Bane, Judgement: 1d20 + 8 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 8 + 1 + 2 = 311d10 + 1 + 1 + 2d6 ⇒ (6) + 1 + 1 + (2, 2) = 12
Crit: 1d20 + 8 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 8 + 1 + 2 = 271d10 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 + 1 = 6
I'm always confused about what gets multiplied on a crit, I added the judgement again but not the bane.
She reloads again.
Queshem raises the crossbow and aims with easy accuracy despite the rolling deck. The bolt slams into the torch holding man's forehead and kills him instantly.
Nice roll! The dice are hot.
The torch rolls to deck and starts to catch the pirate ship aflame, charring the deck. Queshem knows the danger an open, magical flame can provide on a sailing ship.
The rival Captain, roaring, starts to head toward Quesham, shouting challenges in some strange foreign tongue.
Biting back a curse at the suicidal actions of the opposing Captain Queshem shouts in Common at the crew of The Second Wind and at the Pirates too using the most reasonable tone she can muster considering the circumstances.
Using Blessed Correction Ability
For the sake of your own skins pick up the damn torch and toss it into the sea! NOW!
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (1) + 14 = 15
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (3) + 14 = 17
Using second roll
Then she casts Tongues and starts talking to the Pirate Captain in her own strange language.
Using Blessed Correction again
You gambled and lost. Your ship is ours that's for certain. Yield and I'll take you for ransom and let your crew go. Don't and the slaughter will continue. Your choice.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (19) + 14 = 33
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (6) + 14 = 20
Using the first roll!
One of the pirates picks up the flaming torch, but one of Queshem's fighters cuts him down and the torch rolls back onto deck, flames dancing an evil green.
Queshem feels her mouth forming the strange Ulfen words. The Captain looks at her, puzzled. She pauses her rampage though and says, 'Ransom? From who? I am no Great lady with an estate. This boat is my life and without it, not worth living."
Battle is chaos. Queshem remembers one of her instructors at the temple telling her We get through it and try to bring order in the aftermath.
Deciding that if she wants things done right she should do them herself Queshem tries to avoid blows as she dives in to pick up the torch herself.
Acrobatics to avoid AOO: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
In any case she responds to the fair haired... barbarian? captain
Can't promise you anything about your own life then, but if you really care about your bloody boat so much then yield and I can promise that it won't burn to ash or be scuppered. What do you say?
Lore:Pirates do I know this person?: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
If Queshem finds herself in a spot that's not threatened by anybody she casts Divine Favor on herself.
Queshem nimbly dodges in and picks up the sputtering torch. The battle rages around her, but she focuses on the rival Captain. Queshem doesn't recognize her, but the Shackles contain many petty pirates barely making ends meet.
At Queshem's words the woman stares, then charges. 'Never!" For all her bold words though, several of her hungry, starving crew are surrendering. It is only the sight of the fighting Captain keeping their morale up at all.
Captain attack!: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Her blow lands, the axe flying like a blur.
Damage: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Queshem's blood splashes the deck, mixing with that of so many others. Polos is running up, sprinting through the fitful fighting.
Shouting in pain Queshem stumbles back and lets the torch drop from her fingers overboard. In the bit of distance she brings the crossbow up, aims, and with the wrath of her god with her, fires.
5 foot step back, free action drop torch, swift action add bane, standard action attack
Blessed, Bane, Judgement, Divine Favour, Point Blank Shot: 1d20 + 8 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 8 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 = 241d10 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 2d6 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 + 1 + 2 + (6, 5) + 2 + 1 = 28
Uh... let me know if I'm getting any of the bonuses wrong, I think they're alright though
Queshme's bolt sizzles through the air, pushed by the fevered prayers of Abadar's servant. It strikes the Captain so hard it knocks her overboard and she falls, unmoving, into the water below. She sinks instantly, weighed down by a heavy mail coat.
Around her the half-hearted fighting slows, then stops as the pirates surrender en masse.
Polos runs up, panting. he has a few cuts but nothing serious. 'Now..now what?" He waves a hand at the pirates, lean and hungry. The pirate ship is damaged but not badly and is still perfectly mobile.
Pushing through her pain Queshem raises her unloaded crossbow in the air and shouts That one was for the Captain! then lowers it with a grunt as the wicked slash on her side causes discomfort. Polos. Get some of our marines to take the wounded below-decks and have 'em looked at, ours and theirs both. Get some others to strip this lot of their weapons and armor, but leave them their dignity and have 'em shackled, but don't be too rough. First Mate's orders. She leans back When that's done pass the word to gather on the deck of The Second Wind. We've got business to take care of.
As First Mate she's given orders before and they've been carried out competently and efficiently enough. Of course those times had been on calm waters when Algross was resting. It was a bit of a different situation now but she had confidence in Polos. He was loyal to her and, as far as she knew, was well-regarded with the other sailors.
She vaults back onto her own ship with a wince and heads towards the Captain quarters. She had a letter to write.
"Aye, aye!" Polos says, and sets off to order things. A smart capable man, he has a solid reputation from the crew. Soon he is taking care of the many captives and ordering the loot taken.
Even as Queshem walks back to the Second Wind she hears tell of some ship stores like tar and pitch that will help her supplies although there is little to no food on board. A lot of hungry mouths to feed.
The Captain's quarters are neat and tidy, just like Algoss always kept them. A map and sextant lie on the table, as if he was about to come back and help plot the course.
On the deck she hears the sailors slowly start to gather. Magner is at the rail talking, in fevered gestures to a group of older sailors. Draflo is still nowhere to be seen.
I regret to inform you of the untimely death of Captain Algoss of The Second Wind in combat with pirates on this date two days distant from Firegrass Isle. He died of cannon fire while commanding the ship and as such I am also saddened to report that it is not possible to recover a body.
I, First Mate Queshem of the Bonuwats, have taken charge of the ship. The pirate vessel that attacked us has been subdued and taken. The pirate captain who ordered the assault has met justice for her actions in the struggle. I plan to continue the Captain's mission to the best of my ability
Queshem signs and dates the letter and seals it with the Captains sigil. She would have liked to write more but there is no time, especially with Magner starting his blather on deck. She had no idea why the druid had taken a disliking to her but there had to be no confusion over who was in charge now. She allows herself a moment to sob though. The Captain had been a kind and generous mentor and she regretted that she wouldn't have more time to learn from the old master.
Pulling herself together she stands up and pulls her chain shirt back in position grimacing at the pain from her side. She decides to leave the wound untreated for a little while longer. It was an impressive thing after all and she needed to be impressive at the moment.
She strides out of the captain decks and looks around. Not seeing anything amiss she walks to the wheel so that everyone can see her.
The Captain's dead. Taken by cannon fire She begins bluntly The old sea dog died doing what he lived and knowing his luck probably got blown right over the River of Souls to land on Pharasma's very throne and not have to wait in line like the rest of us will have to when our time comes
She pauses and looks around to gauge the reaction.
By the laws of sea and sail, as First Mate, I'm taking over The Second Wind. Other than that errant cannonball that did the Captain in. We've done well. The blighted failure of a pirate who ordered us attacked is resting at the bottom of the sea and we've taken the ship intact. Queshem takes a deep breath By Lock and Key and Ship and Sail I'd rather have Algoss giving this speech rather than me but it is what it is, Any questions?
Perform Oratory: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
Sense Motive General: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13
Sense Motive Magner: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24
Nice speech. I accidentally made Draflo a woman above. Do you mind if I keep it that way?
Queshem's voice rings out over the rocking waves, the cries of the seagulls and the groans of the wounded below-decks. She spots Draflo appears, poking her half-elven head to hear more clearly.
The crew takes her words without much reaction, and it is usual custom for the First mate, if well-liked to assume command. It is not a hard and fast rule however, particularity among the Sea Dragons who tend to be guided more by on-shore authority.
A ragged cheer for the Captain starts then Magner cuts in, "I challenge your claim."
Sailors turn to him, some in favor others not. More seem to favor Queshem but not a huge majority.
"I signed up to fight for Captain Algoss, not you. I think the crew should decide, as is custom in many seas! Our mission is best suited by a commander who has the trust and support of every man and woman afloat, not someone who took the sigil from a dead man."
Varied grumbling rumbles through the crowd.
'I agree!" Tound, one of the more talented helmsmans says. Queshem hardly knows the stocky, black-haired man but he is respected by the crew and kept the ship safe during the battle.
Thanks, I'm fine with Draflo being a woman. I'd also like to say that I'm really enjoying the game so far. How do you find the time to run so many games??
Queshem nods arms crossed. If that's the will of the crew then so be it. Of course this is all for interim command until we hear back from The Sea Dragons. Are there any claimants for provisional Captain other than Magner and myself?
I love it. I'm a writer at heart, this is the best outlet I have ever found. You are allowing a vote? Bold.
Sailors shift about then Draflo comes up on deck, her high voice cutting above. "Who gets to vote?"
'Everyone!" Magner says, nodding firmly. Most of the other sailors nod, if hesitantly.
'Do you intend to have the newly recruited pirates vote, First mate Queshem? Surely, if they are going to sail under you, they should have a vote too? At least the ones joining us?"
This sends a wave of confusion through the seamen. Draflo is respected but vaguely distrusted as being so learned.
Magner frowns, "You are recruiting from this scum?" he says. He is one of the more dedicated Abadar men on the ship, unlike the rest who are infrequent worshipers at best (and there are more then a few Besemara followers aboard).
Scum? Manger? Where exactly do you see scum? Queshem says striding forward I see men and women who fought brave and hard just like us. Who followed the orders of their Captain with loyalty just as we did. The only real difference I see is that we were blessed with the leadership of Captain Algoss while they had rough times under one not nearly as competent. Would I recruit from these men and women? Yes I would as The Judge of the Gods has seen fit to grant me a few of his blessings and I trust in his guidance.
Now standing in the middle of the prisoners Queshem drops a Zone of Truth spell that washes over all of them and catches a few of the crew of The Second Wind as well. Now answer me Pirates, as the Master of the Vault urges you towards Truth. If Recruited into the crew of this ship would you serve her loyally as well as her new Captain?
Queshem strides away from the chorus of Yeses and the few ragged Nos as the divine spell compels them to either silence or the truth. She comes to a step facing Magner.
That you would not is concerning Magner. Look at where we be. One ship of the Sea Dragons in the vastness of The Shackles. We are not here as some conquering force. We are here to build alliances and convince the people of The Shackles to try a different way. Could you do this with your disdain of the people here? These are dangerous waters and the sea is harsh at the best of times. We will have attrition and we will need to replenish our numbers for our own strength and protection. Could you do that from people that you see as... scum? I for one do not care what someone's faith be. I care they be loyal and able.
She looks from Magner to Tound and the older sailors who seem to be clustered near him I am young in years it's true, but I am not young in experience, my father was a fisherman in these waters, my mother was a merchant devoted to Abadar, and I spent my early years floating through here as a refugee after raiding pirates destroyed the town where I lived on my way to Absalom. I know the sea as well as any man or woman on board and I had the trust of Captain Algoss as First Mate. It is true that I assumed command upon his death as is the duty of First Mate But in that time I led the push onto the attacking vessel. I saved not only The Second Wind from the enemy's ploy of using magical flame but their own ship as well. Then I was the one who brought the fighting to a quick end by defeating the enemy captain in single combat. With one bolt right between 'er eyes. She thumps the crossbow hanging next to her for emphasis. She gave me a souvenir before I did though, true enough she says with a rueful grin while glancing at her wound, still fresh and slowly bleeding into her clothes.
She locks gazes with Magner again
So yes Magner, I am recruiting from this scum, and the ones who said they'd be loyal will get to vote. So let us vote. All in favour of me. Say AYE
Using Third Blessed Correction
Perform:Ora: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
Perform:Ora: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
Lot's of nines! I bet that's Abadar's holy number!
There is a moment of still silence after Queshem's passionate speech. It hangs in the salty air, met only with the splash of the waves and the creak of the floating timber.
Then a chorus of 'Aye!" reaches her ears from all over the deck. Polos is roaring at the top of his lungs, leading the cheer. Most of the sailors join him, raising bloody swords or fists into the air.
She can see Magner and a few old salts mouthing 'no' but it is drowned out by the rancorous cries. She notes a few more not saying anything and Tound is one of these, but he nods toward Queshem genially enough.
Draflo's 'Yes' is a non-nautical sign of her presence, but no less heartfelt. Only a few of the pirates have the nerve to join but they all say 'Yes' to a man.
After the first cries die down, shouts of "'For Capt'n Queshem!" starts up and last long enough to make the inquisitor's ears ring.
Queshem has overcome her first challenge. Now what?
Then let's get on with things! Queshem says with satisfaction. First order of business is I'll need a First Mate and I cannot think of anyone better than Magner. Second, Polo, gather up a few of your mates and question the new lot. They're still compelled to be true and Alls I care about is they'll be loyal and follow orders. Unshackle the ones who say they will and welcome them to the crew as you will. The ones who won't speak or say No. Well we'll drop 'em off at the closest bit of land with a coconut tree on it and they can find their own way from there. I'll not have disloyalty and mutiny on my ship. Tound have the supplies on the pirate vessel gathered up on the deck and we'll see if there's anything worth salvaging from that poor boat. Professor, back to the sickbay if you would please, I'll come by presently to see how the wounded are faring.
Queshem pauses for a beat to look at everyone staring at her Well.. hop to it she says and, after the flurry of activity starts walks back to the Captain's quarter and collapses on the seat.
After a moment she casts Cure Light Wounds on herself to at least staunch the bleeding a bit.
CLW: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
And breaks the seal on the letter to continue.
First Office Magner contested Captaincy of The Second Wind. The matter was put to a vote and I was acclaimed. Have appointed him as new First-Mate. Trust this settles the matter.
Then she searchers around the quarter to try and get a sense of what Algoss had been planning.
The sailors spring into action at Queshem's words. Magner looks a little dumbstruck, but he is soon working with a will to inspect the pirate vessel. Queshem can see his octopus companion in the water, looking for damage and rot below the waves.
It does her good to see a quick and lively crew leap into action. She'd have to be sure the new recruits could pull their share.
Nice roll! The dice are hot
Queshem, after 'fixing' her letters go through Algoss's logs and charts. It gives her very little to go on. A course is plotted to Firegrass Isle, a hotbed of anti-Sargavan pirates (and anti-Pirate Council). Small and rather unimportant, the only settlement of Goatshead has a sparse 500 people living on it, but they cling to their 'freedom' strongly.
Algoss has no notes why he had a course plotted there. In fainter ink is a course plotted to Tidewater Rock, a famous and isolated tower, built to shelter a small lagoon on Windward Island.
Please download this map. it is large and easy to read, and of course totally legal! FREE MAP
Queshem leans back while the healing magic works wonderfully to completely heal up her wound. Then murmuring a heartfelt prayer of thanks to Abadar she gets up and heads out, nodding to whoever looks at her as she goes belowdecks. She walks up to Draflo, stepping around the wounded. Thanks for the idea up there Prof. Was going to recruit them anyway but didn't think of doing it afore the vote. How are things looking here?
'Better then it could be, Captain.' Draflo's accent reflects her rather posh Absalom upbringing but Queshem has never heard the half-elf complain about the hardships of life at sea. Right now the professor looks tired and her arms are stained with blood up to her armpits.
'We have five dead and one on the edge." She shakes her head, 'About the same for the pirates, but there might be more over there. I have had my hands full down here." Behind her a few of the youngest powder monkeys and boys scutter around, changing bandages, stopping bleeding, checking wounds. The groans of wounded men, the sharp intake of pained breath, the quiet murmur of healing men. None of it was new to Queshem, but it never got easier.
'Spells fixed up most of them, but we had a few crushed hands or feet and the like. Nasty business." Draflo shrugs, 'So, where next, Captain?" This time the title feels like a weight, heavy on Queshem's shoulders, like someone just dropped the ship's anchor on her.
Queshem blinks a bit at the title. She'd always dreamed of commanding her own ship of course. If things had gone as expected it would have been a few years off though. The chaos that had flung her into command was exactly what she was wanted to work against. People shouldn't be taken before their time. Familes shouldn't be split apart. It happened far too much in The Shackles.
Depends on what the other ship had. We've got extra crew to take care of now. Means we need more stores. Let me see to that now. We'll talk later, yeah? Queshem leans down and casts a spell on the almost dead crewperson before heading back upstairs.
Cure Light Wounds: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Upstairs Queshem finds Polos What's the word on the new ones? How many turned out trustworthy and how many are we going to be leaving stranded?
Queshem's spell helps, but there are deeper issues that sometimes magic cannot solve so well. Draflo nods in appreciation however.
Polos is standing, arms akimbo in front of the mass of former pirates. 'Almost all have signed up, Capt'n. Not all of them are perfectly honest, but who is? Fort or so willing souls. Where are we going to put them all?"
Magner appears, dripping wet with seawater. 'The other ship is fairly sound, Capt'n." He pauses then says, 'Have you considered taking her as a prize and staffing her with our own crew? We'd have a pair of ships then. She might be undergunned, compared to the Second Wind but we can change that at a willing port."
What were her stores like Magner? I heard they had tar and pitch but anything else?
Magner shrugs, "Not much food, not much at all. They are mostly down to rats and grubs over there. But it is only two days till Firegrass, if I recall. Surely we can supply her there?"
The new First Mate stretches, shaking off drops of saltwater. 'Tound says the supplies are quite new, probably raided off a Chelish ship. Could be useful for us, if we need to fix any issues. Luckily the battle didn't do much damage."
We're not runnin' low on supplies at the moment, even with being up nearly fourty souls. Yes, let's take her as a prize. She gives Magner an appraising look Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18 and then looks around the deck. We'll have to get 'er a crew. What would you suggest? she asks the druid.
In any case let's head to Firegrass Isle. Show the flag to the folks there and make our repairs
Magner ponders the pirate vessel, obviously looking at the rigging and sails.
'How about Tound? He certainly has the skill to keep her afloat, and the men respect him. If we arm our lads enough, they can keep any pirates we assign over thee in line. just careful they can't mutiny and take her over. We have to give them time to adjust and not tempt them." A beat then, 'Capt'n.'
Polos adds, 'I'll sail on her, keep the new men in line. We can ride them hard, get them used to discipline on a real vessel. Make sure they don't break. A good two days cruise might be just what we need.'
Make it so. Queshem says. We'll keep a good mix of all kinds on both ships and keep rotating crews. She walks over to Tound and slaps him on the back Congratulations Tound, you just got promoted. Try not to sink her too fast.
Later she thinks to herself Make it So? Where did that come from?
I love TNG
The crews hop into action, following Queshem's orders. Tound looks pleased with his new command and soon as the pirates hopping to the work, with a shout and a curse. He is a good man though and will hesitate to use the lash unless it is needed.
Magner adds, 'What shall we call her? The current name the Blonde Braid doesn't really fit anymore."
Anything else or shall we get this ship under sail?
I like The Deadly Bolt myself Queshem grins Now let's get a move on!
Good to go. Queshem will use up heal spells at the end of the day to help out. She'll also drop by Draflo and ask about Firegrass Isle
The next two days are a proving ground for Queshem's leadership and that of her shifted crews. While the weather is good and the seas calm, she still has to push herself to direct two ships and to rotate crews.
Queshem prof. Sailor: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17
Still she is up to the task, and there are no injuries or mishaps. The pirates soon settle in as sailors, although most seem to assume they'll still be pirates, just of other buccaneers instead of Chelish and Sargavan vessels.
In the evenings Draflo meets with Queshem, trying to explain Firegrass Island, a tough place with rough edges. The island itself is small, rocky with little fresh water and covered only with dry grass.
Small, but vigorously independent, it is currently 'run' by three rouge pirates, who refuse to honor any Code or any treaty. The three are Sweet Wilhelm Poore of the Red Courage, Bent-Beak Charney of the Bold Folly and Dancing Darla Madile of the Besmara's Wink. Of the three human Madile is the brains of the operation and a devout worshiper of Besmara. But all three jealously guard their independent fiefdom, on deck and on land.
What else do you want to know?
You seem to be settling into the sailor life well. Queshem says Shackles and Sargava everything you expected?
"A ship is a ship." Draflo says, "We haven't really explored it yet. I expect to be surprised and revolted many times before we are done." The half-elf says, looking out the round porthole at the waves, heavy in the darkness.
'What about you being the Captain? Needless to say, anything you need, name it."
Didn't expect, or want, it to happen how it did in truth. Queshem says with a sigh I wonder what by the First Vault Algoss wanted out of these freebooters. Any ways glad to have you aboard, you're an asset right enough
Ready to move on
The day dawns bright and clear. Abadar, or perhaps Besmara, smiles on the Second Wind and the Deadly Bolt. A freshening breeze comes out of the south, allowing them to head directly for their destination.
"Land Ho!" shouts the man from the crow's nest. And soon all can see it, the tiny bit of rock called Firegrass Isle. It lives up tot he name, being covered with rough, dry grass.
As they approach they see the small town of Goatshead, the only residences on the island. A few warehouses, some docks, houses, and a large tavern. In the lagoon only one ship rests at anchor, a match for the Second Wind.
Guided Lore:Pirates to see if ship is recognized: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Bring us in. Queshem calls out. Let's see if someone comes out to meet us.
Coming up close, Queshem can see it is the Besmara Winks, Madile's ship. It looks in good order, with newly painted gunnels and patched sails. A proud flag, a goat's head on red, flies from the bowsprit.
Both of Queshem's ship come into harbor, and tie up at the empty docks. No one comes to greet them, or even offer to sell goods, a rare thing.
What flag are you flying, btw?
Drop Anchors and keep a sharp eye out. Magner, Draflo let's go down and see why we got such a poor welcome. Send for Polos as well. Something's not quite as it should be.
A golden key on a field of silver
The sailors obey orders and ready the ships for a stay (but ready to leave quickly). Magner, Draflo and Polos march down the dock to the small town.
Queshem Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22
They have a feeling they are watched but no one stirs, not a child, not an old man on a porch, or even fisherman heading out to the bay.
Then, from the shadows of a alley comes a female voice, 'That is far enough, judges. We have bows and crossbows on you. Now, just get back on your ship and sail away. We don't want trouble."
Now this is a poor show. I heard so much of the free men and women of Firegrass isle and all I find is are hidden voices. I thought you folk were fond of trouble going up against both Sargava and The Free Captains?
"Aye, but not when Abadar himself hoves into port with two ships rigged for war." The female voice says then, after a pause steps intot he light.
It is, indeed, Darla Madile, thin and attractive. Short cropped black hair and a colorful jacket smooth the edge of the flachion at her side.
"We aren't cowards, but we aren't stupid either. I have 150 armed men at my back, and many of them trained on you right now, lass." She waves a arm toward the sea, "Sail back to the bank you crawled out of."
Well now we can't really unrig our canons before coming in to pay a visit now can we? They ain't hats we can doff before coming inside. Now I don't know what old Algoss wanted to see you all about but what I would like is to introduce ourselves before we start operating in your neighborhood. I'm Queshem and I aim to make The Shackles safe for trade. Now I don't think I'm going to convince you how lucrative it would be to have dozens of trading ships coming through and paying a fair toll for the privilege but I do think it's easy to see that we got adversaries in common. Those who meet in Besmara's Throne.
Queshem says this all easily.
And afore you think of ending our lives in hails of arrow and bolt I don't think I need to remind you that there are two full crews right next to your pride and joy that won't take kindly to our deaths. Don't take an Abadaran to know that four lives in exchange for Besmara Winks going up in flames is a poorly trade for all concerned.
Blessed Correction Diplo: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (15) + 14 = 29
Blessed Correction Diplo: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (20) + 14 = 34
Uh.. Using second roll please!
"Oh, aye." Madile says, eyeing Queshem, "I have enemies on the Council, sure as the tide. But we here don't hold with no tolls or privileges for trading vessels. We hold to Besmara, the true way." A ragged shout follows her, but Madile looks crafty and her eyes wide.
'Now, threatening a woman's ship? That is something to save for the second date." She says, taking two steps closer. Queshem feels Polos tense besides her.
The pirate laughs and says, "But all right. I am curious why a Abadaran sailed here, of all places in the Shackles. Say your piece, I'll give you that."
She places her hands on her hips and listens.
As I'm sure you know, content means more then rolls. She is a tough crowd.
Queshem crosses her arms and squints out over Madile's shoulder to the land and sea beyond as she frowns.
You lot don't like the bargain The Council has struck with Sargava. Well I don't either though our reasons differ. Things go according to plan I'm going to be making a lot of enemies of my own in the Free Captains. I may not be turning into your best friend anytime soon but I don't see any reason why I can't be a good enemy of your enemy and the same for you to me. Cooperation on our mutual interests is good for all here.
Queshem's serious expression turns back into a grin as she shifts her gaze back to Darla Don't tell me you wouldn't be willing to help out someone aiming to give the Council the biggest headache of their lives!