As he bowed with added courtesy and an accepting smile to the Captain, Arion considered the possibilities.
He laughed to himself, Some adventures might be worth the price of a pirate's piked prosthesis. Now, to the adventure at hand.
Shifting focus upon the report, Arion applauded Lureene openly while saying, "What capacity for memory angels exhibit. Fortuitous that their eidolons notice such details. Let us share with the others, shall w...?"...but his power to speak was blown away by waves of ecstasy radiating from the haloed star in feminine form.
When Lureene replied to Captain Fingel, Arion was shaken from the spell and was stirred back to his senses. While attempting to find elsewhere to gaze, other than upon Lureene, he cleared his throat and called out to the others.
"Amelia, Amhranai, Darvesch, important updates arrived, if You please."
To Amelia and Darvesch, Arion explained, "If You will recall, You discovered in the harbor records this scow's cargo."
He faced the others and continued, "The rice seems accounted for by our scouts but one more crate has sneaked by customs, unpaid for it seems. Otherwise, unless our prey is invisible, Sasha and Grak did not find them topside. Captain Fingel plans to bring the other crew aboard, where we might investigate them here or search their ship. I will be boarding the Sprite soon. I can see those who are invisible and wish to join Sasha in her search. A closer inspection of the additional crate might reveal vital information."
He pondered Arion's report for a moment before answering, "I do recall. I would very much like to know what's in that extra crate. How long before we board the Sprite?"
He thinks a moment, "I find it odd that any vessel would have a passenger get on board, with records of such, and not get to its destination with that passenger. Though the crate is suspicious, and we will find out what is in it, I want to be sure that he may not be hiding elsewhere."
Lureene nodded in satisfaction, as much due to his reaction to her look as to the reply he gave to her report.
"That is a good plan, Arion. I will instruct Grak to search the cargo hold to make sure our quarry is not cloaked by magic." She nodded in agreement to Darvesch before adding, "We must be careful here so as to prevent him from slipping away."
Grak paused for a moment as he telepathically questioned his mistress for additional instructions. Once they have been received, he flicked his long tongue over Sasha's hand to get her attention. As the redhead leaned closer Grak hissed as softly as he could so as to prevent anyone else from hearing him.
"Misssstress says to look at crate. I will sssseek out our prey." Once Sasha has acknowledged him, he crawled silently towards the bow of the ship, tongue flicking in and out searching for their quarry.
Move to bow of ship ending in M16. Grak does have Scent as well.
Stealth 1d20 + 19 + 20 ⇒ (3) + 19 + 20 = 42 invisible
"Ah, so at least You and I are in the boarding party," Arion answered, nodding to Darvesch.
Pivoting to watch their progress, he said, "Another minute and we will be alongside them. I had considered flying around to an unattended area of their ship, or hovering overhead, increasing our perspectives. But now I think the direct approach of a Dwarf would be my better option. We need not even explain ourselves to anyone. Yes, let us cross over to the Sprite at once and see what we provoke."
Look at the crate? Guess Ellie wants me to check 'em out.
Cupping a hand by her mouth where she felt the tickle of Grak's tongue, she whispered "gotcha" as quietly as possible. She then turned to inspect the crates, mindful of the footfalls on the deck overhead. Twisting and turning her head for a look around, she counted quietly to herself.
One, two, three, four, five... Silverhound, Silverhound, Silverhound, Silverhound... Hmm, can't see the side of the back one from here, gotta move...
Perception 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21
Stealth 1d20 + 20 + 20 ⇒ (6) + 20 + 20 = 46
As Grak moved, many scents were apparent to him. The oiled steel of the plow blades, the milled timber and straw padding of the crates, the pitch used to seal the rice barrels, and even the scent of a few rats that had made their home in the vessel. There were the odors of the crewmen and Sasha as well. Yet as he moved closer to the bow, there was one smell in particular that began to grow fainter. It smelled like a man's sweat and it was coming from further back in the hold — the new smells of the plows and of Sasha's strawberry perfume must have masked it from him initially.
Slithering noiselessly past the last of the barrels to the base of the forward mast, the scent had all but disappeared. Eyes scanning the darkness ahead, it was apparent that nothing was stored against the slope of the hull's prow, just ropes and other gear hung from the beams or stashed in shallow cubbyholes too small for even Gelik to fit in. If that was indeed a man he had smelled, they were certainly further towards the back.
"Alright lads and lasses," Këowyn shouted, "ready yourselves for a boarding action at starboard. I want a spirited show but orderly. Our guests will be conducting investigations so aid their efforts as they direct. Any man who gets too carried away with our ruse will answer to me!"
Note: The Avenger will be alongside The Swollen Sprite at the start of Round 320. If you intend to cast any buffs or take any other last-minute actions, now's the time.
Arion invited Lureene to join him in moving into position, to cross over to the captured scow.
"I intend to join our Dwarven ally aboard the other ship, even before any are brought aboard this ship. I will drive directly to Sasha's location, if You know where she might be. Are there further developments over there?"
As he spoke, the wizard stepped back and activated the divination for himself, to See Invisibility.
Lureene's eyes glazed over as Grak delivered his message. She turned to grab the rest of the party's attention, eyes focused on Arion. "Grak found someone hiding in the cargo hold. I also suspect he is using magic to conceal his presence. I suggest when we ALL board the Sprite, we concentrate our efforts there." Realizing her protection spell had expired, she quickly chanted the incantation again.
Cast Mage Armor on herself.
She relayed a message back to Grak. "I want you to cover the hatch to the hole and make sure he doesn't try to sneak out of there. We have him trapped and we just need to tighten the noose around him."
Why does this scenario affect my heart as if I were a youngling again, hearing ghost tales of the ancient Elven Homeland? Perhaps the black waters in the night, the creaking of the ships, the chill breeze I had not felt for some while...talk of were-creatures and pirates...
Arion took a deep breath and replied to Lureene, "My Dear, is Sasha near Grak? Also, let us consider the possibility that our target has disguised themself as one of the crew. Still, I for one am with You, if Grak found someone hiding, I at least should investigate. Good work."
Wasting no time, Grak moved back to where he had first entered the hold, climbing back atop on of the crates before looking at the heavy wooden grate silhouetted against Brightpool.
"Missstressss, Grak thinksss the hatch weighsss too much for usss to cover the hole..."
Sniffing the air as he awaited Lureene's response, the serpentine eidolon sniffed the air. The scent of Sasha and the sweaty man were about the same distance away, both towards the stern.
g 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (13) + 18 = 31
S 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
g 1d20 + 14 + 5 + 20 ⇒ (6) + 14 + 5 + 20 = 45 small, invis
S 1d20 + 20 + 20 ⇒ (14) + 20 + 20 = 54 invis
Theme: Prohibited Cargo
Although none could see it, Sasha frowned, squinting in the darkness.
Sliverhound? I thought they said– wait, they do say Silverhound. Did they mess up? It's so dark down here...
Leaning closer, the huntress cupped her left hand, shining a bit of light on the side of the crate for a better look. It was only then that something peculiar caught her eye — a tiny moth that had spotted the light just flew clear thru the crate to flutter frantically about her hand.
Hesitantly, the redhead stuck her hand out only to feel it push thru the side of the crate and encounter something warm that started at her touch. Even as she went wide-eyed as her gaze pierced the illusion, there was no mistaking the form of a man sitting there before her eyes, even though Grak could see nothing of the sort.
Well I'll be damned!
S 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
? 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
The caramel-skinned man, his head clean-shaven, gave a start at the unexpected sensation, and quickly made to dive in the opposite direction, but Sasha was the faster.
"Oh no you don't!" she hissed, her invisibility fading as she pulled the man's leg out from under him, sending him chin-first to the deck. Hurriedly, she attempted to grab him, before he could shout, yet she came up empty handed, just missing as she stumbled on something hard and round that rolled out from the illusory crate.
Grapple DC 26-3-4 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (4) + 14 = 18
"DAMMIT ARION!" He cursed. "Impatient little ba.." He started to curse. "Can someone go after him?!"
"Everyone can fly! What the hell?!!" He yelled in his head.
Darvesch will cast Righteous Vigor, Flames of the Faithful, and Divine Favor when the ship is close enough that he can cast them, then board the ship.
"Darv!" Lureene gave the upset dwarf a wide look of surprise on her lovely face. "That is no way to talk about my friend!" He can tell there is just a hint of annoyance at the remark.
He may be a bastard, but he is MY bastard!
She nodded in thanks to Amelia for her spellcasting. "Darv, we need to hurry to the Sprite. Could you fly with—?" As the dwarf took off without waiting, Lureene made sure her staff was secured and fingered a scroll on her pouch before launching herself into the air after the fleet dwarf, born aloft on golden wings with her halo glowing in the evening moonlight!
Fly to the Sprite; Move is 30'
Annoyed that she missed her chance, Sasha lunged, attempting to grab the man her best friend had presumed to be a spellcaster. But he twisted away from her and somehow even avoided her second effort.
"Slippery bastard," she hissed.
Gritting his teeth at the close-call, the half-Dafari man, quickly and carefully wove a spell, shouting, "STOP!" as he did so.
Even as Sasha was about to scoff at what anyone else might have taken for a plea, panic gripped her as she realized that she couldn't move a muscle!
His spell cast, the man quickly regained his feet and drew his scimitar, eyeing the woman darkly.
Will DC 18
S 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Spellcraft DC 19
g 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Although he was not as well-versed in spellcraft as his mistress, there was no mistaking what had just happened below. Alarm evident in his tone, Grak called out mentally to Lureene, "Missstressss, the bad man hasss cassst Hold Monssster on Sssasha, she isss ssstuck, and he hasss a sssword in hisss hand!"
Turning to Amhranai, the half-elven witch raised an eyebrow at her apparent lack of concern. "Ah know joo like to tease da gurl, but ah ya jus gunna stand dere while she's gettin' attacked naw?"
Without waiting for reply, she moved with surprising quickness, running towards the starboard bow before leaping into the air, whereupon she transformed into an eagle, broad wings carrying her swiftly after the others.
Flattening out as much as he could, Arion sped like the wind, thoughts racing.
He is attacking her in the cargo hold, she told us. Sasha! I should have gone with You! Time seems frozen. We do not draw near the target quickly enough. If harm befalls her, I swear there will be blood for blood. I am bound not to slay the suspected assassin, yet, nothing prohibits their TORMENT, or the death of whomever aids the traitor!
In flight, the wizard prepared a spell to accelerate himself. Suddenly a glittering star caught his attention. Perhaps the starry night lent inspiration from celestial hints. From the corner of his eye, Arion saw a rapid runner passing him below; the tireless sinews of the Dwarven Warrior pounding the air.
Coded cues from Cainrelée? Master Your emotions Ye High Elven Agent. Trust Your powerful allies. The Lightbringer would be swifter to mount the ship.
Legs together, one hand close to his side, the other aiming the level, tight-fingered palm before him, slicing through the night, the Elven mage dove towards Sir Hellhammer. Flying behind the Dwarf, Arion opened his hand and gripped Darvesch's shoulder as he ran. After a burst of Draconic chant, Arion shouted to the Lightbringer, "For the Princess! For Sasha! Go, Champion of Tuonwë! Go!"
Arion cast the Haste Spell upon Sir Hellhammer
A strangled curse erupted from Amhranai as Arion leapt into action. "Betrayer curse you all for fools!" He's worse than Darvesch! Those three do not bode well if they will allow their emotions to rule them so recklessly. Sasha is quite capable of taking care of herself. And, if nothing else, they could at least be quiet about it!
The elf turned away from her departing companions, seeking out the captain. Anger and disgust were plain in the priestess' face and more than evident in her voice. "As you can see, Captain, orderly is the last thing on their minds and it now seems that the investigation you alluded to will come with a considerable amount of violence. Let's match their course and speed, get some lines attached with that ballista and keep the rest of their crew occupied. And since those idiots have all flown from the coop, I'll need to requisition a few of your men for a boarding party."
Even as Lureene cried out verbally about Sasha's predicament (thus proving Amhranai wrong), her thought echoed in Grak's mind, fueled by fear and anger:
"Protect Sash...at ALL COSTS! The serpent could feel in his mistress' thoughts while the Princess had wished the man be taken alive, she would shed few tears if he was killed during the boarding action.
His orders clear, Grak angled his body and flew back into the cargo bay, his size growing as his mistress invoked the Tower ritual and aimed straight for the hostile spellcaster, but his overanxiousness caused him to miss badly! Still he was able to prevent the man from finishing off Sasha.
Lureene Swift: Swoop and Strike ritual.
Grak Charge Ugorji. End charge in front of Sasha.
Damage 1d8 + 2 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 2 + (1) = 4 electrical
F*%*...EPIC FAIL there.
In his haste to save Sasha, the speeding eidolon had perhaps relied too heavily upon his state of invisibility, forgetting perhaps that the sound of his wings might give him away. The dark-skinned man ducked and put his arms up to shield himself at the last moment, and the winged serpent overshot his mark, crashing loudly into the nearby barrels.
While there was indeed a commotion on the deck above, shouts of surprise at flying pirates and at the noise from the belly of the ship, the most Grak could see was the Zuck sailor poking his head thru the open hatch and pointing as he shouted to someone that must have stood nearby.
While the spellcaster threatening Sasha paid the sailors little mind, the same could not be said of Grak and his eyes widened in surprise. With the tip of his scimitar, he reached out and knocked the hat from Sasha's head, loosing her long red locks even as bead of sweat streamed down her face at the action.
"Ah, so it is you," he said, a hint of regret evident in his tone. Face pensive, he took a short step to pick up the object Sasha had tripped over earlier. Although the ranger could not see it, it seemed to Grak to be a long, slender flask, ornately engraved with silver runes, a brass stopper plugging it. Shaking his head sadly, he said, "I never thought it would come to that, you must believe me. She promised us only hope..."
Yet even though Sasha might have hoped that the man was backing down, there was something about the man's manner that and his play for innocence that didn't fool Grak. This man was up to something.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 + 2 = 9
Will DC 18
S 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon– YES!
Somehow managing to break free of the mage's spell, Sasha tried hard as she could to remain perfectly still, sparing only a wink to Grak to let him know she was OK now.
Keep talking buddy...
S 1d20 + 10 + 2 + 1d6 ⇒ (4) + 10 + 2 + (5) = 21 human, surge
Sense Motive Checks:
g 1d20 + 4 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 4 + 5 = 20 familiarity
1d20 + 18 - 5 ⇒ (5) + 18 - 5 = 18 distracted
"As you can see, Captain, orderly is the last thing on their minds and it now seems that the investigation you alluded to will come with a considerable amount of violence. Let's match their course and speed, get some lines attached with that ballista and keep the rest of their crew occupied. And since those idiots have all flown from the coop, I'll need to requisition a few of your men for a boarding party."
"Match their speed?" Aerys asked incredulously. "we're tryin' to come alongside, not go rammin' them!"
Captain Fingel waved a hand to calm the black-haired pilot. "Maintain your approach, Ensign, the Sprite's crew shows no signs of balking just yet."
Looking to Amhranai, she said, "You seem seasoned enough to know that no plan survives contact with the enemy. Just as our ruse was to allow us to draw close without alerting your man that this was a military operation, the investigation we had planned was for the sole purpose of ferreting out that individual. If they have already been found and have turned the tables against your scouts, then violence is probably a foregone conclusion."
Nodding to the holy symbol that she had spied earlier, she added, "Of course, there is a certain logic in not sending your medic into the thick of things if you can help it. The witch may have ribbed you, but there is wisdom in staying put while your strikers charge ahead."
Lureene tried to get a sense of what happened after she had awakened Grak with the Tower ritual. She got a sense of panic from him before he had interrupted their link. Trying to re-establish contact with him brought a sense of confusion, coupled with relief.
"Grak? Keep helping her...I will be there in a moment." Lureene sent to him before pressing on to the Sprite as fast as her wings could carry her.
Grak nodded in reply to the man's words though in actuality he was nodding in response to his mistress' command. But how best to help her? He eyes the strange bottle the dark man was holding and, feeling a sense of danger, prepared to launch himself in a desperate bid to jar the bottle loose.
Sasha's wink stopped him for a brief second. Seeing her plans to tackle the man in her green eyes caused Grak to alter his actions slightly. Hissing loudly to draw the Dafari man's attention to himself, he snaked towards him feinting a move at the hand holding the bottle before whipping his neck out to help distract him further.
Ready action to AA Grapple when Sash tries to grapple him. Bluff 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Theme: Throw Down
The moment Grak feinted, the spellcaster raised his blade to fend off the attack, and it was in that moment that Sasha struck. Lunging up from beneath his raised guard, she twisted the arm holding the bottle up behind his back, slamming him up against the crate beside them. "CUT THE CRAP, BALDY!"
As the edge of the crate was driven into his abdomen, the mage gave a loud "OOF!" yet try as he might, he could not shake off the tenacious redhead.
"Calm down?!" In a low growl, Sasha warned, "I'll break your arm if you don't calm down!"
U SM 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (4) + 18 = 22 AoO wasted
S Grapple 1d20 + 14 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 14 + 2 = 35 imp grapple
U Grapple DC 29 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 25
- Round 312: Using the run action, Darvesch and Lureene reach the Swollen Sprite. On round 313 they'll be able to take actions aboard the ship.
- Round 313: Using the run action, Amelia reaches the Sprite. On round 314 she'll be able to take actions aboard the ship.
- Round 314: Using double-moves, Arion reaches the Sprite. On round 315 he'll be able to take actions aboard the ship.
- Round 320: Using double-moves, The Avenger will pull alongside the Sprite. It's crew can then commence boarding actions, and you'll be close enough to jump over if desired.
There's that term 'medic' again!
Amhranai smiled disarmingly at the fairer-haired elf. "I'm not just a healer, Captain; I moonlight as an infiltrator of no small skill in my other life. I was right there beside them many times when I was in the military. Nothing quite so thrilling. And terrifying."
Sighing, she continued, "You are of course correct, Captain. However, their course of action is not precipitated on first contact but emotion." The dark-haired elf shook her head. "I expect plans to change on the fly, have participated in such many times, but they invite more chaos here than is necessary." Amhranai sighed once again, lowering her eyes for a moment. And wasn't it Arion himself who, not too long ago, suggested that one relatively small part should not overly affect the larger plan? My how that changes when that part is of a much more personal nature.
"Too late to change any of that now though. I do not intend to ram them, Ms. Movato, I just hadn't realized they'd pulled to so swiftly. Let's get ready, shall we?"
Alright, time to pin his ass–
"WHOA!" No sooner was Sasha about to sweep the man's feet and send him to the floor than did an unexpected swell throw her off balance, allowing the man to slip free of her grasp.
"Oh for fu– Grak, help me get him!"
Reflex DC 15
S 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (16) + 11 = 27
Grimacing as the pain in his arm, the mage said, "I think not," and vanished from sight.
1d20 + 12 + 20 ⇒ (6) + 12 + 20 = 38 invis
g 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (3) + 18 = 21
S 1d20 + 12 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 12 + 2 = 18 human
S AoO 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (20) + 14 = 34
Miss % 1d100 ⇒ 18
There was a visible crackle in the air, and a gasp of surprise as Grak's bite tore away part of the man's shirt, electrifying him in the process. Although the man remained invisible, Grak's keen sense of smell told him the man was trying to draw closer to the bow, but had paused when he Sasha smacked the bottle from his hand.
Grak was not the smartest being out there but there was one thing he DID know; an invisible spellcaster is nothing but trouble. With that thought in his mind, he did not hesitate in pressing the attack, becoming a whirl of claws and wings.
Damage 1d8 + 2 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 2 + (2) = 5 elec
Tail 1d1d20 + 12 ⇒ (1) + 12 = 13
Damage 1d6 + 2 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 2 + (4) = 7 elec
Wing #1 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Damage 1d4 + 2 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 2 + (1) = 4
Wing #2 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Damage 1d4 + 2 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 2 + (5) = 8
Hit (1-50%) 1d100 ⇒ 59
The sound of cracking wood and the sight of rice spilling everywhere accompanied Grak's frenzy. Although he failed to connect with his intended target, he still elicited a frustrated "GAH!" as the bottle vanished beneath a flood of rice grains, which also clearly outlined where the invisible one stood rummaging about.
Bite 59 = 59 Eric's roll miss
Tail 1d100 ⇒ 54 miss
Wing 1 1d100 ⇒ 94 miss
Wing 2 1d100 ⇒ 76 miss
Even as Darvesch and Lureene landed on the deck above, the Sprite's crew scattering in fear at their approach, Sasha's eyes grew big at what she perceived as ingenuity. "Oooh, good thinking Grak!"
Drawing her blades, she gave a loud, "HYAA!" destroying another barrel and increasing the pile of debris in the area by another inch or two.
dmg 1d6 + 7 + 1d6 ⇒ (5) + 7 + (2) = 14 frost
Darvesch rushed near the opening (E9), and yelled to everyone:
"Subdue him! Don't kill him! Remember what the Princess said!"
Then to Sasha:
"Sasha! We're here to help! Where is he, and what's going on?"
He's going to move to E9, and wait for Sasha to reply before deciding what to do next (delay till after sasha replies).
Perception 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (6) + 15 = 21 Listening for Sasha (hoping to hear her "HYAA!" and the crashing of barrels)
"Darv?!" Sasha asked with some excitement. Upon hearing his questions phrased in elvish, her brow furrowed.
Crap, we kept doing other stuff with Ari instead of practicing elvish...
"We're fighting an invisible guy and he's really slippery! You can see where he is in the rice though!"
Linguistics DC 15 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14