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While the Sea Lion's crew and the Amon Ra's soldiers crank their heavy crossbows, the four of you (armed with lighter weapons) send another volley whistling toward the corsair.
Aeroz, Sedryn, and Lithandrill hit the sail once again, but only Sedryn's bolt "catches". The small, scattered fires on the sail grow slowly as the corsair comes about. A couple of Mulhorandi crewmen start scrambling up the rigging, presumably to beat out the fires.
Boris chooses not to set his next arrow on fire. Instead he adjusts his aim slightly and sends an arrow into the reloading Mulhorandi marines. One is struck in the back by the arrow. The other marines redouble their efforts to reload their weapons.
As the black ship moves farther away from the Sea Lion, more shots fall short. Aeroz's flaming bolt lands harmlessly in the sea. Sedryn's, Lithandrill's, and Boris' shots hit the ship but cause no casualties.
Another shower of Mulhorandi crossbow bolts rains down on the Sea Lion. Two bolts again narrowly miss Sedryn (thanks be to Lathander!), and Lithandrill likewise avoids being hit a second time (though there is a gush of blood and searing pain when he rips the crossbow bolt from his thigh).
Aeroz and Boris are not as fortunate however. Despite the long range, both are struck by crossbow bolts. Aeroz curses as a bolt pierces his chainmail. Boris doesn't say a word when a bolt creases his shoulder, but his disfigured features might be grimacing (it's hard to tell).
Another Sea Lion crew member is felled by a crossbow bolt. There are 5 remaining crewmen actively reloading their crossbows. The captain keeps the Sea Lion on course, but does call for some brandy for Aeroz - a crewman runs off in search of some.
To your surprise, you see Angela and Tiriel appear from below decks. They each pick up a fallen heavy crossbow and start working to reload them. "Well, this is a fine mess you've gotten us into, gentlemen!"
The small fugitive boat continues to move away toward the north.
OOC: Lithandrill takes another hit point of damage (current HP 15). Aeroz takes 4 points of damage (current HP 8). Boris takes 7 points of damage (current HP 13). The ships are now 3 range increments apart.
While the Mulhorandi marines are busy reloading, Aeroz makes his way over to Sedryn, who places one hand on Aeroz's wound. With his other hand, Sedryn pulls out the crossbow bolt, murmuring a blessing as he does so. The crossbow bolt slides out easily, almost without pain. No wound is left behind.
Lithandrill ignores his bleeding leg and instead fires an arrow in a graceful arc toward the receding Mulhorandi ship. He is gratified to see one of the marines stagger backward as the arrow pierces his thin leather armor.
Meanwhile Boris lights two arrows on fire and sends them both, in quick succession, hissing toward the Amon Ra's sails. The first arrow flies wide, but the second catches the sail cleanly, adding more flames for the Mulhorandi to worry about.
In response, the Mulhorandi captain orders his sailors to drop the sail. This snuffs out the fires, but leaves the black corsair dependent on its oars. The Amon Ra continues to turn about and is now almost 200 yards away, heading in the opposite direction of the Sea Lion.
OOC: Sedryn casts cure light wounds. Aeroz is fully healed.
EDIT: Distance from Sea Lion to Amon Ra corrected from "400 yards" to "200 yards". The distance is approximately 6 range increments (-12 to hit).
"You're not to bad yourself. Not bad at all."
*He then turns to the two ladies.*
"Finally I was wondering when the brave adventurines would show up....But may I suggest that you listen to...whats his name? Boris. And pick up that small boat and get the hell out of here. Soon we won't have enough crew members to even sail this ship."
*Fireing another shot at the marines, he says a little prayer in Draconic for the fallen marines.*
"Or atleast come up with something to do now, we can outrun them but that small boat can't."
"Well, my chainmail is busted. I'll need some meathod of fixing it if its going to be any use to me." He goes up to the captain "Hey, do you have any chainmail or something like that? Mine has this nasty little hole in it that could cause some trouble later on in the future"
He reloads his crossbow and waits to see the Amon Re's action, under the sight of the crossbows
Lithandrill's and Boris' last shots fall short of the Amon Ra. The Mulhorandi don't even bother to shoot back at this distance.
Sedryn heals Lithandrill's wound, while Boris stoically waits his turn. Two of the Sea Lion's crewmen are wounded. One is dead. Seeing that the ranged exchange is over for now, Tiriel and Angela tend to the wounded crewmen.
The captain decides to hold course. "We've done what we can. I can not risk the lives of my crew further. At least those Untherites have a chance now."
As the Sea Lion continues due east, you watch as the Amon Ra circles around astern to pursue the small fleeing boat.
For a while, it seems as though the small boat has a chance, thanks to the headstart your diversion gave it. Unfortunately, once the Mulhorandi vessel has cleared the Sea Lion's wake, it raises its black triangular mainsail again and tacks hard to the north.
You are too far away (and heading ever farther away) to do anything but watch helplessly as the black ship closes in on the desperate dinghy.
Watching the scene, Boris shakes his head in dismay. At least we tried, but was the loss of life so futile.
Turning to the others, "I don't like to fight without knowing the names of those I am fighting with. THe point is now moot, but I would still like to meet your acquaintence. My name is Boris...., Boris the Handsome," Boris pauses when uttering his surname and almost appears to blush.
"I have already had the pleasure of getting Aeroz's name."
Into the East: http://3ep.rpgprofiler.net/3ep/view.php?id=18008
Now that the shooting has stopped, the other passengers spill onto the deck, chattering excitedly and examining the dozens of crossbow bolts that have seemingly sprouted everywhere. More than a few look admiringly (if not somewhat shamefacedly) at those of you who fought.
Angela, Tiriel, and Si'rene (who only showed up after the combat was over) introduce themselves to Boris. Si'rene and Tiriel look a little bit uncomfortable, but Angela looks him directly in the eye and smiles as she exchanges names.
Sedryn introduces himself to Boris as he heals Boris' shoulder wound. The introductions and plans for a round of cold brews are interrupted by cheering from the port side of the deck. Running over, you elbow your way through a small crowd of crewmen and passengers who are watching the unfolding pursuit of the small boat by the Amon Ra.
Though the Amon Ra has finally caught up with the small sailboat, the two heavily armored knights on board have apparently refused to be captured alive. Even from this distance, you can see (and hear) them fighting back with thunderstones and alchemist's fire (the crowd cheers with every explosion) as they simultaneously use their bodies to shield the small cloaked figure huddled at the boat's prow.
Inevitably, however, the withering Mulhorandi crossbow fire drives them to their knees. The cheering subsides as one knight finally collapses, pierced by almost a dozen crossbow bolts. The second knight turns, cradles the small figure in his arms (who has also been hit by several crossbow bolts), and without a moment's hesitation dives off of the boat. The weight of his armor ensures that neither he nor the body of the girl will ever be recovered.
The Amon Ra, now burning and smoking from the effects of the alchemist's fire, lashes the small boat to its side and sends marines over, but there is nothing for them to find but the corpse of the first knight. Even at this distance you can see the agitated movements of the Mulhorandi captain as he directs crewmen in putting out the fires.
As the tragic scene recedes into the distance, the crew returns to manning the galley and the passengers return to the mess hall or their cabins. The mood is somber, and more than a few muttered curses can be heard.
EDIT: This was Sheyra's response (PM'd from Nyna).
* Sheyra gasps as the knights begin to throw their thunderstones and alchemist's fire at the Mulhorandi, shaking her head in disbelief and in horror at what she knew would happen next. And when the Mulhorandi opened fire on the knights, she simply stared, horrified as the knights protected the cloaked figure as though it were she. Tears began to fall unnoticed as the first knight collapsed, and she looked away as the second knight grabbed the cloaked figure and jumped into the water so that the Mulhorandi would never know that she had escaped. *
I... I can't believe that they... that they sacrificed themselves for me... She knelt there silently, shaking slightly, her head pressed up against the wall underneath the window, tears falling down her face and dripping to the floor unnoticed.
The captain responds brusquely, "I think your friends are waiting for you down below decks in the mess. I'll be sure to let you know when we've arrived in the East, master elf."
He shoulders past you to see to his wounded men. Four crewmen pass by carrying the body of the dead crewman who has been wrapped in a square of canvas. Other crewmen see to clearing the deck of the debris from the short skirmish.
The sun continues to rise. It is not even midday yet.
OOC: The trip to the East takes a tenday. This is only the second day you've spent on the ship. You won't need to roleplay the entire trip day by day of course.
"Thank you for your offer, priest. Those women (indicating Angela, Tiriel, and Si'rene) are already tending to my wounded men, but we will have a little funeral service at sundown, and I would be honored if you wanted to give Olrik a blessing at that time.
"In the meantime, you should look after yourself. You look a bit drained. All is under control up here. Thanks again for your assistance."
Sedryn heads down to the Lion's Mess to join his travelling companions. Aeroz, Lithandrill, and Boris are already well into their second round of drinks, laughing and bragging about previous exploits. There is hardly anyone else in the hall right now, just a few other passengers who also needed a stiff drink after the excitement earlier.
As he enters the mess hall, Sedryn notices a small figure seated beneath one of the port-facing windows. She is small, you would guess only about 10 or 11 years old, with thick chestnut hair pulled back into a ponytail, tied with a yellow ribbon. Her dark eyes look puffy as if she has been crying.
Sedryn points her out to the others. Aeroz is amazed to recognize her as the same girl he saw with the armored knights earlier this morning ...
OOC: I think Sedryn is out of level 1 spells for the day. (He cast bless and CLW x 3 during/after the battle.)
Aeroz looks at the girl in amazement. He then looks to his companions.
"That was the same girl that those men too..." He stops in mid sentence, realizing something then continuing "It was a decoy!! A suicide misson!! I bet you it was just to make sure that they thought the girl was dead. Very clever, despite the loss of her two 'assistants'."
He then looks to Sedryn.
"Perhaps you could comfort her. Your a preist, go tell her that her bodyguards have gone to a better place or something like that."
[OOC: The old swicheroo trick. Why didnt I think of that earlier. Man thats good thinking]