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Wilhelm scrabbled around the hold, panic gripping him as he attempted to stuff a spare sail into the hole, to little use. The doctor was about to get some more canvas when the ship lurched heavily once again and a small barrel nearly took his feet from under him. The good luck of the barrel containing tar was slightly reduced as Wilhelm realised he was up to his ankles in water.
Above deck matters were not much better. Dayne's arrow was swept away by the wind as the soldier charged towards him, storming the stairs and scoring a deep wound in the ex soldier's side. Dayne barely had time to draw his sword and block another cut that would have taken him across the chest. The ex-scout stumbled backwards slightly, a curse on his lips.
The soldier Eckhard was fighting looked to be an evil man, his thick black beard making almost look like a miniature Chapel. The man attacked with such ferocity that Eckhard was forced to use his arms to block the shortsword that was flicking out at him, suffering several deep gashes. Eckhard however, did manage to land several blows of his own, a harsh crunch sounding as his kick connected with the soldier's knee.
Fighting side by side Dierna and Hargrave were hard pressed. Dierna's blade managed to find the neck of one soldier, sending his to his knees drowning in his own blood. The revenge of the soldiers come soon after however, as the reinforcements moved up and brutally assaulted Hargrave. The knight's own blows found only thin air and solid armour. Over-reaching on an attack the man felt an Imperial shortsword puncture the joint of his left shoulder.
Glenn remained frozen on the spot, willing for this whole situation to be a dream. You fool, they're dying and you can't do anything but piss yourself. The sailor rose and looked around for a weapon. Just as he retrieved a dead man's shortsword the ship shuddered once again, this time the sound of the rending hull cutting through even the rush of the wind.
Tapper's demon advanced on Chapel, yellow teeth bared. Despite what would have been expected Chapel advanced straight towards the creature. His greatsword swung up and came crashing down, almost taking the beast's head off in a spray of black blood. 'You summon His holy servants to fight me? Do you think this is some sick joke? How dare you think to bind His to your twisted will.' Chapel roared, true fury in his voice. The man hard to dart backwards however as a gout of flame shot forth from the demon's jaws. Chapel stepped forwards once again 'Truly evil has many forms Tapper, so more obvious that others'. Tapper's reply was merely a grim smile.
The blood on Chapel's sword began to bubble and smoke, the steal glowing red hot 'Come Tapper, I will show you His true power.'
Glenn lost his footing as the deck rolled sharply, indeed everyone had to fight to remain on their feet and not all were successful. Imperial soldiers and sailors went down in a tangled mess. The storm is dragging us across a reef, any more of this and the hull will be in tatters
You remember reading some scripture about Obtil, referencing to demonic hounds that were said to inhabit the realm, and were supposedly Obtil's hunting pack that were unleashed on any who trespassed in the Realm. But the possibly that one had been summoned here? that was difficult to believe.
Dayne grunted in pain from the cut in his side, bringing his short blade up into a defensive stance. He had the higher ground, but he wasn't a melee combatant. Better to try and focus on not getting hit. He had to wait for the right opening, and he thought he saw it. Striking out, he took a step backwards, up the stairs, to keep some distance between himself and his opponent.
So, fighting defensively! -4 to attack gets me +2 AC. (1d20-1) -4 defensive, +1 Str, +1 BAB, +1 high ground (1d6+3) +1 Str, +2 favoured enemy. Been forgetting about that, derp.
After the attack, Dayne takes a 5 foot step backwards, to the top of the stairs.
Hargrave finally muttered a curse to himself as the last blows struck, breaking his concentration and sending his blows wide. He'd thought that sparring daily to keep up his skills would have been enough to keep him fit and ready when it came time to defend himself, but he'd clearly lost his killer instinct. Or maybe he'd never really had one to begin with. His superiors back in his army days certainly thought he'd been sorely lacking in one. In any case, in the unlikely event that he survived this mad melee, and then survived the fact that the ship was apparently dashed on the rocks and sinking fast, it looks like he was officially out of retirement. Fighting the emperor's men got you noticed and hunted, even in far off places like Denku. He could hope that no one who survived here would remember his face, or that when reports came back they wouldn't think to look at the list of who bought passage on the ship they were pursuing, but it would be a fool's hope.
All he could do now is survive, and to do that he had to hit something.
Bellowing out a wordless challenge in the form of a cry of rage and frustration, Hargrave swings his sword around at neck level to the man who'd been so doggedly avoiding his attacks.
Hargrave is using his Fighting Challenge ability against the man in D7, because I'm out of ideas as to how to score a hit. He'll shield block against whoever is still standing after Dierna's attack, probably D6
Attack, Damage, and Will saves +1 for 6 turns against D7. 1 out of 2 uses of Knight's Challenge expended.
Attack: (1d20+7) +2BAB, +3Str, +1Masterwork, +1Fighting Challenge
Damage: (1d8+4) +3Str, +1 Fighting Challenge
AC 15 (16 against one opponent, possibly D6)
Edit: Meant C7 in both those cases for the Shield Block
Okay.. Tar. Tar is good but.. Well, like any wound, I need to find some way to staunch it so maybe if I were to use the adhesive properties to make a stronger seal with my cloak or that canvas.. Well, no way to know until I try it. With that, Wilhelm will attempt to do just that with the spare canvas if his cloak was not up to the job of at least stemming the flow. If he managed to be somewhat successful, then the next act of business would be trying to find a more permanent solution. Namely poking around for a hammer, some nails, and a few short planks to form a patch. In his mind, it was more or less just treating a wound but his success might be rather lackluster due to his training as a physician rather than a shipwright.
Giving another shout of alarm, he was hoping against hope that perhaps someone of the crew might hear him. Help of any kind would be highly useful right now.
Twisting his face into a snarl, Dierna rammed his way into the two men opposing him. He brought his long, curved weapons across, feinting a slash before, sudden, quick - the blades hooked into the bellies of the cloaked soldiers.
Dayne's opponent tried to push his advantage, lashing out again and again with his shortsword, but the roll of the ship and the narrow wet steps threw off his blows, allowing Dayne to strike a blow to the man's chest, glancing off his breastplate.
On the other side of the deck the fighting was far more brutal. The big knight finally managed to bring his sword to bear, cleaving one soldier's collarbone and deep into his chest. Dierna's blades licked out like snakes as they lashed at the two remaining soldiers, both falling to the deck with mortal wounds. The soldier attacking Eckhard followed the monk's retreat but failed to land a blow as the man twisted left and right in almost impossible ways to avoid the shortsword. Glenn scrambled to his feet and dashed like a madman towards the hold of the ship, shouting something about reefs and holes.
Below deck Wilhelm worked furiously trying to plug the hole in the side of the ship. Finding some tools he began to set to work, stuffing canvas, covering it with tar and then securing it with wood. However, the repair did not hold up to the job of stopping the water level from rising. After a few seconds of confusion the doctor realised why; there was a second hole in the hull, further towards the back of the ship. Then he heard a shout from the entrance to the hold and looking up he saw Glenn rushing inside.
Up on the foredeck the contest was becoming even more heated. Chapel's blade giving off steam as the rain hammered down. Swinging it in a great arc the man sent the weapon tearing through the demon hound and halfway through the decking as well, leaving a scorched gash in the wood.
Tapper's face twisted into a snarl as the demon's remains crumbled away into ash. He began to draw an intricate pattern in the air with his free hand and barely managed to dodge a heavy blow from Chapel.
Eckhard's breathing was coming to him in short gasps, and not because of the wounds. The air was getting thicker, heavier, more ... charged. Yet no one else on the ship seemed to have taken notice.
Dayne cursed, looking for another opening in his opponent's defense. Once again, he reminded himself he wasn't a melee combatant, but if the ship heaved wrong, and he missed with an arrow, he'd be wide open for counterattack.
"Someone give me a hand with this one," the scout shouted, striking out with his shortsword. He hoped he could do something, this time.
So, fighting defensive seems a good plan. Modifiers are the same as last time. (1d20-1) -4 defensive, +1 Str, +1 BAB, +1 high ground (1d6+3) +1 Str, +2 favoured enemy.
Another miss, and another roll of minimum damage even if I HAD hit. Defensive seems the way to go, here, at least until somebody who is better at this can come help.
Waving frantically to Glenn, Wilhelm began scrounging around for more nails and boards while talking quite rapidly. The panic in his voice drowned out most of what he was trying to say but Glenn may at least get the idea that the physician wanted help plugging up the holes in the hold.
If he was able to find the proper materials, then the doctor would be making an attempt to repair the second hole. With help if possible.
Hargrave, after landing his first telling blow, swiftly spins around to swing his sword at the man still bothering Eckhard, hoping to have his luck hold out for now. He raises his shield against any counter assault, looking past the soldier briefly toward Dayne's predicament. He can't be everywhere at once, but if he can end this struggle quickly enough, perhaps he'll be able to be there for the hunter soon.
Hargrave attacks the soldier in D5, and if his hit disables the man, he'll move to F5 so he can provide the flanking bonus to Dayne. If not, he'll move to D6 with a 5ft step.
AC: 15(16 against D5)
Eckhard could definitely feel it, his throat felt constricted. The warmth and magical power radiating from Tapper was awe inspiring, whatever the man was doing this time it was no demon hound that was being called forth. The monk could not look away, people with this kind of power did not, should not, exist anymore.
The battle between the 'sailors' and the soldiers was drawing to a close with casualties on both sides. Even if the sailors did manage to win this one who would be left to crew the ship?
At the aft things were almost over as well, with Dierna's blade catching the throat of a soldier for a moment before the flesh parted. Dayne continued to by himself time, managing to keep his opponent's sword at bay. The ex soldier was beginning to tire, however, and the the slick deck and pitch of the ship did not fill him in confidence in his swordsman ship.
Hargrave recovered from a failed attack, but as he began to move to help Dayne his caught sight of Eckhard's eyes firmly fixed on the fight at the front of the ship. I was only then when he noticed; the rain had almost completely stopped. Glancing upwards the Knight gasped as he saw the black storm clouds overhead were moving, swirling into an evil looking vortex right above the ship.
Chapel continued his attacks, managing to score a few shallow cut's on Tapper. However, it seemed that nothing could completely break the sorcerer's concentration as he continued his spell.
'See Tapper? Even this island doesn't want you and your evil.' Chapel shouted, with a hint of fear in his voice. 'There are older things there than you know, and they are rejecting you' As if to underline his speech a deep rumble sounded across the ship, at first it sounded like thunder but the ominous sound did not fade.
Below deck Glenn and Wilhelm worked frantically to try and seal the holes in the ship. The first mate worked quickly and methodically, his practiced hands working almost automatically. The repairs were not permanent, but they at least bought some time. As the deep rumbling began Glenn looked up, 'what in Alanas is happening up there?'
Dayne risked a glance at the others. There were no soldiers left fighting them, almost, except for the one locked in combat with him. Help was likely to arrive soon, he only needed to hold out a few moments longer...
"No," murmured Eckhard fearfully, not comprehending quite what was happening, but knowing that it could not be good. "No, no, no." But part of him was thrilled - even through the nausea, he felt the call of power. True power; the ability to bend entire realms to one's will.
He knew the bitter taste of such power.
"Adamat, preserve me." The words burned his throat, but the cooling, buoyant sensation which followed soothed him as he stumbled in shock towards the foredeck.
Casting Cure Light Wounds on ... myself. <.< I think Eckhard is the worst injured. Restores (1d8+1) HP.
Then moving to C10.
Without the rain to dilute it, the blood from the countless corpses on deck began to cover the ship with a thick red sheen. Careful not to trip over an bodies, Hargrave and Dierna moved to support Dayne, pinning his opponent between them on the stairs. The soldier defending himself valiantly but could not prevent a deep cut in his side from Hargrave.
Glenn and Wilhelm emerged from the hold of the ship just as two soldiers toppled over near them, suffering from mortal wounds. Looking up Glenn froze for a moment, 'What in the name of all the Realms is that....' the man asked slowly, not expecting any useful answer.
As Eckhard accessed his realm he felt something strange, there was a pressure, almost as if the magical power was being forced onto him, requiring a huge amount of concentration to keep in check. The monk felt his flesh begin to merge together, sealing his wounds. The monk glanced towards the fight happening on the foredeck but neither combatant seemed to be able to gain an upper hand.
Suddenly, the rumbling ceased. If you had your eyes closed it would have been possible to imagine that you were not on a ship at all apart from the roll of the ship in the swell. Then just as quickly as it came the silence vanished with a huge thunderclap as a jagged spear of lightning flashed down from the center of the vortex, slamming into the foredeck with an explosion of light.
The whole ship shuddered and began to list violently forwards. Blinking the afterimage of the light from his vision Glenn looked towards the front of the ship; the whole thing was charred black, or at least what was left of it.
Eckhard shook his head, blinking his eyes rapidly as he tried to clear his mind of the otherworldly power pressing in on him. The display made his stomach churn; he wanted to be closer, to understand what was going on, but he feared what he would discover. They had nearly killed or driven off all the boarders, he noticed - perhaps it was more pertinent to eliminate the mundane threat before tackling the magical one. Taking slow and careful paces, he advanced on the nearest soldier, preparing to strike where the man's guard was down.
Hargrave swings his sword in a purposefully flashy movement, not taking advantage of his opponent's possible distraction from having a person on either side of him. Lesser swordsmen can do such things, but even with his poor luck and apparently rusty skills, and even with his disadvantage fighting on a ship, Hargrave's reflexes won't allow him to fight anything but a fair fight.
Hargrave attacks F4, and uses shield block against F4 as well.
AC: 16 against F4, 15 otherwise.
Still dripping from the struggle in the hold, Wilhelm felt himself nearly overwhelmed by all the excitement. Rattling and clanging of blades, the creaking and tossing of the sea.. Even that confounded thundering was-Oh hell was the ship just struck by lightning?! Nearly blinded by the bolt, the physician blinked away the spots in his eyes to see a wounded man at his feet. At first glance it looked quite bad but if the man could be saved..
With the ship tilting under his feet, Wilhelm would try to access if the man was indeed beyond help. But if not, then hopefully the quick application of some bandaging might be enough to at least help him survive a bit longer. Sure, the man had just been ordered to attack but wounded were wounded.. Of course, while the dead told no tales, a live soul might be able to shed a bit of light on just what was going on here.
Heal check to gauge wounds and possibly make a quick patch if time permits.(1d20+9)
Wilhelm lifted the man's head to see a huge gash along his neck. The flow of blood had already slowed, with just slight trickles, even for the most skilled surgeon this man was beyond saving, and by looking around the deck it did not seem to be an isolated case.
Taking opportunity as his opponent was distracted by the lurching of the ship, Dayne drove his blade into the man's side. Hargrave and Dierna stepped smartly out the way of the falling corpse, both men moving to the center of the ship once they saw the threat was over.
Battling the increasing angle of the ship's deck Glenn grabbed hold of a coil rope. 'The ship is going under! Quickly tie yourselves onto this' he shouted over the rumbling, desperately motioning the group towards him.
Just as the smoke cleared from the front of the ship another bolt lashed down from the vortex, slamming into the deck with a spray of splinters. Eckhard physically wretched at the force of the magic. It was old magic, with only the faintest hint of familiarity. Whatever Chapel had meant by old it at least seemed plausible.
"A moment." The scout wasn't about to leave his things behind. Dashing back to where he'd stowed his gear, Dayne threw on his pack and gathered what wasn't already in it, which wasn't much. He'd have to get back quickly, but there was no way in the world he was going to abandon a sinking ship without any equipment.
Eckhard allowed himself a brief moment just to stand there, panting, in the aftermath of the chaos. Glenn's orders seemed to come from far away, penetrating the sloughing insulation of the adrenaline coursing through his veins. The monk wrenched his gaze away from the foredeck, skittering across the blood-slick deck to retrieve his pack. There might not be much time, but he would be next to useless as a colonist without his tools, and he doubted he could bare the shame of becoming another unskilled mouth to feed instead of a hopefully valued member of the community they were there to build.
Dierna caught the rope, wrapping it around his waist. He had few possessions - most of them strapped to himself, or in the 'sack slung about his shoulders. His weapons were the most important thing, and his falcon. He held his leather-gloved right hand aloft, and whistled.
Hargrave bellows back to shiphand, "Not without my horse! He's a fine beast, and he doesn't deserve to go under anymore than I do!" The retired brigadier general heads up to the aft deck where the mounts, and his pack and armor, were quartered. He'll slice through the rope tying the warhorse to its stable and lead it back to the quarterdeck, assuming nothing goes wrong. It has nearly all his equipment in its saddlebags, so if the horse goes down with the ship, he'll be close to destitute even if he does reach the island safely.
"If there's not room for it, I'll lead it behind us by the rope. Horses can swim a while even in the ocean."
Dierna's falcon swung down to it's master, a screech of dismay emitting from its beak. The group quickly secured themselves to the rope as the ship continued to tilt forwards.
Hargrave's mount was in a frenzy as he tried to free the beast. The knight even had to avoid a bite from the animal as it thrashed around. A quick cuff brought the animal into line as Hargrave almost dragged it onto the deck.
Glenn disappeared into the hold, returning with a barrel under each arm. The first mate's face was a mask of pure horror for, like many sailors, he could not swim. The man had spent his life on a ship, why would he have learned how to survive actually in the water?
Glenn barely had time to check that everyone was securely fastened before the group plunged into the freezing waters. 'Here! hold onto these barrels' The first mate called as he surfaced, clinging desperately to his own advice as the stormy waters flung the group around like ragdolls accompanied by the awful sounds of a terrified horse.
It was chaos. At points it was even difficult to tell which way was up as the storm raged around the group. Even with the barrels to hold onto the going was tough, and in the darkness only the ropes served to make sure that everyone stayed together. Despite all efforts the struggle proved too much and slowly limbs began to grow heavy and then the world started to go black.
Dierna and Eckhard
One by one the group began to tire, it was all the two could do to make sure that everyone kept their heads above the water. If it was not for the barrels they would surely have drowned. Treading water for what seemed like hours the storm slowly began to dissipate, rays of sunlight breaking through the clouds.
Eckhard looked over to Dierna, 'We're going to die out here aren't we?' he asked, 'floating in the middle of the sea. I'm not sure for how much longer we can-'
'Quiet.' Dierna cut in, 'Can you hear that? it sounds like waves' The ex soldier desperately swung around in the water. He was hoping against hope that he was right. 'Look! there!' Dierna shouted suddenly, his voice almost cracking with relief 'it's land!'
Wilhelm woke up on his back coughing, every muscle in his body on fire. Blinking the doctor pushed himself into a sitting position, taking seconds to realise that it was sand under his hands. Sand! He was on land! He sprung to his feat and let out a cry of relief and drank in the sweet sunlight as it beat down on his body.
In the surf fifteen feet away Eckhard and Dierna were dragging the rest of the group up the beach one by one. Scanning around the man saw that the beach stretched far to either side of him, with the sand melting away into grassy shrubs further inland. Apart from the other members of the group there was not a soul in sight.
Wincing at the stiffness in his legs Wilhelm stumbled into the surf to help the others, some of them might be in need of medical attention.
Dayne coughed seawater, blinking in the sudden light and trying to force himself to stand. If it weren't for the mate's quick thinking with the rope... Wasn't a pleasant thought. The scout sat up, feeling around for his pack. That was something, at least. His equipment had come with him. It'd need some drying out, but if the oilcloth had managed to protect the more fragile items, he was in good shape.
"Any idea where we are?" He asked, looking over at the others. His wounds would need to be dealt with, but that could wait. The most pressing concern, right now, was survival.
Has the storm stopped, by the way? What's the weather like?
Dierna stretched out, his back crackling as the night's stresses relieved themselves. He scanned the horizon, then shrugged.
After we've all spent some time drying our stuff out, etc, I'd like to scout the immediate surrounds, make sure that there aren't any monsters about to come eat us - or patrols looking for the guys that tried to murder everyone.
Hargrave coughs up a lungful of water, and then one more for good measure, laying prone and silent on the beach as he slowly fades back into the land of the conscious. He doesn't even bother to open his eyes fully, just letting the damp sand cushion his taxed muscles and throbbing wounds.
Instead of spending energy to get up, get dry, and get his wounds dressed, the old general spends it thinking. Was he really so past his prime that he could be bested so easily by a storm and a few young men? He didn't doubt their skill, perished and lost to the waves though they may be, but he'd always thought highly of his own. And yet in the first real combat he'd seen in years that wasn't a spar with weighted wands, he'd failed at every turn. There were numerous reasons he could name for it, but when push came to shove, it was his failing that put him on the swords of his opponents, and only divine providence could have saved him from the depths.
So he thought where he was for now, not bothering to move beyond some labored breathing. Here was as good a place as any to examine his place in life, and it's not like the waves will make him any wetter.
"Mm, just wish I knew where 'here' was." Dayne gathered his things, heading for the treeline to find somewhere he could hang them to dry. It wouldn't do to let them stew in seawater all day, especially for a few of the more expensive items. Fortunately, the oilcloth seemed to have held up for the most part. "We'll need to find a source of food and fresh water. Shelter too, if we mean to last long."
His old scout's instincts were already kicking in again. Forward units, naturally, didn't have the luxury of sitting around in camp and taking advantage of the supply train. Sometimes, it held, other methods of gaining supplies were required.
Eckhard pulled Glenn out of the water, the last man in need of help. Laying him down on the sand the Monk collapsed on his knees in exhaustion. It was good to have Adamant beneath his feet again, and trying to stop four men from drowning for hours definitely made him appreciate it. As Dayne moved inland towards the treeline to dry out his things Dierna began to scout, his military instinct never far away.
'I think we are on Denku...' said Glenn. 'There is no other land near here that the currents would take us to... I think.' The first mate tried to stand, wincing as he put weight on his left leg. Trying a couple of steps the man sat down again, 'I think we need to rest.'
Standing up, Wilhelm took in the scene around them. The sun was high in the sky, the sand a golden white and the sea crystal blue. This wouldn't be such a bad place to live, if they weren't shipwrecked. 'What happened to the horse?' He asked. His question made Eckhard look away for a moment, 'It was in a storm. We were swimming for hours and after you went we... well it got separated from us.' The monk awkwardly mumbled excuses. Looking sheepish he walked over to where Hargrave was lying motionless, 'We managed to save your stuff though...' He trailed off as he realised that a reply was probably not coming for a while.
'Hey guys! We're not alone!' shouted Dierna as he came back, half running half stumbling. 'Just down the beach there are footprints. They lead into the jungle.'
'Did they come from the water?' asked Dayne as he returned to the group, a small collection of fruit in his arms. 'The Jungle gets pretty thick quite quickly, He can't be making good progress'
Sitting down on the sand, and munching a piece of fruit he was fairly sure was safe to eat, Dayne set the rest down beside him. "If this is Denku," he said, "there'll be a town or a city or something somewhere. We should probably try to find it, but I wouldn't know where to start or what direction to go. How big is the island, anyways?"