Prologue: Red Sky at Morning.   Posted by Raellus.Group: 0
Raellus
 GM, 415 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:31
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

And so, in the fifth year of the fifth cycle of the fifth age of the world, the Five companions came to the city of Balefyre by sea, there to do many great deeds in the service of its good folk. Although they knew not of what was to come, the Great Evil was already at work there, the schemes of its secret disciples beginning to unfold...

Chronicle of the Five


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This message was last updated by the GM at 16:32, Sat 07 May 2016.

Raellus
 GM, 416 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:32
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

The swaybacked cog rolls on the swells, diminished remnants of last eve's brief but violent squall. The amnesiac sky is clear, darkest blue behind, lighter shades ahead. To port, sheer slate cliffs slide slowly by, their nondescript, nearly uninterrupted face belying the many leagues that the ship has already traveled. Off the port bow, to the northeast, the jagged, broken thumb of Beacon Hill marks the vessel's current destination, the rocky outcropping starkly backlit by the angry rays of a red sun.

Red sky at morning, sailors take Warning...

The deck of the ship, aptly yet uncreatively named Sea Horse, is piled high with barrels and crates bound for Balefyre, leaving little space for the ship's dozen or so paying customers. The impatient crew works around the clutter, oaths flying fast and furious as the scattered landlubbers invariably get in the way. A musclebound Half-orc, fairly bursting out of the impractical costume of a gladiator, leans over the leeward rail, one hand resting on the pommel of a huge steel morning star, laughing ruefully between unproductive bouts of heaving.

The steady southeasterly wind carries the fresh scent of the stirring sea, a fine mist of cold spray dampening everything on deck, a the same time both pushing the heavy-laden cog towards and away from the waiting harbor. Gulls fight against the winds to get a look at the approaching vessel, allowing themselves to be carried away once they realize that it doesn't carry fish.

 Four of the Five notice it nearly at once- a long, low, black-sailed ship abeam to port, several lengths off. It seems to fly past the northern cliffs, steadily drawing ahead of the slow-moving Seahorse, whose portly master, it seems, is as of yet oblivious to its shadowing presence.

And so it begins...

Your Turn.

 -
Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 278 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:33
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Jenna Drax watches as the Sun rise above the horizon, dawn's light chasing away the darkness of night. The Priestess of the Warrior Goddess Arma was in her twenty fifth year, stood some five feet and eight inches in height, her eyes a vivid blue, her hair blonde, falling loose about her shoulders, tempered with hints of fiery red that seem to blaze under the Sun's rays.

 She is slim of figure, a shirt of scale mail worn over her clothing. At her feet was the pack that contained her handful of possessions, her shield propped against the pack, it emblazoned with an upright sword emblazoned on a shield, the symbol of the Goddess that she serves, the Goddess of chivalry, of courage, of just and righteous war. Looped around her belt was the warhammer which bears the name Arma's Blessing, the tool with which she dispenses her Goddess's retribution on those who would stand for evil. A close observation of the warhammer would show faint traces of dried blood on its surface, a legacy of the most recent instance that she had dispensed that retribution.

 Jenna had spent the most of the voyage in silence, a solitary figure, alone with her thoughts, that silence only broken when she had whispered her prayers to Arma, asked her Goddess to guide her in her actions, trusted in Her to show her the way, that way being to a place called Balefyre. She knew not why She had directed her to follow this path, but Jenna Drax did not question Her intent, trusted that all would become clear.

 She had paid little heed to her fellow passengers, for she had no business with them, but though she was quiet and reserved she had acknowledged those who had spoken to her with a nod and a faint smile, for her demeanor was not unfriendly but rather that of one who had much on her mind. She had found a place amongst the barrels and crates, where she had slept, but her rest had been brief, for her dreams had been troubled, and she had awoke long before dawn, stowed her bedroll, recited her prayers, then simply stood, as she now stands, feeling the vessel rock and pitch under her booted feet, felt the breeze caress her, the chill touch of the mist on her face, it causing damp tresses of hair to cling to her skin.

 And then she sees the vessel with the Black Sails. Some lengths away still, but to judge by its speed it will soon close with the Seahorse. And the slim Warrior Priestess of Arma doubts very much that their intent is benevolent. Her right hand moves to her warhammer, touching it reverently, her lips begin to move, drawing strength from the name of her Goddess as she contemplates bestowing Arma's Blessing on those who sail under the black.
Ulfgar Frostbeard
 Adventurer, 215 posts
 Hill Dwarf Druid
 Spartan-117
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:33
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
"Looks like trouble.  There, on your left," Ulfgar Frostbeard said to the rotund Captain of the Sea Horse, pointing out the dark ship nearing them.  While the dwarf wasn't a complete stranger to the water, he certainly hadn't mastered the nuisances of nautical communication, like calling left port and right starboard.  Indeed he was prepared more for a woodland hike than seaborn journeys.  He wore brown leather armor and carried a staff and a handaxe, both useful on the trail.  A large pack with a jagged-jaw hunting trap sat at his feet.

"Don't suppose we can go any faster eh?" The dwarven druid asked rhetorically.  This ship didn't seem to be built for speed.  "What's in these barrels?" he asked without waiting for a response.  Dumping them might lighten the ship load and speed things up.  Please let it be whisky... Uflgar thought.  By his reckoning, he'd drink as much as he could to help reduce the weight of the cargo.  It never really occurred to him that he'd simply be moving the fluid from one container on the ship (the barrel) to another (his stomach).
Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 337 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:34
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
The man who now calls himself Nicolai Romanelli sits cross-legged atop a crate, well out of the way of the ship's company and carefully outside the sweep of booms and lines.  His left hand cradles a mug of tea while his right methodically works through the stretching exercises prescribed by a physicker in ji-Kebir.  The bandages came off two nights ago, unceremoniously dropped into the Great Inner Sea, the last vestiges of his prior identity shed like a snake's skin.  The arm may never heal completely but he is young, otherwise healthy, and quietly angry, and that combination will likely see him back to nine-tenths capacity.

 His eyes narrow as the black-sailed vessel comes into view.  He's no sailor but he's kept his eyes and ears open, and there's little good to be had from a vessel flying that canvas.  It's as much camouflage as Nicolai's own dark wardrobe, albeit meant for concealment against shoreline rather than cityscape.  I don't suppose a little professional courtesy is in order, he thinks mordantly, then times his descent from the crate to avoid interrupting the crew's movement.

 A glance around the deck shows that his fellow passengers - all but the unfortunate Gronk, at any rate - have noted the vessel, and Ulfgar has taken the initiative to point out the new arrival to the captain.  That leaves him little to do until the inevitable demands begin, so he slips belowdecks to pull on his leathers and retrieve his weapons.
Gronk
 Party NPC, 78 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:34
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Gronk lifts his head at the mention of trouble. His eyes narrow as he focuses on the galley drawing ahead to port. The prospect of a fight puts a quick end to the lingering effects of the gale-induced sea sickness. He slowly rises to his full height, seeming to expand, robust musculature sharply defined by the rays of the rising sun. It's as if the unfortunate Half-orc hasn't just spent the last 12 hours emptying his guts over the side.

"Took the bastards long enough. I was worried this trip would end without a scrap. Gronk's got somethin' for black sail. Let 'im come." he says cheerfully, hefting the huge morning start.

-
Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 228 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:35
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Corros wears poverty, but he doesn't wear it like a crutch or a curse.  If his clothes are shabby and armor stained, it's not because they are unkept, it is because the youth that wears them doesn't have many gold pieces to rub together and those that he does have are spent on more important items, like the well maintained crossbow he's loading at the sight of the incoming pirate ship.

The cruise so far had been uneventful and for that, Corros was grateful.  Leaving his home behind hadn't been easy, but when the Eleventh Finger intimates that you should leave his little corner of the world, you leave.  Before you leave in pieces.  So the young half-elf packed his sparse belongings and set forth for Balefyre, a city large enough to get lost in.  A city to start over in.  He didn't think he'd been followed, his crimes weren't that severe.  At least he hoped.  With the Finger, who knew?

When the crossbow is wound and loaded, Corros ambles (he just loves the sound of the word, really, maybe he's ambling, maybe he's not) over to the group of passengers that look like they plan on doing something about the incoming ship.  He hadn't really been studying them in depth on their voyage, mainly sizing them up for threats, but since they seem to have the same idea of shared defense, Corros decides to pitch in and better his own odds of survival.  Between the half-orc, the dwarf, the reticent man, and the leggy blonde human, the warlock makes the choice any nineteen year old male who believes in his own legend would make and stands next to the girl.  Woman really. When he gets closer to her he can see that she means business, touching her warhammer in a way that he finds vaguely disturbing.

He doesn't strike a pose, just a nod and a bit of a grin.  He's good looking and he knows it, in a fragile featured sort of way that screams elven heritage.

"Trouble, yeah?" Corros asks, the street thick in his accent.  "This lot looks like it can handle a scrap."
Raellus
 GM, 417 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:35
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

The black-sailed galley, undoubtedly a pirate vessel, continues to close with the Sea Horse, effortlessly cutting through the intervening waves on an oblique intercept course. The overburdened cargo ship can't match the galley's speed or maneuverability, leaving two options, strike or fight. The cog's captain, despite his decidedly un-martial appearance, takes heart from his doughty passengers, ordering the small crew to fetch the cargo ship's modest anti-boarding weaponry.

"You can have all that you can drink, Dwarf, it we get through this!" he shouts, readying his own boarding axe.

Aside from The Five, there's one more warrior aboard, a swarthy mustachioed man wearing metallic scale mail beneath his travel-worn brown cloak. He's kept to himself throughout the voyage, evading any and all attempts on the part of the other passengers to engage him in conversation. He draws his notched bastard sword and stakes out his own little square of deck to defend. Seeing the upright sword sigil in relief on Drax's shield, the fighter snorts, "You'd better start prayin' to that goddess o' yours, sweetheart."

The minutes pass before the inevitable meeting of vessels. In the meantime, the cog's crewmen clumsily load their crossbows and ready their boarding pikes. The five older salts appear resolved to the coming fight; the two ship's boys look apprehensive almost to the point of panic.

The galley, oars shipped, sidles up to the Sea Horse, the pirate vessel's uppers bedecked with armed thugs, a half-dozen swinging grapnels at the ready. There's less than a ship's length between the two vessels now and the distance is still closing fast. The ships will collide, side to side, in less than a minute. If the Sea Horse has any advantage at all in the coming fight, it's that its maindeck is slightly higher than its adversary's. The pirate boarders are poised like coiled springs, waiting to leap from the galley's rigging and railing onto the deck of the merchant cog.

Initiative Order:
Nic
Gronk
Jenna
Corros
Ulfgar


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Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 338 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:36
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Nicolai takes a place on the firing line and stabs three arrows into the crate before him.  His quiver and the rest of its contents remain strapped to the bulkhead beneath his hammock.  He doesn't expect to get more than two shots before the pirates close to board and the thought of fumbling another dozen arrows onto the deck at a critical moment has little appeal.  Though perhaps I could use them as caltrops... no, he decides, glancing at the crew's bare feet.

He nocks a fourth arrow and exchanges a rueful glance with Corros as they assess the state of the crew's familiarity with their own weapons.  "Let's volley when they pass a ship-length," he suggests coolly.  "If they don't break off, drop the crossbows and set your pikes.  We won't have time to span the bows for a second volley."  The we carefully avoids the fact that Nicolai's own shortbow is considerably faster for follow-up shots.  "Aim for that knot of boarders, since they're being so kind as to bunch up for us."

Nicolai
shortbow w/ 4 arrows
firing on the apparent boarding party commander (or the biggest dude, if a leader isn't obvious) once the pirate vessel is within normal range (80 ft.)

Gronk
 Party NPC, 79 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:36
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Gronk's got four javelins that would serve quite well at the moment, but they're with his pack and he can't quite remember exactly where he's left it. The big Half-orc fighter doesn't want to miss out on any of the promised close-in action whilst rummaging about looking for his misplaced belongings, so instead, he waits at the railing with his trusty morning star, 'Spike', ready to brain the first pirate who leaps into range.

Gronk
'Spike' (morning star)
Ready to strike boarders


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This message was last edited by the player at 16:36, Sat 07 May 2016.

Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 279 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:37
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Jenna Drax turns towards the young man who has moved to stand beside her, nods her head, her lips forming into a smile, although there is little sign of that smile in her eyes for her mind is occupied by the approaching pirates. Blue eyes rest a moment on the stranger. That she found him  handsome was not in question, his features hinting that elven blood flows in his veins, and had she met him somewhere other than the deck of a ship about to be attacked by pirates her cheeks might have colored, for Jenna was unaccustomed to being in the presence of one such as he.

Up close as he was he would perhaps note that whilst she wore the accoutrements of a Priestess of Arma she was perhaps unaccustomed to the arts of battle, for the armor that she wore was unlike that which might adorn a veteran warrior, one well practiced in those arts; though it bears nicks and scratches here and there Jenna's armor had not yet fully lost its sheen.

She pulls her eyes away from the beautiful stranger, turns her gaze back to the approaching vessel. "Aye, trouble appears to be what they seek. Pirates most likely." Her voice is soft. "And it appears that trouble is what they have found." Her own crossbow is with her pack, so the Warrior Priestess reaches for it, loads it with a bolt, winds it tightly as she watches the pirate ship grow larger as it approaches, hears another call out to her, a warrior by the looks of him, his words imploring her to pray to the Goddess.

Her crossbow loaded, Jenna rises once more to her feet as a man himself clad in dark colors begins to issue commands to the ship's crew. Realising that she, too, would likely have time for but one shot, her intent was to take that shot then meet any boarders armed with shield and Arma's Blessing. And so she watches the pirate vessel, raising her crossbow only once it has come into what she thinks to be range, her feet apart to steady herself against the rolling and pitching of the deck as she seeks out a target, trying to take note of any pirates who appear to be wearing little or no armor, judging that they offer the best chance of striking a fatal blow.

If they all appear to be similarly armored, the blonde Priestess will select one as her target, hold her fire a second or two longer before gently squeezing the trigger, to send the bolt flying through the air towards the pirate ship. The moment it has left the bow she drops the weapon to the ground, reaches for shield and hammer, prepares to face any boarders.

Jenna Drax
Crossbow w/ 1 bolt
Choosing target - looking for one lightly / unarmored if possible
Firing on chosen target then preparing for melee combat

Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 229 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:37
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
After noting the pause in the priestesses' actions when he smiles at her, Corros gives the quiet man a nod.  The plan is a decent one, easy to follow, and won't get complicated.  Many of the others on his ship look more than capable of dealing with what promises to be hand to hand combat so he makes the decision to fade back after his crossbow shot.  There are spells that might tip the field in their favor more than his quarterstaff would.

The pirate ship is closing in and the half-elf feels the familiar sense of excitement flowing into his veins.  His heartbeat accelerates as the distance between the crafts diminishes.  Combat is something he spent years running from on the streets and to stand and wait for it to happen is an strange sensation, one at odds with what Corros would prefer.  Instead of focusing on the discomfort, he tries to pick out someone organizing their adversary.  If they have a leader, he has something special in store for them.  The memories of difficult words scrawled on pages read in a library that doesn't exist in the physical plane fill his mind, ready to be unleashed.

Corros shoulders his crossbow, sighting down the bolt at the amassed enemy.

”Come and get your love,” he says quietly, quoting the Eleventh Finger.

The crossbow releases with a snap.


Corros Graelor
Firing crossbow at massed pirates then moving back from railing
+3 to attack roll
If he can spot a leader among the pirates, he will cast Dissonant Whispers at him

Ulfgar Frostbeard
 Adventurer, 216 posts
 Hill Dwarf Druid
 Spartan-117
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:38
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
"All I can drink?" Ulfgar said as his eyes grew wide.  For a split second he was lost in thought, visualizing success and the reward at the subsequent reward.  Then, with steely-eyed determination, he turned and faced the approaching ship.

"Water water everywhere... time to bring balance to the elements," Frostbeard growled.  He lifted his right hand and a flickering flame appeared in it.  The hill dwarf hurled the small oval of fire at the nearest pirate.

Ulfgar Frostbeard
Casting Cantrip - Produce Flame
Ranged spell attack (30' distance) vs. the closet target. (1d8 damage if hits)

Raellus
 GM, 418 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:38
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

As the black-sailed galley closes to within half a ship's length, Romanelli opens the sea battle in earnest, loosing and arrow from his short bow towards the pirates clustered around the mainmast shrouds. Jenna, Corros, and the three veteran Sea Horse crewmen armed with crossbows all follow suit, with Ulfgar adding his conjured mote of magical fire to the opening volley. Four pirates fall under the storm of projectiles, two dead, the other two pierced or burned to varying degrees. Three pirates, including one perched in the galley's crow's nest, answer in kind. One of salts sinks to the deck mortally wounded, shot clear through the throat. This unmans the two ship's boys, both of whom turn tail and run, leaving their pikes behind. Gronk bellows in pain and rage, crossbow bolt sunk deep into the meat of his bulging shoulder muscle. Unthinking, the Half-orc pulls the bolt and tosses it aside; rivulets of blood trickle from the open wound. (One allied seaman is killed; Gronk loses 5 HP).

Two grapnels thunk against the cog's railing, their barbs sinking into the damp wood as the throwers haul taught the lines. The cutthroats start leaping across the rapidly narrowing gap before the ships' sides have even met. Ten of them swarm aboard the Sea Horse in the first wave, clambering over the side and launching themselves at the cog's defenders.

Gronk is ready and waiting. With rage-fueled force, he brings his morning star down on to the head of the nearest boarder, bursting it like a ripe melon. The pirate's limp body drops into the narrow slice of sea between the vessels (Crit! One pirate killed).

A pirate comes straight at Nicolai, leading with his naked short sword; the lunging attack misses the thief, leaving the attacker momentarily vulnerable to rapid counterstroke.

Taking up their short pikes, the two remaining veteran cog's defenders fall under the blades of the swarming boarders (The last two allied veteran seamen are killed).

Jenna attempts to turn aside the blow of a boarding axe with her shield but the blade catches her shield arm, biting through mail and into the flesh beneath (Jenna loses 4 HP).

The Mustachioed Fighter's scale mail is proof against the slashing attack of a pirate cutlass. The Five's ersatz ally counterattacks with his bastard sword, easily cutting through his assailant's cheap leather armor, badly wounding him.

One of the pirate boarders singles out Ulfgar, catching the dwarf with the full weight of a vicious overhead cutlass blow (Crit! Ulfgar loses 7 HP).

The captain of the Sea Horse stands toe-to-toe with one of the intruders. The pirate strikes first, drawing blood with a quick sweeping cut. The captain replies with his axe, repaying the favor in kind (Sea Horse Captain loses 4 HP).

Dropping his crossbow, Corros had withdrawn from the railing shortly before the pirates began leaping aboard. Having spotted his next target, a tall, hard man with long, forked beard and shaved pate, currently bellowing orders from the deck of the galley, the warlock begins casting a targeted hex.


Tactical Summary
Three pirates have been killed.
All three veteran cog crewman have been killed. The two ship's boys have fled and are looking for a place to hide.
There are nine pirates currently on board the Sea Horse.
Pirate #1 (unwounded) is engaged with Nic.
Pirate #2 (unwounded) is engaged with Jenna.
Pirate #3 (unwounded) is engaged with Ulfgar.
Pirate #4 (seriously wounded) is engaged with the Sea Horse's captain.
Pirate #5 (seriously wounded) is engaged with the Mustachioed Fighter.
Pirates 6,7,8, & 9 have just finished off the two veteran cog crewmen and are looking for their next target/s.
Gronk is currently unengaged; he looks like he is in his battle rage and fixing to wade into pirates 6-9.
Corros is currently unengaged and casting Dissonant Whispers at the pirate captain.
There are two seriously wounded pirates on board the galley.
There is an unscathed pirate crossbowman in the galley's crow's nest, reloading.
Two unwounded pirates are minding the grapnel lines.
Three more unwounded pirates are awaiting orders.
At the moment, the pirate captain is still on board the galley.


Your Turn.

Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 339 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:39
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
As the grapnels latch onto the rail, Nicolai drops his bow atop the crate.  A dagger appears in his right hand as he draws his rapier with his left.  He sways out of the way of a boarder's heavier blade and continues the movement, disappearing from the man's peripheral vision.  Before his erstwhile opponent can recover, he takes five quick strides and extends his blade into the unprotected back of the pirate attacking the cog's captain.

Nicolai
rapier (readied dagger in off-hand for color; not dual-wielding)
bonus Disengage from Cunning Action, moving into melee with Pirate #4, and stabbing him in ungentlemanly fashion

Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 280 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:39
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Jenna Drax had not watched to see if her crossbow bolt strikes home, for she is too focused on preparing herself to face the boarders. The Priestess's heart  races as they distance between the two vessels closes until it is nothing, the sound of the grappling hooks striking home into the Seahorse's hull heralding the commencement of battle.

Trusting in Arma protect her and guide her blows to their target she grasps the hilt of Arma's Blessing in her dominant right hand, raises her left arm, shield strapped to it...and cries out as she feels a sudden, sharp pain in her arm, hissing as the pirate's axe finds exposed spot, cuts through the mail she wears, cutting into her flesh. The Priestess can already feel a warm wetness as blood begins to run from the wound, down her arm.

For a split second she locks eyes with her adversary. And then she drives towards him, bloodied arm holding shield towards the pirate, hoping that it will do better job of blocking his attack a second time as she wields Arma's Blessing in her right, trying to strike her opponent with the warhammer, attempting to put every ounce of her strength into the blow.

Jenna
Engaging Pirate #2
Attempting to smash his skull with her warhammer

Ulfgar Frostbeard
 Adventurer, 217 posts
 Hill Dwarf Druid
 Spartan-117
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:39
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Ulfgar roars as the pirate slashes him with the cutlass.  With his own blood dripping to the deck*, a primal fury overtakes the dwarf.  The whispered rumors of shapeshifting druidae are confirmed as Ulfgar seems to grow and become one with his cloak, until after only a moment, he is transformed into a full-sized ursus!

Now these pirates would learn first hand what happens when animals attack!

Ulfgar Frostbeard
Using Combat Wild Shape to assume CoM Form Brown Bear as a Bonus Action.  All equipment will merge into the new form.
Multi-attack vs. the pirate who slashed Ulfgar - Bite: +5 to Hit, +1d8+4 damage piercing, Claw: +5 to hit, 2d6+4 damage slashing.
Hit Points: Current Form: [34/34], Base HP: [14/21]

Handy Animal Card reference for various druid shapes: https://drive.google.com/folde...amp;usp=sharing#grid

*Nobody makes me bleed my own blood!  Nobody!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sk2fXsnzirI

Gronk
 Party NPC, 80 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:40
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Completely overcome by battle rage, and consequently completely heedless of his own safety, Gronk advances on the four pirates who've just hacked down the Sea Horse crewmen and are now looking for their next target. He wades into the cutthroat quartet, swinging his morning star, two-handed, at the nearest sea dog.

Gronk
21/26 HP
Enraged
Melee attack on Pirate #6


-
Raellus
 GM, 419 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:40
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Romanelli darts past his opponent and at the pirate currently engaging with the Sea Horse's captain. The assassin buries both of his blades deep into his new target's back, finishing him (Pirate #4 is dead). Romanelli's former opponent (Pirate #1) follows close on Romanelli's heels, intending to sink his own blade into the elusive, black-clad defender's back, but the unlucky pirate slips on a blood-slick patch of deck as he sets his feet to deliver the attack and his short sword flashes just wide of its mark.

Singlehandedly charging into a group of four, Grog's morning star shatters yet another pirate skull, leaving the dead man's companions to continue the fight (Pirate #6 is dead)as a trio. They attacks the big half-orc as one, leaving two fresh gashes in Grog's grey-green hide; he hardly seems to notice (Grog loses 4 more HP).

The snarling man facing off against Jenna Drax takes another hacking swing with his hand-axe but this time the cleric's shield turns the blow. She attempts to answer with Arma's Blessing, but the Warrior appears to have other plans and the attack misses.

Finishing his spell, Corros strains to see over the cog's railing to witness its effects. On the galley's deck, the pirate captain clutches at his naked, sunbaked scalp for a several heartbeats, teeth clenched in pain, but he does not flee, and the young warlock knows that the spell was not entirely successful. Quickly recovering his composure, the pirate captain barks commands at his men, ordering several more into the fray. The imposing boss then strides purposefully towards the cog, clearly meaning to join the fight. Meanwhile, in the black galley's crow's nest, the pirate marksman takes aim at the black robed figure standing alone on the outskirts the wild melee. The bolt he releases strikes Corros in the right forearm, transfixing it (Corros loses 5 HP).

The fur-clad dwarf's sudden transmogrification leaves his opponent stunned. Before the pirate can bring himself to act, the huge brown bear towering above him leans forward and crushes his skull in its powerful ursine jaws (Pirate #3 is dead).

The mustachioed fighter trades blows with his wounded opponent but both men fail to connect in their respective attempts. The cog's captain, without an opponent of his own- thanks to Romanelli's help- steps in and delivers a side-swiping blow with his battle axe, spilling the pirate's guts onto the deck (Pirate #5 is dead).


Tactical Summary
Four more pirates have been killed.
There are currently five pirates still on board the Sea Horse.
Pirate #1 is still coming after Nic.
Pirate #2 is still engaged in melee combat with Jenna.
Pirates 7, 8, & 9 are attacking Gronk.
Four more pirates (#'s 10-13) and the pirate captain are moving to board the cog.
There are three able-bodied pirates aboard the galley, the sniper in the crow's nest, the helmsman at the wheel, and the slave-master, supervising the rowers.
There are two seriously wounded pirates still on board the galley.



Your Turn.

-
Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 281 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:40
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Jenna feels the impact of axe against shield but this time Arma does protect her, the shield absorbing the blow even as her own attempt to split the pirate's skull finds only fresh air. The young Priestess is breathing faster now, blood rushing through her veins, adrenaline dulling the pain in her left arm, greeting his snarl with a cool disdain as she moves slightly, seeking a position from which she can better attack the pirate. She is largely oblivious to events going on around her, focused for the moment solely on her own individual battle, knowing that this is a fight to the end, one which will end either in her death or that of her foe, for the consequences of falling to the pirates as captive do not bear dwelling on.

And so she faces up to her opponent, booted feet shifting on the deck as she lunges forward at him, blonde tresses blowing in the wind, seeking to use her shield to try and force him back, her warhammer raised to try and strike him a mortal blow.

Jenna
Engaging Pirate #2 in melee

Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 340 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:41
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Somewhere in the back of Nicolai's mind, he's faintly pleased that his sense of timing hasn't deserted him.  He expected the pursuit, and the motion glimpsed out of the corner of his eye tells him that his rapid disengagement has given him just enough time to finish off the captain's opponent.  He tugs his blades free of the falling pirate, pulls his arms in close as he spins in place, and punches out a stop-thrust to take advantage of his skidding foe's momentum.  Then whirls away again, moving to assist the mountainous half-orc.

Nicolai
rapier (dagger in off-hand because it looks cool)
letting the air out of Pirate #1, bonus Disengage from Cunning Action, and moving into melee with Pirates #7/8/9

Gronk
 Party NPC, 81 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:41
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Seeming to ignore the pain of his wounds, the bloody Half-orc -not all of the blood is his, you see- continues to press the attack, singling out one of his three assailants for another powerful strike.

"YOU!"

The morning star rises and falls again, backswing splattering more old blood about the deck.

Gronk (Enraged); 17/26 HP
Morning star (two-handed)
Attacking Pirate #7


-
Ulfgar Frostbeard
 Adventurer, 218 posts
 Hill Dwarf Druid
 Spartan-117
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:42
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Bear Ulfgar moved to attack the next closest pirate.  Ulfgar considered charging the enemy vessel and climbing the mast to kill the sniper, but thought better of it for now.  Perhaps the beer or sprits on board the Cog that he had been promised had something to do with it.

Ulfgar Frostbeard
Multi-attack vs. the nearest pirate - Bite: +5 to Hit, +1d8+4 damage piercing, Claw: +5 to hit, 2d6+4 damage slashing.
Hit Points: Current Form: [34/34], Base HP: [14/21]

Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 230 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:42
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

The frustration Corros feels at his spell failing to effect the pirate captain is immediately supplanted by the pain of a crossbow bolt blasting through his right forearm.  Pain escapes his lips with a barely suppressed hiss and his eyes are transfixed on the object for a second, the steel head of the bolt glistening with his blood.  Anger, tinged with a hint of embarrassment at having exposed himself, floods through the pain and his looses a missile of his own at the sniper.

Corros (8/13 HP)
Casting Eldritch Bolt at the pirate who shot him

Raellus
 GM, 420 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:42
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Nicolai stabs at the persistent pursuer but the point of his rapier fails to find its target. The pirate answers with a counter-thrust, sliding the tip of his short sword along the assassin's floating rib (Nicolai loses 4 HP).

Arma favors Jenna's next attack. Her hammer smashes into her opponent's upper [off] arm, accompanied by the sharp pop of cracking bone. The man screams in pain as he brings his boarding axe down again but the cleric easily turns the weak blow with her shield (Pirate #2 is critically wounded).

Gronk's morning star slams into yet another boarder, pulverizing the man's collar bone. Blinded by intense pain, the badly wounded pirate's half-hearted counterattack fails to connect (Pirate #7 is critically wounded). His comrade fares no better, distracted by the huge brown bear currently ripping another pirate apart no more than an arm's length away.

Ulfgar Bear bites into the forearm of one of Gronk's attackers. The follow-up claw sweep separates said arm from the now mortally wounded pirate's torso (Pirate #9 is dead).

An incandescent beam of crackling energy flies from Corros' fingertips, striking the pirate marksman in the chest and almost knocking him off of his high perch (Pirate Marksman is seriously wounded). Responding to his captain's last shouted orders, the crossbowman switches targets and takes aim at the brown bear rampaging across the cog's deck. The quarrel strikes the bear in its right flank (Ulfgar Bear loses 5 HP).

Five more boarders, including the pirate chieftain himself, vault aboard the Sea Horse. One pair attacks the mustachioed fighter and the other pair attacks the cog's doughty captain. Both allies receive serious wounds as a result, but both continue to fight. Only the captain has success, his axe biting deep into the thigh of one of his assailants (Pirate #12 is seriously wounded).

The fork-bearded pirate captain, nearly as tall and broad-shouldered as Gronk, goes after Ulfgar Bear, attacking with both scimitar and dagger. Both blades draw blood (Ulfgar Bear loses 13 more HP).


Tactical Summary
Pirate #1 is unwounded and currently engaged with Nic.
Pirate #2 is critically wounded and currently engaged with Jenna.
Pirates 7 & 8 are currently engaged with Gronk; Pirate #7 is critically wounded.
Pirate #9 is dead.
Pirates 10 & 11 are attacking the Mustachioed Fighter.
Pirates 12 & 13 are attacking the Cog Captain; Pirate #12 is seriously wounded.
The Pirate Chieftain (slightly wounded) is attacking Ulfgar Bear.
The Pirate Marksman is seriously wounded.



Your Turn.

-
Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 282 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:43
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Jenna feels no pity for the pirate when she hears him cry out in anguish after Arma's Blessing bestows the Goddess's justice on the wretch. He had chosen this path and now he must face the consequences of that choice.

It appears that the fight is not quite out of him yet though, a fact evidenced by blow he aims at her, feeble though it was. Had he sought quarter rather than swing axe there was a chance that she may have spared his life. Instead Jenna raises her warhammer above her head for one more swing, intent on splitting her foe's skull open and covering the deck with his brains, her blue eyes shining as the heat of battle envelops her.

Jenna
Warhammer
Attempting to finish off Pirate #2

Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 231 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:43
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Despite the burning in his arm, Corros is somewhat satisfied with his delivery of magical energy directly to its target.  A quick sweep of the deck with his eyes tells him that the struggle is not going well for the good guys, but the battle is far from over.  Despite the presence of multiple threats on the deck, the half-elf wants the crossbow wielding pirate out of the fight for good so that he can focus on his own spoiling attacks.

A set of cryptic words erupt from his lips as another bolt of energy streaks at his target.

Corros
8/13 HP
Casting Eldritch Bolt at pirate sniper

Gronk
 Party NPC, 82 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:43
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Rage-blind to any finer sense of tactical nuance, Gronk continues to attack the badly wounded pirate directly in front of him. Swung with ferocious abandon, the Half-orc gladiator's blood-spattered morning star streaks towards its target.


Grong (17/26 HP)
Morning star
Enraged, attacking Pirate #7


-
Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 341 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:44
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Long experience with sharp metal things intruding into his flesh tells Nicolai that the blow is painful but unlikely to be fatal - unless it slows him enough that additional slashes can connect.  He backpedals, attempting to avoid that outcome, and returns to the captain's aid.  The melee around Gronk is impenetrable and losing the vessel's last competent seaman will have terminal consequences even if Nic's allies win the fight.

Nicolai: 11/15 HP
rapier (dagger in off-hand because reasons)
bonus Disengage from Cunning Action, moving into melee with the captain's enemies, backstabbing #12 or #13 as the opportunity presents itself

Ulfgar Frostbeard
 Adventurer, 219 posts
 Hill Dwarf Druid
 Spartan-117
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:44
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Ulfgar growled as the Pirate Captain's blades cut into his hide.  He pushed forward despite the pain, intent on mauling or killing the head of the pirate ship leader.

Ulfgar Frostbeard
Multi-attack vs. the Pirate Captain - Bite: +5 to Hit, +1d8+4 damage piercing, Claw: +5 to hit, 2d6+4 damage slashing.
Hit Points: Current Form: [21/34], Base HP: [14/21]

Raellus
 GM, 421 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:44
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Disengaging from his first and current opponent, Nic deftly maneuvers through the low maze of dead bodies strewn thickly about the open deck, aware that without the captain of the Sea Horse, winning the battle won't put an end to danger. With a swiftness that leaves his new target no time to react, Nic puts the point of his rapier through the pirate's heart, killing him instantly (Pirate #13 is dead).

Doggedly, Nic's original opponent continues to pursue his elusive quarry. His stabbing attack misses the slippery assassin, once again ceding the initiative to the defender.

Jenna's attack finishes her opponent, knocking him, lifeless, to the bloody deck before he can do any more harm (Pirate #2 is dead).

Already badly bloodied, a third pirate falls to the enraged half-orc gladiator's morning star (Pirate #7 is dead). Nearly surrounded by the badly mangled remains of his three comrades, the last man facing the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut panics, turning away to look for a way to escape the man-monster's bloody rampage. It's the last mistake he ever makes. Gronk makes the most of the opportunity, his morning star demolishing the pirate's head (Pirate #8 is dead).

Corros stays focused on the task at hand, repeating the cantrip with nearly identical results. Struck by a second beam of energy from the cog's warlock, the pirate marksman falls from the crow's nest, landing with a meaty thud on the galley deck below (Pirate Marksman is dead).

Ulfgar Bear turns on the Pirate Captain, attacking the man with teeth and claw. Both sink deep, creating bloody wounds (Ulfgar Bear does 22 points of damage). Calling for help, the captain counterattacks with scimitar and dagger, but only the former hits home, opening a fresh gash in the dwarven shapeshifter's thick, furry hide (Ulfgar Bear loses 7 more HP).

The cog captain's lone surviving opponent presses his attack, doing fresh damage. The thrice-wounded merchant fights on, connecting with a blow of his own. His opponent staggers back, left arm nearly severed above the elbow. Neither man has much left to give.

The mustachioed fighter is losing blood fast. Neither of his opponents find him with their blades but, badly weakened by his multiple wounds, he too fails to deliver a blow.


Tactical Summary
Pirate #1 is still unwounded and attacking Nic.
Pirate #2 is dead. Jenna is unengaged at present.
Pirates 7 & 8 are dead. Gronk is now unengaged.
Pirate Marksman is dead. Corros is unengaged and standing apart from the melee.
Pirate #13 is dead.
Pirate #12 is critically wounded and still engaged with Cog Captain; the latter is critically wounded as well.
Pirate #10 is unwounded and currently engaged with Mustachioed Fighter.
Pirate #11 is unwounded and currently engaged with Mustachioed Fighter. The latter is seriously wounded.
The Pirate Captain is seriously wounded (-28 HP) and currently engaged with Ulfgar-Bear.
There are two unwounded pirates on board the galley, the helmsman and the slave-master.
There are two seriously wounded pirates aboard the galley.



Your Turn.

-

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:45, Sat 07 May 2016.

Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 232 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:45
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Never one to let an opportunity go to waste, Corros looks around for a fresh target, preferably one not paying particular attention to him.  A couple of steps to his left reward him with the angle he wants.

With the terrible consequences in store for them should the cog lose it's captain, the warlock once again pulls at the cosmos and coalesces a bolt of energy from nothing.


Corros
8/13 HP
Moving to angle for an advantage attack
Eldritch Bolt at Pirate #12

Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 283 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:45
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
The pirate finally dispatched, Jenna spins around, her blonde hair flying in the wind, taking care not to slip on the bloodied deck. Seeing the half elf with a cross bow bolt in his arm, she locks eyes for a moment with the beautiful youth before attempting to take in the scene of battle that is unfolding around her, tries to make sense of it, for she is unsure where the bear has come from.

She can see others engaged in combat, the half orc she had seen being sick earlier, the man in dark clothing, but it seems that of all of them the Captain of the Seahorse and the man who exhorted her to pray to Arma before the battle had commenced appear to be in worst shape, so she makes the snap decision that for the moment at least the swordsman and the Captain's needs are greatest and so she decides to aid them by trying to strike down one of their opponents.

And so her head tilts backwards slightly, her lips moving although no words are audible, both pupil and iris of her eyes shifting from their normal hue to a milky white as her body becomes a conduit for the Goddess's sacred power and she summons fire from the sky in an attempt to strike down one of the two men attacking the swordsman.

Jenna
Casted Sacred Flame cantrip against Pirate #10

Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 342 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:46
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Nicolai circles counter-clockwise around the cog captain, leading his pursuer into a near-collision with  the captain's own opponent.  His blade lashes out at the bleeding pirate, going for a killing blow - or at least a chance to buy the captain some breathing room.

Nicolai [11/15 HP]
rapier (dagger in off-hand for personal grooming)
bonus Disengage from Cunning Action, maneuvering out of contact with #1, and letting the air out of #12

Gronk
 Party NPC, 83 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:46
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Gronk is coming out of his swoon of violence, slowly regaining his sense of context, the red veil descending to reveal a picture more closely resembling reality. He looks around the carnage-strewn deck as he tries to make sense of it all.

Four pirates, one barely standing, face off against three allies near the cog's wheel. Both the pretty female cleric and the young warlock are behind Gronk, out of immediate danger, and both appear to lost the mysterious revelry of spell-casting at present. To Gronk's right, a big brown bear is locked in close combat with a large, fork-bearded pirate, fiercer in aspect to any of the other pirates Gronk has seen on this morn. Perhaps he is the pirate's champion, or their captain. The hirsute dwarf is nowhere to be seen.

There's little time to waste. Gronk isn't too bright, but he knows that the fastest way to kill the body is to remove its head. With that in mind, Gronk summons his last reserves of inner strength, and heads directly for the pirate champion, hoping that the bear appreciates the help enough not to turn on the helper.


Gronk (17/26 + 8 HP from Second Wind)
Morning Star, "Spike"
Attacking Pirate Captain


-
Ulfgar Frostbeard
 Adventurer, 220 posts
 Hill Dwarf Druid
 Spartan-117
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:47
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
This wasn’t Ulfgar’s first rodeo as a bear.  The druid had to fight in this form a few times before.  While chomping faces had its own special charm, Ulfgar had found an effective combo that called for two special ‘below the belt’ attacks.  The one-two attack involved leading off with a bite attack against either femoral artery, followed up by a slashing attack against the abdomen he had nicked name ‘gut ripper’.  You always knew when your gut ripper worked, because the air would suddenly become heavy with the smell of human feces.

Only once had Ulfgar reversed the combo, slashing first then moving in for the bite.  It was a terrible experience that also had a nickname… He called it, ‘getting shitfaced’.

Ulfgar Frostbeard
Multi-attack vs. the Pirate Captain - Bite: +5 to Hit, +1d8+4 damage piercing, Claw: +5 to hit, 2d6+4 damage slashing.
Hit Points: Current Form: [14/34], Base HP: [14/21]

Raellus
 GM, 422 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:47
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Almost in unison, Jenna and Corros let loose with their spells. Corros' target, the bloodied pirate still facing off with the cog's captain, is struck down by the blast of magical energy (Pirate #12 is dead). Jenna's target staggers backwards, briefly engulfed in flames. Although he survives the spell attack, he is badly burned (Pirate #10 is seriously wounded).

Having been deprived of his intended target by the friendly warlock's arcane marksmanship, Nicolai switches targets on the fly, heading for the next closest pirate and launching a lightening quick sneak attack. Once again, the point of the assassin's rapier tastes blood as the blade slides smoothly through his victim's throat from back to front. The cutthroat has become cutthroat-ee, slumping to the deck , lifesblood pouring out too quickly to staunch (Pirate #11 is dead).

Gronk charges at the pirate captain, launching a tried and true overhead attack with his massive morning star. The effect is wholly ungratifying, the spikes of the weapon burying themselves in the wooden railing next to the fork-bearded seadog. Ulfgar-Bear has much more success, "gut-ripper" nearly living up to its name (Ulfgar-Bear does 20 damage to Pirate Captain).

Outnumbered, badly wounded, and facing the prospect of imminent death, the pirate captain sees the writing on the bulkhead. With an agility belying his larger-than-average size, the pirate captain disengages from his two large, fierce opponents and leaps back to the deck of his galley, leaving a trail of blood. One accomplice is able to join him, Nicolai's original opponent taking the opportunity to withdraw. This leaves only one pirate, well-scorched, alive aboard the Sea Horse. Badly wounded and abandoned by his mates, he drops to his knees in front of the mustachioed fighter and begs for quarter.


Tactical Summary
Pirate #1 is still unwounded and back aboard the galley.
Pirate #12 is dead.
Pirate #10 is seriously wounded and asking for quarter.
Pirate #11 dead.
The Pirate Captain is seriously wounded (-48 HP, total) and back aboard the galley.
There are two unwounded pirates on board the galley, the helmsman and the slave-master.
There are two seriously wounded pirates aboard the galley.



Your Turn.

-
Ulfgar Frostbeard
 Adventurer, 221 posts
 Hill Dwarf Druid
 Spartan-117
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:48
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Fork-beard had clearly spent too much time at sea, because any good landlubber would tell you, YOU DON'T RUN FROM BEARS!

Ulfgar-Bear took off after the Piratical Captain like the man had a one pocket full of salmon and the other full of honey.  Once aboard the enemy ship the druid launched his attack against the leader of the freebooters.  Seeing the slave-master only filled Ulfgar with even more rage.  Once the bearded-one was dealt with, the slaver would be next.

Ulfgar Frostbeard
Multi-attack vs. the Pirate Captain - Bite: +5 to Hit, +1d8+4 damage piercing, Claw: +5 to hit, 2d6+4 damage slashing.
Hit Points: Current Form: [14/34], Base HP: [14/21]



Just jump to 40 seconds to see the #1 thing you should never try to outrun.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkuDevHbhhY

Even the mouth-breathing morning news folks know about this.  Poor pirate didn't get the memo.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs9vGLWM_F4

Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 233 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:48
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Satisfied that his magic has once again done its job, Corros turns looking for more targets.  Pirates are in motion, their attack faltering causing them to flee the prey that had hoped to take.  One of them is even trying to surrender.  The warlock doubts if he would have been given quarter at this point had the tables been turned, but it's not his decision to make.

Instead, he starts walking towards the pirate ship.  When his eyes fall on the helmsman, he left hand comes up again, crafting a sigil in the air and releasing another bolt of energy, this one more like a piece of lightening, arcing from his finger to his target.  They won't get away that easily.


Corros
8/13 HP
Walking towards pirate ship
Casting Witchbolt at the Helmsman

Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 284 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:48
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
A blink and Jenna's eyes revert to normal in time to see the surviving retreat back to their vessel. The blonde haired Priestess pauses for only a heartbeat to see what her new found allies are doing, time enough to see the bear lunge after them. Jenna moves to swiftly follow the bear, for she was determined to see that none of their foes escaped justice. Whether that justice took the form of their death here or their capture and subsequent execution for their crimes mattered not to her.  Arma's will would be done.

And so she uses the pirates' own ropes to deftly move from one ship to the other, swinging across the gap between the two. When her booted feet strike the deck of the black sailed vessel she looks about quickly, her gaze resting on the Slave Master. Her eyes begin to turn white once again. He would be the next to suffer the Goddess's wrath.

Jenna
13/17 HP
Moving from one vessel to the other
Casting Sacred Flame against the Slave Master

Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 343 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:49
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Nicolai makes a mental note to ask the priestess if military history has any prior record of a boarding action being led - or at least spearheaded - by a bear.  Then he shakes off the errant thought, vaults the railing, and closes on his former pursuer.  "Are you sure you want to continue?" he asks with a twitch of his dagger toward the man's abandoned comrade.

Nicolai [11/15 HP]
rapier (dagger in off-hand for emphasis)
negotiating with #1, making with the face-stabby if he doesn't surrender

Raellus
 GM, 423 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:49
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Four of the Five leap down from the tubby cog's slightly raised main deck to the black-painted main deck of the slim pirate galley; only one lands squarely on his feet.

Jenna is just regaining her footing when the slave master is upon her. A tall, muscular thug, naked to the waste and carrying a whip in one hand and a club in the other, attacks the unsteady cleric. His whip is a blur, striking with a loud crack before she can raise her shield against it and leaving behind a stinging wound on her neck (Jenna loses 2 HP). She avoids the brute's far more dangerous follow-up club attack and launches her an attack of her own, knocking the bald brute back with a heavy blow from her war hammer (Thug loses 10 HP).

Ulfgar-Bear slips on the smooth deck of the galley; fortunately, so did the pirate captain (no change in initiative order). Jaws snap shut on empty air, but the brown bear's claws once again rake the pirate captain's chest, drawing yet more blood (Ulfgar Bear hits for 12 damage). Knowing that capture means certain death, the savage pirate leader has nothing to lose. Ferocity born of desperation, he launches a powerful counter-attack, striking the bear with both scimitar and dagger (Ulfgar-Bear loses 13 more HP). Neither of the two combatants has much left to give; both could potentially finish the other with the next attack.

Although he tries, Gronk is of no help to his ursine ally. He too slips on the slick deck and his morning star attack against the fork-bearded pirate chief fails to hit home. One of the pirates wounded in the cog defenders' opening volley of missiles seizes the opportunity presented by the off-balance Half-orc to launch an attack of his own; but his short sword sings by Gronk's right ear without leaving a mark.

As Nicolai asks a pointed question, his rapier is pointed directly at his old pirate crewman enemy's chest. This man too knows that the best that a captive pirate can hope for is a clean drop from the gibbet, so he ignores the surrender demand, instead hacking at Nicolai's outstretched arm with short sword. He misses and it's nearly the last mistake he'd ever make. Nicolai's rapier darts foward and pierces the pirate's chest, nearly letting the wind out of him (Nic hits Pirate #1 for 10 damage). Deflated but defiant, the pirate staggers back off of the slim, red-painted blade, then lurches forward again, short sword cutting into the assassin's off arm (Nic loses 4 more HP). A wounded companion rejoins the fight, attacking Nicolai from the flank but missing with the weak swing of his hand-axe.

Corros stays aboard the cog, his position near the railing offering a commanding view of the pirate galley's deck. His latest incantation produces a lightening bolt-like arc of energy which strikes the pirate helmsman, knocking the salt-cured man to his knees (Corros does 8 points of damage to Helmsman).

Also aboard the Sea Horse, the mustachioed fighter dispatches the surrendering wounded corsair with a hacking blow from his great sword.


Tactical Summary
Nic is in close combat with Pirate #1 who is now critically wounded.
Pirate #14 is seriously wounded and attacking Nic.
Jenna is in close combat with the Slave Master who is now seriously wounded.
Pirate Captain is critically wounded and in close combat with Ulfgar-Bear and Gronk.
The Pirate Helmsman is critically wounded.
Pirate #15 is seriously wounded and attacking Gronk.



Your Turn.

-
Ulfgar Frostbeard
 Adventurer, 222 posts
 Hill Dwarf Druid
 Spartan-117
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:51
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
For a split second, Ulfgar channeled the energy of sea and sky to rejuvenate himself before launching another series of attacks against the pirate leader.  The effect of his magic was weak and he hoped his strikes against the 'forked beard' would be more successful.

Bonus Action: 19:01, Today: Ulfgar Frostbeard rolled 1 using 1d8.  Combat Wild Shape Bonus Action HP.  -1 Spell Slot
Ulfgar Frostbeard
Multi-attack vs. the Pirate Captain - Bite: +5 to Hit, +1d8+4 damage piercing, Claw: +5 to hit, 2d6+4 damage slashing.
Hit Points: Current Form: [2/34], Base HP: [14/21]

Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 285 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:51
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Jenna winces when she feels the sting of the lash around her neck, her spell disrupted, so whilst there is smoke on the water there is no fire in the sky. However unlike the poor wretches who have suffered helplessly under the overseer's whip whilst chained to an oar, the Priestess has the ability to strike back at the bare chested brute that wields it and that thought drives her actions as she swings her hammer, the first blow striking her foe hard, knocking his head to one side, blood spraying from his mouth, several of his teeth knocked out.

Determined to press home her advantage, Jenna Drax does not intend to give him any chance to recover from that blow. Instead she raises the Warhammer above her head, swings it a second time, her intent being to show him the same mercy that he had shown others and end his miserable life there and then.

Jenna
11/17 HP
Warhammer Arma's Blessing
Melee attack on Slave Master

Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 344 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:51
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
As Nicolai determined a bare few minutes before the pirate attack, his right arm still isn't back to full capacity.  Perhaps that's what allows the pirate's counter-attack to slip through.  Or perhaps it's overconfidence.  Whatever the cause, Nic curses and pulls back a step as the other man's blade slices his forearm.  Suddenly warier, he circles, attempting to force his two opponents to entangle one another.  He picks his opening and steps in again, looking to finish his part of the fight quickly.

Nicolai [7/15 HP]
rapier (dagger in off-hand for drawing attention, apparently)
bonus Disengage from Cunning Action, maneuvering out of contact with #14, and attacking #1

Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 234 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:52
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Leaning into the lightening escaping his left hand, Corros maintains his concentration and continues to pour the lethal energy from some sub-dimension into his target.  The condition of his new found companions is worrying.  The bear, wherever that came from, looks like it's surging in one last effort.  The blond priestess is looking oddly satisfied even as a whip is snaked around her neck and she prepares to brain the wielder a second with a hammer.  The half-orc is still doing some damage, and the two weapon wielding blur is dispatching targets at an impressive clip.

The half-elf might like to do more, but at the moment, he's a bit tied to his lightening bolt.

Lightening crashes. It's the moment he's been waiting for.

Corros
8/13 hp
Maintaining concentration on Witch Bolt
Traget Helmsman

Raellus
 GM, 424 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:52
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

The mangled remains of the Pirate Captain lie at Ulfgar-Bear's four feet, victim of one final tooth-and-claw attack. At the same time, Gronk finishes his fifth opponent of the contest. Meanwhile, the pirate helmsman writhes briefly and slumps dead to the deck, victim of Corros' mysterious arts. Nicolai and Jenna fail to finish their respective opponents with their next attacks, but with the help of the others, the fight is soon over (Nic loses 4 more HP; Jenna loses 2 more HP).

+1000 XP.

Four of the Five stand on the pirate galley's narrow, black-painted deck, with Corros looking on from the cog. Through gaps in the deck, the four can see the galley slaves, chained two to an oar, eight oars to a side, sitting on their benches below. They look up, fear mixed with hope clear in their red, rheumy eyes.

There's plunder aboard, to be sure, but it will need to be ferreted out. The galley itself is probably worth something to the right buyer, if for nothing more than scrap. Then there's the matter of the galley slaves.

The two vessels, still connected by the pirate grapnels, are carried onward by the southeasterly wind. Two ships, one short and stout, the other long and slender, bound together are much more difficult to handle than either alone. Beacon Rock looms closer now, but the ships are drifting further offshore.

The Sea Horse's captain leans against the port railing, his strength ebbing away with  the blood still dripping from nearly a half-dozen wounds. Aside from the two ship's boys, still nowhere to be seen, and the elderly helmsman, he has no crew.

"That's Forkbeard, alright.", he coughs, looking at the large, mutilated corpse on the black deck below. "There's a bounty on his head. If we can get to port..."

That's all he can manage. He looks to be on the verge of collapse. Three of the Five aren't much better off (Nic, Jenna, and Ulfgar-Bear are all critically wounded; Corros is seriously wounded and Gronk is slightly wounded).


Your Turn.

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Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 286 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:52
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Jenna Drax taps at her cheek with the fingers of her left hand, feels the wetness, sees the streaks of crimson on her fingertips, the blood coming from the cut where the Slave Master's whip had sliced her skin when it had struck her a second time. The wretch now lay at her feet, his life's blood spilled onto the black painted deck. She knew not who had struck the fatal blow and it mattered not. Battle was over.

Looking at the three who stand with her aboard the pirate vessel the Priestess can see that all have wounds that appear to be at least as serious as hers, if not more so. Then there were the other three who had joined the battle, and were still aboard the Seahorse. She could heal some of them, but she was still learning the ways of Arma, in many respects was a mere novice, with so little understanding  of how to channel the Goddess's power. She should not even have been here on her own, without guidance of a more experienced Priest, but Arma had willed it otherwise.

And so she is attempts  to ascertain which of her newfound comrades in arms needs were the greatest. Seeing the Captain of the Seahorse against the railing the decision is made for her. The blond haired Priestess can see the rock ahead loom larger. "He needs healing." she announces to her companions aboard the pirate vessel. "And if he perishes then we may all perish." Needing to touch the man to heal him, Jenna moves across the black deck to reboard the cog and attempt to heal its Captain.

Jenna
Performing Battlefield Triage
Returning to cog to cast Cure Wounds on its Captain

Ulfgar Frostbeard
 Adventurer, 223 posts
 Hill Dwarf Druid
 Spartan-117
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:53
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Ulfgar-Bear roar growled one more time over the slumped body of Fork-Beard, before changing back into his normal form.  The pain he had to endure as a bear eased a bit, as his dwarven body hadn't been as badly injured.

"Gadewch i natur yn darparu lle na all dyn!" Ulfgar said in an unknown language as he cast a spell.  10 small berries appeared in his right hand.

"Here girl, take three of these!" he said now switching to Common as he offered Jenna a trio of berries, hope she would take them before leaving for the Cog.  "One for you wizard.  Three for you foreigner," Frostbeard said, offering a berry each to both Corros and Nicolai.

"Eat.. you eat this..." Ulfgar said slowly but loudly, holding up one berry in front of the half-orc and pantomiming the action required to put a single berry up to your mouth.  "Eat this," he affirmed one more time.  Clearly the dwarf assumed the half-orc couldn't understand the Common tongue or was perhaps otherwise 'challenged'.

Ulfgar finished the last two berries himself.

Casting Goodberry to heal 3 HP Jenna, 1 HP Corros, 3 HP Nicolai, 1 HP Gronk, 2 HP Ulfgar
These count as 1 day of nourishment in addition to the healing.
1 Spell Slot remaining

Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 235 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:53
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Offering the priestess a hand cross back over to the cog seems like a pointless expense of energy.  The servant of Arma doesn't look uncomfortable in the crossing and doesn't appear to be looking for help.  When the dwarf/bear offers him a berry, Corros is happy to accept, recognizing if not the exact spell in effect, at least the general theory behind it.  He scarfs the fruit, relishing the power flowing out of its crushed juices and infusing his injured body.  He doesn't relish the sensation for long, though.  The rocks are coming on strong and they are going to have to do something soon or the small company will have defeated the pirates only to drown with the newly liberated slaves.

"I can probably do something about the slaves," Corros sort of announces to no one in particular, "if someone can do something about this for me."  The warlock waves his impaled arm about carefully.  Tugging on it once himself already had sent waves of nausea through him that the half elf didn't think were caused entirely by the motion of the ocean.
Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 345 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:53
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Nicolai retrieves a wayward dagger from the galley's rail and sags against it, holding an improvised dressing against the last wound in his left thigh.  He's not dead yet, so it clearly missed the femoral artery, but neither will he be nimbly bouncing around another battlefield for a while.

At Jenna's proclamation, he raises his gaze and nods.  "Not capsizing and drowning is a priority," he agrees wryly.  "Find out what we need to do to keep his ship afloat and whether we should strip anything from this one to make that happen."

He looks up, then down, sharply at Ulfgar's reverse transformation.  When the dwarf approaches him, he raises an eyebrow.  His knowledge of druidic magic is largely academic and likely highly inaccurate, but pragmatism says that if the hill dwarf intended him ill, he'd already have been eaten by a bear.  "Thank you," he says simply, accepting the proffered fruit, and washes it down with a swig from his waterskin.

Nicolai [6/15 HP]
taking a breather

Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 287 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:54
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
When she reboards the cog Jenna munches on the berries that the dwarf gave her. She feels a tremor of energy ripping through her slim body as she swallows them down, places her hand to her cheek once more, but cannot feel any blood.

When she's reached the cog's Captain she leans her shield and warhammer against the railing, within arm's reach should she need them, says quietly to the sailor. "This will not hurt." She then places her right hand on his forearm, grasping his limb firmly, her lips moving in silent prayer to Arma, her eyes clouding over as she focuses on using the Goddess's energy to heal the man. It only takes a split second for a ripple of that power to course over his arm. "It is done" she says in the same low voice. "And now we need your help to ensure we do not sink."

Once she's spoken with the Captain she turns her attention to the half elf, taking several steps towards him. And feeling her cheeks color, for she is clearly a little flustered to be this close to him. "Well met. My name is Jenna Drax." she manages to say before nodding towards the crossbow bolt still lodged in his arm. "Let me help you with that."

Squatting down for a moment and keeping her eyes on the deck, Jenna reaches for a fallen dagger, uses it to slice a length of cloth from the clothing of one of the fallen pirates. She then rises up to her full five feet seven, steps in close. "I am sorry, this may hurt a little." And then she yanks the bolt from his arm in one rapid movement, which she imagines may well be extremely painful, tossing it to the side and wrapping the strip of cloth around the wound, tying it off tightly. "I will check on you later, make sure it is healing. If necessary I can use magic to help."

Jenna then steps back, smiles. If there's no further need for her aboard the Seahorse she'll retrace her path back to the pirate vessel.
Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 236 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:54
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

"Corros," the half-elf introduces himself with a wave of his good hand.  He's slightly amused at the reaction he is invoking in the priestess, with her blushes and avoidance.  Most of that exits with the blaze of fire that rips through his arm when the crossbow bolt is forcibly removed.  Hopefully the whimper he tries to dampen by practically cracking his teeth isn't audible.

"Right love, that hurt," he smiles when he says it, though, before looking away and letting out a stream of silent curses that would probably blister a holy woman's ears if she could make them out.  The work is solid, the injury isn't any worse than many others he's had, and there are plenty of other scars on his arms for this one to join.  "Thank you Jenna." He gives her a prize grin this time.

Corros risks a glance at the approaching rocks before skipping across the gap right behind Mistress Drax, stepping foot on the galley for the first time and taking a moment to step around the pools of blood marking the death of her crew.  The helmsman smells like cooked meat.  Before he can dwell on that fact for too long, he makes his way to the slaves.

"Okay," he addresses the slaves in the galley, balancing one of benches.  The smell is atrocious, but at least the odor of desperation is receding.  "The good news is, due to unforeseen death on the part of the pirates, you lot are free to go.  The bad news is, we're about to get smashed to pieces on the rocks and all drown together unless you help us out.  We need four or five of you that know something about sailing to head back over to the Seahorse to replace some crew who just died for your freedom.  Then the we're going to need the rest of you to help us get this ship back to shore.  You're free let's make something of it!"

Maybe it wasn't the speech that inspired the Brackanal Lords to take up arms against the Armies of the Deep, but Corros figured it wasn't bad for a street rat.
Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 346 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:55
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
With the dwarf's restorative berries doing their work, Nicolai's head is clear enough for him to start thinking through the next few minutes.  He's familiar with most of the ways a man can hide a small metal object on his body, though he fervently hopes the slavemaster wasn't possessed of too much creativity or paranoia.  He crosses the deck to the man's body - stinking already, even without the benefit of putrefaction - and begins searching for the key to the rowers' shackles.  His tools are in their usual place in the small channels sewn into his leather vambraces, but he'd rather not demonstrate that particular trick if an easier method is available.

"Good summary, Corros," he grins, glancing up at the half-elf.  "How's the arm?"
Gronk
 Party NPC, 84 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:55
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning
Ulfgar Frostbeard:
"Eat.. you eat this..." Ulfgar said slowly but loudly, holding up one berry in front of the half-orc and pantomiming the action required to put a single berry up to your mouth.  "Eat this," he affirmed one more time.  Clearly the dwarf assumed the half-orc couldn't understand the Common tongue or was perhaps otherwise 'challenged'.


"Really? Berries are for eating? My, aren't you a smart little man. Thanks!" Gronk answers with a smile, popping the berry into his mouth. He's used to being treated like a dumb brute, and he'd long ago stopped getting angry about it. He laughs it off instead, storing up that little bit of residual resentment he can't help but feel to fuel his next rage. "That was some good fighting there, Mr. Bear.", he continues, considering himself somewhat of an expert on the subject.

The Half-orc looks around for something that needs doing, wanting to make himself useful. He notes the pirate captain's weapons- two particularly fine blades, one long and curved, the other short and very pointy. He isn't a finesse fighter though, so he picks them up and takes them over to Nic. "You look like you might appreciate these.", Gronk offers.

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Raellus
 GM, 425 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:56
Prologue: Red Sky at Morning

Corros and Nicolai find the keys to the galley slaves' shackles on the dead slave master. After that, freeing said captives is a simple, if somewhat time consuming process.

"Who among you are experienced sailors?" Corros asks. About half of the rowers raise their grimy, blistered hands. "Up on deck, then. Your skills are needed above. The rest of you, your strong arms are still required here below. We'll arrange for food and ale to be brought down while we get things sorted." Although there is some grumbling and a few doubtful, worried looks exchanged, the remaining rowers are cooperative and seem willing to help.

Much revived by Jenna's Cure Wounds spell, the cog's captain sets about organizing the ad hoc crew. The most pressing need is a tow cable. The captain- Trelk is his name- arranges its fashioning and attachment, then, leaving his elderly helmsman aboard with a couple of able-bodied seamen, transfers over to the pirate vessel to supervise the towing operation. According to its freed prisoners, the pirate vessel is called Jet Spear.

The trip into Balefyre takes about two hours, with Captain Trelk and the rowers doing most of the work. During that time, the Five search the galley, finding a small chest in Forkbeard's cabin. Nicolai examines it carefully, determining that it is trapped with a spring-loaded poison needle. He disarms the device with ease, opening the chest to reveal 45 gold pieces and a milky green peridot gemstone worth about 500 gold pieces all on its own. With the addition of Forkbeard's personal weapons (both +1), it's not a bad haul, but clearly these pirates had just begun their current cruise.

The dead pirates, all except the infamous Forkbeard, are tossed overboard, and soon the two vessels have a tail of hungry blue sharks. They all pass through a small flotilla of fishing vessels just setting out from Balefyre to look for the day's catch. The crews stand watch the procession wearily from the decks of their modest working boats, the Jet Spear apparently having made quite a name for itself already.

A detachment of the city guard, identified by their orange cloaks and helmet plumes, is waiting on the jetty. From the beak of the galley, Trelk hails them in his booming sea captain's voice, seeming to put the leery soldiers somewhat at ease.

Once the ships are settled in and tied to the jetty, the shaky-legged former captives file off of the galley, giving the Five their heartfelt thanks as they leave. One of the freed galley slaves, a filthy young man barely out of his teens, invites the Five to dinner at the Vander estate in the West Ward. Trelk approaches the Five as well, speaking low and quickly as the leader of the city guard detachment makes his way up the gangplank. The mustachioed fighter, sporting a couple of large, bloody bandaged, lingers nearby.

"You've more than paid your way. Here," Trelk handing each of the Five five gold pieces- the inflated fee each paid in Seagate for the passage to Balefyre. "You took it, so Forkbeard's head, and the bounty on it, is yours by right. I suppose his treasure is yours as well. By law of the sea, the galley is mine. I'll cut mustache in from my share. A fair split, I'd say."

"Well, what do we have here?" Sergeant D'Kord asks, inserting himself into the conversation. "Captain Trelk, you've outdone yourself! I thought your fighting days were behind you. Ah, here's your secret. Who are your new friends, here?"

Trelk introduces the Five to Sergeant D'Kord, second in command of the Fire Watch, Balefyre's city guard. He'd apparently been given word of the Sea Horse's contest with the Jet Spear by the lookout in the stone watchtower atop Beacon Rock. He could be forgiven for failing to believe that the old cog would come out the winner.

"Commander Overmark is going to want to meet you. When you've seen to your wounds and lodging and such, come to the keep. Make sure to bring that with you." he adds, pointing to Forkbeard's still-attached head.

Balefyre's Harbor Ward awaits. The docks are a bustling place, redolent of fish guts and wood smoke, tar and pine.

+1000 XP for saving both ships, freeing the prisoners, and safely recovering Forkbeard's personal treasure.


Your Turn.

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