Siege: We have a situation
The Crimson Blades are discreetly inviting interested parties to get a handle on the situation before any humans on board are caught up in a bloodbath.
(OOC: Infiltrators, combatants, and spies are preferred. 5 PCs max.)
April 11, 2017, 7 p.m.
Arx - Lower Boroughs - Dockyard
Comments and Log
No one coming knows for sure what's going on... only that there is a situation at the Dockyard, and that a subtle approach is needed to handle it. The Crimson Blades claim to have found a ship with Bringers and their minions on board. Right now, Major Marcus Wolfe is on scene with some men from one of their Companies, keeping an eye on things.
They're on one of the streets next to the pier, and pretending to keep to their patrol while staying local. The ship itself? It definitely looks abandoned as the group approaches the mercenary Major, who idly tugs his Crimson Blade tabard down on occasion as he watches the cargo ship from afar, keeping next to a warehouse wall as if casually idling.
A vast quantity of Acacia's time has been spent employed upon these very docks through House Velenosa or otherwise, and living nearby as a Culler ensures her presence here isn't a surprising one. But the drawn up hood of her darkened cloak shrouds those tied-back, fiery red curls and her sedate, soft-booted steps are deliberately low-key to try to avoid any potential familiarity with those she might pass by. She untucks a flask from the interior of her cloak as she nears the Major, veering towards him a roundabout way at one of those subtle signals of his tabard. There's a discreet nod granted the man, when she settles on the other side of some crates, as if warding off the winter winds.
It was mostly by chance that Shadow had found out about the need for some assistance with the particular ship on the docks, The man having arrived initially to deliver a few leathers that had been tanned in a method to waterproof the leather. The man now moving along slowly trailed by his wolf pup towards the patrol in their little position to watch the ship.
Grimhall men have been thick as a flock of dour gulls about the waterfront for weeks, thus a half dozen such men moving through the streets, discussing where to place barricades is nothing out of the ordinary. Six of them moving with Dulcinea Telmar is a bit odd, though. Harald is hearing out the words of Orathy, beside whom he is walking, a glower on his face when the Crimson Blade asks their attendance.
The other Culler, Orathy, he's been seen to be working with Lord Harald Grimhall lately, which has him and his group of remaining gureilla thugs appearing all over the Boroughs. Therefore, it is of little surprise that he is walking shoulder to shoulder with the Grimhall lord. Their business seems to be on rations and supplies, generally, or the inspection of this building or that. Orathy's arms are currently gesturing with his words, pointing up at buildings and then back to the dock, shrugging his shoulder and muttering in tones that don't pass their current group.
Dulcinea treads softly with Harald and Orathy, listening to as she scans the area, paying special attention to elevated structures. Rooftops, primarily, but also the rigging and mast of moored ships. "There's plenty of vantage for archers," she notes. "The warehouse, the ships, that place -- Murder of Crows? What a terrible name. Who would want to murder crows? Farmers, I suppose, but what's a crow ever done to anyone in the Low Boroughs? Oh, honestly," she huffs at one of the Grimhall men sticking on her like a burr, "you just /stepped/ on my /foot/."
Orathy looks back toward Dulcinea, his espresso eyes showing some hint of mirth, humor though is dark, "Reckon they eat the dead 'n we in turn eat 'em, probably a couple times a weak in our stew." Whether he's serious or not, he turns his face away from her as he considers a roof top, "Rooftops are difficult... I reckon I nearly fell off one meself a few weeks back in a fight up town. Flat rooves are easy nuff ta manage, not so much footwork involved, but it ain't givin ya much cover either. Youse can be picked off by archers on the ground jist the same." He angles his hands together, "Then the rooves with peaks 'n valleys, trickier ta move yer feet on, greater risk of slippin off. Dormer do be offering some place ta hide about, but the steep incline be not so good fer archer's to get a good perch on, less they be steady nuff fer it 'n have shorter bows. Wouldn't want to put a longbow man up there on a steep pitched roof."
"Murder of Crows likely sounded shadier than Parliament of Owls or something." Acacia wasn't too far off from the trio, though there was still a comfortable distance by the time she'd espied them with a tick of her dark eyes from her given position. Orathy was given a respectful nod first, with the Lord and Lady granted that silent greeting. The flask must've not been much more than a prop, hovered in its clutch near her chest, but not partaken of. She tracks Shadow for a ways, a small smile brandished his general direction and then swings focus back to the Major.
As each individual and group approaches, the Major gives them a nod, before he gestures over to the warehouse wall. "Better than I thought, good. I'm Major Wolfe." Theres a chin gesture to the ship. "Lord General Telmar says there are Bringers on that ship after doing some investigation. Now, normally, we'd just storm the thing and bring em down. Problem is... not one of us as seen most of the crew. We've been watching this ship for a few days now, and only six people are coming and going. We did some checking, and that ship has cargo for the foostuffs warehouses of Arx." The man frowns a bit, "Don't need me to tell you the implications of that. We're pretty sure the rest of the crew found out and are being held hostage on that ship. If we approach, good chance they'll know we're onto them and they'll torch the boat and anyone off the ship will go to ground in Arx. So." He raises a questioning brow. "I can keep back and watch for stragglers with my squad here, but I have orders not to interfere otherwise to keep them from being tipped off. Think you all can handle this?"
Shadow remains silent listening to the Major, The man finally asking in a hushed tone. "Know where ship come from? From North or somewhere else?" The man's words spoken in a halted fashion as he looks to the Major. The mention of Hostages seeming to be lost upon the big man so instead he just gives a slow almost tenative nod.
Orathy trails off as they approach the Major, his hands coming down to his sides with one resting on the haft of his axe. He nods to Acacia but his eyes turn to listen to Wolfe, marking the ship with a casual turn of his chin once and a while so he can glance at it. "Hostage? Nawh, likely dead..." says the Culler, sniffing a bit, his hand coming up to rub his nose then shrug a shoulder, "Should be like the practice run Princess Jaenelle held a while back..."
Harald regards the mercenary evenly, leaving off further discussion of defenses until the present matter is resolved. "Did your general name how he knows there to be Bringers aboard? And be sure to watch the water, as well," he advises evenly, before looking over Orathy, Acacia, and Shadow, "Any swimmers among you?"
Orathy levels a look at Harald, amusement surfacing in the espresso eyes of the thug, "Survived jumpin' from a Thraxian ship 'n out ta sea 'n made it back. Aye, reckon I can swim..."
"Any swimmers not intent on reminding me of their criminal past?" Harald rephrases, deadpan after Orathy's smiling answer.
Acacia's gaze swings to Orathy immediately after the question about swimmers, her grin expanding just a bit. "Past or not, if Orathy's skilled, my Lord," she finally opines, her chin tucking fractionally to partially conceal that jovial expression. But it doesn't last, steadily fading when a slip of her hand retrieves a small handheld piece of reflective glass and she utilizes it to try to sneak a better peak of the vessel. "The docks are still in fairly poor repair in some places. There's a shipment or so of wine, and a borrowed barrel or so placed by a paid-off laborer or guard in the right place might be able to be lit on fire by the Lady's bow to provide a bit of harmless distraction for us to sneak aboard."
"I think a parliament is far shadier," Dulcinea says with a dimple. But then she catches on to the mercenary speaking. "I'm sorry, Lord General who?" Doesn't she know everyone in her family? She shakes her head vaguely at Harald. She doesn't swim. "You think the six people coming and going are -- what? Bringers?" she asks the major.
Criminal is something that Shadow does understand and in the man's continued attempts to figure out humor in the city he kindly offers to Harald. "Swam much when was still shav with both knees. Figure after giving knee, can still swim. Might be little to left though." The man reaching towards his right knee as he grins before looking to the Major once more curiously.
Dulcinea glances at Shadow with a look of distaste. Eugh.
Orathy stifles a laugh, his lips curling for it though. Oh yes, there's laughter in the air when the doom of facing Bringers is near enough. He shuffles his feet, his own comments enough to add, "Reckon I scrambled up ships befer, trick is ta make sure they ain't knowin yer comin. Iffin we slip into the water on the opposite of where she be ported, jist gotta hope there be line's left out, otherwise yer looking for hand holds, which, on some ships, be impossible ta have without digging yer blades into 'er belly." He looks back over toward the ship, "Can be done, with a bit of luck..."
Harald shakes his head to Acacia. "No fires on the waterfront." A nod to Shadow, and look back to Orathy. "Culler, speak if you've another mind: I say you take those who can swim and approach the vessel from the far side. Gain the deck if you can. Signal if you wish us to give you more time, otherwise I and mine will storm the gangplank, to your aid. If not silent, we may at least be swift."
"Because it fits their methods and their objective. A cargo ship needs more crew than that, and we haven't seen any of the crew coming off for shore leave, only to walk around and talk to harbor personnel." Wolf explains to Harald. Then, to Shadow, "We haven't looked yet. if we start asking about them, they might spook as well. We can get into all of that once we have this dealt with." Then Dulcinea, "Lord General Telmar. Tobias Telmar? He's the leader of the Crimson Blades, My Lady." Then, Acacia gets a look, "Fire at the docks? Bad idea. The scouts in Emerald Company tend to do their distractions after their missions, but I'll leave the details to all of you, and we'll help how we can."
Orathy checked command + leadership against difficulty 15, resulting in 20, 5 higher than the difficulty.
Orathy looks over toward Shadow, up turning his chin, "Yer with me then. Aye, I be liking Lord Harald's plan. We be tryin ta take the far side 'n clearing as much the deck as we can, Lord Harald 'n the rest, might be best ta get close in and wait fer our signal ta storm the gangplank."
"He's my arse fucking, family-ditching brother whom I haven't seen for six years," clips Dulcinea, primly... Primly as one can, using such language. "Since when is he -- never mind." She shakes her head sharply. "If they've been sending the crew -- the hostages -- ashore, why has no one helped them esc -- you know?" She shakes her head. "Never mind." She turns to Harald. "Just point me and shoot me."
When the plan is made for swimmers to approach by water and with the answer from the major Shadow gives a small shrug, The man removing his cloak before tugging free his jerkin tossing it on the ground. The man motioning towards the clothes as he looks to the wolf pup that had been with him, "Stay and watch Shadow clothes. Keep dry and warm." The man crouching down to offer a small scritch to the pup before he is raising back up and turning to look to the others. "Shadow only ask since could listen and see what up to." His shoulders shrugging again as he moves to follow Orathy's lead.
Harald hears out Wolf with a short grunt. To Orathy, he adds, "No cutting any throats that still breathe, unless they try to cut yours. Clear? We'll approach as near as we may, with discretion. Any shouts, and we board. Archer with us," he adds to Dulcinea.
"Arse f--" No more than those first perplexed few syllables escape Acacia's lips, before she seals them shut with only that partial grin. There's no issues through when she dips her head to both Wolf and Harald, an effortless action as she straightens up a bit. "Seen you do this. If anyone manages it with finesse, it's you," she issues towards Orathy, voice hushed. "Stay safe." There's a small nod towards both him and Shadow, before she visually checks a look back at Harald.
Dulcinea wields A beautifully made and elaborately carved horseman's bow.
Orathy starts to take off his heavier gear, for the most part leaving him with a pair of daggers and his axe. "Aye, we can take 'em out without killin 'em, iffin they ain't attemptin ta kill us. The more silent the better-" he looks over to Shadow to confirm the other heard that, "Jist don't want ta give ourselves away iffin we don't have ta." He considers, "Will be either one of us at the gang plank be yer signal."
Shadow gives a low mutter and near growl not in Arvani but in Northlands Shav as Orathy looks to him and mentions not killing them unless needed. The large man from the north for one reason or another actually having an issue with not killing the bringers and shav aboard the ship. Though in the end and with another growl he does nod.
Orathy winks at Acacia, before he starts to lead Shadow toward a discrete ladder down into the gray water. "If ya ain't figurin it out, I'm Orathy. Best we can do is try ta take as many out as we can. Ain't wantin them to call out a signal before we go." Then he looks down at the water, "Ahh fuck me, I ain't wantin to swim till I was swimming with the fishes... Fuck..."
Harald gives Orathy a faint nod. "Your signal, or your shout, and we board in force." A glance back to his men to verify they heard, and to Dulcinea, "Kill any who flee."
Orathy checked dexterity + athletics against difficulty 20, resulting in 25, 5 higher than the difficulty.
"You're in Arx, shav. Speak the King's Tongue," Dulcinea asides to Shadow. She nods readily to Harald, however. "Yes, my lord."
Shadow has rolled a critical success!
Shadow checked dexterity + athletics against difficulty 15, resulting in 65, 50 higher than the difficulty.
@emit "Good luck, Gods keep you." The Major salutes, before he heads back to his men, giving orders already.
As Shadow and Orathy approach the Peirand get into the water, the way over and around is easy enough. Going around the back of the ship though, Shadow manage to find some handholds to grab onto, and get enough leverage to get a stray rope that was dangling. The sudden weight shifts it around to the side of the ship though... forcing Orathy to use the handholds to scale up slowly.
Back at the Pier, the others notice two figures on the ship, mopping down the deck... but only two. The two men glance in their direction, give a wave, then go back to work.
"... Waves aren't typically ominous. But that was kind of ominous," Acacia remarks, voice still hushed, when she tears her gaze from the reflection in the mirror and slides it back into a pocket. "That leaves four unaccounted for, aye, my Lord, Lady?" Her right hand hovers comfortably against her belt, thumb hooked there as she straightens up marginally.
Dulcinea mutters, "Why are the hostages waving at us and not attempting to escape or signaling for help? And why did none the six the sellswords observed coming and going? This is truly odd." She nods at Acacia. "That," she agrees, trying to look casual about nocking an arrow, bow held down. "Weirdly. Ominous. Waves."
Orathy was letting the weight of his leathers and the axe help drag him down, so that his nose was just skimming across the water. His swimming tactics aren't as fast as Shadow, but they also ensure there's no splashing that would be larger than a fish, which could gain the attention of any crew on the deck at that point. He dips under water a few times along the way, since swimming under water too, helped with the sneaky part. Once nearer to the ship, it's all doggy paddle from there, treading water when near to the ship's starboard, opposite the port side where she's docked. He finds some hand holds, despite a rope swinging out of reach.
Shadow moves through the water easily, the man having been telling the truth when he mentioned swimming and without the leftward lean to his movements even. As he reaches the ship his hands move out taking hold of the hand holds that he finds as he begins to slowly ease his form up out of the water. The man working his way up to grab onto the rope using it to assist in helping him move up along the side of the vessel.
"Expect more than six," Harald rumbles simply to Acacia's count. "Simply be ready."
Acacia dips her head once towards Harald, breath drawn in when she catches another sight of the ship and trying to further a better view of the deck and those seemingly innoculous deckhands.
Shadow checked dexterity + stealth against difficulty 25, resulting in 26, 1 higher than the difficulty.
Orathy checked dexterity + stealth against difficulty 25, resulting in 41, 16 higher than the difficulty.
Orathy checked perception + investigation against difficulty 30, resulting in 17, 13 lower than the difficulty.
Shadow checked perception + investigation against difficulty 30, resulting in 24, 6 lower than the difficulty.
Lucky for Shadow and Orathy, the climb is pretty easy on a stopped cargo ship. Unluckily for them, there are two obvious deckhands mopping down the deck. They seem oblivious to the two though, so engrossed in their work, so it's pretty easy to skip by using the natural shadows to get to the stairway into the ship proper.
Once down in the main hold, one thing becomes clear; This place feels empty. There are far fewer crates than you'd expect from a ship carrying food into a besieged city. So far though, all clear...
Shadow wields Shadow's Axe .
Orathy wields a brutal battle axe with a wicked crescent blade.
Harald notes lowly to those with him, "Lady Dulcinea, your orders stand: kill any who flee. The rest," including Acacia, "Subdue any who offer no true threat."
"Permission to seek higher ground, my lord," Dulcinea asks. "I am not throwing away my shot."
"Aye, my Lord." With the number of guards feigning that partial patrol, Acacia skims comfortably about the stack of crates she'd originally guarded herself near to protect the flank near those who might potentially disembark through the gangplank. The slip of her blade is effortlessly done, held comfortably within her hand and shadowed by the positioning of her body from where she'd chosen to stand.
Orathy checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 20, resulting in 44, 24 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 20, resulting in 34, 14 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 20, resulting in 28, 8 higher than the difficulty.
Harald shakes his head to Dulcinea. "No, stay close. We will move aboard soon, and your sight will be broken if you do not move with us."
Acacia wouldn't move until the signal was given and the dockhands were done. Though she's poised on the balls of her feet, she loiters for just long enough to ensure there's no stragglers and that she doesn't simply break off from the formed group by way of speed. Even still, with Harald assuming their current command, she steps behind him to slip aboard.
She did say, 'point me and shoot.' Additionally, the Lady Telmar seems to have a great deal of respect for the elder Grimhall's knowledge of tactics. As well she should. She nods. "Yes, my lord." Her arrow remains nocked and her bow low, but ready to come up on the instant. She's light and balanced on her feet, ready to move.
Closer... closer... Shadow and Orathy are ghosts as they circle around outside of line of sight... until, eventually, the two pop out and use their weapons blunt ends against the back of their heads. The two go down with a small thud, which those at the docks can see as if happening out of nowhere.
All clear, so far.
Shadow moves onto the deck of the boat and upon noticing the two deckhands the man grows still, his eyes shifting between the two men as he reaches down to draw free his axe and sword. The man begining to slowly approach the dockhand on the right after Orathy is aboard moving in towards the man. When just a foot away he mutters out something in his native language. The man bringing the flat of his axe down against the top of the man's head waiting for him to crumple to the ground before he is lowering his sword to deliver a quick stab into the man's leg for one reason or another as he shakes his head. The man whispering out moments later, "Stupid rule not killing. Bring darkness. traitors to spirits and wilds." His head giving a small shake.
Stalking around to his own target with a head nod to Shadow, he makes sure that Shadow's target doesn't spot him in the process. Pssting softly, he gets the deckhand's head to turn just enough, before the blunt end of his axe haft strikes him and knocks him out cold (or cracks his skull, who really knows!). Orathy is a little better equipped than to let his victim go down with noise. After striking the man in the temple, his arms came in to snag the man's falling form using the momentum to carefully string him out on the deck. He looks across at Shadow, then back toward his knocked out subject, pulling him back and out of the line of sight of any other sailors who might come up on deck and check out what's going on. He props up the man up against a barrel and folds his hat down over his eyes so that someone might associate him with sleeping. That's when Orathy trots over toward the gang plank and silently waves his arm down at those waiting, no yells, no whistles... indicating they still have the element of surprise.
As the deckhands go down so suddenly, Harald mutters with a low cold chuckle, "Clever little cutthroats, aren't they." Looking aside to two of the House Guard he rumbles, "You two, nine and secure the men on deck. Rolf, if Lady Telmar gets so much as a scratch, you'll rue this day." That said, "All of you, forward quietly."
Low and silent in her doeskin boots, still ready to fire, Dulcinea follows Lord Harald's order to advance.
Acacia similarly follows suit, silent this time around. Her gaze strays in an attempt to case the deck as it currently stands, posture low as to not attract undue attention when she creeps forward with the rest.
Harald brings his shield forward and draws out his war axe, moving up the gangplank and onto the vessel with barely a whisper of shifting steel fishscale. Two of his guards move to see the unconscious deckhands bound, gagged, and searched, while the others prepare to move deeper into the ship. Harald points his axe toward the cabins on the weatherdeck, before moving below.
Orathy checked dexterity + stealth against difficulty 25, resulting in 30, 5 higher than the difficulty.
Acacia checked dexterity + stealth against difficulty 25, resulting in 26, 1 higher than the difficulty.
Harald has rolled a critical success!
Harald checked dexterity + stealth against difficulty 30, resulting in 38, 8 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + stealth against difficulty 25, resulting in 19, 6 lower than the difficulty.
Orathy hunkers down as the others come aboard, light on his feet, he's waits long enough to see where Harald's going and decides to head toward the crew quarters and the lower galleys, creeping along his way to get to the access stairway.
Dulcinea checked dexterity + stealth against difficulty 25, resulting in 15, 10 lower than the difficulty.
With Harald possessed with his men, Acacia split off to trail behind Orathy after ticking her head that way in order to specify the direction silently to the Lord. She snuck diligently behind her Uncle, intending to rely on her familiarity with ships to guard his passage.
The group gets on the ship easily enough, and the bodies are dealt with. A quick sweep of the top deck reveals that the cabins topside are all clear, and even Harald manages to keep his noise muffled by stepping just right to keep his weight distributed along the deck. No loud thuds here.
Then Shadow trips over a bucket behind the door to the topside cabin, and falls on his face, with Dulcinea right behind him and sharing the same fate.
Noises are heard from below.
Ships, Always things Shadow had until now avoided. Filled with dangers around every corner, And so it was the man moved along as quietly as possible. The most dangerous of all ship based risks lurking in the darkness laying in wait for the man until finally foot meets bucket at an angle and the man is sent forward. And it's about then that thoughts of stealth go out the window as he crashes to the ground, A string of Northland Shav leaving the man quickly in a mostly hushed tone as he winces and begins to work to push himself back up.
Orathy and Acacia are tacking the bow of the ship, seeking out the doorway or hatch that'll lead down toward the lower galleys. Since Acacia has more familiarity with the ships, once he realizes she's behind him, he waves her to take the lead in find a way lower.
Oof! Shadow trips and Dulcinea trips and... it might not be Shadow's fault Dulcie trips. She might have gone and found her own bucket. But they fall in a tangle, somehow, and she shoves away from him, snarling. "Oh, shavtastic," she hisses, rolling quickly to her feet and swinging her bow around. Noises below. That's bad. Any of them coming up? That's where the arrow points.
There's some noticeable hesitance for Acacia to proceed with the lead, her lips sealing into that horizontal when she surveys Orathy's features. But she sucks down that breath when she creeps forward, inch by inch, stilling immediately once that clatter from behind them echoes towards them. Her eyes widen slightly, before she transfers her movement to the side of whatever doorway or hatch they located to get below deck. If someone /does/ come up, maybe they can get that element of surprise when they first peek through.
Shadow checked perception + investigation against difficulty 30, resulting in 36, 6 higher than the difficulty.
Acacia checked perception + investigation against difficulty 30, resulting in 37, 7 higher than the difficulty.
Dulcinea checked perception + investigation against difficulty 30, resulting in 30, 0 higher than the difficulty.
Orathy has rolled a critical success!
Orathy checked perception + investigation against difficulty 30, resulting in 49, 19 higher than the difficulty.
Harald checked perception + investigation against difficulty 30, resulting in 16, 14 lower than the difficulty.
Eventually, the noises turn into muffled voices, and there's other noises moving away from those voices, obviously heading for the stairway.
Harald's head turns back with a baleful blue eye fixed on the source of the racket. With brisk steps he moves back toward the passage belowdecks.
Acacia's already half-poised at the ready, seeking to be on the other side of the door or hatch that wouldn't immediately be viewed upon someone ascending. Her dark eyes steady upon Orathy's own through the partial darkness, her hand steadily held upon her dagger when she maintains that ready position.
Orathy leans his head in enough to catch what's going on below, he looks the other direction on the ship but Harald's already out of sight, so he murmurs to Acacia, "Someone jist called fer help... sounds like t'were cut off mid yelp..." The grip along his axe is tightened and he nods to Acacia, taking the lead to hit the crew quarters first, no easy way to go down narrow stairs barely wide enough for his own shoulders and with a low hanging passage. He crouches as he head down, slowly, step by step.
Shadow picks himself up off the deck and mutters something else in his native tongue as he hears the shavtastic comment, The man glancing towards Dulcnea as he switches back to Arvani, "Wonder why Shav not like. That why.." His head shaking as he grows silent readying his weapons as he focuses on the stairs leading down deeper into the ship.
"... Let's wait for them to come up," Acacia whispers, words cautionary, though it's likely that she'd move either way based on his final decision. "We can take them out with surprise and that should give us some time to get down there while they expect them to be snooping around, yeah? Unless you think we can head down before they get up here."
"Because I tripped over /your/ clumsy arse?" Dulcinea whispers -- but this is not the time or the place. She steadies herself and focuses, sharp-eyed, as she draws back her arrow, sighting along the shaft. She circles around so she has a clear shot from the side, without her intrepid companions blocking a head-on arrow.
Acacia checked dexterity + stealth against difficulty 15, resulting in 19, 4 higher than the difficulty.
Harald checked perception against difficulty 15, resulting in 27, 12 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked perception against difficulty 15, resulting in 12, 3 lower than the difficulty.
Orathy checked dexterity + stealth against difficulty 15, resulting in 32, 17 higher than the difficulty.
Dulcinea checked perception against difficulty 15, resulting in 22, 7 higher than the difficulty.
Those going down? They get down into the hold quickly enough to get behind a crate as someone comes out of the maze of crates towards the back. He stares straight at the stairway as he walks over.
Those on deck? The immediate area is clear, though Dulcinea and Harald both notice a man coming over to the dock. The Crimson Blades don't attempt to stop him, though everyone but Shadow can see them reaching for their weapons subtly.
Caution dictates Acacia's movements, neither as sure-footed nor confident as Orathy. But she'd slipped deeper in her descent to guard his back, scuttling quietly behind one of the crates to block her from common view. It's only a single man, however, and as he heads to the stairwell that three people guard upstairs, there's a questioning tick of her head towards Orathy and then a glance shuttled deeper from whence the man had come from.
Orathy was first down into the galley, movements quiet and evenly balanced. Evidently a maze of crates waited before them and in the shadows created by their lumbering shapes. He effortlessly glides behind a stack of crates large enough to hide his frame in the darkness, where the faint flickering of oil lamps fail to illuminate entirely. There he hunkers down, starting to shift his weight to press forward, through the maze, haulting however when a singular individual appears around the crates, likely to check up on the noise up on the deckside. He slips around the opposite side of the crates to flank the man, a look to Acacia and a brief flash of his hand made to indicate what he was about to attempt. Keeping low, he prepares to eliminate this man too.
Harald gets Small silver mirror from Belt.
Dulcinea turns her bow on the figure approaching the gangplank, moving to block access to the ship-proper while keeping the man (?) in her sights. Rolf backs her, having been warned by Harald to keep her in one piece, or else. "Identify yourself," she tells the figure, simply. The 'or else' is kind of implied by the arrow.
Harald draws out a small silver mirror and passes it to Dulcinea upon spotting the approaching man. "Bringers cast no reflection," he rumbles, before retaking his axe and shield, and descending.
Orathy checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 20, resulting in 55, 35 higher than the difficulty.
Acacia checked dexterity + small wpn against difficulty 20, resulting in 56, 36 higher than the difficulty.
Down below, Orathy and Acacia score another takedown as another is knocked out. All clear visually, though the two can hear the sounds of dragging and crates being opened at the front of the ship hold. Those below hear it as more muffled noises.
Above deck? As the man is stopped and the arrow pointed at him. He gives a swallow and puts his hands up. Then, a shriek comes from the man.
Yep, Orathy and Acacia can hear muffled shouting and the sounds of weapons being drawn down there.
Then there's the roar. No muffling that.
Okay, well, the arsehole shouting 'INTRUDERS' is clearly not on their side. So Dulcie shoots him.
Dulcinea checked dexterity + archery against difficulty 15, resulting in 67, 52 higher than the difficulty.
Harald growls under his breath, "Finally," at the roar from below. With no more need for stealth or stillness, the Grim lord descends to join the fray.
Acacia shifts from the shadows seamlessly, focused to take advantage of the element of surprise with the confidence of knowing Orathy's nearby in order to assist. It's always far easier to kill, but she adjusts her hand with knowledge of that close-quarters fighting better than anything else. The angle of the snap of her backhand was intended for the side of his temple, the base of her hilt cracking dully against the man's head to topple him off-balance and begin that backwards descent of his heavier weight.
Orathy was posed to absorb the weight of the man after Acacia came for him. He deftly reaches underneath the man's arms and hauls him behind the crates, into a shadowed area where he gives an extra 'skull' cracking hit to the head to ensure he stays out cold (or dead, but who's counting). He pulls a canvas sheet that was sitting on top of one of the crate nettings and slides it over the man to hide him. With the body hidden, he creeps along with a further nod and hand signal toward Acacia. Between the two of them, they'll weave through the crates toward the source of the sounds.
Tobias GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + dodge(2) against difficulty 67, resulting in 23, 44 lower than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + stealth against difficulty 25, resulting in 17, 8 lower than the difficulty.
The arrow that Dulcinea shoots goes clean through the eye socket of the man... and he falls to the side, directly into the water. Shadow, Orathy, and Acacia are all treated to the sight of an Armored Harald as he clanks his way down and into the main hold.
Beyond the crates is a grisly sight. There's a cleared out area with a dozen people huddled on the floor, terrified. Off to one side is a shattered crate... that looks like it was broken from the inside out. One man looks like his mouth and neck were skewered, with blood pooling below him. Another is still skewered through the gut on the arm and finger claws of a MASSIVE looking Bringer. As Harald comes into view, The Bringer looks to the three still standing, "Kill him." He points at Harald with his free hand.
Harald is rather direct in his answer, roaring, "Death!" and drawing back with his axe as the Grimhall starts for the hulking Bringer, whether or not he must go through others to get at the beast.
"Who was that?" Dulcinea demands of the Crimson Blades. "Why did you let him by?" She looks back at the ship, hearing the chaos below. "Never mind, you're coming with me." It's never too late to join a Bringer party, right?
As he descends the sairs making more noise as he does despite his best attempts. When Harald and the others come into view and then soon enough the bringer does Shadow comes to a dead stop. The man from the north blinking as he hears the words of Kill him and the pointing to Harald, The act and the words have the man muttering. "This one we can kill yes?" His weapons coming up to the ready.
Acacia checked dexterity + small wpn against difficulty 15, resulting in 53, 38 higher than the difficulty.
Acacia checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 15, resulting in 34, 19 higher than the difficulty.
Orathy checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 15, resulting in 59, 44 higher than the difficulty.
Orathy checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 15, resulting in 59, 44 higher than the difficulty.
Harald checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 15, resulting in 46, 31 higher than the difficulty.
Harald checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 15, resulting in 26, 11 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 30, resulting in 28, 2 lower than the difficulty.
Acacia wields a sharp rubicund dagger with a leather-bound hilt.
Rolf have been dismissed.
5 Grimhall House Guards have been dismissed.
Tobias GM Roll checked strength(4) + claws(4) against difficulty 26, resulting in 49, 23 higher than the difficulty.
Tobias GM Roll checked strength(3) + swords(2) against difficulty 26, resulting in 25, 1 lower than the difficulty.
Tobias GM Roll checked strength(3) + swords(2) against difficulty 26, resulting in 38, 12 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 49, resulting in 51, 2 higher than the difficulty.
Tobias GM Roll checked strength(3) + swords(2) against difficulty 51, resulting in 25, 26 lower than the difficulty.
Up above, the Crimson Blades are starting to get some curious passerbys trying to get a look at the battle starting on the ship, but they start to fan out to cordone off the dock. Dulcinea is ignored as they go about dealing with civilian stragglers, but she can get down into the ship quickly enough.
Below, Acacia manages to get around and flank one of the standing humans, settling the dagger into the back of his neck easily and taking the man down with barely a gurgle for her effort. Orathy manages to sink his axe into the Bringers leg, earning another roar, even as Shadow gets a shoulder. The other men start to take swipes at Harald, one managing to connect, but the blade bounces off his armor. The Bringer itself takes a swipe with its' free claws at Harald... earning a painful bruise, but no serious damage. Shadow? One of the men tries a swipe at him, and he dodges cleanly out of the way easily.
The gruesome view before them is enough to force Acacia's jaw to cement shut, tension riddling through her form from where she'd kept to the shadows, near one of the crates. But with four enemies, the Bringer's threat ensures that their potentially larger numbers mean little at this point. "Got your back," she ushers swiftly towards Orathy, words spit out at the same point momentum is initiated. When the distraction goes towards Harald's presence, she immediately steps in to try to cripple one of the lackeys that might've proven dangerous otherwise to the Lord and Orathy. The flash of rubicund disappears in that first stab, angled with little hesitance in that deliberate evasion of the armor, ripping it out with a dribble of crimson against the floorboards when she sought to defensively weave beneath any incoming blows to finish off the last two remaining.
Meh. Dulcinea didn't sink enough XP into command, obviously, but her brother's going to hear about this! SHAKEFIST. She sprints back onto the ship and leaps down the stairs, nocking an arrow and drawing as she goes.
Harald reels with the hulking Bringer's blow, but keeps his feet and lashes back, his diamondplate axe lashing back at the beast, even as his shield catches the bite of another sword, and his steel hauberk saves the Grim lord from any real harm. "Can none of you wretches give me a fresh scar?" the Grimhall growls, fully intent on keeping the eyes of the foemen on himself.
Fancy is not Orathy's fighting style. Efficient, brutal, effective. The way he wields an axe and hails down a blow upon the Bringer's leg clearly shows the man's agility with it, easily dismissing any counter attacks with a duck, a quick pivot, and a leap of feet. Tight quarters fighting is never completely safe nor does it open up doors to a lot of opportunities to swing normally. Taking that into consideration and those around him, he hollars and makes another attempt at the Bringer.
Shadow tries to make an attack but sadly his blade and axe go wide, The large man dancing back from the bringer only to notice the attack of one of his more human followers. The large man giving a low growl before he sees the human go down beneath the rubicond blade. Shadow's attention turns back to the bringer and the man begins to move trying to work his way around the hulking thing of darkness. The man from the mountains growling low as he keeps his more simple steel weapons ready.
Shadow tries to make an attack but sadly his blade and axe go wide, The large man dancing back from the bringer only to notice the attack of one of his more human followers. The large man giving a low growl before he sees the human go down beneath the rubicond blade. Shadow's attention turns back to the bringer and the man begins to move trying to work his way around the hulking thing of darkness. The man from the mountains growling low as he keeps his more simple steel weapons ready. The large man trying to work his way around behind the Bringer before near leaping at the thing lashing out with sword and axe.
Acacia checked dexterity + small wpn against difficulty 20, resulting in 58, 38 higher than the difficulty.
Acacia checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 15, resulting in 51, 36 higher than the difficulty.
Harald checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 30, resulting in 51, 21 higher than the difficulty.
Orathy checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 30, resulting in 43, 13 higher than the difficulty.
Harald has rolled a critical success!
Harald checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 15, resulting in 21, 6 higher than the difficulty.
Orathy checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 15, resulting in 30, 15 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 30, resulting in 35, 5 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 30, resulting in 25, 5 lower than the difficulty.
Tobias GM Roll checked strength(4) + claws(4) against difficulty 21, resulting in 47, 26 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 30, resulting in 41, 11 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + athletics against difficulty 15, resulting in 18, 3 higher than the difficulty.
Tobias GM Roll checked strength(3) + swords(2) against difficulty 15, resulting in 27, 12 higher than the difficulty.
Tobias GM Roll checked strength(3) + swords(2) against difficulty 15, resulting in 31, 16 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 31, resulting in 27, 4 lower than the difficulty.
From deck to stairway is quick if you're running like Dulcinea is... but she still needs to get past the crates. Acacia puts a dagger through another throat, taking down another just as he manages to carve out a piece of Shadows shoulder, with the other barely missing his chest. Harald? He's still going toe to toe with the massive beast, giving the others time to flank and keep going at it. The thing continues to roar as it is slowly carved up.
"Damn it! Who put all this cargo in the cargo hold?" Dulcinea parkours her way over and weaves around crates, then draws on the first target she can sight.
Orathy is in there, getting gruesome bits on himself. He might be growling, as he hacks away at the Bringer.
It's never pretty work. The chaos had Acacia's hood falling away from her curls, that last incisive wound only expanding the darkening red pool at their feet to blend with the gore already decorating the ship's chamber. As the man slips from her grip, tumbling to her feet with a heavy thud that almost sounds muted against the continous ring of combat, her dark eyes joylessly register only for a flicker-quick second upon Shadow from the other side. But there's no time for that, lips peeled away in that silent scowl when she lunges forward to try to extinguish that last member who might have been detrimental to the main of the fight.
As the minor irritations continue to be cut away (thanks, Acacia!) Harald continues to stand before the monster, splinters flying off his shield and ichor sluicing off his axeblade as the Islesman stands before and Orathy lurks behind, hewing upon the foul fanged tree.
Thrown from the bringer after his blades sink in and with the section carved out of his shoulder before he could throw himself back onto the large creature of darkness Shadow winces and growls out loudly. The man's growl turning to a yell of pain as his eyes widen. The blood flowing freely down his arm and part of his chest from the wound to his shoulder as his eyes shift quickly around before finding a source for the pain like he felt in his shoulder. The man moving to lunge out towards the last remaining of the Bringer's followers as he shouts out in Northlands Shav. The others both friend and foe forgotten as the man tries to focus everything on that last remaining follower as Orathy and Harald take on the bringer.
Acacia checked dexterity + small wpn against difficulty 20, resulting in 40, 20 higher than the difficulty.
Acacia checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 15, resulting in 43, 28 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + brawl against difficulty 25, resulting in 17, 8 lower than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 25, resulting in 29, 4 higher than the difficulty.
Harald checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 30, resulting in 40, 10 higher than the difficulty.
Harald checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 15, resulting in 11, 4 lower than the difficulty.
Dulcinea checked dexterity + archery against difficulty 30, resulting in 48, 18 higher than the difficulty.
Dulcinea checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 15, resulting in 30, 15 higher than the difficulty.
Tobias GM Roll checked strength(4) + claws(4) against difficulty 11, resulting in 48, 37 higher than the difficulty.
Orathy checked dexterity + medium wpn against difficulty 30, resulting in 58, 28 higher than the difficulty.
Orathy checked dexterity + dodge against difficulty 15, resulting in 17, 2 higher than the difficulty.
Another human gets a dagger through the skull, curtesy of Acacia, as he is distracted by Shadows attempted punch, which goes wide. The rest? Death by a thousand cuts on the massive Bringer. There's a swipe at Harald arm, which leaves a bleeding gash at the elbow, and it roars some more as Orathy and Harald continue to connect.
Then the arrow flies...
With a sudden silence, the Bringer falls, thudding onto the floor as the arrow cleanly penetrates its' chest.
The remaining humans? Covered blood.
Death toll: 2
"Sorry, am I late?" pants Dulcinea, stepping delicately back from the felled bringer.
Harald's shield breaks to pieces with the last of the Bringer's strikes, leaving the Islesman with the grim satisfaction of seeing his own blood, at last. The great beast falls, an arrow in it's chest as Harald looks between the others and nods once. Then turning his head toward the cowering survivors, he states aloud, "Lady Dulcinea. Bring the mirror."
Acacia only stills at the peripheral sight of that Bringer finally thudding to its death, coercing her to rip her gaze from where she'd visually checked Shadow when the other man crumpled lifelessly beneath their feet. A bit breathless already, her shoulders heaved when she turned to check each of the corners, before assessing the results of Orathy and Harald. "Looks like you were right on time," she ushers towards Dulcinea, lips only parting into a cracked semblance of a grin that fades just as fast. Dislodging that dagger takes a bit more umph, a bloody boot dug in against a shoulder of the fallen man while she crudely jerks it free. "It'll need to be burned later," she mentions, before untucking her own mirror out to try to toss it towards Orathy, "Check the others, love."
Dulcinea gives a little start and then pulls the shiny from her belt. "Sorry. Forgot I had it."
Acacia drops a small, rounded lens of metal-rimmed reflective glass.
Shadow growls as his punch goes wide, the man taking several deep breaths before reaching up to clutch his shoulder and the gash across it. The man turning to look to the downed Bringer moving in slowly to nudge the thing before he is lowering his now bloodied hand from his shoulder to retreive and resheath his weapons. The man's hand quick to return to his shoulder. The man's eyes lifting to look to Dulcinea as she comes down from the crates, "Shadow hate ships." The man glancing to Harald as the man goes to study the survivors Shadow stepping in closer himself.
A quick check of all the remaining gagged and tied humans gives normal reflections.
Harald bids his men set to freeing the prisoners, once their reflections are seen true. He then states to the bound victims, in his deep and unhurried voice, "We are here on the King's business, you are in the city of Arx. I am Lord Harald Grimhall, now tell me: how came you here, and what was their business?"
Dulcinea stands back and lets Harald do Harald. He does it well. If she's called upon for else, she's there.
3 Culler Lackeys have been dismissed.
Acacia picks up a small, rounded lens of metal-rimmed reflective glass.
One of the men speaks up, "They didn't talk much, Milord, but they were obsessed with the crates over there." The man points to a bunch of crates directly to the front of the ship. "That might give ye some answers, Milord."
"Cabbage?" Dulcinea guesses, lifting an eyebrow at the indicated crates. "It's a known fact bringers are mad for cabbage and apples baked in red wine. Strangest thing."
Harald gives a slight nod to the answer. "Rolf, see these folk topside and get the mercenaries to fetch food and healers," he orders one of the Grimhall men, turning toward the crates in question, axe in hand, should they be even slightly stubborn in being opened. Dulcinea doesn;t even get a look.
Acacia's retrieved blade is deftly wiped off upon the blade of her leather pants and sheathed in similar form. She callously trudges across the bodies of the dead after murmuring to one of the captured. "They'll take care of you soon," she whispers reassurances, just as Harald sees people to assist them. But she's already on her way towards those crates, tracking blood in her wake from her boots to ensure she also gets a peek at what lays within.
Inside... is grain. A lot of it.
"... I happen to like my hands a little too bloody much to go diving into it. Thankfully, there's people on your payroll for that. But let's hope that it isn't just grain alone, because the last thing we'd need is someone infiltrating the City with things which will make the populace sick." Acacia's hands dust against her thighs, but she grimaces when she steps back just enough to allow someone else to blindly sift through the contents. She impresses her shoulder heavily against the side of the wall, periodically tracking after those saved on their escape.
Harald regards the grain with a ready glower. Drawing a breath slowly in through the nose, he orders aloud, "See the dead burned, and guards placed over this ship. Touch nothing else," he gives a distracted nod to Acacia's commentary.
"Uhm. Hm." Dulcinea tilts her head to the side, considering the grain, then takes an arrow and pokes around in the stuff. What has it got in its pocketses?
With his hand on his shoulder as the crates are investigated Shadow moves to begin the trek back through the ship to find the docks and his pup and clothes once more. The man clearly finished what he had agreed to help with and that was securing the vessel before heading off once more to see to his shoulder.
"But this was also just how they were trying to cart this Bringer in, though," Acacia vaguely reminds, her gaze darting towards the remains of that shattered crate from before. "... Which is weird, considering the stealthy ones who can sneak in." There's a small shake of her head lightly, before her tongue drags across her lower lip. Still, her gaze trails to Dulcina when she prods at it with her arrow.
Small wolf pup leaves, following Shadow.
The bloodmath minimized, those involved in resolving the hostage situation are noted in the report by Major Wolfe, and the Major has the Crimson Blades secure the ship with a promise they'll take it from here. The dead are burned, the hostages given assistance, and the ship itself remains under guard for city officials to deal with.
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