Sunday, September 09, 2007

Zakhi Lends Aid Against Bloody Paul

During the battle with Bart's ship, the Filthy Whore, the port cannon crews of the Maelstrom suffered a fair amount of fatalities, and the good ship herself had certainly seen better days. Figuring Bloody Paul to be nearby, the Captain decided to harvest timber for repairs from an uninhabited island and bade Stelgar to set course for the nearest such.

Alas, repairs did not seem to be in order before they were set upon by Bloody Paul Demmings. The eager lad in the crow's nest pointed out a vessel due south that turned out to be the Vanessa Rose herself! With the chosen island a half day's sail away, the Maelstrom sought to flee to it, mayhap to set ambush or at least provide cover on her weak port side.

During the chase, a thick fog settled upon both boats from a clear sky. Before they lost sight of her, several crew members noted the mages on the Vanessa Rose banishing the unnatural mist, only to sail into a thicker patch. Soon enough visibility was so bad that the Captain gave order to weigh anchor and run silent.
At Jenna's suggestion, the Captain ordered cables lashed to empty barrels and had them floated out on each compass point, for some warning if the Vanessa Rose came close.

For a tense half hour the crew listened and watched as well as they were able. Then one of the ropes put out to sea with a barrel gave a jerk, and then another. Jenna made ready to swim out and put a sword through whatever may need gutting, but Winston bade her to wait til someone showed his face.

The rope a-jerking was caused by none other than Arthur Kerrignun, a sorcerer and seafaring adventurer that was rescued from shipwreck by the Sunrise. He explained that he had been sailing with Zakhi and his undead crew for nigh on a week now, though but one day is quite enough amongst that crew, thank you very much. But on that note, where did Jean-Paul go?

Jean-Paul, as it turned out, was a shadowdancer and crewman on the Sunrise. He looked to be a pale elven man in dark faded finery. He lacked any weapon but his charming accent and piercing gaze.

He related that it was Zakhi that ordered the unnatural mist to cover both ships, so that he might offer the Maelstrom a bargain. Zakhi proposed that the Sunrise would appear on the starboard side of the Vanessa Rose and give them a broadside whilst the Maelstrom did the same.

In return, the Maelstrom would fetch a mcguffin that was sought by Zakhi. When pressed for details he said "It is in ahh, some sort of temple of light, or some such. Warded, you know, against us."

Winston declared that they would not be party to an evil act such as sacking a temple of light. Jean-Paul assured him that Zakhi "knew the character of the Maelstrom" and it would not be a problem. With is conscience somewhat put to rest, Captain Winston agreed to the bargain.

And so the Maelstrom met the Vanessa Rose over her starboard side. BOOM went the cannon! Where the Maelstrom sought to take out gun crews, the Vanessa Rose raked the deck! There was spellcasting, and diving for cover, and scurvy dogs a-bleeding! YARRR! Then the ships came to, and the boarding commenced! Here was Captain Bloody Paul Demmings; seven foot tall and red of skin, bearing a greatsword that radiated a chill like midwinter. Here were Mad Addy and Black Bart, and all the three of them cut a path of blood through the crew of the Maelstrom.

Jenna Swinesdottir fell when the powder keg she had strapped to her arm exploded. Murgosis fell after fleeing a bloody toe-to-toe battle with Bloody Paul on one side and Mad Addy on the other. Paul cut down Arthur when his protective spells became too much of a nuisance.

In the end, the heroes prevail. Otherwise the story goes on, eh? Bloody Paul Demmings was finally brought low and the Vanessa Rose was sunk. A great deal of booty was plundered and a great deal of payment was finally meted out to the worthy crew of the Maelstrom. The reward was collected from the Gnomes of Atlantia and the ship repaired and refitted.

Then it was off to waters east, to uphold the bargain with Zakhi

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