Oceans Are Now Battlefields

Oceans Are Now Battlefields

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During Which the Heroes Get a Ship

Score 693

07/01/24
Begin: 12/16/5003 08:00 End: 12/16/5003 23:00

"To wives and to sweethearts, and may they never meet." - Captain Armond van Zandt

"To the lesser of two weevils." - Leftenant Commander Lambrose Baccus

 

Following the Battle of Port Liberty, the Heroes decided a pow-wow was in order.  They spoke alone during their Long Rest, away from Captain Armond van Zandt and Prince Kel.

During this time, Leftenant Commander Lambrose Baccus was sure to extend his respect to Admiral Shai Hulud.  He had seen many battles, but had witnessed few combatants who fought as valiantly - and ferociously - as her.  Baccus also commended Little Charlie Dickinson for his efforts during the battle.

"Why thank you, sir," the boy replied graciously.  "I know my father would have been proud...if his head hadn't been crushed, of course."

This statement sparked the curiosity of Amadea Veks, who had not previously made the connection between the boy and her own case work.  She took the opportunity to probe Charlie for some more information.  "I was sent here to gain information about your father's case," she said.  "Tell me about him.  Did he happen to be a bard?"

"Yes, mum," exclaimed Charlie happily.  "How did you know?!  He was a Bard / Actor / Playwright and was actively involved in the Theater!"

The breath left Amadea's chest.  Her head swooned and she felt feint at the boy's response.  It couldn't be.  That's impossible!  When she returned to her senses, she thanked Little Charlie and congratulated him as well for his efforts before sending him on his way.  Once he was gone, Baccus looked at her.  "We might need to hear about this case of yours now," he said matter-of-factly, implying that there was really no "might" about it.

Amadea nodded pensively and told Shai and Baccus about her experience with Verdun 1313.  She shared her whole backstory and relation to the case - about the changelings whose heads had been staved in at the theater - the whole thing.

"Your methods make a little more sense to me now, Amadea," said Baccus after a period of silent reflection and consideration.

As when she had first heard the tale of Verdun 1313 in Fairhaven (see "In the City of Lights"), Shai found it difficult to conceptualize a spectral Lightning Rail.  She had never encountered a ghostly Pirate Ship during her time at sea.  "I thought they were just stories," she said in a manner that was both scared and wondrous.

Amadea thought for a second.  "I wouldn't be surprised at their existence.  There may even be a correlation," she mused briefly.

"I have been asking questions for years now," the Cleric continued.  "And I've been getting answers that shouldn't be true.  I was going to spend more time investigating here, but as you are well aware..." she looked around at the smoldering rubble that was Port Liberty, "...the crime scene was destroyed.  I brought all my things, so I'm prepared to spend some time in the field," she concluded.

At this point, Baccus witnessed the aspect of Ex-Sargent Claudio Barrus materialize behind Amadea.  "Well what have we here, leftenant?" it taunted in the commander's mind.  "A fiery new crew member, eh!  Let's hope she doesn't show you up!  Hah!"

Baccus tried to ignore his deceased rival.  "Of course, Amadea," he replied.  "It would be no bother at all!"  Lambrose eyed Barrus when he emphasized the word.

The ex-sargent acted hurt.  He put his hand over his chest and gasped.  "Bother?!  You used to call me brother, Lambrose!"

Completely oblivious to the entire side interaction, Amadea Veks decided to get in one last line before the Heroes ended their discussion.  "There are going to be a lot of burials in the tendays to come, but the one thing that never stays buried...is the TRUTH!"

 

After deciding to stick together (mostly for the benefit of Charlie Dickinson but partially so that Amadea could keep the boy close for the purposes of her investigation - she decided to take him on as a ward), the Heroes figured the next step was to find a way off of Lastpoint Island.  "Maybe we can ask Prince Kel," suggested Baccus.  "Hopefully he forgot we brought the Frigid Bitch here in the first place."

The Heroes agreed that this was the best course of action and headed to meet with the Prince, who greeted them warmly.  "Thank you for helping to defend us from the threat you brought to our shores," he said.  Shai and Baccus shifted nervously as Kel continued.  "Thanks to you, instead of being completely devastated, only a moderate amount of lives were lost."

Prince Kel centered his focus on Shai Hulud.  "I haven't forgotten our Pirate Blood Oath, Shai..." he paused and looked at his palm, which bore two scars.  "...nor the one I made with your mother."  He looked at Lambrose Baccus, then continued speaking to Shai.  "And from what I understand, you're owed a ship.  I think I may be able to help.  Follow me.  And bring your spyglasses."

Kel motioned to one of his attendants, then stood and led the Heroes outside.  He motioned for them to watch the dark tide off shore.  A low tone from a large horn sounded off from somewhere behind them.  Shortly thereafter, four ships (all identical to the rest in the Gray Tide fleet) emerged from the putrid gray mists and sailed toward the mainland.

"Go ahead," he instructed Shai.  "Take your pick."

Shai strolled up and down the coast as she examined the identical ships.  As she did, Jonn, Juann, and Jann swam up and emerged onto the shore.  Shai greeted them warmly and they accompanied her as she deliberated.

Meanwhile, Amadea had some questions for Prince Kel.  "Tell me about these ships you had just waiting in the fog," she demanded.  "Are you saying you could have called on them the entire time and instead you let our people and yours get decimated?!  How many of them are even out there?!"

"Well I'm sure of course you understand that I cannot divulge that information," he replied.  "However, I will tell you there are more than simply these few.  I assure you they were on hand if they had been truly needed.  The reason I did not deploy them during the battle is that their presence would not have made any difference.  By the time they would have reached effective cannon range, the Bitch would have already been pulled under by whatever it was that ended the conflict - as I'm sure you can recall.  No, the only result would have been showing the ace up my sleeve."

By this time, Shai had made her choice and returned to the rest of the group.  "Good choice," Kel assured her.  "The Sea Nymph may be smaller and less equipped than the Wavepiercer, but she makes up for it in speed and engineering.  She can also enter the Gray Tide safely, as you have witnessed - provided all but changelings and Warforged stay below deck of course.  The accompanying Crew of the Sea Nymph is already aware of these stipulations, of course."

Baccus was intrigued by the prince's generosity and offered to "rent" two other fully-crewed ships as well, an offer to which Kel happily agreed.  Armond van Zandt and the remaining Crew of the Wavepiercer (Ghunk, Naeco, and a couple other randos) boarded the Pollo Rico as temporary members of the Crew of the Pollo Rico.  The other ship, the Pollo Suave, remained unamended; the Crew of the Pollo Suave remained unchanged as well, comprising completely of Gray Tide members only - changelings and warforged with mutton chops.

Once all organizational decisions had been made, Admiral Shai Hulud stated her goals.  They were few and simple:

  1. "Check on the allies we have,"
  2. "Shake up a few more."

Everyone agreed, and so the Fleet of Heroes was born.  They readied their things and prepared for the next leg of their journey which laid ahead.

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