Raid on a Pirate Ship (8th May 2013)
The Dragon Warriors
Aethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight
Hillson – Warlock (played by a temporary replacement to cover holidays)
Nazir al Khalid – Barbarian
Solaran – Elementalist (NPC’d)
Karban Telos – Sorcerer (NPC’d)
A Deal is Made (Day 15 (95) – evening)
After being briefed by Sir Erich, the rest of the party agreed that some profit could be forthcoming in their relationship with Antonio Guaires. He was due back that evening for their answer to his proposal. In the meantime, Toby had returned and offered them some information; the Scorchers were no longer the hot news they used to be – rumours running around the docks revealed that nothing had been heard from them for a few days now, so perhaps they had been fully dealt with. There was now more tension in the docks area as the Scorchers had left a power vacuum and the bandit chieftain was nowhere to be found – he was either lying very low or had left the city. They sent Toby off again with instructions to do more of the same, and to find out who this Antonio Guaires was in the scheme of things. The party passed the remaining hours preparing for their meeting with Antonio later that evening.
When Antonio Guaires arrived the party took him to their private room. He seemed well-disposed towards the party and suggested that even though they had had a run-in a few days previously it would not sour what could be a very profitable business relationship. Sir Erich asked him what the job was that he required them to do and he ran it by them. It involved taking possession of a scroll case and package from a friar who would be delivering it to the pirate queen The Bloody Bitch as a gift from the Guaires family. Antonio’s mother, the matriarch of the Guaires clan, ruled with an iron fist, and embarrassing her publicly in front of powerful players would be the goal of this venture. He could then increase his own esteem when he produced the goods as a goodwill gesture to the same potential piratical allies. He gave them all the details of the hit but mentioned there should be no links between the party and himself as he wanted to remain anonymous in this venture and he wanted his strong-arm to remain hidden from view – they had wiped out the Scorchers, got away with murder in broad daylight and thus remained a dangerous enigma to the rest of the family after all.
The party asked what their remuneration would be in this deal, but Antonio only offered that they could salvage what they could from the raid as long as he got the main merchandise undamaged. The party agreed to his terms grudgingly and bid him adieu until the same time the following evening when they would have what he required.
Double Cross (Day 16 – early hours)
As soon as he had left the inn, the adventurers set about making plans for the smash and grab raid. They did not like the deal at all and rethought it through. Why bother grabbing the required merchandise from very likely powerful magic-wielding foes and well-armed bodyguards when they could just raid the cog for its value whilst the deal was made between the Reavers and the Guaires family? They decided they would attempt to double-cross Antonio Guaires in an attempt to build their own riches. If the raid to steal the boat failed, they could always fall back on their original plan and attempt to snatch the merchandise as requested; their reasoning being that they wanted to whittle down the defences on the boat so it could not sail before attacking the main party – no-one would be the wiser.
The adventurers headed out into the cold, misty night in search of a crew for their potential new ship. They searched many of the dockside taverns before finally coming across a Captain Jim Cookson; a down on his luck captain who had just lost his last ship to the Reavers. He was up for revenge and the party’s deal of helping them sail away after a raid appealed to him. However, after a little thought and putting two and two together he realised this would involve stealing a pirate ship – he was even more intrigued and agreed to raise a crew for the cog involved as well as the pilot to tow the ship out of the harbour confines. He demanded 70 florins a week for his part in the deal, but with 150 florins up front to hire a crew and smooth the way. The adventurers agreed to this and a deal was struck; he would await them in the Dockside Tavern from just after noon until he was called for, and the pilot would heave-to by the dock about the same time too.
Cogs and Wheels (Day 16 – dusk)
The companions returned to their inn for a little rest before they headed out at dawn to keep watch on the pirate vessel. They wandered up and down the dock area, calling in at various inns and establishments enquiring after prices for a passage to Thuland, dropping off a package to Albion, and so forth so that suspicions would not be raised. Throughout the day the pirates on-board the cog came and went on a variety of errands, stowed cargo and generally prepared the ship for a dusk sailing. The party kept an eye out on developments but soon lost track of how many Reavers were left aboard at any one time. They gathered there were approximately a dozen or so Reavers on the ship, a tough proposition.
They waited until almost dusk before two of the better equipped Reavers left the ship and made their way up the thoroughfare towards the Guaires family’s allocated meeting point. The party seized their opportunity and made directly for the cog as soon as the Reavers were out of sight and earshot.
The warriors of the party ran straight up the gang-plank and jumped onto the deck whilst the spell-casters hurled wizardry from the wharf at the better armoured warriors on the poop and fore decks. This caught the Reavers by surprise, and before they knew it, one of their crew members was on the deck bleeding from a mighty stab wound from Aethelfrith’s new short sword. Two others were hurt in the fray before they could shake off their surprise and mount a stiff defence of their ship.
A flurry of blows and magical missiles caused further injury to some of the pirates but they fought back well, injuring Sir Erich in the process. The magical attacks began to take their toll on the Reavers however, as first the magical sword of Aethelfrith downed another pirate and Sir Erich’s great axe cut down one of the better armoured pirates. A further flurry of blows and magical attacks reduced the defences further as Nazir felled a pirate with his new magical morning star. The pirates would not give up their ship that easily though and renewed their attacks, pinning the warriors on board back against the gangplank. Aethelfrith called for a shield wall to be formed. Nazir and the warlock Hillson quickly joined him whilst Aethelfrith fended off three pirates on his own to buy them some time. The full force of the Reavers now joined the fight – the warriors on board were outnumbered by more than two to one now, but the three quick kills meant that the odds were not any worse. They just hoped they could finish off the Reavers on board before any reinforcements could be forthcoming.