continuing saga of the Sea Princes vessel Bird of Prey. Our protagonists, currently aboard the sister ship Osprem's Kiss made port in Narisban to wait on Captain Rennaud and the rest. They are:
Victor Emmitt Hammond (rogue, over board)
Araxo Tydan (rogue, struck a chord)
Cuahtehmoc aka "Cuahto" (ranger, swinging sword)
Brother Pickles "of the Jar" (cleric, hit on gourd)
and Henri Morgan (rogue, blood poured)
The party's first night back at Narisban was uneventful save drinking at the Last Respite tavern and the fact Victor Hammond had a finished crocodile hide coat waiting for him in town. While out, Hammond had the sense to hire a small time hedge mage to cast a Sending to Captain Rennaud to check and see if he was still alive and coming to rendezvous with them. The message was received and replied to by Rennaud much to the relief of Captain Cassidy and the Kiss' crew. While waiting several days for the Bird to arrive, Araxo, Pickles, Cuahto and Morgan resumed their hunt for the elusive Tarnas plant whose buds reputedly can grow missing body parts back. For their effort they came back empty handed, but worse, Cuahto and Araxo caught the Cackle Fever. With Pickle's care, Cuahto recovered faster than Araxo, who remained in his bunk cackling uncontrollably to everyone's annoyance save Scar who watched over him lest the noble lieutenant end up snuffed out by someone's pillow. Cuahto meanwhile made a new friend in a small capuchin monkey that was driven off Osprem's Kiss but tamed by the Olman ranger.
The Bird of Prey finally headed into port and everyone rejoiced to find he had succeeded in recovering Captain Ironclaw McGrath of the Crimson Fleet (and his lieutenant Symeon Flynch) for his hostage in trade for the wayward sage Lockard Meek. As plans were being made to get underway in a day, Lord Ronaldo Key's mouth got the best of him again in a shouting match with Victor. Vic asserted that Lord Key belonged on Osprem's Kiss with the other balless men and women, to which an offended Key revoked Victor's Port Torvin priveleges. Rennaud ended all arguments and they discussed another matter; one of their crew W.B. McGarnagle, a former crewmate on the Hideous under McGrath had been telling the captive too much and (from Blonde Barry and Billy Palsy's testimony) could not be trusted any longer. The decision was agreed on that Flynch and McGarnagle would be left behind in Narisban at the last minute with no notice. Their last order of business was that they needed to beef up their strength before going to Scuttlecove, so Rennaud hired five local marines who were available at the Last Respite. So with Flynch and McGarnagle frogmarched down the gangplank, the two ships set out of port and around a small cape on a southerly course. Suddenly...
Waiting in ambush again was the privateer from Keoland, Lydia's Light! A warning shot was fired across their bow and signals made to parley with the Bird. The scheming Araxo Tydan talked his captain into leading the diplomatic entourage over to the Light. Osprem's Kiss however was bristling ready for a fight and crept up to interpose with it's sister ship if need be. Araxo, Pickles, Vic, Morgan and Cuahto were brought on deck of the Lydia's Light, faced by marines armed with swords and crossbows, to finally meet their pursuer, Captain Rynn of Gradsul a learned sailor and adherent of the goddess of light and knowledge. With him stood in plain clothes, a Knight of the Watch named Sir Aris Westford. Their demand was simple, have "the Blackguard" Sir Eduard Rennaud turn himself over and everyone else would have safe passage. The back and forth between crews heated up with sly insults and neither side budging due to their sense of honor. Then it slipped out that Lord Key had previously met the crew of Lydia's Light weeks ago while in Fort Blackwell and had been given an owl shaped trinket to identify himself should they meet again. Key had been tracked by magic to Narisban!
With things spiralling out of control, someone (likely Araxo?) attacked Captain Rynn. Before anyone on the other ships could realize parley had been broken, Sir Aris rushed at Victor Hammond as he half drew his steel and both went tumbling over board into the water. Swords were drawn, pistols were drawn and three ships sprang into action firing ballistae, cannon and arrows. Captain Rynn was winged by a shot from Morgan and he fell back behind a wall of crossbowmen who then peppered their assailants with bolts. The fight quickly went bad for the five as reinforcements arrived every moment. Araxo leapt for the water to swim back to his ship. Cuahto fell to injuries and had to crawl off into the water masked by the chaos of battle. Morgan had taken up Cuahto's dropped pistol and was fighting alongside Pickles who was raging with cleaver in hand. Morgan was ran through and began bleeding out on the timbers, while Pickles was sapped unconscious. Out numbered and in too close, Lydia's Light took a beating from Osprem's Kiss while it covered the Bird of Prey's pick up of those who fell into the water.
Both ships skulked out of range and soon sight as the Keoish privateer sat hobbled with a broken mast and torn rigging. However, they had Brother Pickles in irons as well as a near dead Henri Morgan (saved by a Lydian priestess). Back on the Bird of Prey, hull damage was quickly patched, casulties were assessed and those who were rescued from the sea were tended to, including a certain captive Knight of the Watch...
(to be continued)