Chapter 1 - Adrift

 
Chapter 1 - Adrift

Abney Park - The Derelict

Lightning flashes and thunder roars as the Sea Breeze barrels down a steep wall of water, driven forward over the edge by gale force winds. You find yourself lashed to the wheel, unable to fight the violent pull the water exerts on the rudder, tossed and battered by the whims of the storm. The Sea Breeze suddenly reaches the bottom of the trough and the icy spray washes over you.

Suddenly you are awake, being dragged soundlessly from your bunk by hands roughened by brawls and weather. Screams or cries for help are met with absolute silence, some may identify the feel of a spell of silence in the damp sea air. Hands quickly and efficiently bound by rope behind you, and a sour cloth roughly shoved in your mouth, you can make out three or four assailants in the dim light as the dream fog leaves your mind. Quickly you are hauled out of the darkness of the lower decks and onto the relatively bright, moonlit deck. Sounds once again rush into your ears as you are hauled topside, the gentle creak of rope and timber, the flap of the half-furled sails, the splash of the water against the ship. No storm here, at least none of nature’s making.

Arrayed along the starboard rail sit others, bound and gagged as you are, some with a bewildered look in their eyes. The unmistakable form of Rytur, lounging against the mast, watching the proceedings fairly leaps to your eyes. Roughly you are forced to sit against the rail and the reason becomes apparent. The belaying pins are forced through your bonds, efficiently and effectively pinning you into position at the rail

The muffled cries of a terrified halfling draw your attention to the door as Mosir emerges, manhandling the halfling surgeon.

That’s the last of’em, Cap’n” Mosir reports, trying to figure out how to pin the small crewman to the rail. He gives up the attempts and simply clocks the bound halfling, knocking him out cold. Turning back to Rytur he gives an apologetic shrug. Two more crewmen emerge from belowdecks, hauling a large bundle between them. They deposit their burden unceremoniously in front of Rytur, the sheet covering the bundle dropping to the deck. The still form of Captain Kaleas stares sightlessly at his captured crew.

Rytur nudges the captain’s body and grunts before stepping over the corpse to walk in front of his prisoners.

Now that I have your attention, I’ve got a little explaining to do. You see, I have dire need of this ship. Not just any ship, but this particular one for reasons I will not bore you with. Now I do apologize for your current situation, but I know that most of you have a bond with the Sea Breeze and, well, I simply couldn’t trust you to willingly assist me.” Rytur paces as he speaks, his boots sounding heavily on the deck. “I don’t want to kill any of you, I like you all too much for that. So here’s the deal. I’ve had some food and water loaded into the longboat. You will join those supplies, still bound of course....” One of the renegade deckhands hurls a knife into the planking right in front of Garnett. The old half elf looks at the deckhand and Rytur murderously.

Rytur shakes his head with a sigh. “Please, do not attempt to escape your bonds. It would break my heart to have to kill you needlessly. Now, as I was saying,” the deckhand retrieves his knife, keeping a vigilant watch over the prisoners, “You will join the supplies in the longboat and set adrift. Afterword you are free to remove your bonds and decide your own fate.

Rytur gestures and the renegade crewmen begin unpinning the prisoners and carrying them over to the longboat. Those who continue to resist are beaten into unconsciousness, Garnett among them, and dumped into the longboat. Once filled, the renegades begin to lower the longboat into the water. Rytur stands on the deck, watching.

Free of the lines, the small boat quickly falls behind the Sea Breeze. Rytur raises a hand in solemn salute to the figures in the longboat.

Tempest Stormborn

Her mind swam, partly from the bang on her head when Kib had dragged her from her bunk as she dreamed. She had kicked out at him instinctively but he cuffed her on the back of the head; grabbing her tightly and roughly man-handled her out onto the main deck with little regard for her bruisable body. Partly her her mind swam from the shock of it all as she saw Rytur and Mosir directing the rest of the crew bound and gagged to the railings. This can not be! Rytur! Of all people to mutiny he was the last she would have thought to. Not that any of this crew I would have pegged to betray us...but Rytur! It just seemed so...so...incomprehensible.

Reality came back to her in a painful fashion as the bounds about her writs stung with the salty sweat dripping down her arms as she was pushed over to the rest of the crew. Her eyes falling upon the lifeless body of Kaleas cast carelessly on the deck before them. She felt her breath catch a moment, whether from fear or anger she was not sure.

Kaleas was not the best of men, but he was their captain and they had all sworn oath to him. What ever her feeling about the man she would not have wished this fate on him. In that moment she felt sorry for him any past grievances she may have thought about his attitude to her and her fellow sister sailors forgotten as his dull eyes stared back at her.

Her jaw and lips tightened in anger at the violation of honour and betrayal of bond from those she had considered brothers of the sea. How could they! Why?

Mosir returned once more with Avedis struggling in vain, she winced as the blow struck knocking him into the darkness of unconsciousness. She cried out, which sounded only as a muffled groan, as she struggled against her bindings to reach him, but her struggles were fruitless as Rytur steps over the Capitan addressing them.

She barely took in his words still disbelieving he of all people could have turned on them. His offer of the longboat both surprised and angered her. Not that she was disappointed that he was not about to slit their throats, but that he thought so little of the threat they were sure to pose once free. Surely he must know that they could not let such an infamy slide.

He had been with them long enough to know they would hunt him, surely. Maybe there was a good reason for his actions...no no there could be no such reason to act as he had. And yet he was sparing their lives, food and water too. Tempest could not fathom the sanity of it all, there seemed to be no logic to this madness of fate.

Once again they were manhandling them, pushing them to the long boat and clear knocking out those fighting. She saw Garnett crumple under a blow his unmoving form cast into the vessel with little care. The look she shot her former first mate and his cronies, was pure murder, the full rage of a winter squall.

She garnered another set of bruises as she was shoved into the awaiting boat along with her fellows. The ropes were cast of and she watched the Breeze distance itself from the unfortunate castaways. Once more she
Unable to find the game forum
struggled trying to free herself as the sight of Rytur grew steadily smaller. Her voice still muffled by the foul gagged as she spat of a series of curses and profanities that would have made her father blush.


The ropes are
DC 20 to escape, remember you can use Assist to get someone free.
expertly tied, you'd expect no less from seasoned deckhands. The longboat, a much smaller craft than the Sea Breeze reacts to the motion of the water much more readily and follows the whims of the waves.

The tell tail signs of false dawn begin to show, illuminating some high clouds. At least the weather should remain fair for a few days.

Brenden Morri

Brenden found himself speechless as the men secured him to the rail. Forcibly so, the gag drying his mouth and resisting his attempt to spit it free. His mind was filled with memories, of chain and rope and whip and blood. His eyes swept the deck, checking the faces of those who stood tied beside him. He knew that a struggle would not end well for any of them, he'd been on the wrong side of similar situations before, and so he stood with every intention of following the demands that the mutineers put to them.

Then he saw the captain, dead eyes staring up at him as the others dropped him like so much trash. Kaleas, who'd been more of a father to him than his own blood and who'd offered him a place to sail without slavery. His calm broke in that moment and he thrashed against the bonds, howling a litany of hateful words in the cloth as bucked against his restraints. The first blow from a mutineer did nothing to quell his rage but the second sent his senses into disarray and he stumbled, then fell toward the deck as far as the bonds would allow. Rytur's words seemed so distant as he tried to regain his footing, the warm trickle of blood and sweat mingling on his brow.

He had a mind to struggle again but the ship seemed to spin in uneasy circles as the mutineers carried him to the boat. There was only blackness between then and them actually hitting the water. The jostling of the boat was enough to rouse him, but his stomach and head continued to battle for which could make him feel the most ill. He could hear movement nearby, someone struggling against their bonds, and he focused his attention on trying to force the gag free as he tried to
Dice Roll: 1d20+3
d20 Results: 9 (Total = 12)
slip out of his own ropes.

Rollo 'The Marlin'After the dagger landed near Garnett, Rollo hid his eyes in guilt. He had been just thinking about trying to escape and mount a resistance, and as if those ideas could travel like a breeze through the minds of his compatriots, it might have, and the mutineers would have made an example of Garnett first.

It was his first mutiny, and he was on the losing side. From stories he'd heard, it could have been worse - not only were they alive, but no-one was maimed or otherwise violated, from what he could tell. Not as bad as being boarded either, as the element of surprise the mutineers had kept him from having to feel ashamed of being bested in combat... now was no time for musing though, as Ryatur was explaining himself...

Rollo couldn't imagine what need the first mate would have of the ship that would require him to murder the captain. Rollo swore not only to regain his berth on the Sea Breeze, but to uncover the circumstances under which he had lost it. "You just don't get between a man and the deck of the ship he calls home..." he muttered as much under his breath as he could without gaining a backhand slap for his trouble.

Once aboard the lifeboat, he noticed Tempest and Brenden unable to slip their bonds, before trying the same possibly futile effort, he inquired as to the general welfare of those cast adrift: "Is everyone well? Who's hurt?" he asked.

The sight aboard the longboat in the pale predawn is bleak. As promised there was a pile of foodstuffs and a barrel of water, but of those inside the boat, three had been beaten unconscious as they had struggled against the muntineers. Bryce, the gnome rigger also known as 'Cricket' stares after the Sea Breeze in shock.

Rollo managed to spit out the bit of cloth they had gagged him with shortly after the longboat touched water.

Raphaela

Among those who were bound on the deck, Raphaela was the only one who did not stare daggers Rytur. No, here unsaid promises were for Davos. Her own guard. He was well off, for a commoner. Steady work with her family and low risk at that, as Gerald was no risk taker. And even if it was money, Rytur is but a pirate. Surely Davos knew she would of paid him well to spare her this fate. Why the absurdity of it all still baffled her as she gazed at the tied and gag rift raft she was placed with before looking back to the mutineers. This couldn't had been for booty either, fore they would of kept her on board for a fine ransom to boot. No, this Rytur was getting more than gold and Davos found whatever it was worth his good name and honest living.

As Ryturs cronies walked her to the longboat all Raphaela could think of was how she wished she knew what Rytur was after. Or how come he didn't see fit to let herself in on his plan. It's not as if she owed the Sea Breeze any loyality, like its crew and surely Rytur could of seen the use in having a well connected and wealthy merchant in his lot. Glancing over her shoulder, Raphaela eyes feel once again on Davos. For a brief moment she wondered if she treated him more warmly would she be in this predicament now. But she scoffed at the thought, even while gagged. She had treated Rytur more than warmly enough and sill she was bound. As soon as the longboat hit the water Raphaela made to
Dice Roll: 1d20+2
d20 Results: 10 (Total = 12)
loose her bounds.

A futile attempt she soon found and growled as best a gagged woman could. Then she heard Rollo ask if anyone was hurt. What a queer question that was when all but the two of them had hands laid upon them, three even lay unconscious or worse beside them. Raphaela maneuvered carefully to the nearest conscious occupant and bared her back to them, so that they may catch the hint and untie her hands.

Brenden, working on his own escape, finds Raphaela, the girl who came aboard in Magnimar, moving towards him carefully. The maneuver causes the longboat to rock unpleasantly, the load distributed unevenly in a boat able to hold half again as many people. She sits, back to the bard, bound wrists extended towards him. With the bard's help Raphaela easily slips the bonds and can remove the cursed gag. In short order the rest of the castaways are free as well, the sour cloths leaving a horrible taste in the mouth even when removed.

Cricket makes no move as his bonds are removed, continuing to stare after the fast-disappearing ship.




 

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