on Sep 17, 2005
The captain concludes the south has conquered the town. Their only hope is to sail around the north end of the island and head for the city of Breakshore. If the city still stands they may buy the weapons in the hold, or at least allow port and re-supply.
Inorem reminds him of the storm.
The captain replies that now the storm will work in their favor. Ships of the south may well pursue them if not for the bad weather.
They bring the ship about and make for the north. As they turned they see and hear the alarm being raised from the tower on shore. They can see men scurrying about on the shore, archers obviously standing to the ready should they come within range.
The captain orders that all the cargo be dumped overboard. They are too low in the water and too slow to have any hope of reaching Breakshore like this. Inorem protests. The Captain relents. The crew is ordered to empty only the Captains’ share of the cargo.
Beck meets the loaders in the cargo hold and suggests they “accidentally” dump some of Inorem’s stuff as well, since his stuff is towards the front and they will have to climb over and around it to get to the captain’s.
Hours pass. The ship rises out of the water as it gets lighter. The men are sweating and exhausted as they work steadily trying to get ahead of the oncoming storm.
Inorem is furious about the cargo being thrown over. Skeeve tries to calm him down. Inorem assumes it was the humans and dwarf who did it, though Skeeve helped with quite a bit.
The ship pushes west at a good clip.
A whistle blows, sounding general quarters. The party comes up on deck to see the sky a sick green. The air is still and quiet. The men look apprehensive. It is very warm and humid. The ship stops moving as there is no longer any wind.
The captain orders the men to secure the sails, and the officers and the party are called to the navigation room.
The captain explains the basics of weather navigation, heading into the wind, not worrying about where you’re going, just ride up one side of a wave and down the other, no sails, as the wind will push the ship over, OR the mast will snap like a twig.
The storm draws nearer. The temperature drops quickly. Suddenly it is wet and chilly. The sea begins to churn.
The sky grows black as the sun sets. Rain begins to fall. As the ship is buffeted by the storm, they begin to take on water. The ship is still riding low in the ocean. The captain sits by the wheel upon his barrel. Two stout men, Thordek and Thu’fir are sent to the wheel. The captain explains that the more they aim INTO the wind, the safer they are. The sails are tied up and everyone else is sent below.
Skeeve begins offering random spells he can do. None of them are “make the storm go away”, so the captain sends him belowdecks with the rest. Thordek and Thu’fir have no trouble keeping the ship on course.
Night falls. Inorem stands just inside the door and runs the damage control operation. At first he sets the men to bilge, but it is a lost cause. Water comes in too fast. He concludes they need to lift the ship up or they’ll sink. He orders all hands to begin hauling his weapons up from the hold, and shoving them out the door. He goes out and sets to pushing the crates overboard.
Beck is there to remind the party that they could have tossed Inorem’s stuff hours ago, made better time, and saved themselves a lot of trouble during the storm. Inorem’s greed has put them in greater danger.
Sailors (along with Eomer) work furiously to haul the heavy cargo out of the hold and get it overboard. Then, one of them loses his footing on the slick steps. The crate hits the deck and burst open, releasing an avalanche of broadswords down the steps. The hapless sailor is caught in the flow and sliced up as he falls downstairs in the pile of weapons. Eomer is right behind him, but quick enough to leap up and place his feet on the railings, holding himself above the steps as the swords and victim slid by beneath him.
The steps are now coated with seawater, blood, and swords. Enoch is called. He grants healing to the injured man, while everyone else goes about the tricky job of gathering up the swords as they slide back and fourth on the rocking deck. The cargo unloading operation is delayed as all of this happens.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.