Neel and Lin

Out to sea

Having collected the party you are ready to head out, and although it is already 2 in the morning before you get the ship loaded Willit and Tomt suggest that given that the tide is running out it is time to set sail. There is just enough moon to get out of the harbor, and once you are out to sea the moon illuminates the low clouds enough to give you a bit of light. It is still bitterly cold, and at first the glow from the snow that covers the Island of Neel lights your way, but soon only the moon lights up the dark sea.

About 4 am. Willit comes below and brings you up and points out a sail just within view to the South. The sail is black and red, which are not the colors of the Red Hand. Do you want to close with the ship, trail it at a distance, or ignore it?

Comments

We trail at a distance and use a telescope to examine it more closely. 18,6,16,10,4

Out to sea
 

You are bringing up the wind, so you close with them pretty quickly. Tomt can tell what the ship is as soon as it is hull up. “Orcish galley. It’s late in the season for them, but they do raid this far South sometimes. They sail like a log most of em’ so they are easy to outrun in any sort of wind. Problem is in a calm they have a lot more oars than we do and they can run you down in a hurry.” He brushes a bit of snow off the heavy crossbow mount at the stern of the ship. (there are several of these mounts, but only two crossbows aboard.) “Shall we run up and ask what they have seen? They can be talkative at times.”

Out to sea
 

Sure, but I’ll swim up first just in case. 19,6,8,19,13

Out to sea
 

Willit points out that with this wind the ship will go a lot faster than you do. Do you want to have them wait for you to swim up, or just stay on your own boat?

Out to sea
 

I’ll stay in the boat.

Out to sea
 

The wind starts to gust a bit as you close in on them. They have a large, square mainsail set and are moving at a good clip, but they can’t maneuver very well with that rig, so Tomt is willing to get close enough to hail them. He does have you brink out and mount the crossbows, however.

The orc ship is, not surprisingly, filthy. Piles of cargo or junk or something are laying on the deck, and the crew (40 of them? 50?) are mostly milling about without much to do. When they see you (There does not seem to be a lookout) the whole mob of them rush to the starboard side and the ship lists a couple of feet, although it seems in no danger of sinking. Their ship is a good deal larger than yours, and the crew seems heavily armed, although you can’t see any long range weapons other than bows.

As you take up position upwind of them but just out of bowshot one of the biggest orcs stands on the stern rail, points and you, and lets out a long, wailing cry. A greeting maybe?

What do you say or do?

Out to sea
 

Shoot the crossbow! 8,9,12,18,19

Out to sea
 

I’ll wait until their boat comes within range and then shoot it with my crossbow. 17,3,8,13,5

Out to sea
 

the orc i mean

Out to sea
 

Well, having decided not to ask the Orcs if they have seen the Red Hand (or anything else) you open fire on them. Rachel manages to hit the stern of the boat. Shiro actually hits the orc chieftain in the leg, although it is not clear if it made it through the armor. The orc howls, and a dozen or so of his followers fire their bows at you, although they are well out of range. Tomt quickly brings the ship around, and sails as close into the wind as he can. The waves are fairly high, and cold spray keeps coming aboard, but there is not way the orcs can follow you on this tack.

Out to sea
 

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Out to sea
alanba42

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