Blockade Running - RPLOG
Evening on the Rose Walk, the sea shrouded by mist and fog. While Firmament never truly sleeps, the docs are as quiet as they will get, with sailors either having headed to the taverns lining the waterside or in their hammocks on board ship. Though on one particular jetty there seems to be a flurry of activity - stevedores busy themselves loading fragile-looking metal crates onto a sleek, speedy ship. Low masts and a tapered hull give it a dimunitive appearance, and the loading is supervised by robed priests who are taking this job with utmost seriousness, waiting for the hired help to arrive. A small contingent of steel-armoured crusaders waits in formation to one side of the gangway, ready to board at command.
Rixo rattles along the dock with the sound of her platemail, helmet tucked under her arm as she approaches the boat. "Hm. This the right spot? Heard some help was needed, and I'm always up for a bit of sea travel. A good way to get my feet wet again, so to speak." The panda rolls her shoulders and glances around. "Been out of it for a little bit."
Kalt makes her way up the docks, her armor missing a few heavy plate pieces across her chest this day, with a easy to reach set of knots to untie it present on her front. The Vixen's large battle axe missing, though she's not at a lack of weapons in any way. Approaching behind Rixo she dips her head slightly to the cursaders before looking to the Priests. "Aye, I'm here to be goin' an' helpin' make sure ain't nuttin' hurt us an' all?" The vixen's tail twitching in almost nervous manner as she glanced at the water, debating if she should have just worn cloth today instead of armor.
Kaelli had her interest piqued by the nature of the call and naturally showed up in full kit. The pale tigress was clad in blackened platemail and sporting an assortment of weaponry as she headed towards the designated birth. Seeing the line of priests escorting the cargo, the feline gave a formal bow in respect but otherwise did not stray too near them so as to keep out from underfoot. Instead, she headed towards the gather freeswords and waited to see what the finer points of the detail would entail.
Clank clank clank... Dio's tower shield and gear jingle jangles with each step, probably not the best for a stealth mission. However, one must always have a back-up plan for when things go sour! The lion makes his way towards the boat with a heavy spring to his step and full of youthful energy that totally didn't come from sleeping all day. Either way, the lion waves to the others and bangs the base of his spear on the ground. "Travel Sergent Corporal General ready fer boatin'!"
Bite sways out to the docks, having heard of a plea for help regarding the blockade. She smiles and stretches as she approaches the crusaders. "Hello sssweeties how are you, how can I help?" she lowly says and quizzes. She examines the water and horizon to see if there would be any complications, beyond visibility, and looks about for someone she knows and can rely on. She decides upon Dio, and approaches them with a smile. "So you're here to stand in front of things for me again?" she teases as she does.
With all the beings sporting heavy armor, Selena probably looks underdressed - her typical clothes being worn not quite matching up. Nevertheless, she doesn't seem to mind. "Hey, Dio. Rixo, Kalt." She greets, waiting for the highly-toted contractor to give further instruction. "Curiousity is going to get me in a lot of trouble one day, I swear." She mutters, looking over the shoreline a little apprehensively.
"Good evening, my children," one of the priestsesses, a growing-clanned newt, says as she approaches the group. "And my apologies for the late hour. As you have no doubt been reliably informed, this task is of some importance, and I have been authorised to fill you in on the details so as to impress upon you the importance of tonight's events.
"As you can see, these boxes which are being loaded are not anything in the ordinary - they hold various parts of a weapon bequeathed upon us by the Creators, the other half of which which Shralesta holds. Originally, it was agreed that the Church on either side of the ocean should safeguard each part to prevent its misuse, but the recent aggressions on the part of Ishara have led us to agree that something must be done about those brutes - a show of force in this fashion will hopefully lead to them backing down with the least life lost.
"As such, we will be sailing without lights nor flag today, and the task is simple: see this through the blockade at all costs. We have a whole squad of the Church's crusaders on board, but additional hands never hurt, especially if they are varied. Are there any questions?"
Rixo rubs the back of her head. She did have a few, honestly, but now wasn't the time for her rather... Obvious ones. "Ah, not right now, no. I'm ready to go whenever. I am just here to make my return official! I'll do everything I can to make sure it arrives safely."
Kalt eyes the boxes with caution as they are explained, dipping her head some as she reached into her satchel to retrieve a black sash... Quickly replacing the Solacious guardsman one she wore, looking over to Selena then with a nod before giving a respectful dip of her head to the priestess. "Yes ma'am. Ain't gonna let nuttin' happen' to 'em when I'm up an' breathin'." Her tail flicked in slight aggitation to the promise, eyes glancing once more to the dark water before straightening forward as she adjusted the sword strapped to her back. "... We just runnin' one ship out an' all?"
A weapon? And Creature devices? Aah! The tigress' tail twitched faintly and her mis-matched eyes slid over to regard the crates with open curiosity. All the same, the feline gave a faint and soundless sigh but remained in place and made no move to indulge that urge. Her gaze took in the familiar faces and catalogued the unknown ones. Instead, the priestess that spoke was give another of those formal bows in understanding of the task ahead.
"O' course!" Dio exclaims, jumping in front of Bite with boisterous manly strength. "Ya can bet yer scales I'll block nearly anythin' ya need, be it an arrow, a shot, the sun, o' maybe an' annoyin' breeze. An' good evenin' to the rest o' ya," he says, spinning around to view the priestess and listen to her. "Right then, lass." The lion confirms by banging the base of his spear on the floor once more. "Easy 'nough to understand. Outta curiosity though, 'ave ya 'ad any reports 'bout that big sea lad with all the tentacles?"
Bite listens and shakes her head, thinking about this for a moment. She smiles to Dio and offers Selena a wave, before she readies herself to board the ship. "Okay I'm ready to go." she hisses as she looks back to the others, encouraging them to move foward and join her. "I can't wait to see this blockade cleared." she adds as an after thought.
Selena sighs quietly, rubbing her forehead. "Always the 'my children' lines with you types..." She mutters to herself disdainfully. "I have a question. Why not transport the weapon by land if you're investing so many resources? Airship I can at least dismiss if this thing is heavy enough, but you're relying on a ship to run a blockade intact with one of your priceless relics on board. Something about that premise doesn't sit well with me. I'd like to think a group of soulless and crusaders could deal with a trip across the desert if it came down to it."
The wolfess smiles as Dio's usual bravado comes to the fore, "I haven't heard any news about that, but I somehow don't think it'll be a problem if we're keeping around the shoreline - comparatively at least. Other than that I'm ready to make way."
"Yes. One ship. We are attempting to run the blockade, not break it. And as for any beasts in the water, not of recent days. Isharan naval activity will certainly have kept any wildlife away, that much I think. In any case, we should be going.
To Selena's question: "A roundabout trip over land would take far too long, perhaps months, while an airship flying over the blockade would be easily spotted and intercepted. At least, that's the reason given to me. Now," - with a little firmness - "I think we should be going, for time is short."
The last of the boxes is loaded, the gangway is lifted after everyone has boarded, and the ship pushes off into the fog with nary a sound. All is dark on deck as crusaders ready themselves for trouble behind the broadside cannons and sailors pull on the rigging.
Rixo tugs her helmet on and settles down to lean against the mast, waiting. "I don't... Recognize some of you. I recognize you there, mister lion." She sweets a hand over towars Selena and nods. "You as well! Have things been well in the fine kingdom of Sweetwater?"
Kalt makes her way onboard, and bee lines for a spot in the center of the ship where she can lean against the side of the wall next to the stairs heading down. "M'Kalt, an' s'nice to be meetin' you." She nods gently to herself, checking her gear once more as she frowns and curses at herself for not learning how to properly learn any sort of ranged weapon. She remains relativly silent for the majority of the first portion, seeming more not wanting to focus on the prospect of having to swim. "Well here's hopin we ain't---" Her voice dieing out as she looks out through the fog and feels her throat dry up. "... Aw... Shit..."
Eyes narrowing as she just barely catches sight of the items in the water, the tigress frowned and clicked her tongue softly. Hearing the curse from Kalt, she couldn't help but to smile faintly - at least someone else had noticed. Raising a hand in greeting to Rixo, Kaelli still managed a proper introduction, "My name is Kaelli, pleased to meet you." Rolling her shoulders, the feline adjusted her hold upon her shield and drew her axe from the frogge at her back. "Ah, so fun starts quickly.." she mused aloud, the hand holding her shield rising to make a quick adjustment to her armour and the ornate necklace beneath.
Dio gives his spear a little twirl and heads on board after listening to the priestess. "I remember ya too, lass! It's been quite awhile. Few months even." Peering off into the distance, he spots something out on the open sea and unstraps the tower shield from his back and hoists it to his front to guard himself, and others should they get behind him. "So what was our plan 'ere if we get caught and they sound an' alarm?"
Bite had been talking to the Crusaders and everyone present only briefly, prying into the nature of this weapon when she looks to everyone getting prepared for something and tilts her head. She stands behind the Tower Shielded Dio, not sure what is going on.
Selena shakes her head and looks back to the priest. "You know, the reason I mentioned airships was because the Isharans specifically stated they didn't care about trade via air or land, and I haven't heard of an airship being shot down recently." She replies curiously. "Have you been given any contrary reports? I'm still leery of this whole thing, but it's at least better planned than the last expedition I was privy to."
The wolfess then turns to Bite and Rixo; "They've been interesting, but nothing world-shattering has been happening in the recent past. And Bite! Sorry I didn't greet you before." she notes, nodding to the serpent with a smile.
Indeed, it appears the Isharan fleet has been encroaching on Firmament, along with their minefield. Maybe they're getting tired, too, of this impasse, and want their cut sooner rather than later - a protracted controntation is never good for either side in a war, after all.
However, they don't seem to have noticed the little clipper ship yet through the fog, feeling confident in their mines' ability to keep intruders at bay.
Unfortunately, it appears that Selena's question will have to wait for another time.
Rixo glances over towards the fleet, scowling beneath her helmet before she thumps her fist on her breastplate. "It is nice to meet you, Kalt, Kaelli. I am Rixo. Interesting circumstances to be meeting over, but let's hope that before long we're all back drinking and telling stories, eh? It is good to see you two that I do know, though. Glad to hear that things haven't gone up in flames."
Kalt tenses as she pushes herself from the wall and wanders forward, unsheathing her two handed sword from her back... Though she keeps the math runes silent, and the blade clear of the creator's fire. "I'm figurin' we run... Run 'bout as fast as this'll take us... Ain't thinkin' we're fit to go standin' an' fightin'..." She tensed her hand around the handle, glancing back at the mines before looking the others. "... Figurin' we either go shootin' at the mines, or folk what with water math could go tryin' to spread 'em out so we can go slippin' through... Ain't got much time though, they'll be goin' an' seein' us soon if we take too long." She fidgets slightly then, begining to pace with anticipation as she looked to the ships in the fog, before looking to the others to see what the more experienced folk decided would be better to do.
"Flames?" Kaelli mused in her accented voice. "Oh, no.. Flames were for Shanty town.." The feline's voice tone made it clear that she was referencing some past thought more than anything immediately pertinent. Her attention was still focused on the ship in the distance and the mines bobbing in the water but she did spare a moment to give a soft smile of welcome to Rixo before surveying the others gathered. "Ah..Miss Selena..? Would it be poor idea to.." searching for the correct phrasing, the tigress made a gesture of two items coming together and then spreading out once more before continuing, "Move the water to detonate mines against other ship...then run through?" Her angle of her head as she regarded the wolfess indicated that she wasn't certain the action would work. "Or even..just against each other so they are not threat? Perhaps as diversion?" An almost apologetic smile was offered along with the question.
"Those mines 're interesting," Dio procliams, relaxing his stance a little. "They're hooked pretty good down in there. Ain't floatin', so movin' 'em ain't an option I'm afraid. Gonna 'ave to go down an' unattach 'em from the sea, but blowin' 'em will set off an alarm o' one thousand. But if we think we're fast 'nough..."
Bite thinks carefully and giggles. "Well if we need a distraction, a bunch of explosions from their own mines might help, but not much. Maybe we can disarm them and distract them at the same time... we need to start with a distraction if they're coming in though... can we maybe make some ice and push it over that way, where they'll be where we aren't, or maybe some sort of waterspout that they'll need to avoid? Or maybe we should just go back and get the navy if they're coming in themselves." She thinks hard, nodding to Selena. "What do you think?"
Selena nods. "It's entirely possible to move them with the water, but that'd have the side-effect of producing a cross current and I'm not familiar with the mines themselves. It'd make sailing through it a bit harder. We could probably detonate some further away from us as a distraction if necessary..." She notes, glancing back to Dio. "Well, if they're anchored we could probably cut them loose. It's not too windy, so I could take a quick trip further along the blockade to set one off. I somehow think a single being isn't going to be easily noticed if this ship hasn't been, but I'll admit I don't like water much myself. As for getting across the minefild... Detonating the mines wouldn't be a good option, so it might be possible to use water magic or air magic to speed this ship up when we're ready to try crossing."
Rixo holds her hands up and shrugs. "Well, I'm not too great at swimming I'm afraid, so I'm not the best for an underwater adventure. I'm not sure how fast this thing is, but I probably wouldn't change trying to just rush past them, either. So unless we get a fair start on them before we gun it... I'm afraid I don't have many suggestions. When my family engages in trade, we use light and fast vessels just for that reason."
Kalt turns to the others as she shakes her head and continues to pace. "We can see'em, an' that means they can see us if'n they ain't already. We ain't got time for folks to go swimmin' below an' unhookin'em then. 'Sides, you see 'em gettin closer what with the blockade an' such... They'll be seein' us soon'nuff, an' that goes meanin' we'll be runnin' fast." She sighs and reaches up to rub at the space between her eyes for a moment. "... If'n it comes to runnin, ya'll thinkin' we could go an' detonate 'em before we go hittin'em? Fire math and crossbows an' what now? May end up bein' the best bet of gettin' through quickly..." She bites down on her lower lip as she looks over the minefield before looking back to the others. "... We ain't got much time to go workin' this."
Kaelli nods as each person voices an opinion, the woman listening intently while her lips purse in thought. "Do we know," she eventually ventures, "How many ships between?" Gesturing to where they are and into the distance beyond for emphasis. "Maybe.. More fog? Much, much more fog? Mines could be hidden then..but so is ship?" As before, the woman seemed almost apologetic for her lack of direct knowledge in aquatic warfare as she glanced around at the others for a reaction and any input.
Bite makes an attempt and hisses "Give me a hand, maybe we can distract them with a waterspout." she hisses and begins to work out some water maths. The water swirls and slooshes about with fine form, but the waterspout appears to have stage freight, or perhaps there just isn't enough math here. The water moves some of the mines and some of them cause explosions, to which the fleet is drawn. "Oh dear... well lets think fast ssweeties, we need to move. Let us travel through some of the cleared mines and quickly."
Selena glances back, attempting in her own right to slow the course of the waterspout before it reaches the mines - and upon failing, she quickly conjures an fiery elemental next to her. "Okay, I'm going to work on giving us a tailwind." she says quickly, swallowing. "When we're closer the elemental will try to set fire to the sails of their ships if they come to close."
Rixo grimaces at the sounds of the explosion. "Well... That sounds lovely. I'll trust in you proper mathematicians to get us out of this, because I'm not in any position to hit them, I'm afraid. So uh. Good luck. Don't get me killed on my first night back, eh?"
Well, it's a run. As Selena conjures her tailwind to put the nimble little ship to moving, the crusaders begin manning the broadside cannons in anticipation of contact with the fleet. There are certainly too many Isharans to fight them all, but perhaps one can distract them long enough to get past, especially with Selena's fire elemental darting out and over the waters.
Kalt gains 50 wounds for RP reasons.
Selena gains 50 wounds for RP reasons.
Kalt is watching with grim fascination as they sail on, hands gripping her swords hilt tightly before the Isharen fleet fires, and she's left to dash in a attempt to take cover... Though the grape shot that rip through some of the plate and chain cause her to yelp as she throws herself behind the solid structure finally... Bleeding some from the grazing grapeshot. "MOTHER OF FUCK CAN WE GET MOVIN' NOW!?"
With a low hiss, the tigress was suddenly quite glad that she had kept her shield at the ready. Pulling it in tighter against her body, Kaelli squinted one eye as the metal was pelted and she was staggered by the sudden impact. Biting back a soft curse in a foreign tongue, the feline shifted her stance in an effort to steady herself. Looking around swiftly to assess the damage done by that first volley, the woman moved closer to Selena to make sure that the lightly armoured wolfess didn't get caught out in the metal rain should a second downpour fall.
Grapeshot! Dio holds his large tower shield sturdy and braces it against the ground, shrapnel clanking on its metallic surface as it performs its function quite well for anyone lucky enough to be standing behind Dio at the time. Seeing their air magicy person Selena get hit, the lion bites his lip and starts heading towards her for some fine shielding as well along with the tigress. "I'll try an' shield ya'll the best I can! Just try an' sit behind me."
Bite smiles as Dio blocks the shot for her, leaning in to give the lion a hug of thanks. She then turns to look at Selena and frowns, before she works up some water magics to help the ship along. She moves with Dio towards Selena, pulling out her medkit for future use when things are a little less heated.
Selena yelps as the pellets start to rain down over the ship, flinching as several of them inevitably do hit her, holding a hand over one of the worse grazes as the initial barrage ends. "Don't both of you stay over here." She demands, shaking her head as Kaelli and Dio both move over, pointing to the former. "Stay with Kalt or other crew members, I should be fine with one shield over here." She calls, tensing a little more before concentrating back on her magic as her elemental darting back and forward between ships as long as it can.
The deck is peppered, but the crusaders hold their positions, hiding behind the cannons in preparation to return fire when they come within range, for all the good that'll do. Some of the sailors brace themselves for the ineivtable incoming volley the distance is closed between the Church's nimble clipper and the multitude of vessels that make up the Isharan Fleet, Bite's water magic accelerating the former to considerable speeds - although no one's about to go waterskiing, it's pretty close to it now. Some of the masts and sails have been set alight thanks to Selena's fire elemental, but the point of a blockade is - well, a blockade - all they have to do is sit and wait for the group to make a run through them...
Rixo startles briefly as the fire starts, thankful to have been leaning against the mast at that point in time. No longer, though, as she pulls up her shield and goes to take up a defensive position near Kalt. "Are you alright? How badly were you hit?" She doesn't look for herself, keeping her eyes on the horizon incase she needs to put herself in the way of anymore incoming projectiles.
Kalt keeps pressed down against the mast, curling up into as small of a ball as the Vixen could as the cannons roared... She knew full well there wasn't anywhere to go now that they were close enough for cannon ball shots instead of mear grapeshot, so the best she could do was stay low and wait for if the barrage ended...Meaning they'd have either outran them, or were being boarded. Though when Rixo speaks up she huffs and moves her right hand from her side, waving slightly as a few sheers in the armor could be seen, with a small trickle of blood leading down from them. "I'll be fine! Ain't outta no fight yet! Just go tellin' me we ain't plannin' on rammin' any of the bastards!"
Kaelli gives a low sound of acknowledgement under Selena's chiding and moves away. Checking her footing once more, the feline kept shield and weapons at the ready. Her posture was curved, body staying as fluid as possible in the event that she needed to run and intervene on anyone's behalf during another attack. While her shield arm stayed level, her opposite hand began to spin the axe that she had drawn earlier. Not well versed in math and not possessing a ranged weapon, the feline merely waited to see how things played out.
Dio jumps a little at the hug, but smiles and gets back to business shortly after. Clank! The tower shield braces against the deck to shield anyone who wanted to hide behind it. "When we get to a safer spot," Dio yells out over all the chaos, "I can switch my gem 'ere an' really 'elp patch up any wounds ya'll might've gotten."
Bite stretches for a second from behind Dio and focuses for a moment, spawning a fire elemental on board one of the ships as they get close, hissing very loudly "Things are about to get too choppy for them to handle." in a very serious tone. She awaits their impending confrontation.
Selena curses quietly, the tension thickening as the group approaches the blockade itself, directing her elemental to the portholes of the ships to fling smoke into the hold - no fire below deck; an exploding ship would do no good for anyone - until the ships are just a bit closer, momentarily divering some of her air magic to fling water from around the hip up into the blockading ships. "Bite, try to get water into their holds! This ship isn't going to be able to deal with a barrage from cannons, and wet powder doesn't fire well!" She barks out. "Wehn we're closer I'll try to bring out another elemental!"
Like a fly passing between grasping fingers, the little ship darts here and there in the small patches of open water between the large ships. Selena and Bite's elementals concentrate upon the Isharan vessels closest to them, keeping them occupied alongside the broadside cannons let off by the crusaders. It's a quick run - especially when it looks like some of the Isharans' own weatherworkers step up to sour Bite's magic - but by some miracle, the ship makes it through, though not without damage from return fire - the moment everyone is reasonably in the clear, the sailors begin poring over deck, hull and rigging, some of them expressing surprise that they're still afloat after this beating.
Rixo is among those surprised, though it's hard to tell under her helmet. "Well, good job to you mathematicians. Remind me to buy you drinks later." She stays on guard, though, just incase. "What's the plan now? Are we just going to keep going? Any plans to stop the chase?"
Kalt keeps herself low as the ship passes through, claws digging into the wooden deck around her as her fur stands on end. Her ears pinned back over her head as well as she seems to silently curse her luck until they finally cleared the blockade. A pleased sigh of relief escapes her then as she groans pushes herself to her feet and looks to the others with a slight frown. "... I'm... Really... R-Really hopin' we ain't takin' that way back an' all." Her right hands rubbing over the slight cuts and knicks as she pulls a dulling potion from her bag to drink.
Peering back as they speed through the blockade, Kaelli shifted her stance to allow her to occasionally glance towards the diminishing mine field while still keeping the horizon in her periphery. "Always nice to play at sea.." the tigress murmurs mostly to herself. Not quite relaxing her stance, the feline stayed vigilant and left the healing to those who may be more adept at it than she.
With most of the commotion died down, Dio sets aside his tower shield and pulls out his soul pendent. With a swap, he switches to the lovely trauma mage soul and waits for the information to begin flowing through him and assist in treating any of the injured.
Bite whips out her makeshift medical kit and begins to treat Selena, looking her over. "Are you okay sssweetie?" she asks now that all the danger is over. "I really hope this trip is worth it." she adds with a shake of her head.
Selena sighs quietly, slumping back against the mast pole as they finally pass a safe distance. Allowing her magic to peter out, she shakes her head, grimacing as she pulls a small piece of metal from her arm. "....Well, I'll be fine when we're back on solid land, Bite." she chuckles quietly, rubbing her arm with a slight wince. "I should be okay as long as none of these cuts get infected."
With everything in order and the nimble little ship keeping up speed with Bite's water magic, it seems that the commotion is dying down. The Isharans must not have realised what was in this cargo and just assumed it was another merchant blockade runner, for although they give chase, they don't pursue too far especially when it becomes apparent that they've been outpaced. Soon, everyone is on their way to shralesta.