In To The Dark

Thirsty Crow and the whale

Waters off Autenburg, Unknown location
From: 23, Maloch 1589 To: 08, Augustus 1589

Sareth’s Journal Beldin’s Journal Mesinplas’s Journal Graham’s Journal Mai-Khai’s Journal Cherry’s Journal Ill-Dal’s Journal

The ebb and flow of the tide was almost calming, if not for the shiver of cold or grating of the metal prow through the thick ice. Skald had begun this journey shortly after getting his ship. Harrying the other vesseles periodically. It was this that kept him busy cutting nets, and targeting the fishing cranes with what few offensive spells he had. He wanted to wait for the next ship before the real work, besides his crew needed time to learn the ropes sort to speak. Yes the Thirsty Crow was a vessle that could go the mile, built ruggedly and made for long voyages. His idle thoughts were just enough so that he wasn’t distracted from the horizon, one week the new ship should be coming into veiw soon. As if beholden to his thoughts, the white billows of sail crept above the distant ice into the sky.

“Look lively now here comes our whale boys.”

As he moved from the fore deck he idley had a thought, and with only a second’s puase thought became action. His hand drew the comforting joivial leather rod from his belt olny half the length of his arm. His body rocked down the steps to the mid deck the crop landed as he did. Nothing happened for a second then it all came alive. The sails billowed hard and the ropes tightened. The wheel broke free from the navigator’s hands quickly turning. The ship truly was alive.

“Carful, she’s come full awake and is stretching her sails, gha hah ha ha ha ha ha ha…”

Quickly Scald replaced the crop and casted magic mouth on the ship. The crew looked miffed and then got the joke no one told and joined the laugh.

“I’m not shure what the abyss be so funny, I’m da one wiff a buncha lan lubbers try’n to sail me blind. How bout dis I be driven now dat I gots me own mind and you blokes be piligen. Where to cap’n?”

This caused even more riotous laughter from the crouds as Skald directed his ship toward the area that the Emerald Isles used as a staging area…

The times went on like that for several months, soon they stopped sending all the ships and he had to be cautious of how much he was hurting the ones that did come. This kept dwindling down to the point ‘til there was one left.

A Letter came to him from Judith, it was a blessing he now had both Sareth’s connection and the knowledge of Judith’s safety firmly in his mind. The only dark cloud was the strange ship that chased him the day before the letter and again a few days after. It apparently was a different design that any of the regular sea dogs had ever seen. His crew began calling it “Silver Plate” due to the shiny surfaces that looked like polished plate armor adorning the hull of the ship.

This ship would be seen multiple times during his raids but never from the same direction. It wasn’t a war ship, at least he never thought it was large enough to be. It was actually on Augustus eighth that he had ran out of luck and was trapped.

They came swiftly in his own wake, his crew still fighting against the marines that had begain traveling with the fishers shortly after his raids. The ship was still tangled with theirs. He first noticed it while dispatching a particular troubling fellow, a glint of silver he had ignored. It wasn’t until he had moved with the first load back to the Crow that he realized it was the “Silver Plate”. He immidiatley sounded the retreat and told the ship to break away as soon as it could. The Crow barely pulled away when the mysterious ship pulled along side, graples at the ready. It was much larger than it initially appeared thing in width and longer than the Crow fast, a razor sharpened keel allowing it to glide through the water effortlessly and cut ice effiectly. The sound of the grapples instantly reminded Skald of a jail door.

The melee was fierce most of his men, dead or dying, had given everything they had. The leader moved toward him from the crowd that had surrounded him. He could still hear the few men left fighting bitterly. The leader unwrapped himself from the heavy winter cloak. Dressed in a silk shirt and leather briches the creature had to be cold, but again what did Beldin know of hobgoblins. The coat was neatly folded and layed across the rails. A glance up at Beldin was all he gave before proceeding to remove his gloves. Then came the weapons. The mace came quickly to hand with a couple of well practiced test swings. The left hand reached slightly behind and pulled a long rod about the length of his arm. He was a Praetor, and with a crop. Beldins stomach grew queasy and threatened to reverse itself. Again the Hobgoblin looked up, set himself for a fight then nodded.

Life was a blur after that, Beldin whent to cast only to be stopped by the Hobgoblin. He fiented left and went right only to trip over his opponants outstreched leg. A side long look on his ugly face, then a swing with the heavy looking mace. Nearly Beldin dodged and swung his sword, his arm ringed with the reverberation that came from the mace attacking more than blocking his weapon. Beldin thought of the strength and skill of this opponant, then realized that the most disconcerting thing was that this Hobgobblin wasn’t even trying, all of his moves and mannerisms were casual. Beldin lunged once more with his sword, again a casual sweep from the crop deflected followed by a knee to the gut.

Bent over and out of breath, Beldin tried to cast a spell, only to feel the heavy hammer fall on his back. He streched for the crop, again the hammer fell, the cracking of the impact heralding broken ribs. His fingers barely touched the lether thong, a sharp point of a boot caught his cheeck, wrenching his face toward the sky. A wicked grin was placed on the beastial face looking down at him.

“I expected more from the Praetor Theif, know that it was Leafrip that finally ended you.”

The hammer raised once more as if to signal to some army, Beldins hand clenched around the hard leather with anticipation… Leather… the crop! Beldin saw the hammer fall slow so slow, it would have never made it no matter how fast it came. Before the hammer began building speed on its downward decent, the leather crop closed the minute space to the deck.

Beldins feet moved before the rest of him, lurching his stomach, he could hear every thing at once for a brief second then all went quiet. The tactic worked in throwing off his exicutioner. Obviously Beldin’s limited experience with teleporting was volumes more than this mans. Abruptly the silence was filled once more with sounds, people, a city, a park. Then the movement stopped. They had appeared in the center of the park. Disturbing a flock of birds taking a break from their long migration south. It took but an instant before magic flew from all around them. Beldin’s last sight of his would be murderer was that of chared skin and protuding arrows as he vaulted the boatrail and everything went black.

Beldin awoke in his bed, blankits covering him and Judith sitting beside him with a smile…

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