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Offline Algheri

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  • Only a conqueror bothers to honor a fallen foe
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  • Company Name: Patches
  • Division: Infantry
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The Book of Bull Eramix - Chapter 2
« on: Jan03-2015, 22:59:04 »
Sand tastes like shit.

My first coherent thoughts as I vomited a mixture of seawater and sand onto the beach in front of me.

Vomit tastes worse.

I looked around and spotted a tattered piece of cloth with which to wipe my mouth.  By its weight and weave it was probably a piece of some ships sails.  As I looked up and along the beach, I realized that this was probably true.  Pieces of wood, some still smoking despite the sea spray washed along the shore as the carrion birds began their grisly task. 

I rubbed my head trying to figure out how I came to the beach as I walked up the shore.  As I flopped into the shade of a large cherry tree, I realized I was fortunate - I still had my staff and my pack had remained closed, although many of its contents were thoroughly wetted.  I plucked a few cherries, eager both for the moisture, and to wash the salt and vomit taste from my mouth.  It began to come back to me.

Our trade run escorts had begun to turn some coin.  We routinely escorted a few merchant ships across the sea with Brothers stationed on the merchant ship while others skirted ahead of the laden vessel in the nimble clippers The Company relied on.  A Clipper though small, is quick and able to both pursue and avoid pursuit, as such becoming favoured by pirates and privateers alike as well as those looking to outrun their pursuer.  The scout’s role was to pose a tempting target, making contact and then drawing off any interested in pursuit.  Meanwhile the escortee, armed with her sextant slipped quietly along the coast well out of harm’s way.

As you can imagine, this could become tedious for the Brother’s stationed on the merchant vessel, and while they were happy to receive their purses at the end of the day, most would have been happier with a few corpses to loot as well. 
 
As such after a successful delivery a few took out a Clipper to serve as a privateer along the Nuian coast.  There was often a few Haranyians skulking about smuggling luxury goods back home, or preying on the merchant foolish enough to travel without a suitable escort.  Although not strictly endorsed by the officers it was thought that it could be considered a form of advertising.  Letting the merchants know we were watching, while gathering information on common trade routes and determining those organizations who would prey on their fellow Nuian just as soon as a Haranyain dog.

Patrolling the coasts was not without risk. Sharks and jellyfish roamed the stretches of coast, following the schools of fish so prized by anglers; and the seabugs, part crab, part water strider, part kangaroo.  Many a Conscript and Recruit had been lost as the bugs raced along the ship at tremendous speeds before leaping onto the deck, often grabbing those unprepared and dragging them back to their matron.  I once watched one be stuck in the face mid-sentence and knocked backwards over the railing into the depths.  By the time the Brothers had recomposed themselves from their laughter and tacked the ship to search for the poor soul all that was visible was a floating hat and some tattered, bloodstained cloth.

However, I digress; today we were the hunter, looking for a fight with hopefully a few trade packs as a reward.  I was on the harpoon keeping a lookout for any sails that topped the horizon when we spotted the peak of a Clipper holding off the edge of a waterspout.  Without hesitation we headed towards the Clipper eager to clash swords, however as we began to close our spirits dampened.  We had sailed into the water surrounding Cinderstone Moor, where some titled prick had called a cease to the fighting in the area on penalty of death.  We were not stupid enough to incur the wrath of both navies, and so we reigned in our charge and began to circle their vessel.  Hurling insults about everything from their endowment to the looks of their sisters in an attempt to entice them into more open waters.  Perhaps in this case the Death’s Head worked against us as once they had seen it, and the battle heartened troops beneath it, they headed below decks save for the poor souls who were required to maintain the ships at the edge of the spout.

Despite the satisfaction of seeing wet spots on a few men’s pants as they headed below we were frustrated, as we could not truly slake our thirst for combat, however short lived it would have been.  One man stated how it was too bad we could not drag them out to deeper waters and dispatch them.  Recounting a time when First had dragged a barkeeper and his son out of their bar and into the street before lashing them to a streetlamp and giving them lashes with her ever present whip, which all of us have felt the sting of.  Apparently the bar owners had tried to charge her extra for the scotch she had been favouring lately, and when called upon it they were foolish enough to insult her for being an elven slut for the lack of coverage her armor provided.  Anyone who had met her knows this to be a subject to be left undiscussed should you wish to continue eating with a fork. Between the ale we took with us in order to watch the festivities, and my winnings betting on how and when the fraudsters would begin to plead for leniency it turned out to be a rather pleasant night. 

Giving into our frustrations we decided that dragging the ship to sea seemed a good idea.  We fired the harpoon on their port forequarter and began to push outwards to sea.  We managed to make some progress lurching forwards against the currents while they repositioned themselves to stall our advances.  We continued to pull at them without gaining much headway, their sails were able to match our own pull and their helmsman was able to negate our progress.

It was then we decided to attempt to slacken their sails, giving our ship the advantage in the wind she was able to catch.  We had all heard tales of the SB sneaking aboard enemy merchant ships in order to slow them down at the right moment and allow the rumbling cutters to overtake her.

It was then that I made my error – rather than swimming in the cold water, I opted to use my glider to get to their vessel, only I forgot to account for the wind and spray caused by the spout.  Like a fool, I hit turbulence almost as soon as I launched and was soon sent tumbling into the choppy waters, apparently hitting my head in the process.

Well that explained how I had come to be on the beach if not the origins of the wreckage I floated with.  Now knowing that I should be around Cinderstone, I began tracking west, hoping to catch the carriage road towards Marianople and S1.

Upon returning to S1 after the journey I endured several jests at my lack of flight skills, vomit stenched breath and damp appearance before I could determine the source of the shipwreck and how it came to be.   

As the rope tightened the two ships reached a standoff, ours straining to pull our unwilling captive towards open water and death, while the clipper held off as her life and the life of her crew depended on it. Locked in a stalemate the ships fought for control as time ticked slowly on.  As the sun grew higher the time when the fighting could resume ticked closer.   Fearing the ultimate loss of crew and ship, the owner of the boat decided to recall the boat to a safe harbour giving up her cargo in return for the life of her crew.

As the portal cracked open, the flowing water began to pull the boat forward into the portal.  However, as the company ship held fast straining the heavy cable attaching the ships, the speed at which the ship was being portaled began to slow, and then stop.  As the portal began to shudder from being open a deep rumble began within the ship as some pieces seems to fade away while others flashed into existence.  Then the entire ship disappeared seemingly pulled back into the safety of the void.  It was strange however, as the cable went slack and struck the water the ship snapped back into view again, and then immediately shuddered, and exploded as if it had been filled with gunpowder.

Many of the men not quick enough were knocked off of their feet, with the very unlucky struck by timbers as they shot across the deck.  Fortunately these were few and not severe.  The sail however had caught much of the force and had torn loose of some of its ropes as it was peppered and pierced with the missiles.  Getting to their feet the men looked at the flotsam the remained of the ship and at the tattered state of their own sail, before laughing and cheering at the intensity of the explosion.  Understanding that they were now wounded, and that there was likely no salvage in the remains of the enemy vessel they began limping for home.

This more than anything caused me to swear, while I was glad it was the enemies ship that had been destroyed, repairing a clippers sails with holes torn through them from wood would be time consuming.  That means the LT will continue to be on my case about getting his new set of cloth robes done.

- Written by Bull Eramix
« Last Edit: Jan03-2015, 22:59:37 by Algheri »