The Struggle Within – Introduction

The Struggle Within – Chapter 1

Aniril hadn’t been interested in the petty dice game that the human had tried to woo him with. It was the sort of diversion some of the others needed to pass the time, something he’d been used to for most of his decades. Rather he spends his time keeping a wary eye on his fellow passengers, with one hand on the barge-rail of the ship, feeling the rolling current under his feet. Shifting his longbow slightly on his shoulder as he turns, that twitchy fellow in particular draws his eye. Dilthen núr He exhales as he watches them all. Perception check [21] on the fidgety figure - what is he wearing, is he armed, watching anyone in particular?

Slightly unsteady with the movement of the ship, Senaya decides to move her mind away from the question of whether she was feeling queasy or not by accepting to play a game of ‘bones’ with first mate Sunward. The aim is not to win but to draw the interesting looking man into conversation. [Persuasion check: 19]

Haskil wasn’t used to the sea and it wasn’t looking like he’d find his sea-legs any time soon, not if his stomach had anything to say about it. The Half-Elf Bard had originally jumped at the chance to board this departing ship in a hurry and had followed his act first attitude to solving his problems.
He needed a distraction, and wasting money seemed like the best way. He didn’t care if Sunward was cheating, only if he could replicate that for himself. Playing two games with the man, wasting away his coin, he sought to… Perception check [22] on Sunward's roll of the dice, do the same numbers keep appearing as if they're weighted, or does he roll them the same way each time with some technique behind it?

Frey hadn’t expected there to be any entertainment on this journey but was enjoying watching the Half-Elf lose game after game. She idly dances her fingers over the hilt of her sword. Sunward was clearly cheating. Nobody could be as bad as the Half-Elf or as good as Sunward. Frey smiled to herself as she continued to watch this unfold. Only way to teach them a lesson was to play it herself. She would be glad to make Sunward’s purse a little lighter after his latest victim. Move over Half-Elf. Some of us want to win some coin. Best out of 5. If Sunward wins 3 she'll retreat but only after slamming her fist on the table and making her frustration known.

Maelius Sunward is attired in a simple tunic and trousers, he has made a point of turning the sleeves on his tunic up to his elbows, exposing both forearms. He is armed with a shortsword on his right hip and the hilt of dagger protrudes from his right boot, he makes no attempt to conceal either. He does not seem to be watching anyone in particular, but rather everyone aboard, save for the Captain, whom he glances at only occasionally.

As Senaya approaches, Maelius flashes a charming smile. Taking Senaya’s coin he places it onto the table alongside his own. He indicates that Senaya should roll first but does not argue if she insists on going second. Following his victory he says Perhaps Bones is not your game. When we reach Daltigoth and you conclude your business, perhaps we can play something of your choosing. A statement rather than a question, his attention quickly shifts to the approaching Half-Elf.

A game to take your mind off your stomach perhaps? Haskil plays two games, losing both. Even under the closest scrutiny, there is nothing to suggest any wrongdoing on Sunward’s part. As with the previous game, he will indicate Haskil should roll first but will not resist doing so should that be suggested. The first game, Haskil rolls first, scoring an impressive 11 (a 5 and a 6) but is beaten by double 6’s and the second, Sunward rolls first scoring just 3 however still wins when Haskil rolls double 1’s. While his technique is similar each time, there is no noticeable sign of trickery. Luck is just not with you friend he exclaims as he takes his winning coins and places them into a not-unhealthy looking pouch, hanging from his belt.
The First Mate raises an eyebrow at the approach of Frey. Clearly intrigued by the young woman and her apparent disregard for those around her. 3 games later, Frey is 3GP lighter. As she slams her fist onto the table it buckles under her strike, sending objects flying. Grabbing at the now airborne coins, Sunward is not quick enough to grab his dice from the air, with one going overboard and into the sea water, another striking the deck and bouncing away unseen. My dice! You’ll pay for that He snarls in Frey’s direction, his hand dropping to the hilt of his sword.

Aniril notices the commotion with a watchful eye. He certainly doesn’t want to get engaged in any human argument, Ancestors knew how many of those he’d seen over his years.
Still, that Sunward character seems particularly angry, and Aniril DOES have an interest in ensuring the ship stays seaworthy. His right hand hovers over his short sword, waiting for the situation to develop. Stealth check [22] to avoid being centre of attention.

Frey immediately reacts to the First Mate’s aggression. She too grips the hilt of her sword and pulls it out of the scabbard, only enough to see a flash of the blade. She pushes it back down, killing members of the crew might prevent her reaching her destination and the prospect of earning coin.
Now, now let’s calm it down. I lost my temper, you lost some dice. Let’s call it even? Look, I’ll even help you look for one of them and I’m sure another member of the crew has one. Dice are easy to come by. Frey glances towards the direction of the wayward die but doesn't put too much effort into starting the search. Persuasion check [19], does Frey manage to prevent a fight?

Alert to any impending action, Senaya takes a step backwards away from the sword wielding angry people.
She grasps her spell book tightly to her chest and remains quiet. No need to draw attention to herself. Arriving safely in Daltigoth is the aim.

Sunward watches Frey’s movements. Not as dumb as you look hey girly? Feisty though ain’t ya? How about we settle this in my cabin? On second thought I’m not sure I want you in my cabin. He looks towards Captain Benedictus and yells Hey Captain! Does the ship’s cook need any help in the galley? ‘Bout all this one’s good for!

Senaya watches with interest as the first mate insults the female warrior.

Frey smirks at the fool’s response. No. You don’t want me in your cabin, that’s one thing we can agree on. She attempts to punch him in the face. Attack roll [7]

Dodging the attempted punch, First Mate Sunward attempts to headbutt Frey. Attack roll [16].

Frey will take 3HP of damage and is rocked slightly.

Now that was silly, girly.

Are you going to let him treat you like that? Senaya asks curiously.

Yes. That was silly. This is going to be worse. Frey attempts to knee the first mate in the crotch. Attack roll [21]

With a surprised groan of pain, Maelius Sunward sinks to his knees.

Aniril winces. That was painful whatever the humanoid species…

Standing well back from the fighting, Haskil throws his arms up in a natural urge to surrender. Relieved he lowers his hands and decides to stand by the victor of the fight, Frey. Speaking to the loser.. I think its only fair we move on quickly from this, water under the boat, bygones and all that. We can start by being compensated for the injuries here, what do you say? Somehow he lumped himself into that category. Persuasion check [11] to get some coin out of this ordeal.

Get. He says, between gasps for breath. Off. My. Boat.

I’m afraid he’s right folks. Says Captain Benedictus from his place at the wheel. Can’t be having you attacking my crew. It was part of the agreement Lord Draven struck. Strictly no hostilities. We’re not far from Ergoth soil, I’ll drop you somewhere safe, if you don’t mess around you’ll still make it.

Aniril frowns. With all due respect He casts an appraising look over the well-built female mercenary and the itinerant-looking fellow. I’m not part of this fracas.
He turns his gaze back to the Captain, holding it steady.

You’re not? Alright, you can stay. You, you and you. He gestures towards Frey, Haskil & Senaya. You’re about to get your feet wet.

Hey now, I never even threw a punch! Nor a kick. If anything I’ve tried to mediate this little situation. How about we try and talk this over?
Haskil hurried, hoping to try and smooth this situation out before swords were drawn yet again..
Persuasion check [15]

But good sir! Senaya protested. I am merely an observer! All I am guilty of is showing concern for someone of my own gender. Surely we can find a way to peacefully continue our journey without further incident? Senaya looks abashed as she hugs her belongings tighter to her body, as trying to hide behind them.

Aniril half-sniggers: all these humans – well, half-humans – were good for was talking.

Frey looks towards Senaya. Thanks for the sentiment. But don’t worry about me, concern is never needed. Turning to the Captain. The Half-Elf and the woman are right, they didn’t do anything. You’ve been given one job Captain, deliver us. It’s not our fault your men are unruly, dishonourable fools. I’ll go below decks for the rest of the journey if that would satisfy you?
Persuasion check [5] to attempt to persuade the captain that she will behave for the rest of the journey, the little we have left

Getting to his feet, Sunward makes his way towards the Captain and says They’re all in on it. All 5 of them. If it were up to me i’d throw them overboard, let them blasted swim!
Except her He points at Frey. You can go below decks alright, second door on the right.

Ah screw it. In for a copper, in for a gold. I don’t want to get wet. Senaya casts sleep Act fast guys, if this works, it wont last long.

Well well well, what’s going on here? Kairon thinks to herself. She had been dozing behind a barrel, enjoying the sun on the warm deck, when she was awakened by a commotion from amidships. Crouching hidden behind the barrel she watches as a small crowd of scruffy mostly-humans starts to argue with Maelius and Captain Benedictus. Such things were to be expected on a boat full of twitchy adventurers, which was why she had kept to herself thus far, but suddenly the petty squabble escalated into something much more fun. When she saw one of the strangers chant and gesture in a quick burst of magic she ducked back further behind the barrel in the hope the spell would miss her… Well, things just got interesting! She readies her shortbow. Do I need to nip this in the bud, or should I see how things unfurl? Stealth check [23] to see if any of the others amidships see her crouched behind the barrel with her shortbow in her hands.

Aniril blinks. The girl had caused the situation to be much more complicated…

Flinching at the spell, Haskil eventually peered over his raised arm to watch the two crewmen now suddenly unconscious. Am I the only sane one here?! Oh yes, what an idea! If you’re being accused of starting a brawl with a sailor, you might as well go and commandeer his ship! Make it piracy instead! He thinks to himself. Huffing, Haskil eased himself down off the moral high ground by approaching Sunward and looking to take his coin-pouch. As well as any other jewels or valuables of note the sailor had on him. To his credit, he settled in to the pirate’s life with both feet running. …I mean, really now…

That’s quite enough of that! Thought Kairon. Without giving up her cover behind the barrel, Kairon moved just enough to get a clear shot at the Bard with her shortbow. She would aim for a meaty bit. No need to kill someone when he could be a wounded, noisy distraction. Attack roll [18] Vs. Haskil.

3HP of damage and Haskil now has a crossbow bolt protruding from his right buttcheek

Kairon’s eyes widen from her hide hole behind the barrel. Not what she had planned. Thinking quickly, she grabs the lid of the barrel and flings it, and her shortbow, over the side, shouting How dare you shoot an unarmed man, you coward! Over the resulting loud splash. She then grabs her skirts in her hands and rushes over to the party.

Oh goodness, I was sleeping in the deck and woke to see one of the crew taking a shot at you! Please, how can I help?
Tenderly, she uses her petticoats to staunch the flow.

Perception check to disguise her being the shooter [20] Vs. Passive perception to convince the party of her innocence. Overwhelming success.
Don’t just stand there, please help him, isn’t he your friend? She looks imploringly up at the others. Those tears well in her glowing crimson red eyes again.
Kairon raises her gleaming eyes from the wounded bard, who she cradles tenderly, and looks surprised and confused at the other fallen crew members.
Oh my goodness, what happened while I was asleep?

The boat had been skirting the coast as it passed Pontigoth and prepared to enter the large body of calmer water which signified Daltigoth was near.
With the sudden unconsciousness placed upon the Captain, he falls forward onto his wheel, in the process causing it to spin uncontrollably, and the boat to veer sharply towards the shallower water and, with a sharp crunch, collides with rocks which lay just below the surface of the water.
Within a matter of seconds the boat lurches to one side.
Acrobatics checks required from anyone who wishes to take an action which requires moving

Aniril curses. He glances over the side of the boat whilst attempting to keep his balance, attempting to determine what they have beached on and whether he can make his way down to dry land. Acrobatics check [15] to remain standing, peers over edge.

Kairon feels rather than hears the crunching impact of the boat with the submerged rocks, shuddering up through her knees as she kneels on the deck. Acrobatics check [11] to maintain her balance. Kairon glances about looking quickly for any help or safety. Can she see life boats? Oh no! She gasps, breathily. Can any of you patch a hull? She looks again at Maelius and the Captain. Oh please, won’t you wake up and help us? Kairon reaches across the bard, who is lying partly across her lap with his crossbow bolt in the air at a jaunty angle, and begins to shake Maelius by the shoulder. 'Perception check [9] is he coming round yet? She glances back down at Haskil. What state is he in after her tender ministrations? Medical check [15]

Senaya glances around herself, desperate for something to grab onto as the ship pitched. Well that didn’t work out quite as I expected. She thought. To her own surprise, she was more bothered that she hadn’t noticed the red woman than by any fear she should have had over being on a ship that may or may not be sinking. Or by any guilt she felt in the part she had played in causing the ship to crash. Which was in any case entirely on the captain. It wasn’t her fault at all. Hey Red Lady, how is the bard? Will he live? Senaya kneels down on the shifting deck determined to see the afflicted man’s buttocks for herself. A little room please if you would be so kind. Investigation check [10] to determine... stuff. Medicine check [9] to determine severity of the injury. Trust me, I’m a scholar. Senaya tells the prone man reassuringly.

Kairon glances up at Senaya. Of course. She says, and obligingly scoots to the side. I certainly will defer to your wisdom, Lady Scholar She lays the wounded man down on the deck and stands, shaking his blood out of her skirts. Acrobatics check [23] to avoid falling. I’ll go and see what is wrong with the boat!

Frey stands in disbelief at the utter chaos that is taking place. This is what happens when other people get involved in her business and that Half-Elf was just making some coin. Can’t blame a guy who sees an opportunity and takes it. She thinks to herself. Frey steadies herself but doesn’t move. She’ll let the others see to the Half-Elf.

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