The heroes stood along with Captain Amanta’s crew surrounding the constructs that Al’ev had rescued from the sea. For a moment, only the raging sea was all that could be heard upon the deck. Then the heroes ventured to break the silence by asking the constructs questions.
They learned many things. First, the constructs had planned to capture the remaining ships in the fleet by activating more of their compatriots after taking the first ship. But the plan had failed when the ship sunk with many unactivated constructs still aboard. The constructs further explained that each soul had been given a choice to either serve their new masters and gain the use of their new bodies or they would remain in their soul gems for eternity. The heroes were also told that each ship in this fleet was holding hundreds of unactivated bodies of the constructs and that they preferred to go by the name “War Forged” for they had been created to serve as part of the red dragon army. They were expected to arrive in enemy hands within the next five days.
With little time remaining the heroes began asking as many questions as they could about enemy numbers on each ship. A plan was hastily put together to disable and then capture as many ships in the fleet as possible. The Adventurers could not allow the enemy to gain hundreds more for their already swelling armies.
Captain Amanta had his crew set the cutbooms, massive swords that stuck out from either side of the mast on their ship intended to cut through rigging. They made for the end of the spread out V formation the rest of the fleet was sailing in. By the time they reached the first of the enemy ships the storm had nearly completely passed them by.
Captain Amanta’s marines proved to be very capable in combat as they stormed the enemy ship along side the heroes.
Combat against the enemy crew proved to be only slightly hazardous to the Adventurers who had become veterans of several battles by this point. The only real challenge occurred when they fought the ship’s first mate, a heavily armored halfling with a flail, as well as the ship’s captain who turned out to be a spell caster.
Taking little in the way of casualties, the heroes gained control of the first ship of eight remaining in the fleet. Inside the captain’s cabin they found incriminating documents that detailed some of House Kashka’s dealings with the red dragons as well as more soul gems Using some of these gems and the gems that Norman liberated from the first ship, they activated several constructs and left behind some marines to protect the ship as the remaining compliment returned to captain Amanta’s ship along side the heroes. They made for the second ship.
noting that it had taken a lot of time to take the first ship, it was decided to disable as many ships as possible before fighting to take control of them. By doing so, they would gain precious time to recuperate between attacks.
But they did have one problem. They had taken on so many Warforged constructs that their ship was weighed down. They decided to disable and drop crew at the second ship hoping they would be able to take the ship as the reduced crew on Captain Amanta’s more maneuverable ship moved on to the remaining vessels.
The plan worked, mostly, though they lost one marine to the sea as they passed by. The second was disabled and the heroes moved on to the third.
But by this time the massive black ship at point of the enemy formation had turned towards them. They were running out of time.
It was decided to drop no crew at the third ship, only passing it to disable it with cut-booms. They moved on the fourth and fifth ships, repeating this maneuver but did not make it to the last two ships before the black ship was upon them.
This ship was not like the others they had come across so far looking to be made for war and not cargo as the others were. The heroes decided that it would not change the fact that disabling the ship would leave them helpless if successful.
The cut-booms were prepared once more as they began to pull alongside, avoiding the bow of the enemy ship that had a massive head of a dragon carved out of it. This turned out to be a wise decision as shortly after most of Captain Amanta’s ship got out from in front of this dragon head, a massive deluge of flame and oil erupted from its mouth. The aft of Captain Amanta’s ship was grazed and the crew immediately went to work putting the flame out.
The heroes rushed to aid the crew in their efforts, but Al’ev instead grabbed Warforged Norman and explained he intended on destroying the enemy ship’s rudder much as he had seen Norman destroy a mast earlier.
The two ran to the aft of the ship just as something caught several of the adventurer’s eyes. A metalic barrel shaped object was stuck outside an open window on the side of the enemy ship. And shortly after this, a loud bang accompanied by smoke and the sound of snapping rigging lines on their ship followed.
Whatever this new weapon was, it was not good. Al’ev and Norman reached the aft of Captain Amanta’s ship and, amongst the fires being worked on by the crew, the pair of arcane casters made their motions and said their words and let loose on the enemy ship’s rudder just as it came into view. Two bolts of lighting erupted from their outstretched hands and caught the rudder full on. The rudder erupted into massive wooden splinters as it disintegrated against the arcane onslaught.
The massive enemy ship would have very limited maneuverability without a working rudder. But by this point the two remaining cargo ships had kept sailing.
After a quick discussion the heroes decided it was best to take the remaining ships they had disabled while keeping a weary eye on the massive black ship with the new weapon.
First they returned to the second cargo vessel where they had dropped a healthy complement of marines and found that they had been successful in taking the ship. They had even managed to capture the enemy captain of this ship.
From there the heroes moved on to the third cargo vessel and fought a hard battle against its crew. Several of the heroes were forced to retreat when the enemy captain’s spells proved too much for them. But Neo, Harry, and Al’ev were able to drive off the captain who made his way to the enemy warship via several hastily cast spells.
The heroes had now captured 3 of the 8 remaining ships in the fleet.
Resting for a time, the heroes stalked the final two disabled ships noting that the black warship seemed no longer interested in them as it turned back onto its original heading.
When they finally moved to take the fourth ship, they were surprised when a white flag of surrender was flashed from the enemy deck. Cautiously, they approached and pulled alongside the ship who’s crew tossed its captain and first mate, tied up and disarmed, onto Captain Amanta’s deck.
The heroes negotiated with the enemy crew and informed them that they were going to come back for this ship after finishing up with the final disabled cargo vessel.
Captain Amanta threw the captured first mate and captain into the brig with the other ship captain and placed them under heavier guard. Meanwhile the final ship turned out to have another surprise in store for the heroes.
Pulling up along side of it, they were informed the captain wished to negotiate. The heroes agreed to Board and negotiate. Neo, Al’ev, Harry, Duke, and Blasphemy boarded and were lead into the captain’s quarters, though Duke elected to remain outside where he could keep an eye on things.
After a lengthening negotiation, the heroes heard shouting from outside the captain. Duke busted into the cabin and informed them that Captain Amanta’s ship was pulling away.
Meanwhile, Velius and Stryde had returned to Captain Amanta’s ship to see what was going on and they found an odd situation.
Stryde approached the person behind the wheel of the ship and began asking questions. Velius decided to take a closer look in the captain’s cabin where things turned out to be much worse.
The door was partially blocked by the deceased Captain Amanta’s first mate who lay in his own puddle of blood. Alert, Velius entered the cabin and found it empty for a short time, then after a geyser of heated water nearly caught him he found one of the captured captains firing spells at him. The last thing he saw was the diminutive captain standing over him with a knife, poised to end his life. While this was happening, Stryde too had been attacked. But the evil Kolbold found the attack quite amusing, deciding to cast a hold person spell on this individual who turned out to be the second captured captain. She then proceeded to steer Captain Amanta’s ship by steering the halfling who well held in place by her spell. She did her best to return to the fifth cargo vessel.
Meanwhile on the fifth vessel, combat had broken. None of the heroes were holding back, nor could they afford to as they fought through the entire ship’s crew to regain control. It was rough going, but they managed to take control and guide the ship back to Captain Amanta’s vessel.
There they found Stryde as her spell broke on the second captured captain. The second captured captain did not have a chance to act before Stryde’s second, more powerful spell caught him and he suddenly found himself quite lacking for intelligence.
Harry then punted the halfling off the side of the ship and into the sea where he was sure to drown…
Neo, Al’ev and Harry went to inspect the captain’s quarters and found their friend Velius dead. They fought a quick, and merciless battle with the first captured captain and the captured first mate. Mere seconds later, the heroes stood over their bodies and the bodies of one of their own.
Grim, they went to see where captain Amanta was and found him alive but unconscious in the brig. Taking the fifth ship and Captain Amanta’s ship, they sent the marines in to take the fourth ship.
The marines were successful and, along with the five ships they captured, they made for Basque, anxious to leave the sea and bury their friend.