The Wavestrider Interrogation 5 - The Strongest Weapon in Our Arsenal
“So there we were, gaining on the Nixie when, from the southeast we spotted another ship: the True Wind. It turns out, the mercenaries hired by our lovely patron had found a ship sooner than we expected. We weren’t willing to let her go without a fight.
Seeing that the True Wind was powered by oar, we made way to the Nixie, hoping to disable her sails before we had to engage the True Wind. The attack went better than planned and we slaughtered the crew of the Nixie.
However, as we engaged, the True Wind came about an attempted to ram the Nixie, forcing another fight. Add in the flame unleashed on the Herald’s sails and a fight was all but inevitable. Desna was looking out for us that day, though, because despite having a clear shot at us, the True Wind missed the ram and we drifted away from each other.
As the Battle of the Blue Nixie had just ended, Cromarcky, Bevel and Captain “One Boot” were all on the Nixie while Tragen and I were still aboard the Storm’s Herald. What followed is one of the most impressive sea battles I had ever witnessed.
Now, I don’t know what happened on the Nixie. All I can tell you was that it sped away from us at top speed, there was fighting on deck, and Bevel’s hat, shirt and pants were shredded in a most embarrassing fashion. I am, however, more than happy to recount the tale of our battle.
As I said, the True Wind’s miss had pushed us all away from each other, and being short on crew, Tragen took the wheel to salvage a bad situation. I will admit that I don’t know much about running a ship, but fortunately, the crew we did have on board didn’t need much direction.
Tragen took us around, hoping to meet up with the Nixie and our wayward companions. The Nixie looked as it was lining up to shear the oars, but something must have happened on board, because without warning, the ship veered west and accelerated away from us at a speed we couldn’t hope to catch given our crew situation. Trusting our companions to take care of themselves, Tragen focused on the task at hand, taking down the True Wind and the mercenaries on board.
He began with a full speed ram that took out the sterncastle and most of the stern. I just held on for dear life as an errant wave from our collision drove us back about 30 feet from the True Wind, narrowly avoiding a boarding action. Then he began with the fire. I’d never seen Tragen conjure fire before, but given his skill with the other elements, I suppose it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise. His great ball of fire parked itself directly in front of the wheel, keeping anyone from usefully controlling the ship.
That done he maneuvered us back out to sea. I thought he planned on rendezvousing with the Nixie now that the True Wind was taking on water. However, Tragen had not yet finished his assault. He turned hard to starboard, setting us up for another ram! Our second impact tore down the entire port side, destroying the oars as well as the bulkhead. The True Wind was not sinking.
Not surprisingly, however, the Lotus Dragon’s had a contingency plan. By the time we had hit the ship a second time, the dwarf and the insane half-elf had begun their retreat via a well times air walk. Their destination appeared to be a still retreating Blue Nixie.
Tragen once again maneuvered us toward the Nixie to intercept, but as we set out, we noticed two new members of the Lotus Dragon’s appear in the water. They were going to get away. Cutting the wheel to starboard once again, Tragen lined up another ram, this time aiming for the Lotus Dragon’s themselves! Using skill I have never before seen, Tragen seemed to coax Besmara herself to lend wind to out sails as we began our charge. Someone over there saw what we were doing, because as we got close, an enormous wall of fire circled the Lotus Dragons in an effort to discourage our ill conceived strategy.
I looked at Tragen when the wall went up, hoping to see him cut the wheel. He didn’t. He looked at me, an insane glint in his eyes.
“Oh gods, no!” I yelled in a very manly and not at all screechy voice.
“Yes!” Tragen returned.
“Oh, fuck it! Full speed ahead!” Tragen may have been a little overcome with bloodlust, but I liked his style! Besides, between the two of us, the Herald had, thus far, proven to be our most effective weapon.
We cleared the wall, but the Herald was an inferno. Our sails went up in flames as did the bow and port sides. I felt the dull impact of the Lotus Dragons in the water and wondered if they would stay down. We cleared the back side of the fiery death wall with little additional damage, but a hell of a story to tell. Adventurers vs. Pirate ship."
My voice suddenly gave out. It had been hoarse from the story telling and had now given up.
“Water,” I croaked. Conchobhar squinted at me through his one good eye, attempting to sense a trick. After a few moments, he relented.
“Watch him. And if he moves, beat him unconscious.” With those parting words, he left me with Targin.
“Did you really hit them with a pirate ship?” Targin asked, incredulously.
“Surely you’ve heard the story,” I croaked. “I didn’t do anything. It was all Tragen.”
“So the fire wasn’t a lie?”
“Believe me, at the time I wish it was.”
“You people are insane!” Targin grinned at me. Not menacingly, but friendly.
“Look, you seem like a good guy. What the hell are you doing hanging around with Harrigan and his ilk?”
The grin was gone in an instant, replaced with a sad, forlorn look. “You really don’t know anything do you?”
Uh, not the response I was looking for. “I am blissfully ignorant apparently. Please, enlighten me.” I put some magic in my voice, hoping to compel an answer. It didn’t work.
The dagger was out before I even knew I had failed. He put it up to my throat and breathed his moldy, fishy breath all over me. “Try that again, and I’ll cut your silver tongue from your throat.”
There was no heat in his voice. No anger. Just a statement of fact. One look in his eyes told me everything I needed to know about his intention.
Conchobhar walked in at precisely the wrong time. “Targin, you oaf! I said to knock him out, not slit his throat. LET GO OF HIM.”
Targin shrugged as he put the dagger away. “He said something about me mother. Sorry boss, my temper got the better of me.”
That came as a bit of a surprise. Targin lied to Shortstone. Why? I made my play, and failed. My ignorance was no longer bliss. Something bigger was going on here.
Conchobhar turned to me, a pleased grin on his face. “Mr. Wavestrider. Trying to take the easy way out I see.” He took the waterskin he had brought and upended it right in front of me. "Beat him to a pulp. Don’t kill him though. We’ll start again later.