• Solo • Flight of the Hearty Salmon

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Tio Silver
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Posts: 719
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:04 pm
Race: Yludih
Profession: Pirate Captain
Renown: +422
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Flight of the Hearty Salmon

Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:37 am

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Waters Around Scalvoris
75th Zi'da, 717
First impressions were powerful things. They set the precedent for the future, gave a scale on which so many future interactions would be judged. All too often the first impression, if it didn't go well, ended up being the last impression as well, for when people had made their minds up about something it took a lot of work to get them to change it again. Perhaps that was why in business environments the first day of work always seemed the most daunting? After all a person’s job was one of the most important aspects of their life, and nobody wanted to be thought of as inadequate by their colleagues.

It was this exact daunting feeling that had Tio worried as The Rude Jester carved a path through the ocean before it, making a beeline for a section of the naval trade route that ran past Scalvoris. Today was the trial in which the Skylance Pirates would attempt their very first raid; would capture their very first haul of cargo. It was an exciting prospect to be sure, but one that was overcast with a cart-load of worries. There were after all a hundred things that could go wrong with this mission, and each one had the potential to spell serious trouble, if not outright death, for each and every one of them. What if there were more fighters on the ship than anticipated? What if the other crew members had lied about their skill in a fight? What if the target ship never turned up at all? This fact had made everyone on the crew, himself included, nervous. And when people were nervous they were more likely to make mistakes.

Tio had done his very best to gather as much information as he could so that the plan would be as streamlined and efficient as possible. His contacts involved in this case had confirmed three times over the target ship’s departure and arrival times, the route it was taking and the cargo it held. But they were just men when everything was said and done, and could make mistakes every now and then. He too was just a man as well, and even if their information all checked out there was no guarantee that Tio would have the charisma to keep control over and lead his crew. Already he was worried that he was failing in his duties as a captain by allowing this mood to persist, but what could he do to dispel it? How could he tell his crew not to be overly worried about their performance when he himself was worried about how they'd judge his ability to lead them?

“Captain! Ship ahoy!”

Harvald had been watching the horizon through the spyglass for any signs of their target ship, ‘The Hearty Salmon’. It was a simply schooner just like theirs, decked out with a minimal crew and charged with running a shipment of Peppercorns to Scalvoris. The idea had been that for a cargo of such a relatively small size a smaller, cheaper ship was all that was needed, as the cog ships that most pirates sailed were too slow to catch a schooner. But by cutting corners like this the merchant who owned the Peppercorns had left themselves susceptible to raids by smaller crews like Tio’s. Luckily a merchant who dealt in sea cargo was almost certain to be part of a merchant's guild and would have insurance on cargo lost at sea, so he wouldn't be ruining anybody's life with this stunt of his.

Tio took the spyglass from Harvald, and sure enough when he looked out to sea where Harvald was pointing the Hearty Salmon was coming into view. It looked like it would cross paths with them in roughly half a break, which gave him more than enough time to set up a trap.

“Alright, everybody but Teddie and Grace go hide below deck. Get your masks on and your weapons ready. If all goes according to plan we should be able to lure them in to mooring up to us and then spring an ambush on them.”

“And what if it doesn't go to plan?” Grace asked sceptically.

“Well… we'll cross the bridge when we come to it.”

The crew followed his instructions, and soon it was just Tio and his two lieutenants on deck. The mast displayed the flag of a simple Scalvoran trading vessel, and once the Hearty Salmon was close enough for its crew to see them through their spyglass the three of them waved at them to signal that they needed help.

Thankfully the target ship changed course to approach them, seemingly intending to help. But as it got closer the ship started to slow down little by little.

“Why are they slowing down? Aren't they gonna help us?” Teddie asked.

“Don't worry about it, they're just searching for signs that this might be an ambush. I'm pretty sure they wont find any.” Tio replied.

And yet the Hearty Salmon continued to slow down, until at last it came to a complete stop about 100 feet away.

“And while they're at it…” Grace said slowly, “Did you consider that they might get suspicious as to why we're signaling for help when our ship seems to be in perfect condition?”

In an instant Tio froze like a statue, as the realisation of the oversight he'd made slapped him in the face. As if on cue the sound of shouting arose from the target ship, and before they knew it the Hearty Salmon had raised all its sails and was turning to make a run for it.

Oh bugger.

“Get up here on the double lads! Full sail! You hear me?! FULL SAIL!” Tio shouted, charging over to the wheel. His crew complied, breaking out from below deck and racing to get the sails up as quickly as they could. There was some fumbling since the crew, being new to working with each other, struggled to coordinate properly, but between them they managed to get the job done in a reasonable time, and soon The Rude Jester was in hot pursuit.

“Do you think we'll catch them, captain?” Teddie asked tensly, itching to be of use but out of his element sailing a ship

Tio replied with a curt nod. “Aye, their ship is weighed down by its cargo, and as such will be a little slower than ours. Even so we shouldn't let this chase drag out or we risk coming across a ship bigger than us. Get everyone armed and ready, you'll be leading the boarding party whilst I'm at the helm. And tell Kai’ran to get to the front of the ship and fire some arrows at their sails. If we can get a few holes in them it should slow them down considerably."

The two schooners raced through the water, with little difference in speed between them. But a little difference was still a difference, and gradually The Rude Jester shortened the distance between them. After a dozen or so missed shots one of Kai’ran’s arrows struck true and pierced The Hearty Salmon’s mainsail, taking a couple of knotts off their speed as the wind passed through the opening instead of pushing them along. Now that things were looking more in their favour Tio put a plan in motion to bring the chase to an end, and turned the wheel to the left a fraction so that The Rude Jester’s path changed a little bit more up wind. The slight decrease in speed brought the The Rude Jester to about the same level as The Hearty Salmon, but the leftward direction The Rude Jester was now facing made the two ships grow further apart.

“What are you doing! We’re losing them!” Teddie shouted, becoming irritated by what he saw as effectively giving up the chase. But it wasn't long before Tio’s plan revealed itself. The Rude Jester eventually reached the point where it was positioned exactly between the direction the wind was blowing from and their target, and with them blocking the currents The Hearty Salmon grew even slower as the wind was stolen from its sails. Tio turned the wheel right, once again setting the ship to face directly at their target, and with the full force of the wind behind it The Rude Jester surged forwards faster than it had at any other point during the chase.

Within a minute it was over. The Rude Jester caught up to its prey, bumping into its side a little as Tio turned left again to avoid a head on collision, and the moment the impact jolted the two hulls Teddie leaped aboard with the masked raiding party in tow, intimidating the outnumbered and outmatched merchant crew into surrendering with just a few waves of his weapon. Tio’s men tied the merchants up and moored the two vessels together, while Tio and Grace made a beeline straight for the brig. Both were relieved to find that waiting there, stacked up in nice tidy rows of barrels, was the shipment of peppercorns Tio’s contacts had told him about.

“It's all here, as expected. I can get all this sold on the black market back home by the end of the season, and it should net our crew a very decent sum. Not bad at all for a first prize, captain.” Grace said smoothly, her voice and expression as usual betraying no emotion besides calm contentment. “What are your orders from here.”

“Take all of the cargo aboard, as well as anything else of value you can find.” Tio replied, speaking up to address the rest of the crew as they too came down to inspect the cargo hold. “If you find any maps, ledgers or anything else that looks fancy bring them to me, but leave just enough food and equipment for them to sail back to Nekhet. We'll untie them once we're done and let them go home. After all if word gets out that we kill our captives then future targets might not be so willing to surrender. Come on guys, hop to it!”

His crew got to work, following his orders without question and without dispute with each other. The cloud of worries had passed, and Tio was relieved to find that his crew seemed satisfied with both his and each others performance today. It wasn't perfect; his mistake forgetting to make the ship seem in need of aid had been noted, and Tio had a feeling it wouldn't be forgotten any time soon. But he'd recovered from his mistake well, and that it seemed was enough to satisfy them for now.

Overall then not a bad first day at all. Now then, what to do about his next prize?...
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Last edited by Tio Silver on Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Zipper
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Joined: Sat May 13, 2017 9:14 am
Race: Human
Profession: Professional Scowler
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Flight of the Hearty Salmon

Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:57 pm

Overview

You didn't ruin his life but you certaintly ruined his day :c And all for a bunch of peppercorns. Enjoy your points, you monster ;_;
@Captain Silver

Points

XP: 10/10

Loot/Injuries/Overstepping

No

Knowledge

Skill Knowledge
Business Management: Setting a strong first impression
Business Management: Stealing products to sell
Deception: Pretending to be in need of aid
Leadership: Proving yourself a strong captain
Seafaring: Sheering a schooner
Tactics: Cutting off a ship's wind currents
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