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Summary 298: The Crandess Blockade (2022-04-30)

Giraine Summaries

I noted that the heroquest had ended now that you were back in the mortal world, and so any cementing of abilities needed to be done immediately. Fraud chose to make his Worlath-won magic of Soul Sight reusable. [Pete: I didn’t realise last time but your Become Draconic Wyrm magic can’t be taken from the Truestone and cemented; you’ll have to choose something else that is a magic you gained on the heroquest, sorry!]

You continue westwards and have a short period of relative peace aboard the Miswar. The thickly forested island of Zilal is highly visible to the north throughout your voyage, and you see the busy little port in the bay of Shenilstos, but the merchant and other ships there do not approach you. You swiftly skirt past it, enjoying some rest and most of you enjoy the balmy Jrustelan archipelago’s weather and beauty. Bog, however, grumbles and whines in the relative heat, constructing a makeshift tent toward the stern of the Miswar to give him some shade to hide out in. [you regained 1/12 of POW in MP, round up]

Later that day, Jamar addresses you after leaning over the gunwhale in strange communication with something in the water. Shrett is nearby and sees a shoal of a dozen or more metre-long purplish squid that is there “talking” to Jamar somehow. Jamar then says, “We have trouble ahead, not far, by Crandess, as I expected. Our dispersed Waertagi fleet is coming into contact with a somewhat organised Vadeli blockade in the 60 key miles between Zilal and the Kakorian Strait. We’re just a smaller ship, but we should still expect attention.”

Boamund wonders, what do you know of Crandess, what trouble might you expect or anything? He recalls some facts. It is the only real human settlement on the huge main Jrustelan isle of Curustus; otherwise it’s either dwarves/mountains or inhospitable jungle. The port thrives from the export of iron from the dwarves. The metal is gained by trading with Dalamdring, but Boamund doesn’t know what dwarves get in return. He does know of fearsome rumours of Zedez, Master of the Orange Guild, who is based there. A brown- skinned Vadeli, he rules the waters around Jrustela with a small navy and protects those traders who pay his fee. He has made seven notorious voyages around the seas of Glorantha; a heroquest probably, and is of infamous power. Shrett wonders if this Orange Guild is connected to the Wonder-Loving Rainbow Chums you know of, and it is unclear if/how they might relate but they are different clans/families/guilds; the WLRC being more northern, local to the Giraine/Pithdaros area (unfortunately!).

And not long thereafter, you spot ships in the distance with flashes of signal-magics exchanging between them. Jamar expertly pilots the ship forward, but there are enough enemy ships that three are able to join the chase—two standard, robust Vadeli merchant ships with the sails of the Orange Guild, and a high-prowed, shallow-hulled exotic sailing vessel that is remarkably fast. Jamar expresses surprise that it clearly is speedier even than the Miswar. Somehow, you must find a way to pass this blockade, you know. Boamund sees a writhing purplish form closer to the Miswar and points it out to you, but it is submerged and no one can tell quite what it is. Later, Shrett sees it and exclaims that it is more of those squid, allies of Jamar, and you should not harm it, but you were never quite sure about that.

You quickly outpaced the two Vadeli ships and eluded the purplish thing(s), whatever its intent was. But the unfamiliar sailing ship was a different matter. It closed in rapidly from the north, cutting you off, and hitting the Miswar with a brutal ballista bolt that caused great damage. Shrett had tried shooting the purplish thing with his bow before and instead broke the string overexerting himself, so he moved to repair the damage and succeeded in removing the bolt and patching some of the hull up. Then arcs of hissing, screaming scarlet magic rained down on the Miswar from the sailing vessel- a Red Vadeli sorcery spell, surely. Fraud and Boamund easily dove to cover, but Shrett barely avoided [party luck pts down to 1] the rain of boiling blood which splashed onto the deck near him and likely would have seared him to death if it had struck him! Yikes. It also hit some of the Waertagi wraiths and caused them some harm. Later it threw another spell at the ship that created a red glow around some targets, but all of you shrugged that off and you never learned what it did.

It became clear you’d not outmanoeuvre the ship although Jamar did his best. Soon it pulled up alongside you, after hitting you once more with a ballista bolt that cracked the Miswar’s hull dangerously wide, bringing the seas spilling in [ship at 6 HP, ouch!]. Yet the ship, its crew of foreign mercenaries and marines, showed that its intent was not to sink you but rather to capture the Miswar, as it cast grappling lines and began boarding. You had similar numbers, and Boamund spotted the Red Vadeli captain commanding them from the stern. Fraud and Shrett faced the boarders immediately, finding them ill-matched to their skills even on the unstable wave-tossed ship. Boamund soon joined, and you cut them down rapidly; few standing long enough to trade more than a blow or two. However, Shrett had some close calls where he almost got knocked down or disarmed by defenders [burned all his luck pts!], so it wasn’t entirely a one-sided battle. The Red Vadeli threw another Rain of Boiling Blood spell down on the ship but Shrett had blessed you with Tanok’s Cold Blood magic that protected you against this, so you ignored it. Bog even snuck out of his tent to bash in one officer’s head from behind, as the battle threatened Jamar in the stern.

The Miswar soon proved its mettle in combat—the wraiths were almost invulnerable to the mundane weapons of the boarders (just a few had spells that helped them), and they dealt terrible wounds to the enemies, who had trouble defending. Now the power of Jamar’s vessel is evident: while its spirits cannot go far from the Miswar; they cannot even swim let alone fly and could never venture ashore [these wraiths are not as handy as those in Return of the King]; in a close-up naval confrontation they are fearsome indeed. And you helped make short work of the boarders too, killing almost ten of them. The Red Vadeli came aboard to try to push the battle to Jamar and take him down, but it was far too late—he got outnumbered by wraiths, which his magic sword could harm but still distracted him, and Jamar bought time fighting defensively, showing off good skills although he’d not have won that duel alone. And then Fraud, with Shrett close behind and Boamund closing in, fought their way in and helped deal the final death blow to the Vadeli. The wraiths pursued the fleeing, routed survivors back to their ship and cut them all down with no mercy. It was a slaughter in the end. And Jamar had the sharks bite holes in the ship’s hull so it began sinking; you left nothing for the Vadeli to salvage. So you escaped!

Next time: your escape isn’t done yet though, you still have the Curustus Passage to navigate through Orange Guild waters, and who knows what else!

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giraine/summary-298.txt · Last modified: 2024/03/10 13:58 by tim45tenwa