Skram never thought he would be an air sailor, but now he understood why any number of name givers did it. Coasting above the Snake River cutting through the servos jungle, the raw beauty was enough to make him forget just how much danger he was in. Stilicho was sure that the Therands that attacked the Reach were out here waiting for them. Stilicho had come up with a plan that was a counter ambush.
“Therans off the starboard bow” he heard from the crow’s nest.
He looked to the front of the boat to see a vedette moving to cut off the Dashing Stags path. The roar of fire cannons behind him told him that the Air Wolf had engaged the second ship that planned to attack from the rear. Skram moved past Suulin, who was readying a Bolo, off the forecastle down to the main deck. He had found the partner that he wanted to for this dance. The Therand Marine Commander had given away his position by yelling commands at the air sailors running around the deck. He was behind a unit of marines in the middle of the ship. They were getting ready to board the dashing stag. Little did they know that there were 50 troll crystal raiders on board. Twenty five were hiding under a tarp made to look like cargo was strapped and covered with a tarp. The other 25 were in the hold waiting to poor out of the lower deck.
Skram took a spot next to Urgral, Dremnin was hiding his bow from the therans behind his two friends. As the Therands pulled up alongside Grimlock dropped a fire ball on the deck of their ship near the rail, where three sailors waited to throw grapples. They were thrown in to the air and this cleared a landing point. Skram heard the 50 pound counter wait go over the side of the boat and the rope was screaming in the block. He ran at the rail calling on the power in his legs. He knew he had made the jump as soon as he left the ground. The jump was a little more than 15 feet. There was a roar as the trolls were uncovered and they began to jump to the theran boat. Skram jumped again as soon as he landed, flipping over the first line of the tharan marines, landing next to the commander. Skrams hammer came down aimed at the Commander’s head in hope of ending this conflict before it began. The commander got his stord up to block the hammer and then reversed the blade and thrust under Skrams armor his sword biting deep in to the blue flesh. The commander fell back and called for his men to form around him. Stilicho and Urgral formed a line to his left and attacked the theran line. The trolls from the lower deck streamed on to the boat and went down in to the second deck. The sound screaming trolls and steal on steal came from below.
On the upper deck the therans quickly found themselves out matched and several maires were wounded and killed. The sounds of battle below shifted to the sounds of panic. A hole opened in the theran line the let Stilicho get to the commander. The warrior called upon all of his strength and bashed him to death in two blows. That broke the morale of the therans on the upper deck and the battle was over. We threw the bodies of the dead on to the Dashing stag, all at one time the sounds from the second deck stopped.
Stilicho ran to the hatch and tried to look in but could not see anything. He called Urgral over to the hatch so that the dwarf could look in. Vridich started to scram for us to get off the boat. There was real panic in his voice. Grimlock started yelling as well, he wanted the ship cut loose from the Dashing Stag. Stilicho called for a rope. Skram thought that might be a good idea as they may need a quick retreat. He grabbed a coil of T’skrang rope and threw the other end to Suulin on the Dashing Stag to tie off. As Skram got to the hatch he saw the look in Urgrals eye. He had seen it before. Skam’s skin felt like it was going to crawl away. Urgral jumped in to the hatch. Skram ran in after him trying to catch him. By the time Skram got down the stairs he found Urgral bashing undead sailors and trolls. It appeared that everyone that had been on the second deck was dead and now not dead. Skram just stood at the bottom of the stairs not sure what to do. Stilicho yelled to Vargas, Skram then saw Vargas crawling out of the captain’s quarters. He looked like something was trying to pull him back in to the room and had a death grip on the door jamb. Skram took off running for the wounded troll. Vargas had helped them in the battle at the reach and now he could help him. Urgral bashed an undead sailor to the ground just in time for Skram to run through the space. Skram tied the rope around his waist as he ran. Skram slid up to Vargas and wrapped his arms around his chest and under his arms. He could see in to the captain’s quarters, a coal black gate in to the nothingness of somewhere evil. A huge dead white tentacle began to wriggle out of the gate. “PULL!” screamed Skram, “PULL US OUT!” Skram looked at the rope layed on the floor not moving. The undead moving in from behind him, only the passions knows what coming out of the gate in front of him. Skram thought he may have made a mistake. Then the rope snapped taunt and the two were sliding quickly a crossed the stone floor. Urgral was still killing undead and saw them coming. He jumped on the pile and grabbed on for dear life. The three bounced up the stairs and was lifted off of the deck. Vargas was so heavy that Skram almost dropped him, if Urgral had not grabbed ahold of him he would have fallen. The three were pulled up to the deck and Vridich started checking his wounds. Grimlock summoned a storm and blasted the boat with lightning till it sank into the lake.
The Dashing Stag flew back to the Air Wolf to find the theran ship on fire and tied up to the Air Wolf. The trolls allowed the unchained to take anything we wanted off the burning boat. We were able to get a large amount of clothing, food, and trade goods. We also took some of the slaves off of the first boat. Skram saw that there were two T’skrang from the second boat. He asked Stilicho to negotiate for them to be given to us and he traded two orcs for the T’skrang. At that point we said good bye to the trolls and headed off to Throal.
The slaves (all of them) were given new clothing, feed, and allowed to sleep as long as they wanted. When they were up and moving Skram sat down to have a talk with the two T’skrang. It turned out that the two were from the same Niall near Kelpoya on the Locust River. It turned out that both of them were boatman. They decided that they would stay on and work on the boat till we got closer to their home.
Our first stop was at a large Obsidaman village built around a life rock. The Unchained were taken to the life rock to meet the elders and pass on their news about the horror. Stillicho seemed to be in a hurry to pass on his message. Obsidamen live long long lives, so they live and move at a slower pace. Skram gave Stilicho advice to not try and rush them. He did listen so the party drank water with the elders and passed on their knowledge of the horror that fell in to the lake. We were told that drinking water with the elders was a great honor and that it meant that we were under their protection while we were here.
We bought a good meal for the former slaves and some ale. We did not want them to leave the boat as we did not want them to tell people while we were here that we had fought with the trolls. We let the crew off of the boat for around an hour in groups of 6 that were supposed to stay together. This was just so they could have a meal and time off the boat. Hakka went in and in an hour got so drunk that he started a bar fight after talking to some stranger about being around trolls. We do not have any idea what he really said. Hakka told Stilicho the next morning that he has a drinking problem.
We went on from there and stopped at the home of Dremnin’s Parents. We were treated like royalty free food and drink. They were so happy to see him again and meet all of his new friends. Skram spent a good amount of time with the new T’skrangs on board that night, Kang Kouth Kor and T’hom Kouth Gray. It was sad to have to leave so soon but we need to get the book back to Throal.
Next stop barter town. Skram is excited to take his new companions home for what he hope will be one of the best meals of their lives.
Ardor Zomay Skram
3rd circle Tail Dancer