Need a Ride? (1244)

I’m not going to jinx it and mention pirates... My players in the Cliffhangers campaign insisted upon this, while sailing off the coast of China. It took too sessions to undo the setbacks.

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The Woad is definitely out of his element, but attempts to face the challenges with a stoic calm demeanour.
With his iron constitution I doubt he becomes air- or seasick. The challenge is more about leaving Ireland’s green shores for the first time and probably for a long time.

You learn that the ship's name is Betty. The Captain, Johan, named after is mother. Betty VanHalen. God bless her soul. His crew is a motley crop of highly skilled Dutch sailors. You suspect they are pirates. But you also learn that they hate the English as much as you do.
Cidito is your translator, he has the Gift of Tongues. You learn a little bit about him as well. From his point of view. I come from a long line of magical talking cats. I am considered of noble blood.... I met the King of Cats at Valnastium, he confirmed it... Are you going to eat that?... I met Roberto afterhe saw me get in a fight with that dog and kill it. He fed me and tried to patch me up. I sorta clawed him and ran off, but kept coming back for food.

Johan is such a good captain and helmsman, that he sails as fast as a bird flies. If this is your first time on a ship, you might think it is always so easy.
After about two days, you notice that Roberto seems concerned and is questioning the captain.
Looks like there is going to be a change of plan. Johan wants to drop us off at his mother's house. I think it has something to do with that message I ran between them last night.

Johan’s mother’s house? The Woad does understand, that would only take us to these Nether Lands. That is quite a bit of the way, he supposes.
Look Cidito, the Woad enjoys talking to you, and appreciates the help with these strange languages. He won’t exactly say he is envious, but he is intrigued by the special bond between magus and familiar. The Woad wishes he will one day find a suitable candidate for himself one day.
Can you ask your magus to tell the Woad what this is about?

Cidito quietly points to Roberto as he approaches you.
There has been a change of plans. Johan's going to drop us off on the Dutch coast. From there, it takes about a day or so to reach Cfunin. We can take a portal from there to Harco, then Majorica, then Andorra.

It is my responsibility to get you there in a safe and timely manner. People are waiting on us. But I can't force you to be quick and safe if you don't feel like it. Get what I mean?

Johan and his mom, they have a business operation of sorts. A "consortium" of ship captains. I stay out of the details. Anyway, one of their ships got hit the other day. An English pirate known as Ugly Pete. Johan is headed to his mom's tavern to discuss the matter
with his partners.

Oh, and Pete is a revenant of some sort. Never figured it out exactly. Maybe he is a specter. I faced him before when I was younger.
Which is just to say that it wouldn't count as "interfering with mundanes".

Say, how has the crew been treating you? I asked Cidito to look out for you, act as a go-between, so they could get used to your Gift.

The Woad is grateful for the transport, he has not suffered any mistreatment by the crew, and Cidito has graciously translated. Understanding the duty you have Roberto, how pressed are we for time? One's family is important, for the Woad it is merely the Hermetic familiy, but should we offer our help to Captain Johan? A ship getting raided is a thing the Woad understands, although it would have been cattle or vis in Hibernia, and such an offense must be answered. However a feud may be a private thing. The Woad already considers Roberto a trusted amicus, and if a friend of a friend needs help...

Cidito speaks quietly in your own language.
He is trying to drop a hint, but is being too subtle. We can take the easy route, or take some side action. He is eithertrying to testyou or shift the bllame. Maybe a bit of both. He thinks this will be easy, but he thinks everything is easy.

Subtelty is not overly used in Ireland. The Woad is more concerned with botching social niceties than he is in battle. You may tell Captain Johan that he may count on the Woad's help in getting his ship back.

The Woad gets ready, by keeping his trusty spear ready, and standing by the bow of the ship, as if he is expecting pirates at any moment. Or at least keeping an eye open for them.

Roberto smiles. Ah, I get what you are saying. Stand guard here with Cidito. I have a plan. I will keep contact with you through him. .
After conferring with Captain Johan, Roberto hops on his carpet and takes off into the darkness. A storm is brewing.
The Woad stands guard, stone like in patient vigilance. Cidito tries to strike up conversation, which might get annoying. Thunder rumbles in the distance. The cat scampers off to give the captain some directions, then comes to get you.
Roberto sez we we are on course to intercept. Prepare yourself.

The Woad really doesn’t know any protective or boosting magi in preparation, yet.
But he does start calling upon the powers of the Morrígan, in his native Irish language- which sounds outrageous to everyone else. It takes longer than a spell
A slight sound is heard, like the cracking or grinding of stones, as the Woad’s skin takes a greyish hue with blue stripes and shapes seeming at random. (Stoneskin power is activated)

The crew is calm and quiet (there are about seven or eight of them). Even Cidito has gone quiet. The fog is cold and thick. The ship feels still, as if it was hovering above the water. Two sailors take up positions beside you, armed with loaded crossbows.

Cidito raises his paw,waiting, then he he yowls as he jabs the air, pointing to a spod up ahead just off he Starboard Bow.
MlrYOW! There! We are upon them!
The Woad sees the black vessel ahead in the fog. As do the sailors beside you. They fire, striking the only two men you can see on that ship. They stagger, but do not fall. The sailors fire again. You notice that there is another pair behind them, ready to had off a freshly loaded weapon and hand off the empty one to two other guys that reload them.
Keep their attention! I have something I gotta go do!. And Cidito runs off towards the back of this ship.
The Woad sees that on the other ship there are more men coming out. You see a few of them have bows.
What do you do?

Pffah, bows are for hunting - fowl and small game! The Woad will take the fight up close and personal.

However until the Woad develops some additional wards, his stoneskin may not be enough to simply ignore arrows.

The plan is - and please interrupt as things happen:
First order of business is Veil of Invisibility. Barring any negative aura effects, even a roll just below average allows the spell cast without Fatigue. Penetration should not matter. Die-roller app gives me an 8, +16 casting for a lvl 20 spell is more than enough.

Second: How far to the other ship? And is our ship moving into contact? I'm asking because the Woad would prefer to board, but it needs to be possible. And he also attempts to count the number of hostiles on the black ship, and checks whether Johan's crew are planning to board. He is not so overconfident that he charges into an outnumbered combat.

Time to soften up the opposition with Rust, Rot, and Ruin the Soldier's Kit*
It is T:Group in order to affect all a soldier's arms and armour, so it needs to be cast at each enemy separately. Casting requisites for Herbam and Animal apply. Looking at the design, I'm not sure how it should affect could just be the same because the wood warps and weakens making the bow a lot less efficient.

*)Rust, Rot and Ruin the Soldier’s Kit PeTe20
Spell weakens all metal, leather, and wooden components of a single fighter’s weapons, shield, and armour. Casting requisites may apply. For weapons and shields this his halves Damage total (including Attack Advantage) and Defense totals. For armour it halves Soak Total (excluding contribution from Stm, Tough Virtue, Bronze Cord etc.). If the victim Botches an attack, defense, or Soak roll the item used may break.
(Base 2, +2 metal, +2 Voice, +2 Group)

Turning invisible is not a problem. We did use an official agreed to dice roller site. Cyotcode or Invisiblle castle. Not sure if either is still operational. I will check into it.

The bow of this ship is maintaining a consistent distance and aspect in relation to the black ship. Which should be impossible. Both ships are in motion.
You estimate the number of hostiles to be about a half dozen. Two or three of them seem to be acting as shields for the ones with bows. They don't seem to do anything except lumber and take hits from crossbows.

That spell you cast should have requisites for Animal the design. Casting Requisites have to be part of the design. You can't add them as an afterthought. It should be a magnitude higher, but you could have designed it a magnitude lower and flex-cast it. Fixer used to do this with Wirth all the time. Spells that make no sense as Target Part, intended to be Flexed to Individual or Group.
But anyway, moving forward...

That spell seems to be your best option. But since itwas the third thing you thought of, it is fair to say that the hostiles on the back ship get a few shots in. One of the re-loaders takes a hit.
So does The Woad
Archer Characteristic + Ability + Weapon = 7, 1D10 = [9], -3 for Invisible, Total = 13

You were visible just a moment ago and have not moved. That was a shot in your general direction.
Make a Dodge roll, and if unsuccessful, the Damage is 6 + (13 minus your dodge).
That will require a Concentration roll if you still want to cast your Perdo spell.
You could choose not to dodge, and if your "stone skin" can handle it (damage +19), then you do not need a concentration roll.

Wait, so the ships are facing bow towards bow, are still moving, but maintain distance and one of them moving backwards?
How far in between are the ships?

The spell Rust, Rot and Ruin... is designed as a Terram spell like many other Terram spells without any other Form requisites in the design (meaning: not costing a magnitude) but requiring them as casting requisites. Fist of shattering and Stone to Falling dust are examples. This seems to be an inherent advantage Terram has. That seemed fair to me, I assumed it was ok.

The Woad does not have total damage immunity, so he'll try to dodge. You can roll the dice if you want, I can't seem to find the online die roller.

Brawling Defense is 2+ stress die [edit: unless you allow the use of other combat abilities instead?], I assume I'll get hit. Soak is +10 so I'm counting on that. The Concentration roll is 9+ stress die, EF for dodging looks to be 12 so that's doable.

Assuming the Woad escapes relatively unharmed, he will be moving around to be a more difficult target.

If he succeeds in ruining the bows, the next step is more offensive. What arms and armour are they carrying, are the archer equipped like the meat-shields?

Since Shattering the Sword in Seven Sharp Shards both has T:Part and allows wood to be exploded (with a casting req), there is no shortage of targets when standing on the deck of a ship.

Splinters were historically the most damaging effect of cannonballs in hulls during the xviii-early xix century naval battles. At least to my Trafalgar book by Osprey Publishing. So yeah, exploding wood should be an extremely effective weapon in a Naval battle.

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Try this...

Since you leave it to my discretion, I say it is easy to dodge the arrows. But you fail your Concentration. Try casting again the next round. You are still invisible, and now that you have moved, you can notbe made a deliberate target.
Or can you? mwahahahahahaha!

The ship you are on, the Betty, is moving sideways. It gets pretty freaky if you think about it. But Santiago once told you that it is wise to adapt first and analyze later. The enemy ship (the *Black Agnes") is moving normalllly at a speed of maybe five knots? The Betty is positioned so that her bow is pointed at the starboard bow of the Black Agnes. She maintains a distance of a quarter cable (about 50 yards or more),and is moving sideways to keep pace with Black Agnes.

You can discern the nature of the enemy a bit better if you scrutinize. I'll make that roll for you too. :smiley:

You see four "corpse-men", that which you refer to as meat-shields. They don't seem to be equipped with anything. Behind and dodging between them are three archers with long bows. One of them is down. They took a hit from Betty's fire team.

So top of the next round. You can try to cast your spell, but you may want to wait on that. The archer that took a hit. He rises up as walking dead. You saw that coming. But the same thing happens on the Betty. The one guy in the fire team that took a hit, it killed him. And now he rises up from the dead, a corpse sailor, and will start to attack the crew.
But that attack comes next round. It is this round in which he rises up from death. The Woad has the next move.

Corpse-men don’t fire bows, so the Woad thinks.
But an enemy in our midst has first priority.
The Woad attacks the rising corpse-man with his spear, before it harms our side.
_: 1D10 = [6] = 6
And Atk + 11 = +17
Dam +8, in addition to a hopefully high Atk advantage.
The Woad makes sure to move about as much as he can