Big Fish

Encounter details.

Upon returning to Greenhaven the party discover that there is some reveling at the news that The Iris has been sunk by The Defiant and that the captain Laurelin Starmaster is held prisoner by the pirates. There is however little time to reflect on this as Captain Stolon insists that the best chance of escape is to travel undercover of the storm that is already thrashing through the trees, and high tide is at eight o'clock in the evening.

If the party manage to chat to the elf captain, they will discover that The Iris went deliberately hunting the Hanorian vessel and had some success. He has some strategies that might help them to engage the ship if they could only release him. The Iris ran aground on the sandbars nearby to the entrance to Greenhaven as they tried to engage the heavier ship in shallow waters.

A significant number of his crew are still with the vessel - he had led a small group here in an attempt to steal a ship but was captured by Lizardfolk and is now dangling in a gibbet. If the party free the captain somehow then they can take on a significant marine crew for the battle with The Defiant.

The Defiant

The vessel is a Hanorian Ghostship which means that it is effectively a magically animated machine. It is crewed by a small human force, principally marine engineers rather than sailors, however they can all handle a weapon. They are reinforced by the animated scorpions (heavy arbalests on tripods) and the animated ballista. Finally the ship's captain is a dragon caller and the significant aftcastle is the dragon's perch although it spends much of its time spotting.

Engagement will mean first dealing with the ships ferocious speed and the great range of its artillery, second with its marine crew and finally once they are overcome, the dragon will return and they will have to face it.

The party hatch a plan for a daring longboat raid on The Defiant as she gives chase to The Blushing Maid. The strategy involves The Maid casting off the four longboats as she flees the Hanorian vessel and secretly hiding a marine force in the longboats, they will give chase and board The Defiant as she comes past them.

On board the defiant has a full crew in addition to it's animated seige engines and the battle will be very difficult. Things are made more complicated when the Hanorian master summons Malleolus the red dragon enslaved by an animated brace that binds it to the will of the ships master.

To further complicate matters, the battle is fought on the pitching deck of a vessel in the midst of a storm, each turn, everyone on deck is subject to a +11 attack versus reflex or they are pushed 1d3 squares randomly to port or starboard and knocked prone. They may elect to fight next to rigging and hold on, in which case they are subject to -2 penalty to AC and reflex saves. Elven marines and pirates have sea-legs which grants a +2 bonus to reflex versus these attacks. Malleolus can grip the deck with his claws so he does not need to be adjacent to rigging (though he still takes -2 to AC and reflex).

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