The Shores Near Seven Oaks
The Shore Near Seven Oaks
Beyond the low cliffs, that make up the freeport's natural anchorage, stretch miles of sandy windswept beaches backed by dunes covered in waving shore grasses. The weather and tides being more favorable within the harbor, the beaches are usually empty save for the occasional flotsom-scavenging hermit. Pirates and smugglers occasionally use the deserted shoreline to land their illicit wares and resupply.
A longboat is pulled above the tideline here. The sand around the boat is heavily trodden and flattened in spots, indicating that persons and cargo have come and gone. Out beyond the breakers a large three-masted vessel rides at anchor.
Third Mate of the Whale King
The crew member of the Whale King was half-asleep as he rested in the shade of the beached longboat. He kept an eye on the shoreline dunes for returning crew or any encroaching strangers.
Blackwing and Crew
Upon leaving the Inn, the pirate Blackwing had shed her cloak and taken to the sky, leaving her crewmen to return to The Whale King on their own. Had Rigel come along, they would have been friendly enough, but quiet, indicating he should keep silent as well. The militia of Seven Oaks was alerted to the presence of the privateers, and was out looking for them.
The crew had slunk through the streets of the freeport, keeping to the shadows and alleyways until they left the town. After a bit of a walk, they had reached where their ship's longboat lay beached shortly before dawn.
The crew was now four strong. They lit a fire on the far side of the longboat, where its light would be hidden from any patrols from town. A bottle was passed around and there was some general grousing about their truncated visit to town, a couple of rather exaggerated recallings of visits to brothels and tavern brawls during this time ashore. Then, three of the men bedded down to catch some shut-eye while a forth posted his shift at a rotating watch.
Rigel made his way along the coast until he believed he was nearing the place Captain Blackwing has mentioned. Hw proceeded slowly doing his best to stay under some sort of cover. After a time he spotted a turned long boat with four men about it. He settled in to watch....
Crewmen of the Whale King
The crew failed to spot Rigel hiding amongst the dunes. If he looked closely, the follower of Faran would see that they were the same three persons who had accompanied Blackwing at the Tavern, plus one new face.
If Rigel decided to make his presence known, he'd be invited to join the others by the fire. They were expecting him.
As Rigel watched those whom might become companions he noticed three of the men were also at the Inn. There was aa fourth man whom he did not recognize. They all appeared relaxed as if just biding their time.
Rigel decided he would wait until just before noon to make himself known mostly to see if anyone else was to join them or see if any of their activities belied a more nefarious purpose.
Rigel was capable of defending himself but he also felt the best defense was simply avoiding the fight.
OOC: We will wait until Monday IRL to shove off, in case any others want to join.
As he approached the shore and the place where the men from the Inn earlier had set up camp Pioloss’s resolve started to waver. He had never been much for the company of others, was he really now about to set sail to horizons unknown with a crew of pirates he didn't even know?
Speeding through the dunes he almost ran into the dangerous man, but at the last moment caught his scent and managed to dive to the side before the man could notice him.
Perhaps now he would be better served exorcising the caution which had long been synonymous with survival throughout Pioloss’s danger fraught life. And so thinking he began to take the long way round to the distant long boat he spied bobbing in the waters below.
Rigel thought he saw a quick motion among the dunes but after scanning the area for a few moments he decided he must have been seeing things. It was nearing the time for the boat to leave to he turned to make his way down to the boat and the crewmen waiting there.
He strode confidently down toward the waiting boat. As one member looked up Rigel waved. "Hail Friend"
The Crew of the Whale King
The night upon the shore near Seven Oaks passed without incident. The men gathered at the longboat slept on with the one posted sentry dozily keeping an eye on the empty moonlit beach until their watch was over. When at last the sun peeked over the Eastern horizon, the sailors had all awoken and rekindled their cook fire. A couple spent the morning surf fishing while the other two made fast the water casks and other supplies aboard the longboat, waiting for the tide and the arrival of the rest of the crew ashore.
It just so happened that the return of the rest of the Whale King's shore party coincieded with Rigel's decision to show himself. No sooner had the large Uman shouted his hail than came the sound of hoofbeats upon the sand. Three riders came galloping along the beach near the waterline, from the direction of Seven Oaks.
Third Mate of the Whale King
After consulting briefly with one of the men who had been in the tavern the previous night, the third mate shouted and waved to Rigel. "Ahoy the shore! Get o'er here, mate, and helps us shove off!" He pointed to the approaching riders. "That luks ta be trouble!"
The riders arrived and dismounted laughing and cursing each other. It was quickly apparent that they were additional crew of the Whale King. "Shove off quick-loike, maytees! The guard be hard on our heels!" One of them shouted, dismounting from his horse and sending the animal racing away along the shoreline with a slap to its flanks.
Bigelow swore at the newcome riders even as he joined the other three in putting his shoulder into the stern of the longboat, pushing it toward the water. "Coggs, Bliken, Marthin! Cap'n said there were ta be no thieven or foul play in Town! Wot 'ave yew dun ta rile the guard?!"
There was a general confusion of neighing beasts, churned-up sand, and rough laughter as the other two riders likewise dismounted, tossing sacks of something that clanked and jingled into the longboat before adding their own backs to those pushing the vessel back into the surf.
"No trouble then, fer we surely didn't crash 'is lordship's party an' steal from the mayor's mansion!"
"Aye, Nor did Coggs dance with 'is eldest daughter."
"An we mos' certainly did nae get cot nappin' 'midst wot loot we didn't 'ave in his lordship's greenhouse this morn!"
Bigelow grunted as he pushed. "An I suppose them ain't is lordship's ponies yew didn't purloin ta make yer escape?"
"Oh no, sir!"
"They be mares, sir. Nawt ponies fer true."
The men, even those who had spent the night upon the beach, were in fair high spirits, but they were also in a hurry to shove off, and none were paying close attention to whom was doing the shoving. It would not be hard for another newcomer to slip into the group as they pushed the longboat into the shallows and began to clamber aboard.
"Grab an oar and bend yer backs, mates! Ere comes the mayor's men!" Called Bigelow, sighting another group of riders pounding their way up the shore from Seven Oaks.
The Whale King's Longboat nosed into the waves and the men jumped or were hauled aboard. Oars were put to water and the crew rowed her into the breakers.
If he had climbed aboard, Bigelow would call to Rigel. "Grab a shield an guard our stern, maytee! Like as nawt, the guard's brot bowmen!" If Pioloss had happened to slip aboard, another crewman would exhort him to do the same. The sailors would continue to row with might and main, trying to put distance between the boat and their pursuers. They were already out past the breakers and nearing the edge of bowshot. Any shafts the shore party sent their way would likely not be lethal at this range, but none of them felt much like tempting fate.
Pioloss crouched uncomfortably behind a rocky dune between the sailors and where the sun would eventually rise, settling himself in for what would be a long night. He could probably have just announced himself and joined them in relative comfort next to their fire, but a lifetimes habit of sticking to the shadows was not one to be easily broken. But no sooner had he sat down than a commotion from over by the campsite caused him to stand back up and poke his head up from behind the sandy mound.
A group of men who were evidently also part of the crew had just joined, with a group of angry looking armoured men in hot pursuit. Well Pioloss wasn't going to get a better chance than this, so amidst the ensuing chaos he slipped quietly into the group and onto the boat, hiding himself behind a shield at the behest of a grizzled looking fellow who smelled faintly of fish.
O.o.c *tips hat to @noone. Thanks for the route in! I was planning on have Pioloss cling to the underside of the boat, but this was much easier, and besides - He would have got all wet!
Rigel hesitated for a moment when a group of men came dashing toward them with "the guard hard on their heels" Rigel didn't have sufficient time to sort out exactly what was going on. He wasn't one to protect criminals but to protect the innocent. At the moment he couldn't be sure but he was doing the right thing but he jumped in the boat and grabbed a shield as directed by the one called Bigelow.
Rigel found himself justifying his actions by repeating the crews denials to himself, trying to convince himself he was doing the right thing.
The Mayor of Seven Oaks
Leading a contingent of ten horsemen, a florid-faced man in the garb of minor nobility hauled his mount up short in the shallows, drawing a sword and waving it at the retreating longboat and crew.
"Come back here yew flagitious swine, and have a taste of my steel!" He shouted. "Archers! Loose upon that vessel and the miscreants aboard her!"
"Won't do much gud yer 'onor." One of the guard pulled his own steed up next to the mayor. "They be mos'ly out of bowshot, sir."
Despite the long range, the four archers in the pursuit party strung their bows and began taking potshots at the departing vessel.
The Crew of the Whale King
The Mayor's distant shouts were met with laughter and jeers from the pirate crew. The one called Coggs got it in his head to further antagonize their pursuers. He dropped his oar and with the surefootedness of a seasoned seaman, hopped to the stern of the longboat. With a hand upon the boat rod, he swung out over the stern. "Give me regards ta' yer eldest, yer 'honor!" He shouted back across the water.
He was undoing his trousers to moon the shore party when a smattering of arrows peppered the waters and sent him diving into the bilges, prompting general hilarity amongst the rest of the crew. "Get them shields up, mates! I duzn't wants ta start me mornin' as a pincushion!" The hapless--and now soaked--Coggs called from where he had landed.
The Crew of the Whale King
With her crew all back at the oars, the longboat quickly pulled out of range of those on shore and headed toward the four-masted ship riding at anchor off the coast.
To: The Whale King