23 Gozran, 44 NC
The Kisharan airship closes the distance rapidly and fires several cannons. Poppy’s ship lurches suddenly. While the crew scrambles to return fire, Poppy leaves her cabin and goes below.
Snot musters a crew around the mortar at the rear of the ship and takes two shots, consuming the ship’s remaining powder stores. The first shot crashes into the prow of the other ship and the second its air bag. Both ships begin descending erratically as both crews attempt to keep them in the air.
Snot goes to check on Poppy, and finds her in the “engine room”, which had taken a direct hit from the Kisharan vessel, killing over half of the imprisoned mad priests. Poppy was desperately attempting to keep the rest awake and actively keeping the ship in the air.
Meanwhile, the ships come alongside each other and the Kisharan vessel unleashes a broadside into the man-o-war. Jacob casts a spell on Nimue, allowing her to vault across the span to the other ship, but instead of landing atop the air bag, she lands on the deck and immediately has to engage the marines there.
The man-o-war, still struggling to stay in the air, comes alongside the Kisharan vessel, and Matten, Snot, and a cohort of marines cross over. Poppy’s vessel continues to destabilize, and she orders everyone across the gap. The party and the crew of Poppy’s man-o-war make it across and secure the Kisharan vessel, just as the man-o-war plummets several thousand feet into the Ar’Avariel Forest below, taking Leitus’ records and the prisoner Gerard with it.
Poppy’s crew and the party pick a handful of members of the captive crew to stay aboard, then land the vessel and offload the other prisoners, guarded by the remnants of Poppy’s crew not needed on the much smaller Kisharan vessel.
They take to the air again and head towards Hillcrest.
As they drew closer, they fired at us, and hit, and apparently something vital, as the ship lurched and started sinking. We fired a couple of shots back, and one of them hit the balloon, so suddenly we were both sinking, and fast. After several exchanged shots from both sides, including a couple of flaming arrows, it became clear that our ship would not keep flying for long. Also, the enemy ship was getting closer and preparing to fire their cannons again. So, I got an insane idea.
The idea was for Jacob to help me get to the top of the balloon, so I could hopefully mess enough with their steering that they would be unable to actually fire the cannons accurately. That was the plan, anyway. Obviously, that wasn’t what happened. Not that we had many options; we needed to get control over the enemy ship, and fast. The way things were looking, we’d be shot down before we got close enough to board. And anyway, the ship we were on wouldn’t stay in the air for more than
As I said, that was the plan. This plan had a rather brutal first meeting with the enemy. Jacob’s magic didn’t land me on the top of the balloon, but rather on the main deck. In the middle of a shitload of enemies. Brilliant. Also, the moment before I jumped, but when it was far too late to stop, Dan said something about how he could make me fly. If he had said that a minute earlier, I would have been willing to give it a shot. And things might have turned out differently.
One of the enemy soldiers got a hit in. A bad one. You know, the “shit, I have a problem, but at least I won’t have problems at all in a short while” kind of bad. Ok, so I wasn’t technically dying, but I was hurt badly enough that I’d have trouble taking out a couple of those guys, and here I was in the middle of a whole bunch of them.
Of course, at this point, Jacob decided to be helpful. One of his fireballs went off way too close to me. Granted, it did take out a lot of the enemies, and he didn’t actually hit me, but at that point, I didn’t much trust his aim.
Clearly, Dan hadn’t been lying when he said he could make people fly, as Matten came flying over at that point, so between him arriving and Jacob’s fireball, we were just outnumbered, not ridiculously outnumbered.
Somehow, we won the fight. People start moving over from Poppy’s ship to the enemy ship we’d just taken control of. And Dan came over to me, starting to rub my arm in a rather intimate way. I really didn’t know how to react. Had it been someone else, I would probably have decked him, but Dan, well, he is somewhat touched in the head, so I wasn’t really sure how to react.
And before I managed to figure that one out, I realised that my wounds were gone. Obviously, whatever he did had healed me. He looked a bit embarrassed and mumbled something about how it’d be even more awkward with males. Yeah, I can see that, but I have to admit it’d be fun to watch.
I decided to ponder that Dan actually had quite a few useful tricks up his sleeve at a later point, so I asked him if he could make me fly, which he could. Under other circumstances I would either had been terrified or exhilarated, but right then I had a job to do. I flew up to the top of the balloon to stamp out the fire from the arrows before they did much damage to the balloon.
The fire hadn’t had time to create much of a problem, and while I was up there, Starry Night also showed up, carrying a bucket of glue or something. He started fixing the balloon. I probably should have offered to help, but most likely, I would just have been in the way, not to mention made things worse, not better. Fixing flying balloons isn’t a skill I’ve had much time to practice.
In the meanwhile, pretty much everyone had made their way over from Poppy’s ship to the balloon ship. And just in time; the ship plunged to the ground. Leitus’ research went with it, along with, I realised way too late, our prisoner. Too bad, really. We had decided to spare his life, only to have him fall to his death just a few hours later. Then again, he [b]had[/b] tried to kill us, so I wasn’t going to spend much time feeling sorry for him. Besides, we now had a ship far too full of people, with far too few resources.
We sailed, or flew, north for a while, before we landed. Since there was a chance someone might come looking for their missing balloon, and since we had some 15 or so enemies on board, most of them non-fighting crew who had surrendered, and since the new ship could not comfortably handle nearly the people we had, we left most of the forces on the ground, to make their way through the forest, with most of the prisoners.
With a handful of the previous crew and some of Poppy’s people, including Poppy, we took off again. We were going north in search of the army we were looking for. The plan was to disembark when we found them, and have Poppy and the remains of her crew take the balloon back to Volkov’s forces.