Year 3, Weeks 22 – 29
The Rogue Jacks are fighting furiously with what’s left of a vicious crew-gone-Glowmad. Oll MacDougal rushes to Vyse‘s call for assistance and begins casting Healing on everyone! Clutch manages to shake off the hits he’s taken to get back to what he does best. Drakdor Highwing, too, starts laying on the hurt, rending his foes in twain. It was a quick finish to a drag-out fight.
As the Jacks inspect this now-derelict vessel, shouts of joy could be heard from the crow’s nest; there is a sole survivor of the Song of Spire‘s crew: Mikael Biltin. Biltin explains that he was the ship’s bard, though the Lightbringer must have taken a special interest in them because his songs could not keep the crew’s spirits up. As it turns out, however, he just isn’t a very good bard.
The Jacks tether the Song of Spire to the Whiskey Jack and continue on to Heartland. Just as soon as the wooded island breaches the Voidglow, so does an Elven Patrol Frigate! Deciding to stop and hopefully avoid suspicion and confrontation, Clutch and Rikki Tikki Tavi scramble below deck to hide among the cargo. As they get settled, the ship comes abreast theirs, and they are boarded.
A squad of 12 Oakthorn troops and 4 Bloodhound ferals come aboard. Unbeknownst to the Jacks, however, this is the entire crew; they recently had to send half of their numbers to the aid of another vessel. They question the acting captain, Vyse, who assures them that the entire crew is on deck and that they are not carrying anything banned from the area. The Oakthorn still insist on inspecting the ship and their cargo and the Jacks have no choice but to sit tight.
One of the bloodhounds almost immediately smells something below, and 6 of the Oakthorn and 2 of the fereals go below. Clutch, knowing that it’s only a matter of time before he and Rikki are discovered, quickly plans an ambush. He sees his opportunity as the ferals do not immediately detect him as they enter the cargo bay!
Clutch runs out into the search party’s midst and sweeps around them, killing two of the elves and nearly killing one of the ferals. Rikki rushes out to help, but is not comfortable with a sword and drops it. The elves jump to attack Clutch, but one recognizes him, running topside yelling ’It’s the murder-bunny!’ He apparently made a name for himself when he escaped.
As the elves topside rush down to help, Vyse and the crew jump into action, eventually convincing the now-outnumbered Oakthorn to surrender. Vyse then heads below to help Clutch, who is just finishing up. As the dust settles, they had captured 4 elves and 3 bloodhounds.
There was some serious discussion about what they should do next. They did not want to let these elves go; they would be able to identify them easily, making runs to Heartland very difficult. To Clutch‘s protest and Oll MacDougal’s relief, they decided also that they did not want to just kill their prisoners. They ultimately decided to keep them prisoner and change course to Gateway.
The winds were kind to them on this trip, as it only took them 3 weeks. It actually would have taken them only 2, but they changed course again after a week to avoid a Drake; they certainly didn’t want to tangle with such a beast with two spare ships in tow.
They docked in Gateway and Vyse immediately set out to sell the Song of Spire, which Biltin had no intention of contesting; he was done with sailing for now. Surprisingly, Vyse was able to find 4 buyers, and sold the ship to one Erza for $15,000. Quite a pretty penny for a ship in such poor condition, but Erza apparently enjoys fixing up ships.