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607419 No. 607419 ID: c328d3

Your name is Captain Samuel Harringer of the VES Hornbow. Her Highness, Empress Olivia Brighton (may her wisdom be ever boundless) of the majestic Valorian Empire has seen fit to assign you this vessel for a prisoner transport mission to the colony on the remote Islo Terrinus.

It's the 4th night out at sea on your 3 week journey, and you feel like you haven't settled into your role as Captain yet. You've got a new ship, new crew, and new duty. You enlisted in her Highness's Royal Navy on your 16th birthday, hoping to do your part in the Gallard War. However, the war ended the week you graduated the officer's academy. You've spent the intervening 12 years doing odd jobs for her Highness, eager to prove yourself but denied the opportunity.

The sun has just set and you've stepped out of your captain's quarters for yet another check-up of the ship, but you feel like it might be time to get better-acquainted with everyone instead. Unfortunately, this is the first time you've taken on a new crew in years, and you're afraid that your social skills might have gotten a little rusty. You never were very good at introducing yourself to new people. After three nights of alternating between being an authoritative voice and absorbing yourself in small tasks to occupy your mind, you feel like it might be time to break out of your shell a little.

Your crew is small, but you've yet to learn much about them. Your helmsman, Garrett Rockwell, is a young Valorian with little experience; in your few interactions with him so far, he reminds you a bit of a younger you. You know this is his first mission, but he seems to be handling his duties admirably. Your navigator, Elia Fastos, is a Gallardan: one of the first permitted into royal service after the war. You try not to let your former feelings about her tall, pale-skinned and fiery-haired people taint your interactions with her; you've heard she's very talented. Delyn Doulande serves as crewman and cook, though more the latter than the former based on his apparent schedule. He seems to exemplify his Haldish heritage's reputation for being stocky, strong, and jolly, and you've only good things to say about the meals he's produced so far. Your ship is host to 4 additional permanent crew in the lower ranks and 6 security officers, scheduled to disembark at the penal colony to serve as peacekeepers and overseers of the mining operation. Additionally, you have 24 holding cells below deck, holding prisoners from across the empire. One of them is the infamous Witch of North Kyleton. You've heard she caused some sort of disaster and was imprisoned for consultation with dark powers, but not much else. You've never seen anyone use real magic before and the thought of it makes you uneasy.

You look up at the emerging stars and wonder who to pay a visit to first.
Expand all images
No. 607422 ID: 72c948

go visit Elia, show her you don't care about prejudices!
No. 607443 ID: 4c5cf2

>witch in the cells
Proper precautions were taken to prevent her from using magic to escape, or against the crew or ship?

Sure, why not. Checking in with the navigator when there are starts to navigate by isn't the worst idea, either.
No. 607559 ID: c328d3
File 141747048488.png - (226.79KB , 800x954 , ss02.png )

You decide to get to know your resident Gallardan, Lieutenant Fastos. Like you, she doesn't seem to have put much effort into integrating herself with the crew socially, perhaps due to lingering prejudices after the war. Though, you think it would help her in that regard if she would lose the traditional Gallardan hairstyle she's sporting, even though Valorian Royal Navy grooming guidelines have been amended to allow it.

It takes you a few minutes to locate the Lieutenant. She doesn't seem to be in her quarters or the mess hall, and your Helmsman hadn't seen her. Out on the deck, you finally spot her when you look up. Of course, Gallardans with their long arms love climbing. No, no, you chide yourself for the stereotyping. She's the navigator. Of course she's in the crow's nest.

The boat sways gently in the waves as you climb the ladder up the main sail mast. Not a cloud in sight. The winds are light, but they're favoring your ship on your course to the west, chasing the sun which set barely an hour ago. The sound of the sails fluttering to the breeze accompanies your boot-soles on the rungs of the wooden ladder.

You hear the rustle of motion as you approach the nest. Fastos's head pokes over the side and her brow raises in surprise. She stands, puts her right arm over her heart, and nods to you as you crest the baseboards. "Capdan," she says, by way of greeting.

"At ease, Lieutenant," you reply, looking up into the empty sky. "All the stars where they ought to be?"

She drops the salute, but still looks tense. "Aye. Hadding's good, sir."

Hadding, hadding...Oh, heading. It takes you a second to catch up to her accent, you've never gotten the hang of that one. "Of course, I trust you have that well in hand," you reply, trying to sound reassuring. Glancing around the nest, you find it bare. You didn't want the conversation to stick strictly to business, but your curiosity speaks up for you. "No charts?" you ask. Your last navigator was always buried in charts, wielding small silver tools against them.

Fastos shifts uncomfortably. "Ah, no. Wridden on my eyelids, capdan."

"Not literally, I hope," you reply.

The lieutenant doesn't respond. She steps around and plants her back at the front of the mast, aligns herself carefully, and closes her eyes. Without looking, she raises her left arm and points directly at a bright star above. "Hermid's Eye," she states. She points her right hand up in the same direction and sweeps a long arc with it, ending with a finger pointing directly at a star more to the North. "Bride's Ring," she says, opening her eyes and checking her work. "Good. Means war in the ride line. All we godda do..." she closes her eyes again and points to the south with her left arm, two barely-spread fingers aimed squarely at two dimmer stars to the south. "...is keep the Southern Dwins ride there." She opens her eyes, looks down her arm, and smiles subtly. "They're gonna make a circle ride there undil the sun, long as Rockwell keeps us poinded this way." Her eyes seem to unfocus, a contented expression on her face as she gazes off into the horizon.

"That's quite a talent," you say, genuinely impressed.

Fastos keeps her gaze on the horizon. "Aye. 'You godda had for angles,' they say adda academy." She sighs. "They just say 'You godda had full of weird' back in Gallard," she adds quietly. Fastos shakes her head as if snapping out of her inner thoughts, looking a little embarrassed. "Sorry capdan, you probably didn'd come up here for my blathering aboud nuddin."

You shrug and relax against the mast. "No, I was actually looking for a good blather. I fear I may have drawn myself overmuch into my duties."

"Aye, you're a quied one," Fastos replies, a little too quickly. She does a double take and looks at you as if shocked at what she just said. "Uh, if you dond mind me saying, capdan. Sir."

You can't fault her for her honest opinion, but you find yourself shaken and unsure how to respond or where to lead the conversation.
No. 607567 ID: 1d0ac4

"Nah, that's pretty on the nose! Only ever pop my head out to eat, usually!"
No. 607569 ID: 2ec61a

ask if any of the crew have been acting out. using old racial slurs or unflattering impressions.
No. 607606 ID: 2f4b71

"Not at all, blather on!"
Sketchy, that you?
No. 607612 ID: c328d3
File 141748270162.png - (187.93KB , 800x825 , ss03.png )

"Hah," you respond, staying casual. "That's pretty on the nose. Only ever pop my head out to eat, usually!"

The lieutenant relaxes and smiles. "Begging your pardon, sir, but it's a good thing I'm navigaden instad of you. You missed the kitchen by a fair bid coming up here."

You chuckle. "I suppose I did..."

"Aye, nothing to ead here, bud I do have something to sip on." The lieutenant reaches into her pocket and gives you a questioning look.

"Oh? Oh!" you respond, catching her drift. You know that the Navy has guidelines for how much alcohol a crew member can bring on a voyage per day traveled, and penalties for inebriated misconduct, but you've never really paid those rules much mind unless someone was obviously drunk when they had a job to do. "I never drink the stuff. I say, save it for the..." you catch yourself about to say lower ranks, but think better of it. "...the rest of the crew."

"mm," Fastos responds, withdrawing a small metal flask. "I don'd suppose you mind if I..."

You suddenly glimpse a purple flash on the horizon to the north. Squinting into the darkness with a look of concern, you see another. Lightning? "What's that?"

"Ids a Haldish honey whiskey," she answers. "Just keeping the nide passing adda good clip is all."

"No, to the north there. On the horizon," you reply.

Fastos follows your gaze. More flashes come through the darkness, and she fishes for a spyglass on her belt. "Aye, a storm? Well it's way off north, and the wind's hadding west, so we..." She trails off as she brings the spyglass up to her eye. More purple and blue flashes glint off the curved glass. Her mouth drops open a little. "...We should be...uh...huh. Id's ah...some storm for sure."

"Can you tell which way it's moving?" You ask, your concern mounting.

"Id's...capdan, id's boiling. Id's gedding bigger, id's..." the lieutenant trails off and mutters something in Gallard, "capdan, look!"

She shoves the spyglass at you and you quickly use it to peer off into the distance. You can't see much in the darkness at first except for one of the lower stars being swallowed up. It doesn't take long before a purple flash lights up, buried deep in the heart of a massive cloud. More alarmingly, in just the brief moment of illumination the discharge provided, you could actually see the cloud churning. In mere moments, more stars disappear beneath the roiling mass, and more flashes illuminate how unnatural this cloud seems to be. "By the holy, I've never seen a storm like that. It's either getting taller or it's coming at us fast, and I don't want to bet on the former!"

Fastos shakes her head in what looks like dread. "No wind, no clouds, no waves, I..." She looks to you and snaps to a determined salute "Your orders, capdan?"
No. 607619 ID: 72c948

The witch! Also reduce the sails, before the storm will tear them away!
No. 607632 ID: 2ec61a

for one, she needs to come own, magically infused storm could snap the mast in half. and yeah, get the sails trimmed. and check the witch isn't doing anything fishy. if we can confirm that the storm ISN'T her doing, then we can bargain that she use her power to counter act it because otherwise she's dead too.
No. 607887 ID: 2f4b71

Strike sail and batten down. If there's enough wind to manoeuvre, change heading directly into the storm before striking. Drop anchor if the depth isn't too great (have Fastos check her eyelids before coming down from the crowsnest). Get your most experienced men up on deck to manage the rigging, with each of them roped to the superstructure to avoid being blown off.
No. 608786 ID: c328d3
File 141773347201.png - (110.63KB , 800x387 , ss04.png )

"Prepare for a storm, lieutenant," you order, offering back her spyglass.

"Aye!" Fastos replies, wasting no time jumping for the ladder, leaving the spyglass in your outstretched hand.

You start down the ladder after Fastos, your heart starting to race as something occurs to you. This storm seems so unnatural, unlike any you've seen on your twelve years at sea. And it's happening now, in the middle of the empty ocean, while you're carrying an imprisoned witch. You suspect she had a hand in this. However, you're not sure what she's capable of or even which prisoner she is. Your few cursory inspections of the holding area didn't reveal anyone who looked particularly haggish.

It seems the stereotypes were right; Fastos bounds down the ladder as fast as a man on land runs, and reaches the deck long before you. She rings the bell on deck to call all hands. By the time you've reached the bottom, your crew have assembled for orders. "We've got a storm coming in fast and hard from the north," You explain quickly. "Rockwell, give us a full turn to starboard and take in the sails." You point to your crew. "You two, batten down the hatches and tie up anything loose on deck. You two, do the same, but help Rockwell with the sails when we've made the turn. Doulande, cook up something fast and warm and then throw the kitchen fire overboard. Fastos, get those security men up here to help. They may not be sailors, but they've still got hands. Double time!"

The urgency of your message seems undercut by the gentle breeze and quietly lapping waves, but your crew salute and immediately start about their business. As usual, you know what to do with your subordinates, but not with yourself. The issue of the witch needs to be addressed, but you're not sure if you need to stay on deck to help and supervise.
No. 608792 ID: 2ec61a

who is the most senior security? ask them which cell has the witch you are going to check to make sure she isn't using the storm as some sort of cover.
No. 610543 ID: 42b83c
File 141825794481.png - (149.21KB , 800x532 , ss05.png )

You rush through the main door, where Fastos disappeared moments ago. You immediately hear your Lieutenant's voice from further in the cabin. "He send his lieutenant, second highest ranking officer on this ship, yes." Her voice is unusually calm and measured, and she seems to be trying to conceal her accent.

"Y'hear that, men?" the head security officer replies, loudly. "Adder bitch proud she found a wall of Navy dicks to climb up, thinks she's special. Let me tell you, if you'da shown your face at some Army recruitment-"

You make sure your footsteps are heard as you step through the doorway, drawing the attention of both Fastos and the head of security. What was his name? Chief Officer Augustus? Augustine? No matter. Both are standing toe-to-toe, and the Chief Officer has his hand on his blade handle, still in his belt.

You know Adder and Gaunt are the most popular slurs for Gallardans. Also, the roles of men and women in Gallard are almost the exact opposite of their roles in Valoria, which led to a reputation of Gallardan women being dominant and promiscuous while their men are seen as sensitive and demure. They probably feel the same about Valorian men and women, only inverted. You also know that these men are members of Her Highness's Royal Army, whereas you are Navy. You are not part of their command structure, but they're under orders to obey you on your vessel. You know the Navy has a reputation for being more permissive, whereas the Army only recently even began accepting Haldish men, and still does not accept women.

This information in mind and their attention on you, you feel the need to intervene to prevent an incident.
No. 610551 ID: 2ec61a

"i didn't expect to have to come down here to issue the order myself. a possibly magic induced storm is coming, fast. one of you takes me to the witch's cell, the rest head topside and help the men secure the ship, or would you rather go for a swim?"
No. 610555 ID: d3be40

"Both of you SHUT UP and do something else! I won't have you risking lives for a stupid debate on sexism when NEITHER of you is willing to make intellectual banter! If either of you is smart enough to realize that bigotry is nothing more than just a useful tool for tyrants and schemers to commit unforgivable acts unnoticed, go ahead and yak, yak, yak! Otherwise, shut up or I'll hogtie one of you to the brig and the other to the mast!"
No. 610561 ID: 2ec61a

uhhh. only one of them was talking. and it's mostly racism.
No. 610568 ID: d3be40


Look, just find a way to explain that you have much more important things to do than watch one or two people bicker. Like escaping the giant storm that is going to hit in about two minutes!
No. 610634 ID: f461c5

"Your prejudices dont matter on my ship, Chief officer. Obey your orders. I want your men on deck and you with me, I need you to bring me to the witch. Fastos, go up with them and try to keep us from all from drowning."
No. 610697 ID: f488ee

I don't care if your parents were Valorian, Gallardan, or dogs. I expect obedience and competence on my ship.

Does anyone here have a problem following orders?
No. 610782 ID: 42b83c
File 141834738832.png - (121.19KB , 800x326 , ss06.png )

"I don't care whether your parents are Valorian, Gallardan, or dogs. I expect obedience on my ship," you say, as sternly as possible. "Chief Officer, with me. Lieutenant and the rest of you men, on deck to help prepare for the storm. You are to obey my Lieutenant's orders or go for a swim, do you understand?"

The men stand and respond "Yes, sir!" out of sync and with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

"What did you say?" you ask, more as a command than a question.

"SIR YES SIR" they bark, saluting quickly. They follow Fastos out the door.

"Captain Harringer, permission to speak freely?" the Chief Officer asks, looking like he's barely containing himself.

"Denied. Take me to the witch's cell," you respond curtly. You have a feeling you know what he's about to say and you don't want to hear it.

His eye twitches and he nods. "Sir." His voice is flat, but he proceeds to the stairs below deck with you behind.

By way of filling the intervening silence, you decide to explain yourself. "The storm above seems the work of dark arts to me. If I'm right, perhaps we can cut it off at the source."
No. 610783 ID: 42b83c
File 141834741651.png - (405.41KB , 800x1487 , ss07.png )

The Chief Officer unbars the heavy door to the lower deck and pushes it open with a creak. The atmosphere seems to shift as you step inside. The air is still and quiet, punctuated by the hollow, rhythmic thunk of waves on the hull. The holding cells are poorly-lit, three small lanterns casting flickering orange flecks over the iron bars. Your eyes quickly adjust enough to barely make out the huddled shapes of your prisoners inside their cells. One row of cells on each side, a path through the middle.

The door shuts behind you with a heavy thud, and the Chief Officer points out a cell in the center of one side. "Your witch, sir." His voice seems to fall dead in the heavy silence, louder than any of the surrounding sound but still somehow small. There is a rustle and clink of chains as the prisoners' heads all immediately swivel, directing their gaze to one unmoving girl.

You expected a hall full of prisoners to be rowdier than this lot, but you're not going to begrudge the silence. The dull weight of your heavy-booted footfalls cut down the center aisle and stop before the prisoner.

Before you sits a girl, looking about sixteen. Her light hair is curly and disheveled, her dirty prison rags fit her uncomfortably. Her eyes are tired, but fierce. The light glinting off of them cuts through the darkness as she meets your gaze in silence.

You're not sure how to proceed.
No. 610803 ID: 2ec61a

bluntly. "there is a magical storm approaching, can you prove it is not your doing?" if so then "then i am forced to ask for your help in warding it off, your reward for this assistance will be two fold. preventing yourself from going down with the ship, and i shall argue on your behalf to have your sentence lessened." the second bit is important. someone could choose to die if only misery awaits them later.

if she cannot prove anything on her own but knows how she can with assistance, then if it is easy enough to do so, do it. and then do as above.
No. 610813 ID: b8ceae

"Storm's coming. Obviously magical - growing fast and throwing purple lightning around.
What can you tell me about it?"
No. 610820 ID: d3be40

"Look. I get it. You're locked up in here like an animal, and you're amazed that I have the gall to ask for your help. I know that any bargain I could make will either come up short or sacrifice my honor as a captain. But that's not the point. That's never the point.

You're stuck on a pathetic rotting box made of driftwood, waiting for a storm crafted from the very elements you manipulate on a daily basis to pummel through this hovel and end your desperate life. Meanwhile, I'm stuck babysitting a pack of male bullies who look down on girls, a pack of female bullies who look down on boys, a crew that couldn't bellow the masts on their own if their families depended on it, and over twenty-four men and women whose crimes against the state have left them stranded on said piece of driftwood that is going to be splintered and shattered until they all die with blood in their lungs.

Do you honestly think, in your position, I would wait for death and leave all these people to die in a maelstrom out of spite? I can't make any valid promise, but I can give you options and choices - and right now, that's the extent to which I can help you."
No. 610821 ID: 42b83c
File 141835845868.png - (402.20KB , 8500x5259 , ss08.png )

You are unfamiliar with this silence and wary of her tricks. You choose your words carefully. "There is a magical storm approaching. Can you prove it is not your doing?"

She looks at you, then leans over and peers down the center aisle at the Chief Officer, still standing by the door. She looks between the two of you for a moment before sitting back in her original position. Not saying a word, she holds up her hands and shrugs. "No." Her voice is soft and quiet, like a child's.

Her answer tells you nothing, and you're growing more anxious at the threat of the approaching storm. She must either be responsible and have some demand she wants met, or she's not responsible but unable to prove her innocence. You don't want to offer her a more lenient sentence; that's not your call to make, and the penal colonies are meant to be inhabited for life anyways. You need more information. "So it is your doing?"

She keeps her eyes affixed on yours, barely blinking. The corners of the witch's mouth turn up almost imperceptibly. "You want my help, don't you, Captain Harringer?"

Something about your name spoken in her little voice makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. "I want to know if you can stop it!" you blurt out.

Her demeanor shifts suddenly and she giggles. Her face spreads in what appears to be a genuine smile. "My throat is dry and the time in here drags on," she says, relaxing back on one arm. "If I had a nice stiff drink I might consider helping you."

"You'll get more drink than you bargained for if the storm capsizes this ship!" you shoot back.

She sighs and looks away, a small smile still clinging to her lips. "They say a lot of things about witches, Captain. Some of those things might even be true. One thing they say often, I'm sure you've heard, is witches don't drown."
No. 610829 ID: d3be40

Stiff drink. Fine. Fair deal.

If she helps you, she'll get all the bottled booze on the ship. Otherwise, you're throwing bottles overboard with the hopes that somewhere out in the sea is a very thirsty pirate.
No. 610831 ID: 159193

So which is it then.
Either she can't drown and thus we have not only no real incentive to try and bribe her with since the storm will grant her freedom if we sink, or she CAN drown, but due to belief in that myth, thinks she won't and thus leads back to case #1, or she can and is going to use it to bargin for as much as she can before she does her thing.
It's...Also concerning she said that-sounds like she can just walk off the island, and abuse 'don't drown' to go back home, or get free...
So here's what we do.
we say "Witches may not drown...But I hope you like that cell because you're not leaving it if the ship sinks." And then we walk away.
The losing move is to try and reason with her directly. We either pressure her or we abandon an option that was never truly there, and we have no influence we can use on her besides that threat that won't tell her she has all the power here.
No. 610832 ID: 2ec61a

"fine, if you help us i promise all the booze you can drink"
No. 610839 ID: b7c448

Point out that the cell makes the whole 'witches not drowning' thing a moot point, promise, promise a drink from your own supplies if you keep your own alcohol. Actively trying negotiate with her is a mistake on two fronts. First as captain you need to maintain the confidence of your crew and second you have to maintain control over the prisoners. You don't want to lose that authority while on the sea by asking someone for help who may not even be able to help with the storm.
No. 610844 ID: b8ceae

"No, my dear. It is said that the water rejects them and so they float. Even if I were to believe such rot, I doubt the sea would reject a meal as tasty as this ship for your sake - and you are quite thoroughly stuck inside it.

Still, from where you are a burial at sea may seem no worse a fate, and a fair turn is a fair turn - if you can help against the storm I'll tap our best reserves for you."
No. 610848 ID: 687279

Even if she doesn't drown she'll be trapped in here, underwater, until the bars rust. That could take centuries.
No. 610864 ID: 42b83c
File 141836754208.png - (130.82KB , 800x1035 , ss09.png )

"I have heard that before," you reply, rapping your knuckles against the bars of the witch's cage. "I've also heard that iron sinks."

In the dim candlelight, you can still catch the small traces of smile drop from the witch's face. "It also rusts, Captain," she replies.

"Mm. If you were patient enough to wait years...decades...centuries on the bottom of the ocean for your prison to rust, you'd be patient enough to wait two and a half weeks for the end of our journey, and then simply walk into the sea to your freedom. I believe I've heard all I need to hear," you reply, turning on your heel and starting back towards the door.

You hear the clink and rustle as she stands and clutches the bars of her cage. "I'm sorry," she says. You look over your shoulder and she drops her head. "You're a clever man, Captain. Cleverer than I gave you credit for. I should not have tried to trick you. If you-" her voice catches, and she pauses. "I've been told I'm to spend the rest of my days with convicts on some speck in the middle of the ocean. I don't want that. Nobody wants that." You hear the Chief Officer shuffle awkwardly behind you as you take a step back towards the prisoner. "Can you blame me for trying? I-I didn't start your storm. I may not even be able to stop it. But I can try. I'm still learning the strange ways, but I can try. That's what you came down here for, isn't it? You don't know if this can be handled in the...the normal way? That's the same reason that I...that I first..." Suddenly and violently, the ship lurches to one end. You hear thunderclaps outside, loud and close. The storm came in faster than you feared. You steady yourself on your feet to the groans and lurches of the prisoners. The witch looks up, panic evident on her face. "I can't do it from down here! I need to see it! Let me try, please! I don't want to sit in a cage at the bottom of the sea forever!"
No. 610865 ID: 2ec61a

hmm... she's still in irons, that should be plenty to sink her still let's bring her up.
No. 610866 ID: 6868bc

What do you have to lose? If you do nothing, there's a fair chance you'll die regardless. Bring her abovedecks and hope for the best.
No. 610867 ID: b8ceae

"Alright. Do what you can."
There's precedent for criminals being offered military service in lieu of their normal sentence, and for criminals being granted special consideration for heroic actions.
Captains also have broad authority on their ships, a responsibility to protect their crew, and discretionary authority in the face of enemy action.
This storm is magical, meaning somebody created it (ostensibly to attack your ship, no less), which means you should be assuming it's enemy action.
If she saves the ship you can commute her sentence to maritime service - she protects your ship and crew from extraordinary threats, and doesn't have to spent her life in a dank hole.
Just don't tell her this until after the crisis is over.
No. 610870 ID: d3be40

I don't buy it. Let me get this straight: A sixteen year old witch with barely any magical power has been captured with mere iron bars and sentenced to a fate worse than death?

If that is the absolute truth, you should probably free her after all this. But odds are that she's older than your empress and twice as high-strung and insultingly cruel to her servants. This whole "I'm just a novice" act is probably her favorite way of suckering people - why try to distract guards with the sexy when she can play the innocent little girl? Try this:

"Wow. You must be seriously malnourished to fail a speech check this easy. I would have to be some kind of idiot not to realize that you are over twice as old as me, playing the wounded gazelle gambit, and prepared to transform into a bird or something the second the storm winds smack your face.

Look, we'll let you out, but I want you to know that you'll have the entire army shooting arrows at you the moment you try to bail. Alright?"

If there is some special method to put a detonator on a witch that can kill her if you press a button or something, now's the time!
No. 610877 ID: f461c5

I... Dont think any of that is even vaguely reasonable, and frankly it doesnt sound like you have been paying much attention. We certainly dont have an army available to shoot at her.

And really, if she was that magiswole, she wouldnt be here, or we would be better prepared.
No. 610879 ID: a2f9bc

How crazy is shackling her to yourself to prevent her jumping off the edge of the boat or something crazy?

Aaand if worst comes to worst, free witch floatation device!
No. 610880 ID: f461c5

No. 610893 ID: bdf725

Does her cell incorporate any special features to negate her magic or is it simply iron bars and chains?

If not then follow >>610866
Keep her chained up and give the chief officer standing orders to cut her down if she so much as tries to turn around and look at him when they're on deck.
No. 610903 ID: 8f01e8

Get the witch up on deck, first of all. No time to lose, and she's as motivated to deal with the storm as anyone else. Keep her under close guard, but otherwise give her whatever she needs to work, to the extent that it can be done while complying with naval regulations.
No. 610926 ID: c9f2af

>You're a clever man, Captain. Cleverer than I gave you credit for. I should not have tried to trick you.
She might be being earnest here, but I would like to point out that flattering someone by telling them they're too clever too trick isn't an uncommon prelude to a trick.

>That's the same reason that I...that I first...
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Something first motivated her to resort to the dark arts. Which is exactly the trap we have to watch for, here.

>what do
I think we've ascertained that she isn't the source of the storm. So stopping her from attacking your ship is no longer why you're down here.

Now the question is a matter of weathering the storm. Can your ship and crew do so without her help? Simply because the storm is magical in origin doesn't mean it's unnatural in other ways.

Then there's the fact that as captain of this vessel, you are an agent of your government. You are the law on the high seas. Witchcraft is illegal (And possibly a sin. Don't know much about religion here, yet). Is resorting to witchcraft at the first sign of trouble a dereliction of your duty? This girl is to be imprisoned for life for her practice- what fate do you condemn yourself, and your crew, to if you resort to relying on those same dark arts? How will your crew, or the soldiers respond? If you use the witch to quell the storm, they might show their gratitude with mutiny and arrest.

There's an argument to delay. To try to weather the storm, and only use the witch if absolutely necessary, not as a first resort. Of course, this means you're risking your crew and ship for appearances, or some kind of moral high ground. Tough to weigh, and it really depends on your own evaluation of the storm. Can you expect your crew to survive the storm if you do not risk the witch?
No. 611005 ID: 2f4b71

There is another question: if she is being truthful and is not the source of the supernatural storm, who is?
No. 612283 ID: 42b83c
File 141870980301.png - (457.31KB , 800x1882 , ss10.png )

You don't want to resort to dark arts to save the ship, you just wanted to stop her from using them against you. It doesn't seem like she's doing that, but someone must be. Using your prisoners' expertise for guidance to see the storm through seems prudent. You hope it doesn't come to this, but if you and your crews' lives depend on it, you're not above allowing someone who has already damned themselves to use black magic to counter black magic.

Thunder rumbles nearby and the ship begins to rock. You nod to the chief officer. "Remove the prisoner from her cell and bring her topside in chains."

His expression is stony, and you hear him inhale loudly. "Sir." He withdraws a ring of keys from his belt and approaches down the center aisle.

THe witch looks grateful. "Thank you, Captain. I'll do what I can. But, these shackles...the iron binds me in body and spirit. If I am to speak with the storm, I must have them off."

You shake your head. "You'll keep them on for now. Your sorcery is to be used strictly as a last resort. Chief Officer, you have my permission to run her through if she tries anything that even looks magical without my command."

"Your permission or your order, Harringer?" the Chief Officer asks, unlocking the cell door and taking hold of the girl's chains.

You frown. "I'm leaving it to your discretion."

"With all due respect, Captain, my discretion says you are letting a child run you around with lies about magic."

You can't believe he's doing this in front of the prisoners. "Chief Officer, I did not ask for your opinion, and thus far you have given me little reason to respect it. If you insist, we will discuss this later. Right now, I am ordering you to keep your eyes on the witch and your mouth shut. Let's go."

The boat tumbles to and fro as you ascend the stairs to the main deck. You rush through the door and take your best quick assessment of the situation.

The roiling clouds are not quite on you yet, but the waves on their leading edge are growing more violent. You've handled worse than the ones you can see, but only with more time to prepare for them. The clouds reach all the way down to the sea and tower far overhead, galloping towards you like a herd of furious and unimaginably massive animals. The whole wall flashes with internal arcs of purple, blue, and white, causing an almost constant thrum of deep rumbling punctuated by loud cracks. A few lances of light pierce the front wall and strike the rolling sea below

Your ship is relatively small and easily-manned, but no ship can be prepared for a storm with this much haste. You estimate that it's been scarcely five minutes since you gave the order; frankly, you're surprised they've made this much progress.

Most of the windows and doors you can see, bar the one you just exited by, have been crudely and quickly slathered in tar and sealed tight. The helm is locked down and the ship is facing the storm head-on to cut through the most likely wave direction more easily. The fore topsail is pulled in and fastened hastily, and the crew look to nearly have enough ropes in place to safely pull in the course without it blowing away. The main sails are still flying, and you catch sight of the bulky form of Ensign Doulande halfway up the main mast struggling at the pin holding the topsail in place with a crowbar. As you look, one of the lower sails comes loose and flies away in the wind; Fastos is clinging to one of the booms with a knife in her teeth, having just cut the sail loose. Probably the best course of action given the limited time and the fact that you have spares.

You steady yourself as the ship lists to the aft as you crest a wave, then dips sharply to the fore as the sea drops out from under it. At this rate, the advancing cloud wall looks to be on you in less than two minutes, but you have no idea how deep it goes, how long it will last, or how harsh it is on the inside. What do you do?
No. 612286 ID: b8ceae

This is almost certainly an attack. Its duration is as long as it takes to kill its target, and its strength is whatever will kill its target. But there isn't anything in the path of the storm besides you, is there?

She can't do her work while wearing the irons. Your blades are iron enough; keep those ready, but let her out of her binds.
No. 612292 ID: 687279

Why would another witch be attacking this vessel?

I think it's more likely this is her storm, summoned up either before she was put on the ship or after despite her claims she needs line of sight. Ask her if a storm like this would keep going if the summoner was killed. Also, ask her what she can do to the storm to see us safely through, and what that would look like exactly. If you get an answer that's like "I don't know what I'm doing so I don't know what it would look like" then I say just put her back in the hold.

Keep in mind that the Chief Officer's opinions on other races should not keep him from properly doing his job. You should allow him to give you some advice here.
No. 612318 ID: 2ec61a

if the storm was cast before the ship started then the strength of it has been set, and the duration as well. but i really do not like the look of that purple lightning. drop her irons and hold her by the back of the collar.
No. 612328 ID: d3be40

Okay, the reason you have a witch on deck is because you value her ability. That ability includes intel. Have the girl explain how the storm works, and give orders that evade the brunt of the waves. Do NOT have her explain where to go, that might be a trick and it just makes you look like you're following her orders. Frequently remind her that with a storm this huge, her best bet for survival is to help you weather this storm, and escape later. Even if she could swim or fly for her life, whoever is casting this is likely planning on it and likely has naval support.
No. 612365 ID: b25a0a

Let's not use the witch before we have to.
We have two minutes, and the crew is still trying to reinforce the ship-at this point we might have to simply get them to come back in before trying to utilize the witch's abilities.
Ideally, it'd be you, the Chief Officer, and the Witch on deck, and that's it, or as close to that as feasible.
No. 612417 ID: 8f01e8

Tell the witch she's got one minute to assess the situation, since the storm will be here in two.
No. 612473 ID: 2f4b71

Releasing her bindings is a terrible idea.

If there is a chain handy, then chain her to part of the deck. Released, she may only be thinking of saving herself. Attached, anything she thinks of has to be to do with saving the ship.
No. 613268 ID: 42b83c
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The Chief Officer cranes his neck up at the whirling mass ahead with some trepidation. The witch's eyes widen as well, but you are having a hard time reading her. Well, there's no point in wasting time guessing at it. "Do you think you can stop this, witch?"

"Wh-I-th...that's huge, I..." she trails off as she looks side to side. The storm stretches as far to the east and west as you can see, seemingly rolling the whole ocean up into itself. Her eyes finally meet yours. "I won't know until I speak with it, find out what it's doing, and why..."

The Chief Officer looks between the two of you, completely dumbfounded. "Why are we wasting time with this? By the Holy, look at that thing! You're a Navy man! Do they not teach you what to do with storms? I didn't go to Navy school, but I didn't think what you do is entertain some delusional bawd and admitted liar in her fantasies. Next she'll be telling you she needs her own boat to ride out on!"

The boat creaks and sways. You feel the heat rise in your face. "These are not normal circumstances. Real storms don't jump from a speck on the horizon to...to this in five minutes! If she can help, and we have no other alternatives-"

"NO OTHER ALTERNATIVES? This isn't an alternative, this is a little girl. And you are not a Captain, you're a madman I've indulged long enough!" He draws his sword and points the blade at your throat. "The girl had one thing right, nobody wants to spend their days in a prison colony, not even the wardens. I'll not drown under your orders, Captain," he shouts. "This would've waited until we were further out at sea, but you've forced my hand. Either this ship goes down or it comes up under my command."

The white buzz of the rolling water rises to a shrill pitch in your ears. Your blade is in your cabin, and the rifles are locked away in the galley. You have no way to defend yourself but your tongue or your fists.
No. 613278 ID: d3be40

Tell the witch she has two minutes. After that, you are relieving command of the ship to the Commanding Officer, and may he have mercy on your soul.

And then tell the Commanding Officer "You WILL have mercy on a cowering little girl, right, My Noble And Just Lord?" (In a sarcastic but also damning voice)
No. 613339 ID: 185cb8

>You have no way to defend yourself but your tongue or your fists.
Your tongue.

Stand tall, clasp your hands behind your back. If you truly believe my death will somehow abate the storm, then by all means, strike, Chief Officer. It is my duty to give my life for ship and crew, if I must.

However, the only means I can conceive to survive this storm are seamanship and witchcraft. And slaying a ship's captain mid-action will hardly improve her crew's seamanship. You will be witnessed slaying me as I stand here, unresisting. You have already made an enemy of one of my officers. The crew will respond to your mutiny with confusion, disorganization, and dissent. Chaos in the ranks spells doom, as you should well know, soldier.

So unless you plan to loose the witch yourself, I suggest you stand down and let me do my job, Chief officer, if you wish to survive this night. I will do what I have to keep this ship afloat, unless you cut me down, by the hands of men if I can, or by the hands of a damned child, if I cannot.

>nobody wants to spend their days in a prison colony, not even the wardens
>This would've waited until we were further out at sea, but you've forced my hand
...did he just confess he was planning to commit mutiny anyways?
No. 613358 ID: b8ceae

"Invoking the law of the sea? Very well. I'll confine myself to quarters while you tell the crew you're throwing a mutiny. You need a two thirds majority.
Unless, of course, you think your men can crew a ship this size on your own?"
Take the girl and head to your quarters. He should be stunned enough that there's a process for a mutiny that he won't offer much resistance.
No. 613378 ID: 2ec61a

if he refuses to listen to reason anymore and it comes to a fight. grab his sword hand and shove it downward while bringing your knee up to smash it.
No. 615085 ID: 4747a1

Yeah, sounds like buddy boy had planned a mutiny from the get go.

Trying to brawl him while a sword is at your throat is as good as suicide but its your best bet unless one of the crew notice the situation. He doesn't seem keen on listening to you. Best case scenario you wait until the ship starts facing turbulence from the waves and try to disarm him. He might be an army man but that doesn't mean he'll be as sure footed on a storm battered vessel than he would be on normal terrain. Until an opportunity opens up, try and play up fear of this situation. The Chief Officer doesn't appear to believe in Witchcraft but twelve years of experience at sea have got to be worth something.

Explain that the crew is already in action, doing what little they can with next to no preparation but that if even you've never faced a storm like this without prep, he'll have no chance in hell. The ship will go down unless you do everything in your power, his concerns about life on a penal colony be damned.
No. 615086 ID: 4747a1

Also; good to see you back, Sketchy
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