Grace - Session 7
Grace was not too happy at being forced to engage the pirates prematurely,
but she could not avoid it. Grace had found a single almost-Amber navy
ship and now that ship had been forced to engage the pirates. While one
more ship was not really enough, Grace had no choice, she had to fight
here and now.
Grace began with a bluff ordering signals sent from the crow's nest using mirrors. A routine method for signalling ships long distances apart. Grace sent a number of commands to different ships and squadrons. The signalman also had instructions to make sure the opposing force saw the signals. The pirate ships had no masts so they had no way to tell whether there were ships in the distance or not.
Grace left the new Amber ship to engage the two big ships and manuevered the Shark and Lion to keep the small ships between the large ships (with their catapults and Greek fire) and the Amber ships. The goal was to engage these six ships and take out as many as possible. Grace wanted to use the superior armament and manueverabity to hole the pirates and smash their oars. Once rendered immobile, the small ships would be no threat. In the meantime, the Amber ships were at risk from long bows and grappling hooks.
The Shark and Lion began their manuever's together but ended by engaging three ships each as planned. Being surrounded in this case worked to the Amber ships favour since the large ships could not fire on them. While Grace's Shark was not seriously threatened (a sudden turn knocked out the entire bank of oars on one ship which did start to threaten her), one pirate ship did successfully grapple the Lion causing the crew to have to scramble to disengage and repel borders.
After the Shark left two ships floundering, the third ship's captain decided to pull back to the protection of the larger ships. Grace decided to help the Lion rather than engaging the larger ships. It seemed a good idea to have the support before engaging the two large ships. Crossing the distance to the battle surrounding the Lion did involve exposing the Shark to fire. Grace tried to minimize the exposure, but there were still two direct hits that did some damage (one through a deck, one through a sail). Grace did see that the shadow Amber navy ship was engaged in hand to hand combat with one of the large pirate ships.
Grace manuevered the Shark to ram one of the small ships fighting the Lion, and the crew of the Sharkwaded into the thick of the battle. Grace continued to direct the fighting as she kept an eye on the status of the two larger pirate ships. The less damaged of the two large ships was manuevering to fire on the Shark. It appeared to be writing off the smaller ships.
Grace decided to let the Lion finish fighting the remaining small ships. The Lion would take longer fighting them by itself, but Grace had to engage the larger pirate ship now before it had any more time to prepare. Grace crossed the distance fast enough to avoid too much damage. The pirate's crew had terrible aim. "Poor training" Grace thought, but then there was no more time for thinking. The ships were alongside and fighting a boarding action.
Grace scanned the deck of the pirate ship searching for the pirate captain. She saw him fighting two Amber sailors. As she watched, he bit the nose off one of them. Taking the dark bearded captain out would end the fight. Grace swung across to the other deck landing just a few feet from the pirate leader. The fight was short and ended with the pirate captain on the deck with Grace's sword at his throat. The pirate captain surrendered his fleet promptly.
Now it was time to clean up the wreckage. The vultures began to circle as the Lion collected the few lucky survivors of the shadow Amber navy ship. The prisoners were packed into the remaining large pirate ship with a prize crew on board. Grace ordered the scuttling of the remaining pirate ships. They were not worth putting prize crews on. Grace headed them back to Amber keeping the pirate leader in chains on her own ship.