Round 22:

With the tradesman holding position, the Starflyer moves toward the shrikeship and the Starbug.

The shrikeship, however, continues to move away from the squidship and tradesman.  The Starbug continues to stay with the shrike and moves even closer to fly directly above the main deck of the pirate vessel.

Aboard the Starbug, three ropes are rapidly lowered from the main deck to the shrikeship's deck twenty feet below.  Raijin, Arvien and Mercurin slide down the ropes to the deck of the pirate's ship.  Seeing the battle on the sterncastle, the three Starbug crewmen rush to the door in the forecastle leading below decks.

On the deck of the shrikeship, the dwarf cries out, "Know that I am Ret Elfcleaver and that you are all dead!!!! Surrender and we may take pity upon you!!!"

The pirate closest to Ret sneers at him and replies, "We shall see, little one."

Tarith moves in and attacks his assailant.  The blade cuts through the pirate's chest, and the blow sends the victim reeling back into the ballista.  The pirate's shirt gets caught on the trigger lever, and he slumps lifeless against it.

Quickly calculating the odds, the one remaining pirate on the sterncastle deck (standing near Ret) drops his sword, raises his hands above his head in surrender and says to the dwarf, "Okay, you were right."

Ret moves in front of the remaining pirate and brandishes his axe in front of him to keep his new prisoner in line.

Tarith, remembering the helm, sprints down from the sterncastle deck, when he spots three new people on the deck: a human, a halfling and a xixchil. Seeing the ropes dangling from the Starbug, Tarith continues toward the forecastle without hesitation.

Aysle rushes to Apathy's side and begins to try to stop the bleeding coming from the elf's wounded chest.

From the deck of the Starbug, Anleef draws his bowstring back and suddenly realizes he has no viable targets.  He returns the drawstring to its original position and returns the arrow to his quiver.

Turning to Shar, Robb says, "'Ey Shar, let's move de cap'n down b'low so's he cin rest."  The two of them begin moving Lieutenant Oakwood below decks.

Back on the Starflyer, Captain Hart calls down to the helm, "Helm, maintain position until we see a signal from the shrikeship.  We need to stay close to the tradesman."

Scanning the stars, Tomas sees no other activity save the dragonship fleeing from the battle.  The dragonship is well out of range of the Starflyer and Garen's Gem.

Seeing Jareth prepare to fire the ballista, Hart states, "Hold your fire! We don't want to fire on our crewmates.  They may yet take the ship."  With that, the captain pulls out his spyglass and looks toward the shrikeship.

Round 23:

Bursting through the forecastle door, Raijin, Arvien, Mercurin and Tarith (in that order) rush into the helm room to find only a robed human seated upon the helm.  As soon as the four attackers enter the room, the man says loudly and clearly, "I surrender.  There is no need to attack."  With that, the robed man stands, turns to face the group and raises his hands above his head.

Tarith and Raijin seize the former helmsman and escort him onto the main deck.  Arvien and Mercurin follow them out and move to the door leading below decks under the sterncastle.  Two doors lead below decks, one on each side of the stairs leading up to the sterncastle deck.

Anleef, watching the activity on the shrikeship, notices it starting to slow.  The Starbug begins to pass the vessel, when the damselfly slows its pace to allow the shrikeship to catch up.

Below decks on the Starbug, Shar and Robb successfully carry Oakwood into his cabin and carefully lie him down in his bunk.

On the Starflyer, Captain Hart says to Sergeant Trandar while still looking through his spyglass, "It appears the shrikeship has been secured.  Let's wait for the signal just to make sure."

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