The Starflyer continues its course toward the dragonship. As both ships
come within 100 yards, Apathy sights a man on the deck that appears to be
important and releases a Magic Missile. The bolt of energy strikes the
man's chest, and the pirate is thrown to the deck from the impact. Others
try to help him up, and the man appears to be hurt badly but still alive.
Ret is heard saying, "Damned fool elf is leaving our mission behind. Ah
well, today is a good a day as any other to fight for the glory of dying!"
The dwarf prepares himself for the ram attempt.
As the Starflyer corrects its course for the final approach, the dragonship
begins to roll away from the incoming vessel. The conflicting gravity
planes create a vertigo that plays havoc with everyone's bodies as they are
pulled in two different directions simultaneously. Unable to control the
nausea, Garm (the crewman with Tomas on the ballista) leans over the rail
and vomits. Unable to react in time, the Starflyer flies over the
dragonship, missing it by 50 feet. After evading, the dragonship continues
its course after the tradesman. The vomit, however, lands onto the heads of
a number of pirates on the dragonship's deck.
Captain Hart cries out, "Ram missed! All strike, fire at will!" The crew
quickly returns to their positions. The two aft ballistae loose their bolts
at the dragonship, now directly aft of the Starflyer. The first bolt flies
between the mainsail and tail without hitting anything. The second bolt
slams through the large building on the aft section of the pirate vessel.
The force of the shot is enough to cause the top floor of the building to
collapse, sending debris flying across the ship. The dragonship slows to a
snail's pace and doesn't appear to maneuver.
Meanwhile in the helm room, Trandar grabs the ballista bolt stuck in the
wall and says, "Tarith, help me pull this out." Grabbing the bolt, the two
of them pull with all their might. The bolt gives a little and then comes
loose, sending the half-elf and giff sprawling while Shadow Bane's body drops
to the floor. Scrambling to her side, Tarith and the first mate examine the
wound. After a few seconds, Trandar shouts to the tube, "Captain! We need
a healer down here! The avariel is down!"
Garen's Gem, the tradesman, fires their ballista at the dragonship.
Upon closer examination through helmsight, the new ship looks like a
blue-colored bird (almost like a shrike), and it continues to close on the
Hearing the request from below decks, Captain Hart quickly scans the deck
with his eyes falling on Jareth.
"Jareth, get below to the helm room as see what you can do." The robed
half-elf runs down the stairs from the sterncastle and through the door
leading below decks.
"Delvin," cries the captain. "To the ballista!" Another crewman rushes to
Garen's Gem begins to come about and turn toward the dragonship. The bolt
fired from the tradesman rips through the mainsail, creating a sizable hole.
One of the crewmen on the Starflyer shouts, "Incoming!" The crew
instinctively takes cover as arrows fly over the rail from the dragonship.
One of the crewmen on the rigging is struck in the arm, and he fall to his
knees screaming in pain while clutching the wound.
"Return fire!", Captain Hart yells. Aysle, already prepared with his bow,
takes aim and fires an arrow from his short bow. The arrow strikes one of
the pirates on the ballistae, causing him to fall unmoving to the deck. Two
other crewmen prepare short bows as well and fire. One of the arrows
harmlessly hits the dragonship's deck. The other arrow, taking a hint from
Aysle, hits the second crewman on the same ballista as before and drops him
to the deck next to his partner.
Coming on deck through the door of the forecastle, a halfling emerges and
calls out, "Captain! Why didn't you tell me something was going on?!"
Hart, reeling around at the cry, sighs, shakes his head and returns his
attention to the pirates. The halfling rushes to the rigging and begins
helping as best he can.
Finished loading, the catapult fires at the dragonship, since the other ship
is still out of range. The shot hits the mainmast, snapping it in two and
dropping the sail segments on the unexpecting pirates on deck below.
While bringing the Starflyer about to try to intercept the shrikeship,
Krillan discovers through helmsight yet another ship flying toward the
battle at a faster rate of speed than the others. This one appears to be
shaped like a bent quad-winged insect.
Aysle takes his second shot at the dragonship crew with his bow. This time,
the arrow hits the enemy deck without hitting any crewmen.
Having completed their loading, the dragonship fires on the Starflyer. The
bolt flies wide of the squidship.
The tradesman continues to turn toward the dragonship, while the shrikeship
maintains its course toward it. The catapult from Garen's Gem fires at the
The Starflyer moves away from the unmoving dragonship toward the approaching
shrikeship, which is now two miles away from the squidship and over a mile
away from Garen's Gem.
Below decks in the helm room, Jareth bursts through the door to see
ShadowBane lying bleeding on the floor with Tarith and Sergeant Trandar
trying to stop the bleeding. Calling upon the forces of nature, the robed
half-elf steps up to the avariel's body and reaches a cool-blue glowing hand
out to the wounded wing. The energy transfers from hand to wing on contact
and seals the wound. ShadowBane remains unconscious.
Krillan announces through the speaking tube, "Captain, another ship is
approaching off the port stern from the asteroid belt."
Hearing the announcement, Hart turns in that direction and searches the
stars with his spyglass. After several seconds, he responds through the
tube, "It's the Starbug, one of the Legion's ships! It appears they are
coming to help!"