Blood on the High Seas

The Diary Of Klaas Jan Vlasman entry 8

We lay in wait for the convoy in a cove a couple of days down the coast. It was an ideal hiding place and we were not spotted until we almost upon them. The escort ship, our target, broke off to face us, but quickly found itself foundering as 2 of our cannon that had been mounted onto the front of the ship brought down he mainsail leaving her immobile and unable to turn broadside and wither us with her superior firepower. We continued to fire upon her as we maneuvered around her and boarded from the rear. The action was swift and fierce, but before I was able to even make it to the fight Jezebel had used her powers to make the captain surrender.

We faced some losses, but by and large we were unscathed. Along with the ship we gained a large arsenal of high quality weaponry, a thing that was to come in handy as one of the convoy ships had been taken over by a knight errant who turned her about and charged for us. William offered to challenge them to single combat for all of the ships, but upon my insistence that should he lose we stick to the agreement Lilith was aghast and claimed I was not a gentleman or a noble due to my death. This preposterous accusation brought me into a rage I barely contained and I forgave her this insult this once, but warned that I would not a second time. Seeing that I would not be swayed on this we agreed to meet the enemy’s charge and turned to face her under full sail. Hans tried to shoot the knight from a distance before his plate was fully equipped, and while he got off a few shots did not manage to take him out of the fight. As the ships collided most of us were able to stay on our feet. William leapt into combat, Lilith stood at the front of the ship and Jezebel caught Hans who had taken a last minute shot instead of steadying himself and was very lucky that Jezebel noticed, I shall have to thank her.

This ship was a much better height for our cannon and I was able to scour the deck with grapeshot clear much of the frontline, unfortunately Lilith had already advanced and was caught in it, but the knight was also and both survived, so no lasting harm. After that our marksmen fired into the enemy causing massive casualties among the officers. Lilith wrestled with the knight while William and Jezebel fought the mass of crewmen. I stepped forward into the fray, dispatching a crewman and then issuing a challenge to the last of the officers other than the knight. He was not the finest swordsman I have ever faced, but he was reasonably proficient, despite this I quickly disarmed him and he surrendered. By this point most of the crew were down and the knight had been disarmed and his flaming sword had set fire to the deck above the arsenal. Lilith was looking in a bad way so I issued a challenge to the knight also, tossing him the rapier of the surrendered officer, and to my satisfaction he took it and faced me. Out of his armour he would have been no match for me, but finding weak points in the plate was difficult so with the fire spreading and unable to press my advantage I drew him into the blood slick site of the main conflict and he quickly lost his footing and began to slide off the ship before he caught himself dangling over the edge.

People were beginning to clear the ship as it was about to explode. Before I could knock the knight into the water Lilith did so, then she returned to our ship. I ordered everyone remaining off and then grabbed the rapier and dived after the knight. Not only was our duel unfinished, but his platemail was valuable and his obvious combat skills made him a prime choice for a wight. I was not about to pass up the opportunity. When he saw me he nodded in respect. Our duel did not last long as both his lack of air and the resistance of the water made him an easy target for me and soon I was hauling him back onto the ship by a rope.

We sadly couldn’t save the convoy ship that had exploded, but we had our target and were able to salvage much of the cargo and such from the sunken ship, so not a total loss there. Yet another example of my skeletons allowing much greater wealth to be extracted, but with no increase in shares for myself. I may need to speak to the officers about adding an extra share for the skeletons collectively. We made terms to release the captured crews once we were leaving the area by putting them ashore, to which they agreed.

A day or so later Lilith and I had a chat. It both went better and worse than I had anticipated. We both have a much clearer understanding of the other, unfortunately she is an untrustworthy and dishonorable opportunist, but what else can be fairly expected in the pirate trade. Hopefully my good example will rub off on her, but I doubt it. Either way we have both resolved to respect the others boundaries. Not an ideal situation, but one I can live with. She mentioned to me that I was no longer a citizen of the Empire, but was part of a vampire nation now. I frankly didn’t know this, and don’t much care. I have only been a vampire for a year or so and my sire left with little more than a note on how to use my powers. Until they earn my loyalty they will not have it. I am as ever a loyal servant of the true Empire and am acting in her best interest, even if she may regard me as an abomination and an enemy.

With that aside I am beginning to get a firmer grasp on Naval tactics and how to use the tools at my disposal. seeing how the cannon work in ship to ship combat, for example, was very enlightening. I will have to adapt my preconcieved notion from my time in the army if I am to succeed, but the foundation will do my well as long as I learn and adapt. I certainly look forward to seeing how the navy differs from the army as it were

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