The Goat Captain has added a few more folks to your Night Watch. Now that you're out of the protected waters, he doesn't trust anyone or any ship. He's even ordered all the lights to be turned off. Doesn't even want the shine of a blade to give away their positions.
As the night encroaches and the clouds start to gather, there's a few people you can pass the time with. You've got a Gryphon on the crows nest, a Donkey making the rounds in the Cabin, and a Buffalo and Unicorn making sure the cannons are ready.
How do they work on the cannons in total darkness? Approach them, looking curious.
There's still a few stars in the sky. But it doesn't take much to make sure the cannons are cleaned out.
"Here to lend a hoof?" The Unicorn asks.
"I'll gladly trade this swabbing duty, if you like." The Buffalo teases.
"I'm afraid I'm no good with large weapons. Never thought I would need the skill."
"That's why we keep 'er around." The Unicorn says, laughing as he looks the Buffalo.
"Keep that up and we'll find out how far you travel when shot out of one." She retorts.
"Like to see ya try. Name's Persano," he smirks at you, "this here big lady is Keba."
"Kømm, lorekeeper of the Pferd tribe."
Pound my chest twice.
"Honored to meet you."
"Heh, sounds like someone here has some pride in their history. How'd someone like you wind up on a boat to nowhere?" Persano asks.
"Maybe you should focus on work before you start interrogating people, Persano. Or are you trying to make a log about everyone you meet?" Keba retorts.
"Even nowhere has stories to tell. Be it past, present or future. Would you like any help? In exchange, you could tell me your story."
"When you put it that way, how can I resist both offers?" He levitates some sponges and a bucket to you. "Captain wants these cannons to look like new. I know the real season, but just humor the old goat." Persano takes a breath. "See, it all started way back, when I worked in Equestria on some important stuff. Now I may not look like it, but I'm a right genius, you know."
Keba rolls her eyes as she swabs the inside of the cannon.
"In what sector were you a prodigy, my friend?"
"Curious fella. I like him already. Here's a hint, your already touchin' it!" He beams with pride. "Well not exactly this one, but the same idea. You familiar with the new firearms that're springing up everywhere? You must'a seen one?"
"Oh yes. I spent a long deal studying and documenting them when they first appeared. Fancier, less effective crossbows.
Give it twenty or so more years, I say. As an historian, of course."
"Good, good. See…"
"Sheesh, you feeding him more tall tales of yours?" A Gryphon hovering above you three asks. "He ain't bothering you, is he? Make sure you take anything he says with a heaping helping of salt."
"A good story, no matter how far fetched, is still a good story milady. Keba, was it?"
You hear a grunt coming from the front of the cannon.
"Nope, Stella's the name, starings the game. But I couldn't help overhearing horn head over there feeding you a big story of his." She chuckles.
"Oh buzz off, can't you see we're having a good time here?" Persano yells. "Now see, Come, was it? Is that with a 'K'? Anyways, I was hired to help work on some new models, something that would have brought that 20 year wait to 2 years, or even less. Can you imagine it? What would happen if they could outshoot a crossbow, and even put those Bows to shame?"
"Kømm. With a daft K." answer kinda miffed at the misspelling.
"And- how did you end up here, then?"
"Probably same reason most of them are here too." He looks around. "Politics."
The rest nod in agreement.
"Can't say exactly what happened on my part, since I was just a lowly peon, so to say, but I guess something with the higher ups wrinkling some fur and feathers, and we started to get shut down. Thing is, and I'm saying this as a warning not to get involved in the Nobles and their schemes, some of my co-workers started to disappear. I decided in would be in my best interest to leave."
"You left out the best part, about all those gambling debts of yours." A Donkey with a nice uniform says, as he appears from the lower decks. "But he isn't wrong about the other stuff. Somethings wrong with that old world of ours."
"And now you are sailing towards a new one. All of you. What is it you want from it?
Will you make of it a copy of the old world?"
"Therein lies the problem." The Donkey says. "We all takes bits of it with us. Can't really escape our past. Oh, and where are my manners, the name is Ezel. Officer Ezel, that is." He says, shifting a look at Persano. "Plan is to take some manner of order there. I've got family looking at following in my hoof steps, the old homeland just ain't the same anymore since the new Lord took over, and I want them to have a nice, long life there."
"Well met, officer Ezel. So what does this plan of order entail, by now? The intent
of this expedition is something which might very well be lost to history books, if not recorded early enough."
Take out my scribing tools. I could do this with my eyes closed, the dark won't be a problem. Get ready to write down what she says.
"Make sure you write down that I was with Dixie City Police Corp, then." He adds in a cough for emphasis. "The intent of this ship and its material is easy, mere commerce. As for me, there's a few towns and settlements throughout Caballeria I've heard of. If I can find a decent looking place to settle down and retake the reins of my old career, I'll send word back and have my law-abiding family move in. I'm sure the rest of you have horror stories of riff-raff moving in and bringing the place down to their level, and if you're such a fan of history, perhaps you can regale us with words of warning to that matter."
"Word of warning? That would be useless."
Chuckle slightly, wrapping up the scroll.
"History repeats itself."
"That's what I'm worried about. Right now, because it seems the bad ones are starting back out in Dixie. Heck, its how I ran into this ruffian and why I keep an ear on him." He glares at Persano, who just shrugs. "Plan is to wait them out as far away as possible. Just because bad things are gonna happen doesn't mean I have to be there for it."
"You know nothing of bad times." Keba finally bumps in. "You all have something to rely on if it goes bad. Me, this is it. I either make it or I die. What about you, Earthie? Do you have anything waiting for you back in the old world?"
"No, I never had much. I'm a vagrant, it well fits the role fate has for me.
But at the same time, I don't fear losing anything. I'm free as free can be."
And I never was so broke that I couldn't skip town.
"Well, we have that in common. This world cares little for those who have little, so I seek the riches that protect. These bad times the rest speak of meant death for everything and everyone I loved." She huffs and stops for a moment. "I know this 'New World' might not be the best place to find it, but I figure, if no one has anything yet
, then I can start on equal hoofing, no?"
"Ah. So you seek fame and fortune. Or at least one of those."
"I look forward to write about you, lady Keba."
"Shucks, and here I thought we were going to be way more different." Stella chimes in. "I don't think we're aiming for the same things, but we both want more that what we were given, right? I'm sure all of you kind of want the same thing. A nice house, with an easy job, with nothing to worry about. I know I have to work for it, but I can feel it. When I put my name
on my house.
" She acts it all out with her talons. "That's what you're looking for too, huh? A new home? One where you can't be ordered off of?"
>>673894And thus it came to be that in the first day of the new world, those who went there, ordered by hooves full of gold and devoid of dreams, went with empty stomachs but full hearts.
They were all hungry for air. Air of liberty which might ill suit the old world they came from.
That's gonna make a good end for the first chapter of my book on Caballeria's stories.
"You sound just like ponies." Remark with a smile.
"This common affliction between this crew. It needs a name.
The lust for peace?"
Shake my head.
"The quest for purpose?"
Bite my tongue.
"Ah! Found it.
The Pursuit of Happiness!"
Stella stiffens up, then flies up higher.
"Hey, over there, you see it? Something is flashing!" She flies into the crows nest to retrieve a monocular. "It's a battle! A ship is burning! What do we do?!"
Well look up at the officer! Whatever he says next will
be part of history!
You're not the only one looking at him, and even he's stunned for a moment. He shakes his head.
"Stella, look around in case there's more sharks in the water. You go and inform the Captain. The rest of you, get ready to fight!" Ezel points you in the direction of the Captain's quarters. "Be quick but quiet, we might not have much time to spare."
Nod and trot off.
Without even knocking, try opening the door, announcing with a clear cut neigh that there is battle on the horizon.
The Captain wakes up with his sword sheathe by his side.
"I knew it." Is all that he musters. "Get the others ready that are in the sleeping quarters quietly
. I'm prepared for trouble, but I don't want to tip our stealth." For a sailor, he's got a fair share of armor lying around.
Maybe history will write he sank in it.
Nod and off I go, down in the sleeping quarters.
Instead of shouting them awake, go over bunk by bunk and shake them awake.
A veritable Zoo of soldiers start getting ready for a fight. A few even take some swigs of the rum bottle to calm their nerves. Even the ones who fight with hammers and staffs have them covered in leather and cloth to prevent giving away their position.
A young Diamond Dog clutches his spear in both paws.
"Hey, have you ever done this before?"
Smile at him. "Not in this life."
." He manages to bark out before being hushed by everyone else headed to the deck and the cannons. "Wait, what do you mean by that?" He says as he follows.
"I will tell you if we survive the night. Kømm."
Extend a paw.
"Thanks. Uhm, I'm Haven, by the way." He shakes. "Let's get to the deck. The Captain will know what to do."
Ezel is off talking to the Captain while Stella yells orders to some of the Pegasi above you.
"Alright, it's time for all of us to earn our pay it seems. We've got an eye on a battle up ahead. Don't know whose involved and I'd rather you not ask when we get over there. Yes, that means we're going to look into this. There were a few extra terms on the ships contract, and we all have to live up to them since it might be another of our
ships. Ready your weapons, we're going in."
The ship moves closer to one of the burning vessels. Occasional lights flash in the distance, but none seem to be aimed to your boat as it continues to shoot and move away. The cannons are being loaded now, waiting for the Captain's order as he looks through his scopes at the scene ahead.
"The firing ship is moving away. We will approach the burning vessel and retrieve any survivors and supplies!" The Captain orders the row boats prepared and staffed. Haven and Persano wave at you to come with them.
"If I may, captain. There's something in my bag which might help us."
Rummage around the old collection of paper slips until I find the one I need.
"Oh right, so these were the words!"
Put the slip away.
"I could have our crew walk on water."
"That's good to know. How many can you cast it on?"
"Enough. It should last two minutes, and it takes me but a hoofful of seconds to cast it."
"Then save it until you get close. Use it to get people out of the water if you find them, but don't waste it either. Something like that is good to have if the worst comes about."
The rowboats are lowered. Haven will be rowing for you, he can get you there pretty quickly. But keep your eyes open, you might spot something an explosion has launched over here.
"Good luck, but don't take any risks. You have to live to be paid, remember." The Captain says.
It's a cantrip, doesn't waste spell points.
"I will keep that in mind."
Haven rows as well as he can. He's strong for a young Dog, but he frequently loses his grip on the oars on the way over.
As you approach the burning vessels, there are several things that shine in the darkness.
Roll your Notice skill
Also cast Protection From Elements on Haven and me.
DC 13, my spellcraft roll bonus is 14.Roll #1 19 + 6 = 25
"Can you spare any of that for me too?" Persano asks as Haven loses his concentration while looking at the magic settle in.
Out in the water, you see the reflection of a book with gold trim and a small chest, floating on opposite sides to you, about 30 feet away in either direction.
"Of course. Sorry."
Mindlessly cast it on everyone on the boat.
Poke hurriedly Haven's shoulders, and point him at the book.
"Am I hallucinating or is that a floating tome?"
Read Magic from it. Another cantrip.
It's a log book, of sorts, that you've seen in lower class boats. Opening it up, anyone else would see just the usual notes about bringing in additional supplies.
But not you, you recognize some of the notes left on it, a few scribbles on there help you see it real quick that the ship took some additional passengers.
"Truly a miracle the sea didn't eat this log.
Anyone sees survivors?"
The other ship's entirely gone, right?
It's already heading into the night, it's guns falling silent. Only the moonlight let's you see it leaving.
"Over there, I think I see a few people at least!" Persano points at some floating debris with a few people holding on for dear life. "Haven, row towards them!"
The small chest is no longer able to maintain buoyancy and starts falling under the waves.
Water Walk on myself, and swiftly grab the chest!
It's a contest of magic and physics, as the small chest becomes trickier to retrieve.
Roll your Athletics, it's going to be hard to pull it from the sea's grasp.
AD boost it!
[1d4]Roll #1 15 - 1 = 14
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
[1d4]Roll #1 3 = 3
It's weird to carry, as something inside of it keeps moving around, but you quickly manage to pull it out.
"Oy, you find anyone over there!?" Persano yells.
"We will find in a moment!"
Drag it back to the boat.
"Just what did you drag in this time? Should we open it?" Persano asks.
"Aren't we here to save people?" Haven interjects.
"Yes, let's hurry with those ponies!"
Can I see any of them?
"Persano, Haven, you two go pick those survivors up! I will be here and will keep you two afloat, making sure to cast water walk on all those you rescue!"
There's a few bodies floating on furniture and whatever wood they could hold on to.
"Yeah, I guess…" Persano and Haven take off, walking weirdly on the water before hitting their stride. There's more people closer to the burning ship, but it might make it troublesome to get to them as the debris lies in your way.
Haven returns with two sailors in paw.
Good thing we can just have them get to us!
Distance of the attacking vessel?
About 300 yards and heading away.
Haven rushes back into the mess, while Persano brings in what looks like an Officer.
"Take care of this one, and make sure to tell him I saved him, okay?"
"Let's trade places." And with that I will refresh Water Walk on myself and head out, closer to the wreckage. On hoof.
You can see a talon and beak struggling to break out of the water. Whoever it is, they won't make it if you don't help them.
However, there's some other things glinting in the moonlight.
I can help them from here!
Cast Water Walk on them, swiftly!
Well actually I have to rush up to him. Then grab his talons and as I pull him up whisper the words for Water Walk into the night.
This poor sailor is missing a wing and most of his hind legs. Even if he doesn't drown, you'll need to get him medical attention.
The moonlight glints are fading into the ocean…
I ill care for material goods. Help the sailor to the lifeboat and keep my search and rescue op up.
Haven can't help but feel sick at the sight of so many dead sailors. Except for a Donkey and Jenny Persano found, the rest seem to be corpses in this area.
"Have, you two been through this before?" Haven holds on to his stomach and covers his mouth.
"I'm no stranger to death.
Would be strange, in my line of work."
Carry the last few survivors to the lifeboat.
"Instead, let's take pride in how many we saved."
And look said survivors over…
Only six have been pulled out of the water, the rest you encountered were in worse condition than the Gryphon.
"A real bad omen, isn't she?" Persano says as he looks at the burning wreckage start singing into the depths. "Might have been us instead real easy like."
Any of the survivors awake enough to chat?
"You saw the attackers?"
The Donkey starts coughing and answers you while he's still conscious.
"The sailors said we were going to meet up with another ship of theirs. We decided to go take a break, and then I woke up here…" He gets out, fighting unconsciousness.
Perform a Medicine check on him to stabilize him!
[1d20+10]Roll #1 13 + 10 = 23
You do your best to keep the injured Donkey awake while Haven brings over some strong smelling powder and Persano gives him some of his rum. It works for now, but he isn't speaking clearly anymore. His words are slurred and incoherent, but he does keep his eyes on you.
"Sheesh, hope I don't sound like that when I'm wasted." Persano takes a sip of his own rum to calm his nerves. "Let's get them back. We can't haul too much more."
"Nothing left here but ashes and death. Let's go back."
I'll try opening the chest, finally.
You can try to pick the lock, or bash it with some debris. But the smashy route might damage what's inside…
I'm in no hurry. Picking this lock is well beyond my abilities, and I don't care about breaking what's inside. Let's just get it on the boat.
It's a quieter and calmer ride back to your ship. The rowboat has no trouble, even with the added load. Persano keeps the rambling Donkey occupied, pretending to ask questions and say things to keep him awake. The other rowboats that were brought along are equally filled, only a small number of people saved from the massive ship.
The ropes are thrown overboard and the work for the night is almost ended.
"I know that guy…"
"Hey, aren't those…"
And other such whispers spread amongst the crew.
"You guys and gals alright?" The Captain asks.
Climb back on board.
"Captain. This is all we could rescue."
"I was hoping for more, but I expected even less. Help carry them all to the hospital rooms we have set up. Once they clear the night, we'll start asking questions."
Sure, ask the weak-looking scholar who just went off on a deadly mission and got back to haul these unconscious ponies to sickbay.
Let's do this.
You've got Haven with you. He's a young Dog, but he can handle their weight easily.
The set up hospital rooms still smell of the rum bottles the sailors had left behind, but it's big enough to handle all the people being brought in. There's a Doctor Goat there, ordering the people around.
"Hey, you're used to blood, aren't ya? Help me bandage this guy up." She quickly states, bringing gauze to Unicorn with a bleeding head.
"I will do you one better.
I'm a trained physician."
Cast Glow I, it's too gloom in here.
"Let's get to work."
Medicine checks for everyone?
She'll be needing your help with two patients exactly, and the only reason she asked you is because you're one of the few people who didn't look like they were going to throw up when they entered.
The Unicorn she wants to attend to first will need his missing eye covered up. She'll try to save him first before moving on to the Gryphon.
"Alright doc. I'm following right after. Do we sear the socket shut or do you have magic?"
"I've only got enough training to stop the bleeding. Anything more than that will have to wait until we hit dry land. We're going to clean him up quickly and then tie him down because he is going to scream. You ready?"
Assist him with the check then.
[1d20+10]Roll #1 2 + 10 = 12
AD AD AD
[1d4]Roll #1 3 = 3
He screams a hollow scream as the fluid is poured over his head. Some of it gets into his eye hole.
"Dog, hold him down! You help him!" The Goat yells at the two of you. Use what little strength you have to keep him safe.
[1d20+10]Roll #1 7 + 10 = 17
The patient manages to lift you up a few times in his pain throws, but you kept him from hurting you or anyone else for the moment.
"Get the gauze on him and then we can get him out of here!"
Gently bandage the guy.
"He won't be going anywhere, this looks like shock."
"It is, but I don't have my strong stuff here to give him. We'll have the Dog and whatever others we have hold him down somewhere else
. We'll just have to hope he makes it after this."
She takes a deep breathe.
"This, I don't even know." She looks at the Gryphon you brought. "He's out like a light and I think it'll be out soon too. Get some towels, we're going to be spending a long time with him."
Roll your Medicine skill one more time.
[1d20+10] poor little fucker.Roll #1 13 + 10 = 23
Even if he survives the night, he's lost a lot. But compared to the screams and tears coming from the other rooms, you've got a small mercy here. You and the Doctor take turns cleaning and replacing the towels for most of the night.
It's morning now, but there's little to be happy about.
Most of the injured you've managed to retrieve have calmed down, the medicine and rum dulling their senses enough that they can sleep. The only blessing you have is that the Gryphon seems to still be alive, but he might not count it as one when he wakes up.
Food is being prepared, but the crew is quiet. After the events of last night, everyone is being extra cautious, with eye out for danged and hoof next to their weapons. Even the passengers here have found a few loose weapons to carry around.
The sun is out, and you have the next few moments to yourself.
That was one long night. I should sit down to write my considerations about the assault, and the following rescue attempts.
Perhaps, spare a glance for my fellow surgeon. How is she doing?
She's extremely tired. Every time you take a peek at her, you can see her eyes struggling to stay awake.
"Shush now, just stay asleep, it's gonna be alright." She constantly whispers to the damaged Gryphon.
Is that griff even conscious any more?
The lights are still out for him. You can see his chest rise and fall as he breathes, but you haven't had anything else since you fished him out of the water.
"Poor guy. He was probably like the rest of us, trying to start a new life." The Doctor says. "I'm Murciana. I never introduced myself through the whole night, did I?" She tries to smile, but you can tell it took her a lot of effort.
She must be exhausted.
Smile back, softly and politely.
"Kömm. It's understandable, we were both a bit too busy. You look like you could use some rest yourself now."
"I'd like to, but I'll still be worrying about my patient." She looks back at him. "But there isn't much more anyone here can do for him. We'll swap out his towels, and I'll have someone take over the watch. You're free to go if you want."
Murciana whistles in a pecular manner, and a young Jenny appears. "Ready to hit the hay? You know I keep warning you about staying up too late." She asks in a cheerily manner.
How queer. How can she be so uneffected by last night's battle?
Linger on a moment more, just to see what words they exchange next. Then take my leave.
The Doctor waltzes up to her and puts her head on her chests. The Jenny simply lets her keep it there for a bit before the Doctor rushes off.
"She really wasn't built for this." The Jenny states plainly. "Thanks for helping her out. If you ever need anything, don't be afraid to ask Amiatina for it." She produces a few clean towels and rags, then starts looking over the patients.
Nod. "It was the least I could do. Good luck with the patients."
Okay, back up on deck. What did the captain decide to do after yesterday's attack?
The Captain's actions are easier to see once you get to the Deck. Officer Ezel is running groups through the cannon firing processes. It's dry drills, no powder is being used, but he has them act it out all the same.
Stella is joined by a few other Pegasi and Gryphons to keep an eye out. Some of them look just like passengers…
Walk up to her, smile of confidence on my face.
"Oh, morning." The Captain stops her walk. "How are the people we brought aboard?" She asks with concern.
"Faint. But alive. The sooner they see a real medical facility, the better. What's our heading?"
"Too far off as far as they're concerned, I'm afraid. Even with the wind at our backs thanks to our casters, we're still a big ship." She sighs, but quickly gets her head back up. "We'll do what we can, just try to make them comfortable and look out for yourself."
"So be it. If I may, where is the salvage which was recovered yesterday? I have some interest in reconstructing the history of the sunken ship. That might provide…"
Roll my tongue in my mouth, grasping for the correct word.
"The big stuff that's left is either in the row boats still, or its been moved to the hold with the rest of the stuff we were supposed to carry. If you had us ship other stuff and it got put on that boat, one of the guards will help you down there."
Nod in a thankful way. "Then, I will be off."
To the lifeboats first.
They've been covered up, but a few items still manage to stick out. There's a bevy of household objects the crew was able to fish out of the wreck. Lots of clothing, bags, books, and even a clock that might have belonged to someone well off.
"Don't look anywhere else, just focus on loading the cannon!" Officer Ezel yells at one of the people practicing the cannon.
Investigate this stuff. What is it, who could have worn it, why.
'1d20+6'Roll #1 7 + 6 = 13
Most of the stuff on top and all over is clothing. Lots of overcoats and a fair number of pants you have to dig through to get to the bigger stuff underneath.
But that's where you make your first discovery. A lot of this stuff is thick leather, and a lot of the overcoats have bits of metal guarding where someone's important organs would be. As you pull out other pieces, they all fit the same pattern.
The crew of the other ship was at least equipped for a fight.
Take a note about this, and make a sketch of the uniforms in my little big scroll.
I have a few questions for the gryphon, once he wakes.
Now, on I go, below deck. Let's inspect the rest of the salvage.
As you head down, you see Persano with a saddlebag loaded with items. A guard simply looks at him for a bit before going back to his nap. She takes a quick glimpse at you, but still stays seated.
Ahead, you can see Persano dump the contents into a rather large pile. Boxes and random books and even more clothing are there with him. He doesn't seem to have noticed you as he tries to shove everything into the corner.
Make myself noticed.
"Packing last night's salvage?"
Persano jumps up as you reveal yourself.
"You're a quiet one, you know that?" He takes in a deep breathe. "Yeah, lots of bits and pieces the crew was able to get aboard before we left. With all that we're carrying now, I'm left wondering how we don't sink ourselves." He laughs. "So, what brings you down here?"
"I was curious just about that stuff. Trying to figure who were the victims, last night.
Can you show me what has been recovered?"
Pull out the big book.
"Looks like a fat lot of junk to me. Some weapons are the best thing, otherwise too many knick knacks. Look, someone's empty briefcase." He gives it a kick. "Can you believe they didn't let me just chuck this stuff overboard?"
Roll your Notice.
'1d20+6'Roll #1 8 + 6 = 14
I will also AD it.'1d4'Roll #1 1 = 1
You heard it. A muffled noise and a small bit of metal moving. When you look at it closely, you can see that it's design doesn't add up.
The briefcase has a false bottom.
"I'll probably be stuck bringing in the rest of the junk, since they know I can do the cannons." His ears point down as he starts trotting off.
Say that as I fumble about the false bottom, trying to unlock it.
"Nah, just not what I expected to be doing on this trip." He says as he passes the guard.>>682029
Despite being salveged from the sea, it's not giving up its goods just yet. You can tell now that there is a false bottom, as sea water continues to come out of it.
Your hooves are having a hard time finding the mechanism. Roll Prestidigitation.
'1d20+3'Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10
There's not one but two locks on this false bottom. Whoever brought this on board didn't want anyone else to get to it.
"You okay back there?" The Guard asks.
Can I get this on my own?
"Yes. Found nothing special just yet."
"Just don't make a mess."
You might if you hit it hard enough, but then the guard might get suspicious. One of the locks is already much looser from its experience in the ocean, but the other still seems just as good.
I have my doctor tools. Try using those to cut the lock.
This babe can cut a femur in twenty-eight seconds!Roll what?
Use your Dexterity score. You have to be careful not to damage what might be inside OR alert the Guard.
I'm just trying to saw through the lock here!
'1d20+1''1d4' ADing itRoll #1 16 + 1 = 17
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
And you do so quite well. Only the experienced person who owned this baggage might notice at first glance that you succeeded.
Open it up here? Or try to get it past the guard?
Open it here to glance inside.
Even in its disassembled state, you can see the that this is some type of firearm. Much smaller than the usual crossbow sized one you've seen. The bullets are unusual as well.
This deserves a sketch, and a detailed one at that!
Sit here, transcribing the marvel before my eyes on paper until Persao comes back!
You hear a few snores from the guard, but nothing else that could disturb you. AS you sketch, you start to hear some other hooves coming down the stairs.
Pay them no mind until I can't glance back and see who it is.
The noise belongs to a pair of ponies, both dressed rather properly in comparison to the poorer passengers of the ship. Their eyes and ears are alert, but the Gryphon distracts them by getting up.
Quickly close my book and the secret compartment, busying myself with a different piece of salvage.
"You can look around, but it's going to be up to the captain and his books to see if you can take it. His orders, not mine."
The two well dressed ponies don't say much, but you can tell they're looking for something as their ears move around like radar.
Just observe. And while I do, sketch down their attires and likeness on my book.
The younger one keeps going through the pile, acting like he's looking for something at random.
The older one, from experience, you can tell he's observing what the other guy moves, and you. Looks like they're being carefull too while they're being watched.
"Been a long road, wouldn't you say?"
Comment off handedly.
"Left something in the luggage?"
"Sort of. We were shipping some family things over, lots of sentimental value, not much else."
"I see. Well then you might want to look over there-"
Point with my quill to the back of the room.
"That's where the actual cargo is. This is all… More recent
The older pony nods over to his associate and they head back there.
"Thanks." he says as they start digging through the junk. His ear is still aimed towards you, or at least as much as possible.
Lazily finish my sketches of them as I sit here, keeping an eye out.
I'm not leaving until they leave.
It's a contest you'll lose, since they don't have to go anywhere else. They're just passengers, but you are crew.
Whisper. And I mean the cantrip. The guard.
-Bring the captain here-
The Guard looks back into the room, then sighs as he gets up and leaves. The other two ponies continue their 'search'.
The Gryphon comes back not with the Captain, but Officer Ezel.
"So, what's the matter?" He asks.
"Ah yes. I think this is the chest we were looking for! We should bring it up and show it to the captain."
Wave with the quill at the chest with the fake bottom, without leaving my sitting position. Gauge for reaction in our guests.
The two passengers' ears shoot up, only come back down and breathe deeply out of relief. They go back to digging around.
"Really? I wasn't told about any search? What's in it?"
"As I said. Things the captain asked."
Whisper to Ezel.
-Things these ponies want. Things salvaged last night-
"Well, it's not like I can be involved in everything." He nods and stamps his hoof two times. Looks like the Gryphon got the message.