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File: 1430594268221.jpg (71.06 KB, 997x610, battle.jpg)


Tall Tale, Equestria

The room you’re in is rather messy. Scrolls, maps and random bits of paper lay scattered around in a disorderly fashion while the desk in the middle of the room remains clear of all but the bare necessities to write. The sunrays casting themselves into the room through the windows reveal the air to be filled with particles of dust, a clear sign of a poor cleaning record.

You were led into this office a few minutes ago, having come here after having received a job offer of dubious nature.

Most notably, preference was given to orphans.

Whether or not this criteria applies to you matters not, as you were among those who were accepted. Now all that remains is to hear exactly what this job entails and sign a contract of agreement. You’re not alone here, of course. There are two others who have joined you here.


Look at my fellow adventurers and seize them up


How many of us 'made it' into the job?
Ignore his gazes.


I stare back at you without showing much emotion.


Well this is fun.


There's only three of you here right now, but apparently there was recruiting happening further north in Vanhoover as well.

The door swings open and in comes a stallion carrying a clipboard under his wing. He looks fairly happy to be here.
“Good day everypony. Good to see you all managed to make it here on time! Refreshing to see after the last round of recruits had more than half of them showing up in either the wrong city or on the wrong day. Or both even!”


"Does that mean just one pony made it?"
Snicker, seeing the presence in this room.


Perk my ears at this.


Turn to stare at him instead.


"One zebra and a crippled pegasus, it seems like."


"It is a sad state of affairs to see that most of the adventurous types these days seem to be lacking in simple reading comprehension."

He walks around to the desk and puts the clipboard down.
“But let’s not beat around the bush here. I’m sure you’re all very interested to know what exactly you’ll be signing up for. In essence, you’ll be playing a little game of pirate. Or… privateer if you think that sounds a little less sinister.”

He chuckles.
“Of course, I would never condone piracy nor would I ever encourage or even aid pirates. You understand? Consider me an ignorant middle person. A messenger or a courier maybe. A non-pirate, as it were.”


"Can we get to the point already."


"Don't worry bud, I'm gonna show you how bad these wings can hurt."
"You sure like to say that word a lot."


"Try to keep your resentment contained until after the mission."


"Okay. Where is the contract?"


"Try talking less shit."


"Don't start shit, you won't get shit."


"I was talking about the other time this guy mentioned, you retard."


"Eager to get going I see, that makes three of us. Or maybe four? I can't tell, doesn't matter."

He gets up and walks over to a chalk board hanging up on the wall.
“Alright, now that that has been cleared up entirely, allow me to deliver my message. My client is interested in acquiring a certain set of items which are currently not in the hooves of somepony willing to part with them easily. Namely, they are in the possession of a Prench noble who goes by the name of ‘Moncheval’. As such the conundrum of how to buy something which is not legally for sale plays a large role here. That is, the owner would not even be allowed to sell these items to my client even if he so desired, which he does not. Out of the goodness of my client’s heart, she has decided to aid monsieur Moncheval by removing this heavy burden from his possession.”

"Please, no tension. You'll be working together very closely for the coming days."


"…..so why does he need us?"


"Yadda yadda yadda.
Where is the thing, which resources are you giving us, and how much time."


"You speak a lot but you don't say much."


"You're not making any sense mate. He doesn't need us, my client needs you. She needs you to transfer some of his possessions to her."

"You're absolutely right, my dear."

“With the effort of some good friends, my client has determined that these items are in actual fact on the move as we speak. They are being transported by ship from Teat in Prance, to Dixie city in the new world, where monsieur Moncheval has built a new estate for himself. This is quite a journey as you can imagine, currently they’re still passing by the Equestrian shore. But once they go into the open seas… who knows what could happen? The world of today can be quite dangerous, can’t it?”

He makes a rough sketch of Equestria on the blackboard.
"The ship carrying the items is now about… three days of travel away from here provided you have a fast ship. And as it so happens, you will be provided with a fast ship."


"Oooooooooh! I get it."

"I can't swim."


"How much do you know about the ship we will be chasing?"


"When will we leave on the ship?"


"You will leave Tall Tale in just a few hours time on an interceptor course to your target. Lucky for you she's quite slow, being a fluyt ship loaded with a lot of other heavy cargo as well."

"You won't have to. … Hopefully!"
He laughs at his own joke.

He walks back over to the desk and presents you a piece of parchment.
"Her name is 'Le Papillon'. Port of registry is Teat and aside from some deck guns, she has nothing that's much of a threat to you. But there's more."
He puts another piece of parchment on top of the first one.
"She has an escort ship, which is where the problem lies. 'La Libre', a Prench-built Corvette with some 24 deck guns aboard. She's fast, maneuverable and has a shallow keel. She'll be… faster than you no matter how much the winds favor you."


"Can I have some fun with that mare?"


"Why not get a better ship to eliminate the problem? It's survival of the fittest."


"Those are all very interesting questions, but we've thought of things."

He walks over to a chest sitting on the ground next to his desk and opens it, pulling out a piece of chain-shot ammunition.
"The plan goes as follows: First you will seek out your target and begin pursuit. The reaction this will trigger is quite predictable, La Papillon will continue its course and chug along at a leisurely speed while La Libre will turn to engage you at full speed. You will load every cannon on your ship with these chain-shots and engage the corvette as soon as she's in range. What's important is that you aim for hers sails, rigging and masts. You must cripple her if you are to have any chance at succeeding. Once she is crippled, you will begin your pursuit of Le Papillon. La Libre will be powerless to chase you down as you speed towards your target. Once you reach her, you will engage her, board her, find the items we require and leave the scene as quickly as you can."


"That's good plan."


"It's a bit like a drive by but on water."


"I see. That sounds like a cunning trick plan."


"Why not use mortars to set ablaze in greek fire La Libre before they can even reach us?"


"Er… exactly."

"I'm pleased to see you find the plan agreeable. As for your payment, the previously agreed amount of 5000 bits is still agreeable to you? You're free to pick up whatever you find along the way as well, as long as the cargo is secured."

He chuckles awkwardly.
"Greek Fire is expensive, you see… It also holds some risk, as its range does not extend as far as a chain-shot would. Though if you do feel like trying it out, feel free to."


"I've done plenty of those."


"I agree to your terms. Where is the contract?"


"A mortar, my friend. Ever heard of it? Furthest weapon of the sea.
Quite expensive, though."


"Good! Here are your contracts."
He presents each of you a parchment and a quill.
"Please sign at the bottom there."

"Greek Fire is an unstable substance, firing it with a mortar is somewhat… risky. Doable, but risky. We would like to have our ship back in at least a somewhat manageable condition if possible."


Put a big X


I glance at the parchment and sign it with my name.


"Oh well. Chain shots will do."
Sign it. With my natural name.


He collects the three parchments and stows them away.
"Now, your means of transportation will arrive in about two hours from now. She's a feisty little thing, a schooner geared with some 14 guns and a shallow draft. I can't think of a better type of ship to do this kind of work with. Well, within the acceptable price range at least…"
He walks away from the desk, stopping at the door for a moment to address you.
"We're expecting much from you. Do your job well and I'm sure we'll do business again sometime. Once you are ready to leave, wait outside the building for pick-up."


"What of the crew?"


"They'll be on board already, coming in from Vanhoover further up north. There's fifteen of them."


"Thank you, I will be ready for it."


"Will you be ready?"


"I was born ready."


"And the captain?"


first link was meant for Groves


"You three are in command of the mission. Your profiles suggest you're the most experienced of the crew. And the deadliest."

"Then make sure you are on time. Front of this building in two hours, remember that."


"I will enjoy this."
Give a little smirk and be ready.


"Aw shit, time to get sum herb first."

Go get some herb off-screen and I'm ready


You dutifully come back to the building on time. As it's located right in front of the docks, it's quite easy to see which ship you'll be taking. Its name doesn't seem very fitting, 'Leviathan' is not the word you'd associate with this type of ship. The Leviathan appears to be in fairly good condition and even looks quite innocent like this. You don't recognize the flag it has hoisted, a large purple dot surrounding a black tower with a white background behind the dot.

The crew get straight to work on loading up the extra supplies that were readied for them.


"Aw shit, dis boat be pimpin."


K-check to see if I do recognise that flag.
"Let's get settled in. We have little time to catch up."

Roll #1 17 + 7 = 24


The Leviathan already has a crew of fifteen souls onboard in addition to you three. That's enough to sail the vessel at maximum performance. They were all briefed like you were and know what the stakes are.

You wager it's some sort of a noble House's heraldry. You don't recall seeing this one before though. Must be some kind of a low-ranking, obscure House.


"Get on way with the undocking procedures, I want her loose in a matter of minutes. We have a long way to sail!"
Start taking a tour of the deck.


Time to get on deck and see what's going on


Embark on the boat, is it ready for the high seas?


"You heard the lady! Hooves aloft and bear away!" one of the crew shouts after you, prompting them to immediately spring in action.

The boards are clean and the rigging done tidy. The ship appears to be well-maintained right now. Since it has no gundeck, all the cannons are position on the main deck. You count 10 deck cannons and 4 swivel guns.

The crew is untying the ropes from the dock and hoisting some of the sails while one of them takes the helm.


How many sailors do we have here?
Turn to the pony who shouted after me.
"You must be the nostrome."


I'm going to the guy at the helm.
"How long will we be away?"


Eh I doubt there's any white mares around here.
I'll sit on the ground and wait for something to happen


Judging by the tools she has strapped to her belts, she must be a carpenter.
"'Scuze me? Nostrome?"

He's an older pony somewhere in his fifties.
"A week's worth of time on the seas, missy. Hope yer not too attached to land."

There are mares among the crew, but no white ones. This scene will end soon, prompting a timeskip.


I don't want colored mares


Slap my head.
"First mate.
The leading pony."


"I can miss land for a week. Thank you."


In any case, since this is a small ship you'll be sleeping with the rest of the crew in the crew quarters.

"No ma'am, I'm the ship's carpenter and engineer. There's no mates assigned here, organization was a bit sloppy with that. The three of you are in charge now, so I guess they don't care which rank you slap on yourself. We were just told to follow your directions. The helmspony already got his bearings though, he knows where to go."

"Aye, anytime lass."


"We'll make due with this for a week.
What's your name?"


I'm going to go find some place where I can sit down for some silent prayer.


"You can call me Silver Spanner. What about you and your partners?"

Prayer to Mother nature? You'll be somewhat detached from her as you enter the seas.


"Felfire Copperwings, Ambrosia-"
Point at the others one by one as I say their names, doing the whole round.
"We should make sure the rest of the crew learns those names as well."


It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for a short time.


"Nice to meet ye, for the short amount of time we'll be spending together."
She looks on as you point at the others.
"Heh, Ambrosia. Same name as my dear mother. I've got a good feeling about you three. Go ahead and settle in, your job comes into play later."

Once you're ready we'll be timeskipping ahead.


Plenty ready.


New scene.

The Leviathan sails for three days and three nights with a southern heading, on an intercepting course with your targets. Then, at the end of the third day, sails are spotted on the horizon.
"Sails ahoy! Two sets!"


This is what we're here for. Go to the railing and stare down the ships in the distance.


"Okay, no time for games. I want two ponies at each cannon, but only on one side. Be ready to switch as we maneuver!
How's the wind? Can you tell which side the enemy will engage from?"


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