Classic Fantasy Night of the Black Ships
Night of the Black Ships

At a portside city, Valeros seeks to begin his adventure the only way he knows how – he goes to a local tavern. Busier than normal on Saints Day, he makes friends with two dwarves who are giving a comely half-elven serving girl unappreciated compliments.

They take a liking to him and his ability to match them drink for drink and hold his own. They reveal: “On the night of the new moon for the past three months, two ships with black sails have put into the city port, arriving and leaving in the dark of night. None of the watchmen at the port have seen them discharge or take on any cargo or passengers. Tomorrow night is another new moon.”


Valeros and the two dwarves arrive late the next night, having spent the earlier hours of the evening in deep drink. The harbor is quiet, save for the soft lapping of waves against boat hulls and shore lines. The night's watch appear particularly quiet. For some reason, Valeros imagines that they are not usually so reserved... He looks around for any ships with black sails. Does he see any?


They have arrived too late to watch the twin vessels sail in, so he is not sure from which direction they have come from. He glances at the dwarves and they both smile at him. Adventure junkies, Valeros thinks. Just like me. He watches for movement on the first ship for a time. Does he see any movement onboard?


"I don't see anything," he tells his companions. "Want to get a closer look," he asks smiling?


Their answer surprises him. "Come on, you're the ones who wanted to come out here."

NPC negative.


"You stay here and keep an eye out," Enoder, the older one replies. "Whistle if any of the night's watch spot us," Kobus, the younger and burlier one adds. Valeros begins to protest, but they are already moving away toward the waters edge on the south side of the docks. All he can do is wait and watch. Is he able to keep them in sight?

No, and...

A gruff voice from behind Valeros startles him. "What are you doing there?" Instinctively, Valeros's hand falls to his sword handle as he spins around. A guard stands not 20 feet away, equally close to drawing his weapon. Valeros' first instinct is the run, but for some reason he spits out the truth. "I came to see the black ships." The guard relaxes and stands next to him to look out into the bay. "The strangest thing, it is," the young man tells him. "I don' know why the captains hasn't asked more questions, or demanded an explanation from the crew."

"So its true they never come in or go out from the ship," Valeros asks, stalling while he looks out into the darkness for the two dwarves who abandoned him. Does he see them?


"I've never seen so much as a single sole aboard either. "Wes says its a ghost ship, but that's drag drop." He sighs and gives Valeros a once over before deciding he's harmless. "Don't go spreading no gossip now. We'll have to start charging admission next month if we get many more nosey folks out here." The guard wanders off toward the docks, keeping his eyes on the two ships.

When he is far enough away, Valeros sneaks toward where he last spoked Enoder and Kobus. They are still no where to be seen, so Valeros decides to make his own investigation. He looks along the docks for some small vessel he can commandeer. Does he find anything?


Then he will have to swim. He finds a hiding spot behind a large pile of shipping crates and begins to wiggle out of his armor and under-cloak. Before long he is down to his undergarments. A slight clill on the midnight air becomes much more noticable. He moves over to the docks edge with some stealth and lowers himself into the even colder water.

He slowly wades out into the harbor, toward the closest of the two black ships. From his new vantage point in its shadow, the vessel appears larger and more monstrous than it had from shore and its the first time he reconsiders his foolish adventure. Soon he is upon it, however, his curiosity far stronger than any chill or reservation he might have felt. Is there any place to climb up to get onto the ship?


He swims around it for a time, but there is nothing to grab a hold of. On his one attempt to get close, barnacles on the hull scrape his foot raw, perhaps even cutting him. He moves over to the second ship to try his luck there. Anything to grab hold of?


A net hangs down into the water from the rear port side of the ship. Climbing swiftly up the net to eye level with the railing, he looks and listens for any signs of life. Anything?


He hears voices somewhere on the ship. Not seeing anyone, he heaves himself over the railing and onto the deck. He moves as quietly as he can (not difficult being clothed only in a soaking wet undergarment) toward the source of the voices. They are coming from inside the main cabin - probably from what would be the captains quarters. Can he make out what the voices are saying?

No, and...

Suddenly they stop. For a moment, all Valeros can hear is the sound of his own heart thumping in his chest. Then he hears something else... a pounding of wood against the hull. Valeros backs away from the door and back toward where he climbed aboard, fearing that he had been heard. Looking down the side of the ship, he freezes when he sees Enoder and Kobus climbing up the netting from a small boat. They freeze two, and looks of panic quickly turn to looks of anger when they recognize him. And then from anger to amusement as they continue to climb up.

Valeros urgently tries to wave them back down, but they ignore him and keep on climbing until they are throwing their own disproportioned weight over the side of the ship and onto the deck with massive thumps. Both are still clad for all out battle. Valeros points to his mouth and toward the main cabin. The dwarves, probably thinking he means beer, head straight toward the place pointed to, using what might (to a dwarf) to appear to be stealth.

To Valeros' horror, the dwarves listen for a moment and then barge in. Not sure why, Valeros follows them in. "No one's home," Kobus says. "I heard voices though," Valeros says. Soon the ship departs, as if sailing itself. Valeros and the two dwarves have no choice but to see where the ship will take them.
Intriguing story - I'd like to see where this goes!

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)