This is a narrative summary of part of the battle in Ep87,
from Percy’s perspective. It borrows heavily from the actual words of the show.
I hope to go back and put the rest of the battle into prose.
I have a great love of people trying to
pull off shit from cheesy romantic stories, and harsh reality fucking it up. I
will always grab the popcorn and watch that train wreck happen. I loved
watching the bright-eyed delight of Percy pulling off the first turn of
adventure novel heroics, and almost pulling off the second turn before the dice
turned it into a hilariously spectacular failure.
These turns are why I believe in making people roll for things and playing out the
consequences. The comedy of the failures is part of what makes a good D&D
story. The plan going perfectly is a boring story. Succeeding all the time is
boring. The D&D stories you tell for years are the ones where someone tries
a crazy plan, a lot of things go comedically wrong, but you pull off victory
I’ve had the great privilege of getting to sail for a couple
hours on a replica tall ship, the Lady
Washington. She played HMS Interceptor in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, but spends
most of her time sailing up and down the US West Coast with the Hawaiian Chieftain, teaching history. I
highly recommend going and seeing them if you can, historicalseaport.org. This scene
got tangled up with a lot of good memories that helped me visualize it.
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Their ship, Drensala Vis, was being boarded after she’d sailed
into the magical fog emanating from the pirate ship. Vex had dropped Percy off
from her broom into the crows’ nest of the enemy ship. With the skill of an old
life, he starts to climbs a few feet down through the ropes. Amid the fog below,
he can barely make out figures in dark green and black leathers.
One of them starts to step across the chain. Percy takes out
Animus, and places a careful shot in the pirate. The man loses his footing, plunging
off the side of the chain, vanishing into the fog with a splash.
“Next!” Percy yells. “I love boats!” He shoots another figure off the chain. The man barely
catches it with his finger, but his grip slips on the wet metal, and he falls
back into the drink. Percy fires at the fish-creature pirate, restrained by the
thorny vines wrapped around it by Vex’s arrow. Its yell marks the hit.
Through the swirling white, he can barely see Keyleth crawl over
the edge of the pirate ship. He hears her cry out in pain as a blurred-grey shape
strikes her, but she gets on deck.
She gleefully calls out, “Guys! Real Pirates!”
Keyleth raises a hazy light above her, blue-turquoise like
the skin of the fish-like creature. The sea rises in a tidal wave around her.
She starts to pour it into the enemy vessel, filling the bottom. It begins to immediately
list to one side.
From their ship, he hears the war cry of Captain Adella and
ringing steal. The ballista twangs followed by a rattling hiss of chains, and the
viscous thud of heavy wood splintering on impact. He sways in the ratlines as
the ship pitches hard towards the port-side from the hit. Terry calls out from
near the impact, “You should have worn boat shoes!” Another body
splashed into the water. He hears the chain on the bolt ratcheted back. The
ship is pulled starboard again amid the sound of boards torn apart.
Tary pulls himself over the railing, the glimmering of his gemmed
armor through the mist at odds with his boat shoes. He looks towards Keyleth,
eyes glowing as she pours water into the ship, and says, “So cool! So
cool!” He calls back to his construct Doty, “Get rid of the grappling
hooks!” He throws something at the fish-creature. At the sound of breaking
glass, Percy smells the sharp bite of acid. Smoke rises from the creature and
it’s viney bonds. He hears a gurgling distressed wail. A glittering orb of
energy surrounds Tary as he hollers, “Sorry! Sorry! I don’t know how these
things work!” Metal creaks under strain on the Drensala Vis. Percy thinks,
“Knees, not back. God! Robot!”
The fish-creature turns to the other ship. He opens his
mouth, and a bust of extremely accelerated water fires through the fog out of
sight with a spiraling glow of greenish energy. Percy hears Vax swear before
another plunge. A different splash follows. Vax swoops onto the pirate ship,
water raining from his black feathers, plunging his dagger twice into the
fish-creature, to great effect.
Percy sees Vex fly in below. The fog glows orange, illuminated
by the blaze of her bowstring and its fiery missile before it sinks into the
fish-creature. A second arrow, lightening crackling off of it, hits the same
mark. She flies back into the fog behind him. Trinket’s growl reverberates
across the water.
With a grinning thought to the heroes of romantic
swashbuckling tales, Percy wraps his hand in the rigging line next to him. Through
the silvery swirl, he marks where the rope passes in front of the beleaguered fish-creature.
He fires as he jumps to swing out on the broken line. But Animus jams, and it psychic
blast sears into his brain. His vision goes white, as his body goes numb, the
pulse of pain blocking out the world. He’s not even sure that he’s holding the
rope anymore. He hears Tary call out muted, “No! New best friend” And
Keyleth faintly respond, “I’m sorry, your
As his vision comes to, it clarifies, and color comes back,
just in time for him to see the surface of the ship rocketing towards his face.
He slams onto the deck, landing prone in front of the fish-creature. Hurt and
irritated, he rolls onto his back, pulling out Retort. He fires two shots in
the general direction of the creature’s cries. He watches one trace through the
fog, tearing through the edge of the mast, dark grey splinters flittering down
through the chalky sky. He hears the creature take the other.