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[Act 2] [Scene 11] [Full Circle]
Posted: 19 Jul 2017, 04:51
The sun has not risen for the day, yet there is much commotion in the Acerbi household. A disparate band of men exit the Acerbi estate, all geared up for war. Marco and Giacomo lead, followed by Cirillo, Giorgio, Ferran, and Giovani's henchmen: Gasparo and Gregor. Each bring a plate helm and breastplate, as well as their personal arms and two crossbows.
They head down to the docks and board the Nasr Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn (Eagle of Saladin), the small Ottoman galley the Acerbi family recently acquired. Ferran naturally takes the helm, and directs the men so they can sail in haste. Marco and Giacomo stand on deck, anxious to get this done.
As they approach the island shortly after dawn, they spot another galley not unlike their own. They fly no flag and are circling Campalto Island at a distance.
"Giacomo, it seems they brought their friends... What do we do?" asks Marco.
"This was your plan Marco..."
"Do you think the Soranzos are on board?"
"I don't know, but they must have known we were coming. They might be already on the island for all I know."
Ferran grabs his spyglass and inspects the unknown vessel.
"Hostia puta!" exclaims the sailor in his native Catalan. Everyone understands that he is angry and surprised.
"What do you see?" asks Marco.
"It's that bastard Gatti and his men." He gives the spyglass to Marco who examines the ship. "That man in the middle giving orders. That's the notorious Gatti. I told you Lucio would send us into a trap."
"It doesn't matter Ferran. We will settle this today. One way or another."
The Ottomans, who have already spotted the Nasr, maneuver their ship closer to shore and drop anchor where it is deep enough to not be caught in the swell of the waves.
Now looking to the shore near where the ship is pulling in, Ferran sees Blasio, Enrico and 2 ottomans on the beach near the treeline. Blasio has a metal brace holding his leg and has a crutch under one of his arms. Both the Soranzos have their rapiers, and the 2 ottomans have crossbows and sabers.
"Here goes your quarry senor Marco. They are taking to shore." Ferran says.
"Then we have to give chase to them. That is, after we deal with their friends."
Re: [Act 2] [Scene 11] [Full Circle]
Posted: 20 Jul 2017, 04:47
Ferran grimly nods and takes the wheel again. He maneuvers the ship and cuts a deceivingly angled course that will lead them right next to the slavers ship. Meanwhile Marco has taken to the side, a loaded crossbow in his hands, Cirillo and Giorgio by his side with two crossbows each. The young noble takes careful aim as he tries to steady himself.
"Go for Gatti Marco. They'll shit their pants if they lose their leader" shouts Ferran.
Meanwhile Gatti is on deck, furiously barking orders in every direction. People are running around, getting weapons ready, rotating their ship to face the Nasr.
Marco inhales slowly and shoots. The bolt flies through the air, the whole hundred yards, and hits Gatti squarely in the thigh. The slaver captain falls down howling in pain as his men scramble to his aid.
Ferran screams in Arabic "Gatti is down you dogs. We only want the Italians. Flee and live."
The slavers reply with a volley of crossbow bolts. Thankfully their surprise - combined with the distance between the two vessels - makes this reply ineffective.
Ferran keeps the course true. At the same time Cirillo hands over a crossbow to Marco who takes aim again, while Giorgio starts reloading the now discarded crossbow just fired by Marco. The young Acerbi raises the crossbow and shoots at another slaver readying a shot. The bolt goes through the ruffian’s hand who drops the weapon overboard and ducks behind cover.
The process repeats. Marco discards the bow he just used, Cirillo hands over a loaded bow, and Giorgio starts loading the fired crossbow. Gregor and Gasparo are by the railing hunching low to avoid any stray missiles from the Ottomans. All while Ferran keeps his steering true. Closing the distance by the heartbeat.
A pirate draws a bead on Ferran and lets fly, the bolt trailing inches from the Catalan’s face. Marco responds in kind, grazing his target’s forearm, who takes cover and keeps his weapon. Another Ottoman, taking advantage of Marco's position, shoots and hits his forearm, scratching the flesh deep and drawing blood. Marco grimaces and shoots, his bolt hitting the Arab in the knee, which jacks up by the blow, and the man falls down, then crawls behind cover.
The ships are getting dangerously close. Suddenly Ferran suffers a painful nerve spasm from his neck and violently jerks the wheel of the ship to the side. The two ships come together and collide, the Nasr grinding against Gatti’s galley.
Then all Hell breaks loose, as men on both ships struggle to maintain their footing, lines and ropes whirling violently. A pirate takes the leap to the Nasr, swinging a sabre at Gregor’s arm. The ex-mercenary raises his flamberge with both hands, blades colliding in a shower of sparks, steps in, and with a subtle twist of his wrists cuts off half of his assailant’s head in a fountain of blood.
Through the commotion Gasparo tries to board the pirate ship. He leaps on the railing rapier in hand, mentally measures the distance, then he’s thrown back on deck by the violent shaking of the ships. Gregor and Giacomo are right behind him.
The pirates have recovered from the impact and two are already by the railing, ready to greet any “visitors” with sabres in hand. Giacomo stops dead in his tracks, while Gregor slows down, grasps the flamberge with one hand, and with his other free hand throws his basler at one of the pirates. The surprised Ottoman brings up his blade to parry the missile, only to have the dagger sink into his arm. The pirate cries in pain as he starts bleeding badly.
His comrade lower their arms and shouts “Let us go and you won’t have any more fight from us!”
Ferran always quick to respond, shouts back “You should have listened to me earlier fool. None of this would have happened. It’s not you we’re after, but those Italians. Now flee!”
“Where the fuck to? We’re on our own ship!” they reply.
“My, now you aren’t the smartest of the bunch, are you? Just take your filthy rowboat and leave fuckard!”
A few of them exchange glances and back away slowly to the rear of the ship. Some ready the rowboat, while the rest help their wounded hobble along.
Ferran climbs the rigging to the top and starts searching for the Soranzos with his spyglass. The four men have taken to sea again, the Ottomans furiously rowing the boat. “Here goes our prey.” Shouts out Ferran.
Marco asks. “What’s up with them?”
“They’re circling around the island away from us.”
“We should give chase.”
“Aye. Let’s hope the ships are not tangled.”
The Catalan scrambles back down, goes into the hold of the ship, and quickly starts inspecting for damage. “We’re in luck! There’s no serious damage and our ship is free to go.” He runs back to the wheel and starts maneuvering the Nasr away.
Giorgio speaks to Gregor. “Gimme a hand here German. We need to clean your mess.” Gregor stoically helps him, as they lift the dead pirate that Gregor cut down and throw him back on the pirate vessel. “Bury your dead!” shouts Giorgio. The pirates watch dumbstruck as the Westerners, after forcing their surrender, start to leave.
Outrunning a war galley by boat not being an option, the Soranzos take it back to shore and hurriedly move inland. A few minutes later Ferran has maneuvered the Nasr just outside the wave line and shouts to drop anchor.
Then our heroes lower the rowboat, and carefully five men board it: Marco, Giacomo, Cirillo, Gasparo, and Gregor. Cirillo and Gregor take the oars, Gasparo the rudder, while Marco stands on the prow, as the boat starts closing the distance to the sandy beach.
Re: [Act 2] [Scene 11] [Full Circle]
Posted: 20 Jul 2017, 08:27
Your boat lands on Campalto Island. It is a small uninhabited island to the North of Venice city that has small sandy beaches, knee high grass and a few trees. In the middle of the island are old ruined bunkers which were historically used as defensive fortifications but are now long neglected. Weapons in hand, armor glinting in the morning sun, the group follows the footprints left in the sand by the Soranzos and their allies. A few paces away the trail gets obscured by the wild foliage.
When making your way up the trail, suddenly Gasparo stops to motion everyone to keep quiet, and points towards a small thicket. An Ottoman laying in ambush, crossbow ready, is waiting for them. Marco silently raises his bow, aims carefully, and shoots. The bolt gashes the pirate’s bicep, who responds in kind. The missile hits Marco’s belly, only to be deflected by the plate breastplate worn by the noble. A burst of motion and a second Ottoman comes out from behind a tree and makes a run deeper into the trees.
Gasparo and Gregor take to cover, moving closer to the ambushing pirates. With their ambush foiled, they flee. The wounded crossbowman stands and sprints away in the opposite direction of his comrade. As a parting gift, Marco sends a sling bullet flying after the unwounded Ottoman, hitting him in the back of his thigh. Not fearing another ambush, the group allows the two wounded men to flee.
As you continue up the trail the grass is untended, wild and unkempt. A few trees litter the clearing, a home to some birds making their first song of the day. Further inland is a dark silhouette of a ruined building and Marco gets a feeling he knows just where to find Blasio. As you circle the ruins where Marco dueled Blasio the first time, sure enough, you find Blasio standing next to the crumbling brickwork. He's taken off his shirt and has a rapier in each hand. He has put down his crutch and only tentatively puts weight on the leg that is held in a brace. Standing some distance away is Enrico with no weapon on his belt, apparently having lent it to his brother.
Blasio calls out "Marco! Let's lay this to rest once and for all. Finish this how it started!"
Marco responds "now I know I should've finished this... then"
"Then put down your armor and take up your sword."
Marco slowly unbuckles his breastplate and asks "why did you do it? Why did you want my father dead?"
"That was never the intention." He pauses "But we played a dangerous game. And your father was unlucky."
Enraged Marco yells "it is all your fault... YOU have killed my father!"
Marco throws off his breastplate, draws his rapier and signals to his companions to stay behind before he closes to Blasio. Blasio grins and drops into a low stance, holding one rapier high and the other low. Marco opens with a thrust to Blasio's belly with a quick and measured attack. Blasio replies by forcefully knocking the blade aside with his own and following up with a thrust to Marco's arm before he can regain his balance. Marco dodges out of the way but remains on the back foot. Blasio presses his attack with a thrust to Marco's chest. Marco tries to ward off the blow with his rapier while reaching out to grab Blasio with his free hand. Blasio feints but Marco reads the attack and barely manages to defend himself. As the two clash Marco reaches forward and grabs Blasio's wounded leg, pulling it out from under him.
Blasio scrambles to get to his feet but Marco stands above him, with his rapier ready to strike the final blow.
[END ACT 2]