Fleet Master Dijon cursed again and he spat a mouth of blood across the gunwale and wiped his mouth. Leaning against the gunwale he took into the situation of his surroundings and found most of the goblin pirates were dead or dying.
Some of the crew were tossing the bodies of the foul smelling goblins overboard while others laid down on the deck weeping in agony as their lifeblood slowly seeped away. The ship's surgeon and his assistants busied themselves over the wounded and dying, casting healing spells or applying salves.
"What's our situation?" Dijon asked his First Mate as the bloodied man panted his way over.
The First Mate with a torn scalp and his body full of sticky drying blood reported in pants, "Master, we managed to fight off the goblin boarders. We are still tallying the loses but we have many wounded."
"See to the men," Dijon nodded and dismissed him away. He turned towards the stern and glanced out to the sea, seeing his fleet getting tangled up with the goblin pirates. "Where did they learn to be so cunning?"
His fleet had formed up hours before and were charging forward with full speed directly into the waiting goblin ships. His flanks were hounded by more goblin pirates, exchanging ballista fire with his ships on the sides.
As they could not maneuver out of the encirclement, Dijon decided to use their larger and heavier hulls to plow past the more fragile and smaller goblin galleys. But he did not expect the goblins to have a trap set up for that.
As his fleet slammed into the goblin ships, a couple of the goblin galleys were smashed aside, the weaker hulls splintering and tipping dangerously over, spilling goblins and stuff into the dark sea. Suddenly, Dijon's ship the Fury shuddered wildly and came to a sudden stop. The sudden stop sent the cheering crew flying across the decks or into wood bulkheads and some even went flying off the ship and into the dark waters.
Dijon found himself sailing through the air as he was flung off the poop deck and over the stairs down to the top deck. Luckily he managed to land on a pile of ropes which barely broke his fall, suffering a dislocated shoulder as he landed awkwardly on his shoulder.
Roaring in pain, he climbed to his feet and stared around in surprise. While his crew recovered, he peered over the edge of the ship and found a glowing magic formation underneath the waters which had trapped his ship.
He quickly checked his surroundings, seeing every warship in his fleet caught in a similar trap while the merchant ships desperately attempted to maneuver away from crashing into the rear of the trapped ships.
Shriek screams and drums were heard as the goblin galleys making good use of the disorientated sailors to close the distance to boarding range. "Make ready to repel boarders!" Dijon roared. He grabbed a nearby crewman with his good hand and ordered him to help reset his dislocated shoulder.
A loud crack and harsh growl, Dijon gingerly rotated his arm and shoulder while he drowned a healing salve, feeling the numbing pain slowly fading away. "At arms! Come on! On your feet sailor!"
Giggling goblins soon flooded the sides of the Fury as two of the galleys crashed against its hull. Grappling hooks and chains lashed against the side of the ship and the crew desperately hacked and sawed away at the grapples.
The goblins dug into a small pouch made out of beast leather or elven skin and inhaled the handful of ash grey powder covered with specks of evil green glitters. Some throw the powders into their mouths and they chewed the dry powder while inhaling the power inducing drug.
The drug once inhaled into the goblins' system, almost immediately they felt no fear and pain. The colors and sounds of their surroundings became clearer and more vibrant. The pulsing blood veins of the long legs looked oh so delicious and tempting. Even the screams and cries of the long legs sounded so funny and pitiful!
"WAAAAKAKAKAKAKAKAAKAKAAA!!" The goblins giggled and crackled madly as they stormed up the grapples, so in their mad rush up fell off and despite that, they laughed more and ignoring their injuries, they attempted the climb again up the vertical hull of the long legs ship. "Nyahahhahahahaa~"
Dijon slashed at the dozens and dozens of dirty green fingers crutching on the railings, chopping them off like sausages on a chopping board. "Sunleo!" He roared at his ship mage. "Break the magic formation!"
"Yes, Master!" The mage cried back and he waved his staff in a series of complication gestures as he weaved a high level dispel spell.
"Cover the mage!" Dijon ordered his crew as more and more goblins swarmed up to the decks. "Protect him! He is our only chance of breaking out of the spell!"
"Awwwww~" A goblin gave a mocking cry as it cut down one of Dijon's crew in front of him and Dijon's saber separated its sword arm away, sending the goblin toppling back in giggles. "tis but a scratch!"
The goblin leaped forward with its good arm out wanting to claw at Dijon who side stepped away and hacked down, chopping the remaining arm off the laughing goblin, "Hahahaha, just a flesh wound!" The goblin giggled madly. "me bite your legs off!"
Dijon backslashed the loony goblin's head off and ending its tirade and moved in to help provide support to the besieged crew protecting the mage.
"Greater Dispel!" The mage cast the disenchantment magic and the magical shackles holding onto the Fury vanished and the ship slowly picked up speed as while dragging the goblin galleys along.
"Push the goblins back!" Dijon roared, "Destroy the grapples! Their ships are dragging us down!"
The crew with renewed vigor slammed with a vengeance into the goblins who thought it was pretty funny. The melee turned the decks slick with blood and gore, the goblins died laughing while the sailors died screaming and crying.
The last of the lines tying the Fury to the last goblin galley parted away under repeated assaults by the crew had the Fury gaining more speed as the strong wind filled its undamaged sails. Dijon took a scoop of cool water being handed out in buckets to the crews by the cabin boys and felt refreshed,
He glanced out to his fleet and wrenched in pain as he saw one of his ships catching fire. Thick black smoke billowed out from the holds and hungry flames licked the sails. Before long the burning mast unable to hold its weight anymore folded inwards and the ship drifting as a burning hulk.
"Damn the goblins to the thirteen hells!" Dijon roared, "Gods of the seas take them to hell!"
"Master! Trouble!" Someone yelled from the decks and Dijon turned his attention over, his anger temporarily forgotten. "More sails!"
"What?" Dijon made his way past the stunned crew and looked with his telescope. "No way!"
"How many ships do the damn goblins have?" Dijon fumed. "Arm the ballistas! Clear the decks! Signal the rest of the fleet who can still move! I want them to form up on the Fury! Quick!"
The crew quickly worked to clear the deck of bodies and clutter while the signal flags flew up. The few warships that managed to clear the magical traps turned towards the Fury while the merchant vessels and the two unarmed schooners had managed to dodge ahead of their escorts as they had managed to avoid the magical traps set by the goblins.
The two sloops of war had heroically charged in to protect the merchant ships, keeping the bulk of the goblins focused on them as they pursued the fleeing merchants.
"Master!" The First Mate cried out, "Our ships can't handle another magical trap! The merchants will drag us down, we can still turn back and retreat!"
"We can't abandon the merchants still!" Dijon frowned, "Not to mention the capital lost, if the crew gets picked up by the goblins, they will suffer a fate worse than death!"
"But Master," The First Mate frowned, "we lost a third of our strength just from that ambush! Now there is another fleet in front of us! We must turn back to the Isles!"
The merchant ships turned desperately away from the new goblin fleet as they spotted them, angling with the wind, hoping to cut away from the blockade. Dijon looked worriedly at the merchants ahead and back to his reforming warships. Only four out of the five of his ships survived and almost all badly affected by the trap.
"The merchants will not make it!" The First Mate cried as his experienced eye gauged the distance and wind. "The goblins will cut them off easily."
Dijon cursed and hammered the railing with his fist, angry that he was powerless to stop the goblins. What good is being a Fleet Master if he couldn't destroy the goblins attacking his ships!
Suddenly one of the goblin galleys appeared to shatter into flames. Small gout of flames and grey smoke rosed from the affected galley. A rumble and a faint thunder crack followed the explosion of the galley and that was not all as another galley went up in flames in the same way.
Dijon stood dumbstruck as he tried to understand what was happening. The goblin fleet appeared to be in disarray as they turned left and turn, seeming trying to avoid something and another galley blew up again. "What is happening there?"
"Master! What is that?" The lookout cried out and pointed. Dijon followed his pointing arm and with his telescope, he saw a strange object with smoke coming out from it. Sunshine appeared to glitter off its surface and there were several small pops of smoke appearing on its side.
"What in the heavens is that?" Dijon frowned as the strange grey shaped object appeared closer and closer at a speed that boggled his mind. He glanced briefly at the goblin fleet and saw that there weren't any surviving ships and he felt afraid of the unknown. What could have destroyed a pirate fleet of over 15 ships in a few turns of the glass?!
A low moaning cry seemed to come from the strange grey monster as it approached swiftly. It was fast enough that a bow wave could be seen from its bow and a large wave trailing from its stern. As it came closer, it looked like a ship but without any masts and sails.
Figures could be seen moving on its top and Dijon tensed up, "Ready the ballistas!"
"Ahoy the ship!" A voice suddenly blared loudly and clearly across the sea between the strange vessel and Dijon's fleet. "We are from Far Harbour!"
"What?" Dijon looked stunned, "What sorcery is that?"
"Fleet Master Dijon, I am Lieutenant Joesph, we met at the reception." A voice called out from the strange ship. "We are here to escort you."
The scattered Isles' fleet slowly reformed back and the strange grey ship came alongside the Fury. Dijon stood at the railings and observed the rebel's ship with an experienced eye. The ship length looked similar to their twin masted ships but other than that, the ship was totally different. His Fury was longer in length and rode taller on the waves compared to the grey ship.
A large forecastle sat at the forward mids of the ship with a strange looking barrel that has a flat squarish flat covering. Another similar long barrel sat on the top deck while a tall sailless mast rosed from the midship just before a strange funnel-like tube that gave off smoke and steam.
Dijon gaped at the strange ship as he stepped on the deck and found that ship was cover in metal! A metal ship that sails without wind and can float on water? What kind of magic is this!