The morning sun, which shone so red, has receded completely at this point, replaced by clouds which could be described as angry, peevish, argumentative, or perhaps just plain old dangerous. Captain Fargrim Frostbeard, having already told his crew (and you) to secure the deck, is now alternating between stomping around shouting orders at those few crew members who have failed to adequately secure things and laughing in a mildly crazy manner whenever a particularly bright flash of lighting hits the sea in the distance. Other than that he seems fine.
There's probably about ten minutes before the storm reaches your fine sailing vessel and begins to toss it about like a particularly unruly toddler, meaning you have about ten minutes to make whatever last-minute preparations you might need in order to pull through this alive, or more to the point, alive and still with a ship.
((Give me a short description of what your characters are doing to prepare, and then make a dexterity or strength check depending on what your activity is. After everyone's said what they're up to I'll give you your results, an update on how close the storm is, and whether or not you have time to do something else. Enjoy your boat party! I promise that pirates only have like a 5% chance of showing up and murdering you all before you get to Chult))
Mortimer winced as Captain Frostbutt stomped past, cursing up as big of a storm over Mortimer's knots as the oncoming fiasco that was looming ahead of them. "Morty, are you daft boy?! Don't you dare use a reef knot to tie those ropes together! If that washes overboard, I'm going secure your cock with a reef knot, throw you overboard, and tow you the rest of the way to Chult! When you're floating alone in the ocean, then maybe you'll figure out that you don't tie two ropes together with a gods damned reef knot!"
Mortimer worked his knot loose and set about re-tying it, muttering under his breath as the Captain's attention turned elsewhere, "Blah blah, reef knot, blah... The sailors said it would be fine... I'm gonna double sheet bend knot your mother..."
((I hope it is acceptable for me to speak for the Captain there like that. Mortimer is working on securing things on deck. Battening down the hatches. Whatever that means. I'm guessing rope work is a Dex check? 22 ))
Of course there was a storm. Of course there was a half-mad captain yelling at everyone
Because it was a boat.
Enri calmly put his journals away, tucking them into a leather bag inside his satchel. Hopefully they'd survive whatever came next without becoming too waterlogged. He'd probably committed most of what mattered to memory, but still - better safe than sorry was the order of the day. With his books safely away, he could turn towards the almost-as-important task of survival.
With a nod towards the crewman hauling up the sales, he grabbed one of the lines and joined in.
The worried looks of the crew at dawn were enough for Fenrir - he'd had his small camp nearly packed away before the Captain even started issuing orders. As the storm drew closer, he strapped the last of his stolen goods meager possessions to his back and looked around.
He wasn't at home at sea - he was used to snow, and trees, and sometimes rain. Damp wasn't a problem for him. But eying the sky, Fenrir had a feeling he was going to be a lot more than damp. The endless waves put him on edge - no markers, no terrain, just water wherever you looked.
Normally, Fenrir made a point of not following orders, but even he was smart enough to know there was a time and a place, and that time was not during a storm, nor was that place in the middle of an unknown sea. As the Captain shouted his way past, Fenrir shrugged and went where he was told, shoving his way past the struggling crew and grasping the heaviest sail. Fenrir wasn't at home with the sea, but he was large and strong, and sometimes that was good enough.
(( Rolling Strength, and obviously failing because why wouldn't I 10 ))
((Something I've learned playing on these forums is that the dice roller hates you, personally, for a slight that you committed a long time ago and will never remember doing. But it will have its revenge all the same. This holds true for everyone here.))
It would figure that the first time Talindra was on a boat there would be a storm. She just didn't have luck with these sorts of things. From the energy she could feel just floating about in the air this storm would be a big one as well. So on to helping she went.
Not with the sails though as she was not strong enough for that. There was a tortle on the prow. Bad idea she thought. As she looked about she spotted crew tying down cargo through the grate in the floor. That was a better plan for her. She made her way below deck and tied what knots she was told to by the crew there.
A passing crewmember manages to grab Raff just before he goes toppling over the side of the boat, and mutters something grumpily in elvish before switching back to Common. "You're no good to us in the water. Best get down below before the captain sees you and throws you off the side himself."
Enri, Mortimer, and Talindra do an excellent job at securing the deck, working diligently and gaining the appreciation of some of the crew. Fenrir's effectiveness, is somewhat tempered by the sails being rather heavier than he expected, but Fargrim at least seems to appreciate his enthusiasm.
The wind kicks up suddenly and you all notice that the waters, which were already looking a bit dodgy, are looking significantly worse. There's an ominous creaking from the ropes holding the sails and the deck begins to buck wildly. There's an earth-shattering boom as a bolt of lightning strikes far too close for comfort.
"Here we go lads an' lasses! Everyone brace and we'll be out of here before you know it. Probably!"
Everyone make a dexterity check to stay on their feet.
The deafening crack of thunder sent Mortimer scrambling, attempting to get below decks. Salty spray from the rough seas broke against the prow, soaking Morty as the deck pitched beneath him. With this turn in weather, he'd be more of hindrance than a help to the sailors on deck. Time to get below before he needed a member of the Death Clergy himself! Except, what was that second set of laughter? Morty paused briefly to gape at the turtle-man, who was cackling as much as the captain had been before the storm hit.
Fenrir gritted his teeth with resentment as the sail shifted despite his grip. For the sake of his pride, he shouted a bit at some of the other crew working the sail for slacking, though it was likely drowned out by the deafening crack of thunder. But he knew his strength had failed him - Waterdeep's depths had not been kind to him.
For some inexplicable reason, as he braced himself using the only thing at hand - the misbehaving sail - Fenrir heard his Wolf in his inner ear, whispering about needing proper nutrition. Very likely about to drown, Fenrir muttered "Apples wouldn't do much good here, anyway," and prepared for the worst.
Turtle-man down! Mortimer gaped as the tortle laughter was cut off as he pitched over onto his shell and started sliding, hesitating at the absurdity of the situation only briefly before dashing forward to help. "Hey big guy," Morty called out in Fenrir's direction as he grabbed for Raff. "Help!"
Talindra's knots seemed to pass whatever manner of inspection could be spared in the rush to batten the hatches. Though she still didn't know what hatches were being referred to and what in the world battening was. At the very least the battening was in time for the storm to get worse. The crack of thunder startled an embarrassing squeak from her and she squeezed in between one pile of boxes and the next. Hopefully she would be held there to survive this storm.
Raff's attempt to deftly grasp at a passing rope is surprisingly successful, at least until the damp rope slips from his grasp and he continues his skid. Fortunately, Mortimer manages to direct the slide down the stairs leading belowdecks, where Raff impacts harmlessly against a bulkhead. A few sailors in the middle of re-securing some cargo that slipped loose give him a curious look but somehow manage to remain focused on their task.
The rest of the storm passes relatively uneventfully, if a few bumps and bruises among the crew can be said to be uneventful. Lightning and a savage sky give way to a drizzle that lasts the rest of the day - unpleasant, but not particularly awful. Captain Fargrim seems to be quite pleased with the turn of affairs - the wind of the storm was blowing in the right direction, and it shaved some time off the trip - he thinks.
"Raff! You get first watch tonight for yer... performance in the storm. Let's hope your eyes are better than your footing, eh?"
The night is clear, belying the intense clouds of before. The moon is nearly full, and it is almost, but not quite, daylight. Stars wheel overhead and it feels very peaceful - or at least, it feels peaceful until a massive shadow passes overhead. Looking up, you see an enormous dragon-like shape which is, upon closer inspection, definitely a dragon. It wheels around and makes another pass at the ship, head cocked in an almost curious manner. In the dim light, you can't quite make out the color of its scales - it's a darker color but you can't quite make it out. Wheeling around again, it looks set to make another pass over the ship.