"It's all in the name. It's a tremendous body of water. The further into it you go, the more difficult it becomes to know where you are. Sail out here without enough experience and you'll sail in circles without ever seeing a piece of land or another ship to save you," Thitcher answers, his eyes forward toward the black ship looming ever closer.
The captain shakes his head. "I wish we were better equipped for this, but we are a small and quick sloop, not outfitted for war. The enemy ship, however, appears to have ballistae on its deck, that we could possibly turn against them once boarded."
A strange fluttering sound and screeching waft over the sea. The black ship blurs, obscured suddenly by a dark mass. As it grows closer, you see it is a massive cloud of bats. Swarm upon swarm of bats are heading toward The Flying Mermaid.
If Zane assesses the bats to take at least a minute to arrive then he would jump to a place near the helm and start casting Tiny Hut in a way that allows someone to steer the ship while still being inside the hut. He would also inform others around him what is going on and that the limit is 9 people who can fit in there.
If the bats seem closer though then he would just start taking shots with his light crossbow and encourage everyone else to do the same.
The swarms of bats grow ever closer while Zane begins to play. Captain Thitcher nods his head in understanding, taking a head count and barking, "Four men, on me! The rest of you, get below decks!" The bats are almost upon you when the translucent dome springs up around you. The space is crowded, but the cool sea breeze cannot get through, and the temperature within is quite comfortable.
Tracking: The swarms of bats are almost overhead, 30 feet away from the dome.
Zane's crossbow bolt sails out the dome of force surrounding you, but the test shot is behind the swarms, sailing into the waters around you.
The bats disregard both the shot and the hut, blotting out the sunlight for a few seconds as they fly over the party. Captain Thitcher turns to look, and his eyes widen. "Damn! They're going after the sails. Don't let them chew through!"
"There's too many of them right now, I won't send more men to their deaths," Captain Thitcher shouts above the bats' screeching.
The ship's sails are soon covered with black from the bats swarming around them. Killian takes Hox's longbow, grabs an arrow from his quiver, and fires it through the body of a bat, killing it instantly. The rest of its swarm turns, suddenly more interested in the arrow-shooting dome.
Tracking: One swarm of bats is flying toward the tiny hut, 20 feet away. 1 of Hox's arrows has been fired.
Swarm of Bats: 16 Swarm of Bats: 6 Swarm of Bats: 14 Swarm of Bats: 9 Swarm of Bats: 18 Swarm of Bats: 21 Swarm of Bats: 8 Swarm of Bats: 18 Swarm of Bats: 9 Swarm of Bats: 13 Swarm of Bats: 21 Swarm of Bats: 5 Swarm of Bats: 10 Swarm of Bats: 12 Swarm of Bats: 12 Average: 12.8
Round 1 Order: Players <===== Swarms of Bats
Tracking: One swarm of bats is flying toward the tiny hut, 20 feet away. The remaining swarms are 50-100 feet away, hovering at the ship's sails. All friendly characters are within the tiny hut.
1 of Hox's arrows has been fired.
OOC: Players are up! We won't be posting through every round of this combat, as the bats aren't aggressive toward you until you damage them, and they really can't do anything through the tiny hut but flap around it. The first couple rounds of combat are all I need to determine how long it will take and how much damage they do to the ship's sails.
OOC: Assassinate applies because "combat" as it stands hadn't started yet. The bats weren't concerned about anything until one was killed, and most of them are still not paying any attention to the dome.
Gruun can switch from his greataxe and throw two javelins this turn because there was plenty of leadup to the start of combat. However, the attacks are at disadvantage because the nearest swarm of bats at the sails is 50 feet away, according to the tracking.
Javelin vs. Swarm of Bats: Lower of 14 or 23Javelin vs. Swarm of Bats: Lower of 23 or 19
Arrows and bolts emerge from the dome. Zane's sails past any targets into the rigging of the ship, but Killian strikes another bat. Hox times his shot well, firing into a thick cloud of bats and skewering five of them with a single arrow. Gruun's javelins each catch another four or five bats. Several of the swarms are drawn away from the sails by this, flying toward the dome.
The nearest swarm reaches the structure, opaque from the outside, and a few of the bats throw themselves against it to no avail. Some of the crew inside of the crowded dome instinctually duck, then breathe a sigh of relief when their safety is revealed. The rest of the swarms begin to eat into the sails, in an intelligent manner, working holes into the cloth near the rigging that ties it all together.
Round 2 Order: Players <===== Swarms of Bats
Tracking: One swarm of bats is outside of the tiny hut, 5 feet away. Three swarms of bats are flying toward the tiny hut, 20-30 feet away. The remaining swarms are 50-100 feet away, hovering at the ship's sails. All friendly characters are within the tiny hut.
3 of Hox's arrows have been fired. 2 of Zane's bolts have been fired. 2 of Gruun's javelins have been thrown.
OOC: One more round of posting should suffice for this combat. The bats pose no threat to anything except the sails at this point.