Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Punishment Aboard Deck

Jan 18, 1651, Sunday morning
Weather:  with frosty temperatures and cloudy conditions, with a fresh breeze

Notwithstanding that it is Sunday morning, Axel Praest, a Dane by birth, is brought aboard the top deck in order to be punished.  He's quite aware now of what's about to happen.  He's contrite; he apologizes to the Captain, who shows no sign of sympathy for him.  He's hauled over and willingly consents to Andrej's last rites, should they be needed.

Added a little ship to the map
 for flavour
The wind is excellent and the ship skims over the sea as fast as the party's seen her fly.  It dips just a bit between troughs and though there's a minimum crew in the rigging the ship's answering to the helm without a qualm.  In just six hours it's travelled about 25 knots, to where for the first time the sea seems to have a bit more color than slate gray.  Steadily, you're making your way beyond the temperate grip of winter.

Maximillian is placed front and centre as Praest is strung to a wooden frame that's been set in place against the bulwark.  The crewmember who uses the whip is the same large fellow who rousted Maximillian out of his bed last night and struck his hand on the post.  His hand is swollen, bruised, black and purple and orange in parts - he seems unconcerned about it.  His name is Deven, and he's a big Norwegian.  Jacobo, it may be remembered, was the other fellow.

Deven readies the whip, a cat with four, knotted tails ...

83 comments:

Alexis said...

For the record, for the party's benefit and to lend a sense of what's been seen, Axel has 24 hit points at the start of the punishment.

I'm offering now an opportunity for the party to take any action or say anything before Deven begins.

Lukas said...

Lukas, unless assigned some other task, will be nearby. If possible, with just a distant view.

Lukas said...

I have no interest in attempting to question the captain's judgement or offer sympathies to any party.

This is the captain's world, not mine.

Maximillian said...

I also would not dream of doing anything that would be seen as undermining the captains authority. I will stand where I am directed, and I will not turn away from the sight unless compelled to. (Interesting thought, should there be a check for how long someone can stand to watch torture?)

Alexis said...

No, no roll. But we'll see how this affects you. Deven will begin the punishment:

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 3 damage.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 3 damage.

Alexis said...

The first two blows are very heavy, and almost immediately the skin of Axel's back splits.

James C. said...

Andrej's intent was to secretly cast Aid upon the sailor while administering rites/ confession, to bolster him. It appears that opportunity may have slipped past, so Andrej stands at the ready to heal the poor bastard in the event that the opportunity arises.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 0 damage. A comparatively light strike.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 2 damage.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 2 damage.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 0 damage.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 0 damage.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 2 damage.

Alexis said...

There's quite a lot of blood streaming down Axel's back by this stage, staining the top hem of his short breeches.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 0 damage.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 3 damage.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 2 damage.

Alexis said...

A piece of Axel's skin leaps off the sailor's back, carried by the whip, and splats against Maximillian's cheek. The saior's back is a mess of torn skin and blood.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 0 damage.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 0 damage.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 0 damage.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 1 damage.

Alexis said...

The tension among the crew is palpable. All continue to stare, but you can see them wince with every blow ... all of them except for the Bos'n, whose only response is a slight tic above his right eye.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 0 damage.

Maximillian said...

I do not move to wipe it away.

Alexis said...

The second mate, for an officer, is showing a bit more emotion than might be expected. He's in fact flinching now as the blows land.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 3 damage.

Maximillian said...

Ouch, I flinch for that one

Alexis said...

The men-at-arms, in general, are not doing that well with this. Not having served aboard ship, and not having seen this sort of punishment, most who thought they were strong enough to take it are finding they haven't the stomach. Valentin has dropped his eyes and is covering his face with his hand. Rainer is standing with his back to the whipping, turned away. Kilian has to actually escape from the area, and can be seen staggering to the stairs going down.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 2 damage.

Maximillian said...

I am impressed that he has not screamed.

Alexis said...

(OOC: blogger error)

Oscar Deitweiller, the Master of Arms, is making his best effort to be as cold and stalwart as the captain, who hasn't shown a fleck of emotion through the whole procedure. But Deitwiller's forehead is drenched in sweat as a show of what the effort is costing him.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 2 damage.

Maximillian said...

I flinch at that strike as well.

Alexis said...

Deven will stop, and catch his breath. He looks closely at Axel.

"He's unconscious, Captain."

Alexis said...

Madam's voice is flat:

"Continue."

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 3 damage.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 1 damage.

Maximillian said...

At their continuing to beat an unconscious man, I will be visibly angry, but will stay rigidly still.

Alexis said...

The blows land like a wet laundry landing in mud, now.

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 3 damage.

Alexis said...

Deven is covered in sweat. He looks grim, determined, thoroughly unhappy but brutally driven to finish this task, uncertain now whether Axel is even still alive ...

Alexis said...

sssssssssSNAP! 3 damage.

Alexis said...

The blow tears open Axel's neck. There's no reaction at all from the body.

Deven steps closer. He studies Axel.

"He's dead, Captain." Then he adds plaintively, "There's only one more blow."

Alexis said...

The Captain:

"Continue."

Maximillian said...

At this point I shut my eyes, and breath deeply, struggling to control myself through the meditation druids use to commune with the natural world.

Alexis said...

Deven steps back. He sighs. He unwinds his whip and delivers the last blow.

sssssssssSNAP!

The damage it causes is immaterial.

Alexis said...

The Captain makes a sign.

The Bos'n speaks. His voice is gentle. "Crew dismissed. Back to your duties, lads."

The Captain turns to go, moving to the Quarterdeck, where she stands and looks back at the sea as it falls behind the ship.

James C. said...

Andrej clears his throat with purpose "May I administer to the crewman now, captain?"

Maximillian said...

I do not move for a long moment

Alexis said...

Axel never did let out a scream. It was not his first punishment; though there were no scars on his back, in an age of magic that means little.

Jacobo and Deven proceed to bring the body off the frame.

Alexis said...

That'll have to be spoken to the Bos'n, Andrej. The Captain would be moving away, and the Bos'n wouldn't let Andrej speak to her if he wanted.

"What sort of administration would you care to give, Father," he says.

Andrej said...

"I wish to heal that man."

Lukas said...

Lukas will have maintained his distance, and will have allowed himself the luxury of both flinching and looking away for most of the proceedings.

Alexis said...

"You will return him from death's door?" asked the Bos'n.

Andrej said...

"Given leave to do so, yes. The punishment has been served, the man has paid plenty. Need he pay ultimately?"

Andrej said...

(OOC: Lest you guys think I'm overly soft, I would explain this move as a calculated one made by an aspiring leader. Andrej is willing to trade a resource, his Death's Door scroll, to win over the men put in his charge, who were visibly upset at the punishment. There is a risk of offending the captain, but I won't force the issue. Even the gesture should be somewhat effective.)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Sorry, been in meetings all day.)

Ahmet watches it all impassively and then returns to his chickens.

Maximillian said...

When I have regained my composure, I stand, observe Praest's body for a moment, before turning, and making my way to the hold. I will go to the horses, wash myself, and begin to tend to them.

Alexis said...

"I will speak to the captain," says the Bos'n. He gives orders for the men to cover Axel's body and move it into the Captain's cabin. Then he goes forward.

As Andrej watches, the discourse between he and her is short. But she walks away first, passes Andrej without looking at the cleric and moves down the stairs to the deck below.

The Bos'n will follow her. "She agrees to speak about it," he says. "Give her a few minutes. Then I'll show you down."

Andrej said...

Andrej nods his consent and awaits the bos'n.

Andrej said...

Sofia moves amongst the men, to gauge their mood.

Lukas said...

Lukas takes this time to stay quiet and out of the way. If he catches what Andrej is doing, his mood does not improve.

Alexis said...

The men are morose, but stalwart. You don't hear any complaints; you gain no sense of resentment. They do not gloat, nor remotely consider themselves "lucky" while Axel wasn't. They act as though they were themselves punished, but they also seem to understand it was deserved.

Alexis said...

Lukas, you have plenty of opportunity to move next to Andrej and speak with him.

Ahmet is by his chickens, and Carlito, who was watching the chickens, will ask of Ahmet, "What happened?"

Maximillian, the horses bring a great deal of comfort.

Lukas said...

Lukas will do so.

"Andrej, I have no concerns about your use of your resources. But I think perhaps your approach to this situation may cause more trouble.

You just told, well, announced to anyone nearby that you were not only willing, but able to help bring back this man..."

At which point Lukas tries to look at the limp meat, but decides the better of it.

"This means the captain has two choices, either reject it and let her crew think she does not care for their lives, or accept it and have her authority for the punishment undermined."

Lukas shrugs, "Perhaps I am over thinking this, but I do not think we will be getting passage with this captain in the future. Hopefully we will not be left at the next port."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet tells Carlito a very abbreviated version of the story: A sailor got drunk off Maximillian's ale and was whipped to death.

Andrej said...

"If you're correct, Lukas, the die has been cast."

Andrej said...

"But your advice to caution is wise. I will tread carefully. The captain awaits me below."

Lukas said...

"This is the captain's world. Please do not get me thrown overboard, I have yet to learn to swim."

Andrej said...

Andrej smiles, then turns serious "I will take full responsibility for whatever happens next. Light a candle for me someday, perhaps, if it goes badly."

Lukas said...

Lukas moves to leave his side and onto his own path away and to the others with the animals, "If she lets you take full responsibility."

Alexis said...

We'll pick it up on a new post tomorrow.

(OOC: hope that whipping had enough effect without a roll to see if the characters could handle it. Is this a triumph for roleplaying over rollplaying?)

Lukas said...

(OOC: I think it would have had a more dramatic effect live, but it was probably the best representation I can think of without the whipping alone taking 6 hours to execute.

The visual-interactive description was key for sure.)

James C. said...

(OOC: I was fortunate enough to be checking the page while you posted the whip cracks. Every refresh would add a few more. It was done to great effect, I think, given the medium. I wonder how Ahmet, having been in meetings and getting it all at once, experienced it.)

Lukas said...

(OOC: got it almost all at once myself.)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Yeah, I didn't get to see it "live" so the actual rolling wasn't unfolding as dramatically, but Alexis's descriptions and the players' reactions was still vivid, powerful stuff.)

Maximillian said...

(yeah, I think the effect worked well, but I also had the luxury of sitting straight through)

Alexis said...

(OOC: Thanks guys. I could have put more effort into it.

Working on the next post now)

Alexis said...

The next post is up.

Lukas said...

(OOC:I am posting this here because I don't want to ruin the mood of the previous post.

So Ahmet, how does it feel knowing Andrej got to her bedchambers first?)