As the boat lurched to a sudden stop, the dwarf who had been sullenly quiet the entire boat trip thus far, finally found his voice as he pitched forward into some stranger. “Of all the addle-brained, lack-witted ways to travels.. ooph! Maruc this is your fault! You suggested by river.”
Maruc tried to regain his balance. “Well it was this or miles of wandering through unfamiliar countryside,” he grinned rakishly.
Miklos had remained seated. You don’t stand in boats. Also he hadn’t stowed his gear in the bilges. They get wet. He was also thankful for the oilskin bag his spellbook was bound in. He wasn’t so impressed with the ‘experienced’ rivermen who had managed to apparently beach the boat. This raised an uncomfortable thought though.
These men didn’t look like rookies. There where twelve of them they were in the middle of the wilderness and they have an ‘accident’ on a river they travel for a living. Miklos didn’t like it at all. He began, as unobtrusively as possible, to prepare his sleep enchantment.
Upon the lurching of the boat, Stephan had found one hand gripping his neck pouch—instinctively checking its security around his neck. His other hand gripped the hilt of his blade. He looked quickly to the boatman, reading his face for an explanation of the thump. Clearly, it was unexpected not only by the passengers, but also by the crew.
Being a horseman and farmer at his root, Stephan was not accustomed to riverways, but did know that groundings and snags are common place. It was with this hope that he drew a measured breath. He was comforted by the presence of the four vagabonds—adventurers, and their obvious experience with unknown surprises. These folk had seen a bit of the world and knew the ambiguity of enemy territory. After steadying himself, he kept low, readying himself for action, taking into account the whereabouts of his henchmen and other belongings. His eyes checked the cardinal points, including directly above, for signs of danger. The encroaching forested banks did not lend comfort and Stephan scanned the surrounding foliage for any sign of movement—and it was there he saw trouble.
Feldard, lay half-sprawled at his side. He joined Stephan in glancing upwards, and his eyes widened. Arrows!
From the wooded right bank of the river, a squad of attackers had emerged. Bowmen stood in the brush reloading, while another group of men dove into the river and started to swim towards the boat.