“Blessed Halav….”, Stephan muttered as he readied his bow. He took the best cover he could find, and quickly nocked an arrow while keeping his head down. Gauging the position of the trees to be sure the boat has not rotated, he raises just enough to spy one of the bowmen on shore and let his arrow fly at him. With a quick glance, he assessed the number of attackers on shore and in the water. There were eight bowmen, and a dozen men swam toward them.
“Arrows! Take cover!” The dwarf dropped behind the dubious protection of the boat railing and scrambled to load his crossbow. “We are ambushed!”
Hasan knelt behind the boat’s gunwhales. A curious thing, to find humans setting upon their own kind, he thought. Still, perhaps there can be an explanation. This river’s idle current would present no challenge to swimming skills honed in the bubbling brooks of Radlebb, Hasan reasoned, and he leaped into the water. He aimed for a point a bit to the east of the attackers launch. He hoped his forest skills and infravision would leave him well equipped, despite the lack of more than his sword, to bring at least one of their would be ambushers to heel.
As he loaded the bolt into place, he looked over towards his companions. The majority of the party was unarmoured for the journey by boat, which left them with little in the way of protection against the missile attack.
Feldard glanced over towards Miklos and saw that the mage was already concentrating on his magicks. Hopefully, it would be something that would take out a good number of their foes.
With his crossbow finally loaded, the dwarf turned and fired on one of the bowmen on shore. A hit, he thought, but no time to admire his bowmanship—he quickly ducked down again to reload. An arrow lodged itself into the neck of one of the crew standing next to him. He let out a cry of agony as he fell overboard.
Galvanized by the dwarf’s command Maruc yanked his shield from the pile and placed himself between the flight of arrows and Miklos—it would do no good to have the missiles disrupt the mage’s spellcasting. He braced the shield on the gunnel and crouched behind it as much as possible.
Seeing the danger lay not with the crew Miklos directed his attention to the flight of arrows. Quickly assessing that the attackers would not shoot their own friends, he guessed that they would stop shooting as soon as they boarded. The immediate threat then were the diving bandits. Then Maruc leapt into his line of sight with his shield. He was about to curse when an arrow pinged off it’s edge and missed him by an inch. He lent around the edge as much as he dared and released the pent up magic at the swimmers. Over half of the lot stopped swimming, and disappeared under the water. The others kept up their pace, seemingly unconcerned about the fate of their comrades.
An arrow sliced the side of Stephan’s arm—a slight flesh wound. He lowered again, and nocked another arrow. If this mage had any more spells in his arsenal, they might just make it out of this alive.
Seeing that the remaining swimmers were almost upon them, Stephan barked to his henchmen, “Boris! Roklov! Get ready to bash any fingers you see coming over. But keep your noggins down!”
Before his eyes, an arrow pierced the skull of Roklov, killing him instantly. His body collapsed, as the panicked crewmembers of the boat stepped over him in a race to hide in the bottom of the boat.
He let another arrow fly at a bowman on the shore and quickly looked around to see if whatever these robbers have caught the boat on can be cut or otherwise destroyed. His thoughts race, “Can I grab that oar and use it to free the boat?”
Realizing that when the attackers try to board the boat will tip exposing them to more arrow attack, Stephan determined to let as many arrows fly at the bowmen as possible.