Year 1211 RE-- The Taking of the Helga's Curse
Date: Dec 1211 -- January 1212
Outcome: Escape for the Athral Rebels.
Parties: King Sigmar, Crew of the Helga's Curse, Athral Rebels
At the end of December 1211, the ship Helga's Curse carried a group of Athral rebels aboard, bound for the Free City of the Hulder and the continent, looking for weapons, mercenaries, and the like. They carried with them substantial wealth, supplied by the Firstborn Sons. The leader of the expedition of rebels, Jorhin Hunter, had hoped to make a name for himself as someone who could get things done. Also among the company was a yeoman known for their deadly skill with a bow; a warrior born of Gauntish parentage(3) but joined the Athral cause years earlier; and a member of the Redwood Throne(4), who chose to secretly aid the Athral resistance out of a pang of conscience.
Unbeknownst to them, the first mate of the Helga's Curse was an ambitious and venal man, named Nidimar Svolton, who knew of their plans. The day before they came aboard, he reported all that he knew to a cousin of the King. He planned for the captain and crew to be arrested, so that he could claim for the ship for his own. When the ship tried to leave the Exendun harbor, they were stopped and boarded by Gauntish warriors, followed by King Sigmar himself. The rebels tried to rush him and his guard, and the yeoman even planted an arrow in the King's shoulder, which more than any rebel had done since his coronation. The Gauntish Rebel3 was eventually subdued, but not before he knocked a heavily armored man into the bay. In the confusion, the Throne Rebel(4) slipped overboard, but being unarmored, did not sink, swam ashore in the dark, and evaded capture.
The remaining rebels were captured and subdued, as the king had plans for them and the treasonous crew. Enraged by word of an upswell in the numbers joining the Rebel Cause-- including some of the newly-arrived Celestials and Returned-- he wished to make an example of these, so as to discourage any further recruiting. He toured the vessel along the coast, stopping at each harbor. In each he staged melees, forcing the crew and rebels to fight to the death in one-on-one matches. He announced that the last remaining survivor would be allowed to live, and would even receive a title and lands.
The first night of combat was held in Exendun, in January of 1212. Jorhin Hunter was set against the captain of the ship, and after that against the man who betrayed them both, Nidimar Svolton. The match was made more "interesting" midway through by releasing wolves into the makeshift arena. Hunter stood victorious at the end, but needed to be carried out. While the touring melees went on, the Throne Rebel(4) contacted friends within the resistance to tell them of the situation, hoping they could engineer a daring escape. The other rebels informed him they would wait until Seastone Deeps to attempt a rescue.
Three weeks later and with four more crew members dead, the Helga's Curse, her prow now festooned with the skulls of the slain, sailed into the port of Seastone Deeps. The next day, a new round of "demonstrations" would begin. That night, however, a band of Athral rebels(5+), including an Endeiran known as Cormac, and a burly figure wielding Storm magic, sneaked aboard the ship and freed the prisoners. The magics of Storm lit up the ship from the harbor; though there were many witnesses, none could conclusively identify the man. As the prisoners fled the Isle, so did he.
King Sigmar is not amused, and has offered a bounty of thirty crowns on the heads of each escaped prisoner, and seventy-five for whoever helped them escape. The bounty is still larger if they are brought back alive.