Burton feels the docks shift beneath his feet, but his magical fencing training with Master Knolan means he's used to adapting to changing surfaces. He has little difficulties staying upright.
He tries to look over the edge of the docks for whatever cause the lurching, but has no idea what to look for. Holding his hook in one hand, prisoner 287 holds his other hand ready to cast a defensive spell.
Lex says, "Oh, I've forgotten my plunkaplunk." He tucks his plunkaplunk under his left arm and hops off the lift. "Oh, here it is," he says after a moment. He puts it away as he looks up at the cage. "Guess I'll take the next one." Louder, "What is that?" He points toward the mounted crab.
Many of the new prisoners in the ship's hold were terrified. They had been delivered into the hands of a hungry-looking lizard-man, who had counted them off by number, as if ordering them for his dinner-pot.
Thorbin (now Prisoner #295) held back, trying to understand his place in this new world. There was much noise from outside, and in the hold, the prisoners who were not helping huddled together for warmth as the lizard-man's two guards began to fix them with manacles. Thorbin was grabbed roughly, but only one of his arms had been firmly secured when something happend:
He had caught the eye of the lizard-man, and both knew that they both had felt, more than heard (due to the noise of the offloading), the feeling of something large rub against the ship's hull from outside - in the cold depths of the sea. Thorbin instinctively lunged forward, pulling his hands free of the guard, as the side of the ship exploded in a shower of splinters and water.
Thorbin stares down the lizard-man with righteousness. Taking command, as he was used to, he says “ This is no place to die! Men, follow
me and let’s get out of this boat!” He then adds, for the lizard-man: “I will be your prisoner again once we are on dry land” He then nods to him, his intent is not to be insubordinate, but to lead the prisoners to safety.
move 30 ft to the upper decks, dash 30 ft if allowed/possible. This should place him and the men on the main deck.
item interaction: He’ll grab whatever he can use for a weapon. Once/if he has one, he’ll pass anything else he sees to the men that are following him
When the ship lurched from the explosion, Captain Halehearty had been leaning over the hold's open hatch, ready to order a hoist on the crates that Jathlin and the prisoners had netted to the ship's crane. In spite of his years of experience in not falling into an open ship's hatch, the lurch caused the halfling captain to overbalance, and he fell hard onto the crates before tumbling onto the hold's floorboards, winded.
Thorbin was faster to react than anyone else to the rush of water that poured into what had been the aft prison hold. He called out to everyone to flee and made for the stairs, eventually making his way through the lower deck and up to the main deck where a burst of cold wind and sleet stung his face. The others were slow to follow, as the guards were unsure if they should allow the prisoners to leave, if they should have stopped Prisoner 295, or if they should run for their own lives.
On the Docks
A moment after the ship had rocked with the explosion, so too had the dock lurched. A pile of crates that had been unloaded onto the dock, but had yet to be moved to the lift, fell over, knocking Prisoner 213 (an npc) into the water with a splash. The end of the dock, where four guards warmed themselves at a fire-barrel, twisted, and the largest of the guards stumbled into two others, and all three fell into the sea. By some miracle, the barrel itself did not tip over, and the young guard that Valrin had earlier rescued had learned his lesson, and had stayed farthest from the dock's edge, and avoided joining his unfortunate comrades.
Prisoners 284 and 287 (Py'Cott & Burton) managed to stay upright, but Doc Halfhand was not as lucky; as the dock lurched, he stumbled. For a moment, it looked as if he might catch himself, but then the big goliath fell into the sea with a splash rivaled only by the larger of the crates that had gone in.
On the Lift
The lift began its long ascent, but suddenly Lex pushed his way past the ship's bosun and jumped back down to the dock. This close to the cliff, the dock was secure and did not rock. Lex stood as the bosun closed the lift's gates while cursing at him, and the gnome pointed to the base of the cliff, where an absolutely enormous crab began to climb out of the foamy surf. On its back was a scaly fish-like humanoid, carrying a trident. The crab and rider began to climb the cliff, as if following the lift.
Once on the deck, Thobin finally sees weapons worth their names: Pikes! He heads for them, and hears struggling men in the water. Without giving it a second thought, and even if they are guards, he grabs a pike, and leans forward to the water so the men can grab the end. He yells to attract their attention: "Grab it, I'll pull you out!".
He is careful to put the shaft close to only one man. he doesn't want to pull more than one at a time, this would reduce the chances of success; it'll have to be one at a time.
I'm assuming he didn't see a rope or something better suited to help
As Doc Halfhand hits the water, he begins to change form. His face underwater, he begins to shift form. Tentacles begin to extend from his sides, his bones become gelatinous and then disappear. His skin balloons, maintianing its haunting pale colour with the black etched markings. His possessions seem to be absorbed into his new form.
And he swims, straight for the creature emerging from the sea. however far away it is he sees the thing and attacks it.
Wild shape into a Giant Octopus [I didn't list the form, but I think it's common enough? If not, perhaps a constrictor snake?].
Bonus: Wild Shape (which I think is allowed even if surprised. If it's not technically surprise, then he'll move and attack.