Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sea Princes #9: Testy Moments

Last time in the adventures of the Sea Princes crew, the away team from the Bird of Prey discovered a charnel pit of baboons and beneath it emerged a few gigantic bombardier beetles bent on adding to the pile. Things looked bleak, but it wasn't half as dicey compared to what happened next...Here are our protagonists:

Victor Emmitt Hammond (fighter, beetle slasher)
Araxo Tydan (rogue, hardly brasher)
Cuahtehmoc aka "Cuahto" (ranger, archer basher)
Brother Pickles (cleric, skillet smasher)

Angered by the close-shaving arrow shot, Cuahtehmoc turned, oblivious of the beetle threat and rushed the foolish archer "Bullseye" Arborius and hacked him upside the head with his maca. The blow sent him reeling backwards and into the water of the inlet. Then one of the beetles trundled up to take a bite out of the Olman from behind. A frantic battle erupted and the shouts had Vic and his female crewmate, "Scar" Medorga turning the rowboat back around to help. Araxo held onto the red stone figurine and defended himself, falling back toward the inlet while Cuahto covered their rear and fought the one on him, yelling for Bullseye to use his bow.

Bullseye however, had nearly died from the punishing strike by Cuahto and claimed it was best to flee from the giant insects, so he quickly waded toward the rowboat. During the chaos of battle, a devil on the shoulder of Cuahto that looked strangely like Victor Hammond, told him he should've finished off the bumbling archer while no one was around to witness it. Unfortunately the danger at hand stayed his hand. Bullseye scrambled onto the boat, even as Cuahto unsuccessfully grabbed at him out of frustration to pull him back into the water. Vic and Scar figured the archer had been wounded by the beetle and before any protests could be made, the agitated beetles crawled to the bank and pressed the attack, one even sprayed acid on Araxo and Cuahto. Victor and a battle hungry Scar joined in with their flashing blades and in short order the beetles were laid low, yet everyone was worse for the wear. Scar would not allow a hand to be laid on the injured archer until they were back on the ship. Tensions were high between the rangers on that short ride.

Back on board the captain complimented the crew on the search and he had his resident chronicler, Hilgarde of Hokar look at the red figurine. Brother Pickles set to healing the exhausted team while the ship's surgeon took Bullseye to rest and tend to his wounds separately. Everyone conferred on the origin of the burned baboon pit and the idol. Some assumed the beetles were the origin of the fire, though they showed no affinity to fire only carrion. With the help of another Olman deckhand they learned the idol was of Huhueteotl, Olman god of fire and time. According to legend, sacrifices to this god are made into volcanoes but in other parts of the jungle they are done as well, all to appease the deity so that he doesn't stop time. Captain Rennaud was impressed by the tale and the next day he learned from Hilgarde that the idol was able to protect its bearer from flames. He allowed its finder, first mate Tydan to award it to one of his team. In a shrewd play for more allies, Araxo granted it to Scar for her bravery in battle. She was overjoyed and promised to make up for Araxo's gesture somehow...

As the voyage to Sasserine continued, whispers of the true cause of Bullseye's serious wound spread. Two of the archer's comrades, the surly Megaron "the Bold" of Port Torvin and "Handsome" Griff Aldagar approached their commanding officer Araxo, and asked him to keep his savage friend away Bullseye or else. Megaron related this not so subtly, having a chip on his shoulder for Araxo, a fellow Torvinite but Griff was much more genial, smiling the whole time he made implied threats. After all, he carries the biggest sword on the ship. When Cuahto found out about this, he was even more riled up and directly confronted the pair as they worked the rigging, leading to a rather tense scene for the rest of the crew. The bosun quickly got everyone back to work, but the mood was not so joyous for the rest the day and night before the Bird of Prey finally arrived at Anna Taskerhill's home town of Sasserine.

Game note: For a short session, it seemed we got alot of good subplot drama brewed. Next session I plan to make heavy use of the players guide to Sasserine from Paizo's Savage Tide adventure path. I can't remember where I got it, but I want to say it was Gencon. This is the thin book with the female pirate on the cover. Take that, Dan!


Valkaun_Dain said...

Now that we're in port, these guys are going to wish they'd never messed with Cuahto.

Argon said...

Sounds like an eventful day. Cuahto better stay away from the rum a blanket party a coming.

Beetles sounds like an adventure path the party will come back to at some point.

Best of Luck on your further adventures.

Michael said...

The Savage Tide AP has some good points in it especially for seaborne adventuring, the first few adventures are filled with lots of little side adventures.

Great Campaign journal Mort!

mortellan said...

Argon: I think Cuahto is taking the fight to them.

Michael: Yeah I'm having fun mining it for material. I called what I'm doing "pre-Savage Tide" since a few of my friends and I had actually played it already.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Cuahto is a "lawful evil" character and not a nice guy. If the players are really the levels that they're suppose to be, Cuahto may have bitten off more than he can chew.

I'm on the side of the crew with this one. Sorry.

Mystic Scholar

mortellan said...

Well in defense of Cuahto, he is acting as a persecuted subrace. And most of the Olman pantheon is evil, but that may be by Flanaess standards. Ethics aside, the character's levels? Everything is still pretty low level so I'm liking the tension. When PCs get too high level then these type of squabbles are one sided.

Anonymous said...

That's what I meant -- he's not going to be able to take on the whole crew, so this could be a "shortened" cruise. ;)

And persecuted? I don't like people that think they are "owed" something because of "past wrongs" done to their "race."

Cuahto needs to take it out on the people or person that actually did him something, not the "whole race" of such a person, that just makes him a racist in return.

Two wrongs do not make a right. I wouldn't adventure with Cuahto for very long.

But that's just me. ;)

Love the story and hope to read more soon. Keep it coming, Mort.

Mystic Scholar

mortellan said...

Hm, never thought I'd linger on this subject. I wasn't saying he was taking on the whole crew. He has been focusing on the wrong-doers. I was referring to cultural cues for alignment (which I don't know any of the guy's alignments, we tend to play loose). Keep in mind Cuahto is a free Olman working on a vessel that hails from one of the few lands in the Flanaess that advocate slavery. For a savage, he is probably MORE well adjusted than half of the crew(PCs included).
Even if he were LE, that's an alignment I think can work in this campaign. Law on a ship important and is literally spelled out in the Code, and evil in this milleu might simply be doing what's best for the ship even if its dispicable.
Glad you like the narratives. Good discussion!

Anonymous said...

He probably won't take on the whole crew, but this is the type of issue that could easily divide the crew.

How well do the PCs get along with the rest of the crew? The PCs will need to stick together, if crew members go after Cuahto, but into which camp will the remainder of the crew go?

I'm simply basing my "opinion" on Cuahto's reaction to Bullseye's "near miss." He over-reacted as though Bullseye deliberately tried to kill him. That's not what I came away with from my reading of Bullseye's actions.

That sort of "me first" attitude/response always impressed me as being "lawful evil," rather than any other alignment I can think of.

But it's just my opinion. LOL

Loving it, Mort.

Mystic Scholar

mortellan said...

That part you are entirely correct on. It was a deliciously well done bit of drama with a near arrow miss. Which in meta-terms is not uncommon, given 3e invokes a -4 to hit into melee but imposes no secondary target in case of a miss. This came out of pure RP. And yeah it might divide the crew, which is why I think Araxo is busy building his half.

Anonymous said...

You always were a devious schemer, Mort. Mwahahahaha!

Keep it coming buddy!

Mystic Scholar