The Sea Prince vessel, Bird of Prey is finally back at it's starting point of Torvin after a wild voyage and a lengthy stay in Sasserine. But before their cargo could be unloaded or the crew allowed to disembark, the captain called Mr. Hammond into his private chambers on some serious business...
This session's protagonists:
Victor Emmitt Hammond (fighter, spy caught)
Araxo Tydan (rogue, brothel bought)
Henri Morgan (rogue, thugs fought)
Captain Rennaud and his officers met with Hammond to offer him the position of bosun. Old Man Cassen, Rennaud's bosun for several years decided to finally retire in Torvin, leaving the spot open. Mr. Hammond graciously accepted, moving him down from the crow's nest to the deck where he is still responsible for looking over everyone's shoulders. After this, they all came out on deck to face the assembled crew and Cassen's departure and Hammond's promotion was announced to much revelry. Then they were barked at to get back to work unloading the ship...
Later that night, the characters were about Port Torvin celebrating at various locales (What Cuahto and Pickles were up to no one is for sure). Araxo took Mr. Morgan into town and showed him around his home port (recall his step-father is the Count of Torvin), in particular the "Lighthouse" an old tower turned into a seedy brothel. Araxo felt it important to show the former Cuthbertine guard what the sinful side of life was like. In there, they met Madame Rose who welcomed them courteously as any noble. Araxo knew that his father owned half of the establishment, as he did with most businesses in Port Torvin, but he gleaned upon an idea to start some of his blackmarket activities in seaport brothels such as the Lighthouse. All he needed to do was see Rose first then his father to buy out his interest in the place.
While Araxo spoke with Rose, a few girls were keeping Henri occupied, but this enfuriated a local "swamp ranger" named Melvik Grunge, who had been waiting patiently for his turn and now was being stepped over by some VIP. Swamp rangers make a living hunting for dangerous creatures in the nearby Hool Marshes and are thus uncouth and scuzzy in appearance. Confronting Henri on the stairs, Grunge got rough with Henri to the point of throwing a good punch, yet before he knew it Araxo had dashed up the stairs to knife him in the back at the same time Henri drew a blade and sneak attacked him from the front. Grunge yelled in pain and rolled down the stairs and laid there alive but bleeding. Then his friends came out of their rooms upstairs to see what was amiss...
Henri and Araxo faced down three more half-naked swamp rangers. One broke a bottle to improvise a knife and the others seemed unarmed. Araxo intimidated one ranger back into his room by announcing he was a Tydan and bluffing he had more followers with him, but the other two weren't deterred, seeing their friend laying on the floor below. Henri acrobatically went past the broken bottle ranger and knifed him down, while the other combative ranger was tackled from behind by the whore he was roomed with earlier. Order was eventually restored and port guard called to clean up the rabble. The night then progessed as originally expected.
Meanwhile, the captain took his other officers and crew to the Hammerhead tavern to celebrate Cassen's retirement. Piper Kellin performed tales for the crowd about the Bird of Prey's recent battle withthe Hideous and also another inappropriate song about men dying too soon after retirement...Hammond worked the room and at one point noticed a couple cloaked strangers eavesdropping on his captain as he talked about his idea for the next voyage, some undetailed venture with Count Tydan to begin in a week. Seeing that they were spotted by Vic, the two cloaked men got up and tried to exit the Hammerhead discreetly. Vic would have none of it and threw himself like a human missile to tackle both to the ground. He then announced to the stunned quiet crowd that the men on the floor were spying on the captain, causing several of the nearest Prey crewmates to get up and take down one of them while the second barely managed to scamper out of the bar. Even though a few gave him chase, they came back empty-handed.
Captain Rennaud and Vic took the captured spy into a back room and interrogated him. Surprisingly he did not give much resistance. The man admitted he was an informant from House Toli (the main house rival of Prince Jeon and his allies like Count Tydan) who was working on behalf of a client from the Kingdom of Keoland to follow the comings and goings of the expatriate captain known as the "Blackguard". This proves to be a scandalous intrigue in the future!
Speaking of House Tydan, Araxo went to see his father the next day. Unfortunately he was rudely, and likely intentionally made to wait a couple hours before gaining an audience. Once there, Araxo intimated his desire to buy the Count's half of the Lighthouse, a prospect that mildly amused his step-father. What did he care if his step-son wanted to play at whorehouses in his free time? It was but one of many petty investments he had and at least it was staying in the house of Tydan. He graciously accepted the buyout, subtly intrigued that his wayward son had accumulated a decent fortune from his first voayge. But what Araxo didn't know yet was he would soon be entering into another investment for House Tydan.
Game notes: The PCs are 3rd level and we're starting on the second voyage next session. I haven't been tracking experience as normal for D&D. Instead I've taken to the method I used successfully from Mutants and Masterminds by awarding levels only after certain points in a storyline. It keeps bookkeeping at a minimum and the players can pursue whatever goals they want without worrying about missing out on sessions. I'm toying with levelling some of the NPC crew along with the PCs.