Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sea Princes #13: Sea Ghost

This entry is a culmination of two sessions. When last we checked in, the members of the Bird of Prey were docked up in Port Torvin awaiting word from the captain about their next mission. Little did they know as they caroused the night away, their past was about to come back and "haunt" them. Note, this session has HUGE spoilers for part two of the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. Here are our protagonists:

Victor Emmitt Hammond (fighter, swinging the steel)
Araxo Tydan (rogue, winging a deal)
Cuahtehmoc aka "Cuahto" (ranger, bringing to heel)
Brother Pickles (cleric, slinging a meal)
Henri Morgan (rogue, springing to steal)

Coming out of the Hammerhead tavern one night, the PCs run into three familiar faces (well not to Pickles who mistakes them for some other persons he hates), belonging to pirates that they ran from way back during their trip across the bay to Saltmarsh and it's haunted house on the coast. The three pirates immediately noticed that they were noticed and took off in a sprint through town, eventually splitting three directions. The crew gave chase and all three scalliwags were taken down: one by Emmitt's fist in an alley, one by Cuahto's long distance swimming skill, and the last knifed to death on main street by Henri (then HE ran away).

Both pirates ended up being taken to Araxo's brothel, the Lighthouse to be interrogated and possibly pressed into service. Unfortunately an informant ran to Araxo's father, Count Erasmus Tydan to tell him what was transpiring. Araxo and Pickles were luckily absent when the Torvin guard arrived to haul the two pirates and three of their captors to Tydan manor for a meeting. Evidently the pirates belonged to the mutinous crew of the Sea Ghost, a ship that once belonged to Count Tydan. Their smuggling activities always brought them close to Saltmarsh and Torvin but never directly into port. The two surviving pirates (who were thoroughly socked by the guard for insolence) admitted to the Sea Ghost being achored a mile off port, awaiting their lantern signal for them to return by boat. Count Tydan wanted his ship back, so the offer was made for Cuahto, Morgan and Hammond to go with a few of his men (and one of the pirates named Feylan) and bring the mutineers to justice. The opportunity to earn free loot was too much a lure so they went to work immediately.

Two rowboats were provided and the seven men signalled to get the location of the Sea Ghost a mile offshore. Then under cover of darkness, they silently rowed to the aft of the vessel and stealthily roped their way up and through a couple open portholes. This move however split the party into two chambers, one the captain's room the other belonging to a tidy wizard. In one room, Henri picked the lock on a trapped chest, causing a cloud of gas to puff in his face and put him to sleep. Vic cleverly took the opportunity to rifle through the open chest and pocketed a fair amount of change before he roused his team-mate. In the meantime, Cuahto found a metal box but had no key or time to open it. Feylan (who was loosely trusted to help their cause in exchange for his freedom) armed himself with a knife found on a desk.Then the two teams peeked out the cabin doors to the main-deck...

And saw three smugglers, two standing midship by the rail, awaiting with a rope ladder for the boats that never came and the other standing on the forecastle, patrolling. Just as the patroller spotted one of the doors creak open, Victor Hammond invoked the famous daredevil Leroy Jenkins and charged out onto deck to attack. The initial surprise went well, one man went down to a knee as he was stabbed, but the other man shouted a warning as he drew a broadsword and introduced himself as "Bloody" Bjorn. The duel with Vic was on.

Henri rushed out onto deck next and finished off the injured pirate, only to see that behind them on the poop deck lingered more people next to a signalling lantern: Captain "Snake Eyes" Sigurd, his mage Punketah and a steersman armed with a cutlass. The bristly bearded captain drew his longsword but merely stared down at the melee erupting below. Victor traded steel with Bloody Bjorn, attempting feints and disarm attempts but neither had the advantage. Armed with only a dagger, Henri dashed up the stairs toward the captain and was headed off by his lackey.

The pirate at the fore tried to sneak up on Vic as he duelled but then on cue Cuahto, Feylan and the Torvin guard emerged from hiding to head off this threat (Cuahto took the pirate down). The advantage was short lived for suddenly out a door came the Sea Ghosts' wildcards, a lizardman and a reddish gnoll! The odds were still even. The captain next yelled to Feylan and asked what his loyalties were, the smuggler chose his old loyalties and stabbed one of the Torvin guard who much to his chagrin was then swiped off the ship by a crushing head-blow from the lizardman. The battle intensified as Cuahto went after the treacherous Feylan killing him for wasting his kindness. Not far away Henri took to a rope and swashbuckled his way past Captain Sigurd to give him a cut across the face. This affront was barely survived as the mage casted a failed Sleep spell on him as he dangled from the rope.

The battle rolled on and Victor, though injured, finished off Bloody Bjorn with a misdirected stab. Outraged at the death of his first mate, the captain swung down to meet Vic and another duel began; crashing attacks were countered by more dodgy feints. Henri meanwhile dropped back to the poop deck and confronted the mage, who recoiled harmlessly once his blood was drawn. The pirate defending him fell against the former Sasserine soldier. The humanoids began to wear down and were soon defeated by Cuahto and the remaining Torvin guard. Lastly, bleeding from his wounds, Victor sneaked his best lethal stroke into Captain Sigurd, and as his beady, staring eyes rolled back, he fell to the deck dead. The battle for the Sea Ghost was over.

The mage and the remaining smugglers below decks that were too late to join in the fight and surrendered. Parleying for their lives they told the boarders everything they wanted to know about their smuggling operation (weapons to Hool humanoids, goods to Torvin and illicit goods to Saltmarsh) and gave them all their gear and valuables in exchange for a boat off the Sea Ghost. The ship was given a cursory search by the victors and the gold and silver found stood to make them much richer than any of their crew-mates (the guards were suitably bribed for their help). What was more, in the hold they found an untold number of liquor casks. The ship belonged to Count Tydan but surely the cargo didn't go with the vessel. How would they unload so much ill-gotten cargo without earning the Count's ire? Or even the jealousy of their allies? The issue of the cargo was debated deep into the night. Shorthanded and weary from their wounds, the decision of what to do with all this wealth would promise to be a critical juncture for the crew of the Bird of Prey.... 

Game notes: As mentioned, this session was adapted from the unfinished part two of the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (since it was played via the Sea Princes not Saltmarsh). As low-level 1st edition modules go, this one has been a blast. I wish I had ran it much sooner in my life. Araxo and Pickles were absent from the fighting because their players were off to Gencon 2011. While they aren't missing out on any story XP, the loot found could be hard for the other guys to hide from them....

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yep, definitely a "sea" adventure, just as you promised! LOL

Sounds like you guys are still having fun with it. Looking forward to reading more.

Mystic Scholar

Argon said...

Mort,
Pickles is easy to confuse and someone has to screw over Araxo eventually. I like the way this is coming together, look forward to the next episode of the Bird of Prey.

Araxo Tydan said...

What will they do with all that loot? Hmmm... if only they knew someone who could falsify some documents for them...

Valkaun_Dain said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure Araxo was the aforementioned informant. You'll not get a farthing. I think we'll just open a liquor store and retire these characters.

>:P

Valkaun_Dain said...

Oh and Mort, any chance we had of keeping it a secret went out with your blog. Thanks a bunch.

Araxo Tydan said...

Are you suggesting that there are metagamers at the table who wouldn't let you get away with holding out?

Oh, ye of little faith.

mortellan said...

You guys...