Welcome back to the continuing voyages of the Bird of Prey
and its eccentric crew from the Hold of the Sea Princes
. Last we saw, fresh off a crocodile hunting expedition
on the Amedio
Coast, they had finally landed at their destination of Narisban
in the Olman Isles
to trade goods. At the Last Respite tavern, Captain Rennaud "The Blackguard" encountered an old family friend among the serving girls, named Anna. Unfortunately he wasn't the only one making eyes at her....here is the dramatis personae for this session:
Victor Emmitt Hammond (fighter, teeth-breaker)
Araxo Tydan (rogue, deal-maker)
Cuahtehmoc aka "Cuahto" (ranger, leg-staker)
Brother "Pickles" (cleric, man-shaker)
Some scurrilous crewman of the trade-ship Bluesprite recognized poor Anna (whose hair was dyed deep black) as a runaway from Sasserine wanted by a wealthy family. Captain Rennaud tried to stand them down with an intimidating show of his allies. Vic, ever the gallant, then jumped upon the bar and kicked in the teeth of one who dared to lay a hand on Anna. On the verge of a barfight, the crew of the Hideous (Crimson Fleet enemies of the Bird of Prey) ducked out. Fortunately the Bluespriters weren't brave enough to fight back and they left (sans several teeth).
Captain Rennaud explained to the PCs that their ship would be changing course, now going on a side trip to Sasserine before returning to Port Torvin. He intended to take Anna home. It turned out she is of the Taskerhill noble family (know for their jungle lumbering company) and had fled to parts unknown with a couple friends to avoid an arranged marriage with a rival house, the Bevenins. The Bevenin family, is known in Sasserine for their prosperous business, the Amedio Trading Concern. With all that money an outstanding reward has been out for her return for some time. In the few years Anna Taskerhill had been hiding out in the hinterlands of civilization (where she managed to learn the Olman tongue), her two friends had met untimely deaths, leaving her unprotected and alone. With encouragement from Cpt. Rennaud she decided it was time to go home and face the music.
The captain had to leave and prepare the ship for departure, and he left the PCs behind at the bar, to guard her and escort her to the ship after it closed (for he didn't want the owner to know she was skipping out). Not surprisingly the crew of the Bluesprite were waiting in the shadows to grab her too. Figuring something like this would happen Mr. Hammon went with her to her room upstairs to pack (no time for love though) and sneak out the side exit. The others left out the front to cause a distraction and spotted the would be abductors, including one with missing teeth. That's when things got real ugly.
Brother Pickles always reckless and unafraid of pain charged in to tie up one of the four sailors. Cuahto in a flash was at his side and axed one down with his deadly obsidian edged weapon. This prompted the rest to draw their cutlasses in a panic. That's when first-mate Araxo, guarding the rear, yelled for them to press gang the louts and bring them back to their ship! (a quite original idea in my opinion) Victor and Anna took off in a sprint away from the fight to get to the docks, but one of the four saw them. This forced Araxo to jump in and try and head him off.
Pickles and his opponent, the man with missing teeth, slapped and tussled for position in a grapple, while Cuahto turned his weapon sideways like a cricket bat to subdue his foe. The guy fended off the brutal blows and inexpertly swung his cutlass back at the assailing Olman. Araxo wasn't faring much better, and after a couple failed swings of his rapier, the sailor dodged past him and ran off in the direction Victor and Anna had fled. Then in a twist of heroism, Mr. Tydan gave chase to the chaser!
Victor looking back could see someone gaining on them, so in his usual swashbuckling manner, he decided to scoop up the young woman and carry her on down the street. Araxo managed to gain on the thug and they stopped for breath to resume their fencing match. While Brother Pickles continued to roll on the ground trading elbows and choke-out moves, Cuahto finally batted his opponent unconscious. Things were going bad for Araxo then, his good shirt had a slice through it and he was wearing down, that's when he tried to bluff his way into getting the man to surrender. He didn't buy the intimidating threat of an archer in the shadows. That's when Cuahto switched to his bow and sent an arrow past the man's ear from 200 feet out.
Pickles finally completed the sleeper hold on "toothless" and by then Vic and their charge were home free for the Bird of Prey. Convinced of the archer's presence, the last standing sailor tried to make a run for it. Araxo called again for his capture, so Cuahto aimed for the leg, and hit! Too bad for the man, the arrow critically hit a major vein and he died. With two surviving NPCs in their hands, the bodies were pilfered of odds and ends and then taken back to the Bird of Prey to be pressed into an oath of service to the Blackguard. It seems the would-be abductors will get to go with Anna to Sasserine after all!
Campaign notes: I have a map I've been working on for the "south-seas" setting I'm running. When it's done, I think you'll all be blown away. It might be my masterpiece. Also, I broke out one of my favorite 1st edition articles for the pilfering of the sailor's bodies: "Was it Worth the Risk" by Bruce Barber in Dragon Mag #104. I may write about that one someday, it is still the best system to use for pick pocketing and such.
No real update, just a comment that the South Seas map
mentioned does end up being my most well-known map. Good times.