Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sea Princes #29: Exchange and Escape

It's time for another jaunt into my Sea Princes Campaign. Last time, the crews of the Bird of Prey and Osprem's Kiss arrived at the port of Scuttlecove to trade Crimson Fleet Cpt. Ironclaw McGrath for the kidnapped sage Lockard Meek the expert who might lead them to the Well of All Heals. Meanwhile, Henri Morgan was marooned on an island, and was poisoned by another fellow castaway. Minutes from death, he'll need the gods of the sea on his side to survive...Here is our protagonists:

Victor Emmitt Hammond (rogue, blade at neck)
Araxo Tydan (rogue, stays on deck)
Cuahtehmoc aka "Cuahto" (ranger, gives them heck)
Brother Pickles (cleric, goes on trek)
and Henri Morgan (rogue, is a wreck)

Henri stumbled down the beach after the paranoid Ellis Blackwood feeling the effects of the poison run through his system. Then suddenly Ellis is knocked aside by a form out of the shadows, the affable Brother Pickles! As the man fled into the jungle night, the other two marooned sailors huddled by the fire and watched as Henri hugged his dim-witted friend and carefully asked for his assistance in fighting the poison. Earlier that morning on the Lydia's Light, Brother Pickles had been unfettered at the request of Sister Aurora, but she had no idea that the loyal sea cleric would jump off the ship and swim all the way for the small islet to join his friend Henri. The Light would not look for the cleric, he belonged to the sea gods. Washing up on the far side of the island, he walked around to Henri's side by night just in time to slow the poison in his blood so that he could lay on healing and apply proper treatment. Henri made it through the night and the next morning, the two Keoish sailors decided Pickles was as good a man to follow as any. Even the touched man knew what needed to be done; they needed to build a raft to get off the island.

Meanwhile outside the littered bay of the pirate haven of Scuttlecove Captain Rennaud stood on a launch with Skullbreaker Oratero, Cuahto, Victor and their hostage Ironclaw McGrath. Rowing towards them in another launch came Lt. Scuzz of the Laughing Rogue with a team of crimson sashed men holding a wizened old sage. From the deck of the Bird of Prey, Olfon Trebus could confirm it was his lost colleague Lockard Meek. Lt. Araxo Tydan and his newly promoted dwarven artillerist Jon Jameson led the cannon battery from their ship for any sign of treachery with Osprem's Kiss at the ready behind them should any pirate ships arrive from sea. Two tall towers flanking the harbor seemed to be readying catapults. Tension was in the air. Then as the two boats came within an oar's length of another, the McGrath's famous harpies arrived flying in low over the wreckages in the harbor singing a song that deluded all but Cuahto and Victor. Cuahto drew a blackpowder pistol and winged one harpy. Seeing smoke and harpies, Araxo ordered a cannon to fire and the warning shot whizzed by the taloned creatures. The hideous harpies screeched, ended their song and circled overhead as Victor drew his cutlass and put it to McGrath's neck. Cuahto then placed a second pistol at the pirate's gut. It was a standoff...

The marooned men set about foraging for water and food while using any means possible to fall trees and secure them into a raft sturdy enough to carry them all back to Narisban. Unfortunately Ellis Blackwood was the craftsman and was now hiding on another part of the isle (making his own smaller raft by the by). As they searched the island again (wary of four armed gorillas) they came upon a sea cave where lay a dead man bloated and discolored, surrounded by the shells of many poisonous Jitta clams. To Henri and Pickle's surprise it was the despised and not at all resourceful Lord Ronaldo Key, marooned there only days before them. Around his neck he still wore the silver owl necklace that had led to his punishment. The men wondered about his fate, took his assorted belongings (including 100 g.p. a broken knife and his expensive shoes) then buried him the best they could. Their raft took six days to complete, and with scavenged supplies loaded the four men set off on an overcast day, hoping that Henri's sense of direction would lead them to South Olman Isle. It wouldn't.

In Scuttlecove, McGrath was ordered to send his harpies away, but the gruff captain claimed no control over them as he didn't have the key. Then it dawned on Cuahto, he still had the golden key he had discovered many months ago in the captain's quarters on the Hideous. Captain Rennaud came to his senses and urged the pirates closer to make the exchange even as they nervously watched the Bird of Prey fire at them. Cuahto then fished out the key and held it up for the harpies to see. He would free them of their magical anklets if they would only turn on their oppressors. The monstrous winged females screeched in glee and caught the key as it was tossed up to them. Seeing this, the sage was quickly transferred to the arms of Rennaud while McGrath was allowed to jump across from one boat to the other. Turning, Ironclaw removed his raggedy hat and saluted his enemies. Victor Hammond nodded and tossed the captain's distinctive cutlass back to his hand; an honorable gesture that would surely not be forgotten. The pirates rowed back to the docks in haste as the harpies angrily gave chase. Rennaud winced and ordered his launch to row back to the Prey just as fast. The seatowers then began to throw heavy catapult rounds at the two waiting ships and Araxo in turn called for covering fire (he wanted to hit McGrath in truth), sending lead balls sailing back at Scuttlecove in a haphazard fashion. The launch was lifted back up and the two ships immediately departed the isle of Sekorvia before any pirate ships could set sail and give chase. The wizened Lockard Meek was finally safe and unharmed, but the one who sought him, Cpt. Rennaud fell into the arms of Skullbreaker weaker than he had ever been. The former knight's curse had only worsened the closer he got to his goal.

Floating on the current of the Densac Gulf, Pickles' rapport with the sea gods continued as the company spear fished for barracuda and other marine life, encountering blobs of algae and torrents of fresh water rain to replenish their containers. Then on the fourth day, east of the islet they started from, a ship sighted their raft as the four languished under the bright, hot sun. It turned out to be an omen for the two disheveled sailors instantly recognized their former vessel, the privateer Lydia's Light.

(to be continued)

1 comment:

Valkaun_Dain said...

Actually Cuahto unlocked the bracelets and took them for their gold. Now, if Cuahto can get the headband that controls them - look out!