Friday, October 10, 2014

Adventure 2: Off the Island

We will now continue our adventures with the new band of adventures.  They have just finished a very brutal fight and sadly this fight has led to the end of a few of the characters but worry not, the world if full of pirates, savages, and many other creatures so there are sure to be more to join their ranks.  Lets look in on them and see what is happening.  

The fight against the Red Men may be over but does not mean the group is anywhere close to being safe.  The group now begins to try to lick their wounds and plan their next actions.  Because Carnage, the only truly capable healer, is down and out, Edward Marlow attempts to heal severly damaged Kraken but sadly doesn't help with any of his wounds.  Blix is able to patched up a little but he still has some wounds that linger.  Any of the fallen that are no longer living are left exactly as they fell because of the fear of more dangers from the forest or other Red Men coming.  Instead with the wounds bandaged and mended as well as possible and those less injured and not aiding in the bandaging gather supplies and cargo so they can retreat as quickly as possible.

While the group is gathering everything, Blix notices something peculiar in a tree a long distance away.  The peculiarity appears to be a dark multi-legged creature.  This creature swings down from the treas, landing easily and gracefully on the ground.  The dark outer appearance of the creature is very similar to a spider, especially considering it just swung down from a tree.  Not waiting allow another creature to surprise and attack the party, Blix hurls his harpoon.  The throw is nowhere close as the pain from the wounds just received flair up.  The spider tries to talk to the Doreen and anyone else that will listen, even after the a harpoon was thrown in his direction.  The spider now makes his way closer and it is easy to tell that the first assessment was wrong.  What they had thought was a spider can easily be identified now to resemeble a crab because it has exited the shadows of the trees and has come out into the open.
No more attacks are made at the creature as people could now hear and speak with the creature.  This creature, now dubbed by Edward Marlow as "Spider-Crab", is introduced to the rest of the rag-tag bunch but the introductions quickly escalate into arguments as the names provided by Marlow seem to be different than what the individuals believe are appropriate.  The hottest debate is over what name is more appropriate for Blix.  It is argued that former Captain Abraham's current name of "fish boy" was not appropriate because Mongrel, the Kehanan, would be more appropriately named "fish man/boy" and that it is better to call Blix something like a seal, otter, and even "duck" boy/man instead.  The last was muttered from the incapacitated Carnage and it is difficult to tell if he was attempting to participate in the conversation or suffering from delirium and delusions.  Edward mutters each of these aquatic names under his breath to test them out before saying out loud that there is no way it can be any of those; it has to be fish-boy; presumably because none of the others sounded any good to him.

The crew, after arguing about names decides that "spider-crab" is not and intimidate threat, but still decide it is best to keep a watchful eye on him.  They finish packing up the loot and cargo (as much as they could carry that is), leaving directly for the skiff they had discovered earlier that day.  They were rushing to leave behind the blood and death before anyone or anything else came to cause more problems.

Edward Marlow takes the lead for directing the way to the skiff and though he is no native to the island, his instincts (really it was pure luck) point him in the right direction, much to the surprise of Pol-ariss.
Instructions are given for the crew, with Stewart as point, to set up the skiff with riggings and sails as well as to finish removing the vines and growth.  During this time, Edward, Blix and Pol-ariss made their way downstream to the ruined Rebecca to retrieve the supplies left there.

Exercising caution, once more they approach the wreckage.  Their caution is rewarded when the group notices a figure in the distance on the beach.  The individual appears to be looking out at the wreckage.  Blix immediately slips into hiding, whispering he will help if they get into trouble.

Edward Marlow and Pol-ariss, both curious about the individual as well as the status of the supplies, go to investigate.  As they approach, the burly fellow does not meet their expectations.  They had expected a Red Man scout but instead the individual appeared human.  While human, he still looked very large and beefy, but he is undoubtedly human.  The man remained stoic at the approach of the crab and Dutchman, never saying a word nor going for a weapon, even with the Edward and Pol-arriss having theirs ready just in case.

With the lack of aggression exhibited, Edward attempts to speak and as he does so, he notes that the human glances around the beat at the hastily hid gear and supplies strewn around the beach.

"Hi, you lost? You lose your mummy?" Edward asks in the kind of way someone speaks to a child.  Edward then glances at the crab, who had made it know he thought Edward was crazy, adding in a whisper "He’s in a diappy".

The only response from from this new stranger was the continuation of the stoic stare.  The captain, unfazed by the blank stare to continues on asking a few more questions as if the stare was in itself an answer.

"Find my shinny cannon?" Edward asks pointing at the cannon that had been attempted to be covered with sand but was still clearly a cannon.

The savage finally responds with more than a stoic stare.  He moves his head down in a single nod.

Pol-ariss, was completely at a loss for words.  The manner in which Edward is dealing with the situation as well as the complete craziness being exhibited by the other human make no sense to the crustacean and he cannot keep his eyes from bulging as they make an audible noise as they 'blink, blink' in an attempt to check that this wasn't some illusion.

Edward continues talking as if to a child, saying "Wanna pick it up?  Wanna carry it?"

Again, the savage simply issues a single nod of his head to indicate his agreement and again, the crab stands there, unable to comprehend how such an encounter could happen.  Even seeing it first-hand doesn't make it any more believable for him and again his bulging eyes just issue the sound as they again issue their 'blink, blink'.
The captain then,in an attempt to bribe the savage, pulls out some of the lizard meat.  The stranger, as unconcerned or full, pays no attention to the meat.  Edward, not one to be worried when he doesn't hear the voices of others, introduces with a gesture at the crab and himself as "Spider-crab" and "Cap'n".

Finally both the crab, partly because he felt the situation was safer and partly because he felt maybe another individual would help him keep his sanity with such bizarre behavior, begins to flail wildly to Blix.  The Doreen however is completely oblivious and doesn't notice.  Edward, noticing the crabs antics, attempts to communicate with Blix as well but normally keen senses have been dulled and the doreen still pays no attention to the situation or any danger the two may have been in.

Ignoring this Doreen’s lack of response, Edward and Pol-arris grab the gear and supplies before heading back to the skiff.  Meanwhile the newly befriended savage, who the captain decided to call "Samson" since no words or name were provided, pulls along the cannons.

The rest of the crew are still diligently working on the skiff have been able to clear the skiff and set it up most of the way by the time of thier return.  At this point the day has nearly come to an end with the sun setting and so it is decided that resting until tomorrow would be for the best.  A fire is made by Samson while the other members of the crew finish preparing for dinner and camp.
It doesn't take long for their evening to encounter problems though.  Before the sun has fully set, the camp is set upon by mosquitoes.  The swarm is so numerous and dense that each memeber of the crew quicly is covered with bites.  To escape the myriad of bites, the camp quickly race to the nearby stream and jump inside to escape the insidious pests.

Mongrel, being a Kehana, is fine underwater so spends the whole night just sleeping at the bottom of the stream, while the rest have to do the best they can to half sleep, half float while keeping as much submerged beneath the water as possible.  Surprisingly enough, everyone but Blix (a doreen) is able to weather the night without incident.  Poor Blix though, cannot find any useful rest and is fatigued by the endeavor.

Come morning, the slightly sleep deprived crew is able to extract the boat and pull it into stream.  Some amazing boatman-ship from Edward allows the team to easily makes their way downstream to the its mouth.  At this point, the crab has no idea what to think of the new-found captain.  At first it was easy to believed he was an idiot but with his recent successes, the scurillian is unable to determine if Edward's luck or skill is is what is leading him to appear as some kind of savant.

The party makes their way to the wreckage where Mongrel and Blix spend 2 hours gathering cannon balls from the waters depths.  At total of 12 cannonballs are all their efforts are able to salvage.

Having gathered all they can and wishing to be free of this god-forsaken island, the skiff takes to the sea heading to the northeast on their way to Kiera.

On the second day at sea, a ship is seen in the distance.  Edward decides to make for it in hopes of help and aid.  For most of the day they follow and attempt to catch-up to the ship.  Finally as night was drawing close, they were able to.  The ship was much larger than Edward Marlow's boat and could easily outgun the small skiff.  This didn't seem make the other ship, a merchant vessel, any less weary of their pursuers though.  After a great deal of persuasion, the crew aboard the skiff was able to convince the merchant ship to send over their doctor to help aid the wounded.

The many injured were not recovering and some looked like they might get worse, so the aid of a doctor was greatly appreciated.  The doctor happened to be acquainted to Edward Marlow.  The new captain instantly recognized "Bones", who's real name was Leonard.  The doctor was able to stabilize Carnage but was unable to provide further benefit to the Kraken.
Being unable to help further, the ships head their separate ways.  The skiff continues uneventfully for a few more days but eventually, due to the overcrowding of the ship, rations run low.  The lack of food takes a toll on everyone but Blix, with his wounded body, is taxed and fatigued farther from his undernourishment.  The rest of the crew bears the discomfort until finally they are able to reach their destination.

Finally Edward and his crew make it to Kiera.  Their trip though does not show the favor of Lady Luck.  Only one of the three salvaged holds of bananas were able to survive the trip.  The crew disperse to search for a buyer of their bananas.  Having lost their supper and manifests in the ordeal on Torath-Ka, the crew have no legitimate means through which they can go to sell their cargo.  A man who apprears to be willing to buy goods from a less than reputable source is found but the man has no love for foreigners, especially those with no manners and turns them away.  In a bizarre twist of luck (use of adventure card: Turncoat) Sampson is able to learn where to sell the bananas on the black market.

Gathered their fees for their cargo and at the same time being unable to accommodate the entire crew given the small size of the ship, the crew is paid their very small shares of the profit.  Blix, being none-to-key about a Kehana in the first place, is quick to voice his disdain for Mongrel.  Some other members, a set of twins and an Englishman decide to take their leave as well.

The remaining crew is comprised of the acting captain, Edward Marlow, the climbing Scurillian, Spider-crab, the unpleasant doreen, Blix, the heavily injured Kraken mage, Carnage, the silent savage, Sampson, the cowardly Atani, Stewart, and a Spaniard crewman, Miguel.  (Stewart and Miguel are NPCs)
A little over 2 weeks at town and are luckily uneventful and all the time the group can afford with the meager funds they have.  Edward Marlow further secures his position as captain by paying out of his own pocket to repair the skiff during their stay.

Discussions among the crew of prices between different cities confirm that the goods for sale here in Kiera are cheaper compared to many of the other cities even if they couldn't remember the exact prices.
With the limited funds of the crew, a search is made for a seller of the Kieran goods.  Through the crew's combined use in streetwise and persuasion, they were able to find an amazing price at ten percent below the cost they believed was normal for Kiera.  Their funds were sufficient to fill only a cargohold full of iron and a cargohold full of gun powder.  With their hold's as full as they could make them, the ship is ready leave with their next destination set to be Brigandy Bay.

Four uneventful days pass at sea.  On the fifth day the crew notices a ship in the distance, which they identify it as another merchant ship.  Neither ship appear to be interested in the other and pass without either side attempting to signal the other.

A couple more days pass until finally on the eighth day at sea, a wrecked ship is spotted.  Blix decides to investigate.  In the wreckage he finds still alive and clutched to the wreckage, another [[Scurillian]] named Equais.  Blix, being greedy and out of earshot of others, tries to gain monetary value for rescuing the Scurillian but with no success.  Even without payment, the crab-man is rescued.  From Equais, they learn he had been attacked by sharks.  The Scrullian goes on to tell them that he used to be a super for the Spanish Guild but that is in his past because now he has been working on charting the water levels around Caribdus.  He has noticed, while doing this, that the water had raised nearly six inches in just the last few months and that if his calculations are correct, then the world is still drowning.  His guess is that within 3 years the Free Towns will disappear and within 10 years, all of the world will be underwater.

Equais goes on to say that he doesn't know how to stop it but if they had it in their hearts to try to stop it, his best guess would be to talk with Tressa the Red.  She is the last arcmage and she has taken to living in the Teeth.  Equais says he was lucky enough to have been there once.  Of course, they shouldn't go there without preparing and that would mean, in the crab's opinion, they should get a better ship than they currently have.  Edward tells Equais he will think about it and they will talk later.

The remaining days at sea are uneventful until they are just a day away from Brigandy Bay.
The night before they would reach the town, a fog rolls in.  The fog is dense and makes it very difficult to travel.  Being late, most of the crew had retired for the evening and the only two still up are Edward and Stewart.

The fog seems to carry with it a supernatural component, sending involuntary shivers down the crews neck whether they be asleep or awake.  From within the fog a ghost comes forth, showing itself to Stewart.  The cowardly atani too scared to scream or do anything as the ghost just points at him while speaking.
Stewart finally fights the fear enough to move and rushes off to tell the captain about a the female ghost he saw.  Edward tries unsuccessfully to get any beneficial information from terrified crewman so decides to go investigate the matter for himself.

He makes his below deck in an attempt to witness the ghost himself.  As Edward approaches, he feels the hairs on his arms rise.  Continuing on he then also begins to smell some faint whiffs of decay almost causing him to gag.  Along with the smell came the distinct feeling of someone standing behind him.  Not one to let fear take root, he turns to see a ghastly figure riddled with rotting and torn flesh.  Maggots were crawling both under and atop the grey, dead skin.  The sight made the gender was difficult to determine due to all the grotesque features (I actually read the plot point wrong and said it was female when it was actually male.  This made the story interesting to me and hence I ran with the gender confusion that is now part of the story).  The undead figure moans, then croaking in broken English says "I need you.  You must help me."
Edward, not one to be taken as a coward, nor to miss a lucrative opportunity listened as the ghost continues on. The ghost introduces himself as "Captain Iago Alfonso de Toledo" of the "Black Prince".  He goes on to describes how 3 years ago he and his ship had terrible trouble and they all died of starvation while he threw himself overboard to drown.  He has since then been unable to find peace and that to end these restless days, he needs the locket his wife gave him that went down with his ship.  Toledo says he cannot get the locket himself but can lead them to it and that the ship is less than a day’s journey from his current location.  He also tells Edward that the only thing he wants from the ship is the locket, they may have the cargo and whatever other valuables they find.

Captain Marlow's decision as well as more adventure will come with the next post.