This was a fun session! I’ve been trying to be a little… more aggressive… in scene setting and pushing the events a little faster. But we still had a fun time playing out an unintentional beach-holiday. And double crossing a crook! Cyrus’s player couldn’t join us this session, but nevertheless Cyrus survived unscathed 🙂
Andrew (fighter) Big hairy guy
Burr (thief) gregarious halfling
Richard Tanner (fighter) past his prime soldier looking for a windfall
Veris Strakeas (magic user) on the run eastern scholar
Sunrise saw a tired and stressed crew huddled on the beach, somewhere to the north of the Ruins. In the morning light they spotted strange glimmers in the black sand. Gold? Scattered along the length of the beach were the empty shells of golden crabs! The shells looked metallic, but were not actual gold. The ocean waves crashed against far-off sandy barrier isles while the volcanic beach looked onto a calm lagoon. No one was in the mood to trade further and they collapsed on the beach.
The crew spread out and dug some depressions to get out of the wind. Andrew took out his fishing gear and wandered along the shore. He could see a few schools of fish out in the lagoon. After catching a couple of fish he attracted the attention of some very large crabs. They stayed underwater, but were very interested in Andrew’s feet. Upon spotting a couple of more dog-sized crustaceans Andrew decided that a couple of fish would be enough and returned to camp.
Meanwhile, Richard and Cyrus braved the jungle-edge, looking for some larger game. They came across a large boar, dead in the middle of an animal-trail. Richard spotted the injuries that downed the beast, and after some inspection pulled out fragments of obsidian—tipped arrows. Like the ones used by the Croc-men. Feeling exposed they returned to the camp that had been setup by the others.
They spent the day eating fish and rations, and dozing under the cover of blankets. During the night they kept watch, and around midnight they spotted a torchlight on the edge of the jungle. After a few moments it approached them, crossing half the distance to their camp before stopping. Richard crept out of the light of their campfire and was able to make out a humanoid figure working in the torchlight. Soon a small campfire was lit, illuminating a different croc-man. It sat at the campfire, with a colourful crest extending down it’s head and back, and a wide frill draped from its neck. Richard approached.The creature invited Richard to join it at the fire, prepared a bowl of smoking herbs, and after taking a deep breath offered it to Richard. After breathing the smoke he found he could understand it! It was a shaman of the Kiru tribe, and had hunted down the men responsible for killing many of his tribesmen. It asked if Richard and his companions were protecting those men. It asked if they could make a trade – one headman to another – and asked Richard to bring his advisor. Feeling somewhat nervous he asked Veris to join them. The Shaman proposed that simple revenge wouldn’t stop more killings. It wanted to hunt down the recon the freebooters were here. Richard & Veris happily said they had no loyalty to Captain Ryan and his ship. A trade was arranged. The crew would give a gift to the Captain – a fire-crystal – and in return the Kiru would go back into the city and gift the crew with an old treasure. Veris excitedly pushed Richard to agree.
The next few days were tense. Lothar and Arthur (the two surviving prisoners the crew had rescued) constantly grumbled about “lizard-lovers” while the rest of the crew spent time trying to relax on the beach. All were aware of the Kiru Croc-men hovering in the jungle on the edge of the beach. The crew tried to relax and share a few stories with each other, but waiting to see if the Kiru would betray them caused a lot of stress. Burr ended up calling Andrew an ungrateful money drumming noble. Veris screamed “ignorant, unenlightened mundane” at Burr. Richard labelled Veris blind to anyone’s better experience, while Andrew called out Richard for charging over anyone else’s opinions.
No one was happy sitting on the beach.
The Shaman came through. It restated: “Give the gem to the captain before you leave. The spirit of my grandfather is in this stone, and he is eager for vengeance.” It gave the crew a petrified display box, filled with 30 ancient metal disks. At first they were taken for fancy coins – gold, silver, and other exotic metals. But once Veris got a few hours to examine the “coins”, he realised that they were something else entirely – many with writing and symbols never recorded in the Great Library of his eastern homeland. Just the metals and precious stone inlays would be worth over a thousand silver, but to a collector or antiquarian these would be worth much much more!
Veris was very curious as to the actual meaning (or usage) of these metal disks (which all had a small hole in the middle)
While Cyrus, Richard, and Veris discussed how they would return to the ship at sunrise, Burr had an idea. The other crew “Barlow’s Hawks” would also be returning to the ship in the morning, and their bet was still open – whoever returned with the most loot would win 1000 coin. Burr and Andrew agreed on a plan to sabotage the other team.
They snuck towards the ruined city during the night and spotted a camp of freebooters celebrating their haul. The pair waited until the noise and fire had died down and snuck towards the camp. Burr tried to find the lookout, but practically stumbled into him defecating in the bushes. Burr stuttered out a warning about shadows from the ruins. But the bluff was stopped by a sword through the lookout’s chest. “We’re wasting time” Andrew said as he cleaned his sword on the leaves.In the centre of the slumbering camp was a large lifelike statue tied to a stick. When approached the statue moved its head and made a soft chiming sound. Burr tried to whisper questions to it, but no real communication seemed possible. As a last resort he untied the “statue” and pointed out into the jungle. The statue ignored Burr and walked away back towards the volcano to the north – stepping on one of the sleeping freebooter’s limbs. The scream of pain shot thorough the camp leaving Burr and Andrew only moments to grab a nearby pouch and run into the jungle.
The Siren’s Edge arrived in the bay, and the longboats came out to collect the freebooter crews. As the ship raised sails and headed back to the Violet City Captain Ryan called for a display and division of the booty! It seemed the whole ship’s crew knew of the bet between Ravenholme and Barlow’s Hawks, and watched intently as the two merchant companies displayed their wares. The Hawks looked like winning (despite losing a singing golem!) until Ravenholme pulled out the fire-opal gem – which Ryan grew obsessed over. It was offered (and accepted) as the captain’s cut of their loot – and also pushed the ship’s crew into agreeing that Ravenholme had won the bet (and 200 coin apiece).
Shortly after arriving back in Westport the crew were called into speak to Ma Martel. From the office balcony they could look out over the port, and see the shattered remains of the Siren’s Edge littering the port. They offered up a description of Swordfish island, and handed over their partial navigation instructions to make landfall. Ma looked pleased – although perhaps more about the destruction of a possible competitor rather than good directions.
The box of “coins” were brought into the temple square markets where all the classy folk did their trade. Veris managed to get an introduction with Sanjay Djaim who was known to trade in exotic and magical goods. He made a big deal about negotiations until a small cat (and entourage of robed nobles) came in and made a surprising offer – they would offer Veris access to the semi-mythical great library of the goddess, and 2000 coin in return for the box of metal disks. Veris gave all the money to the rest of the crew, and went with the Nobles to visit the library.
=====End Session 3=====