A Pirate's Life

Story So Far - Session 8

As Albrecht waited for Siv’s golems to finish breaking down the door, her dwelt on something he’d experienced while sailing with Moogle.

Jive and Smeed weren’t the only goblins freed or sold into slavery. Siv had secretly sent out many goblins before in hopes of finding help for the goblins.

One such goblin Rat was sold to a pair of drow operating out of a Shadow Skiff. Siv had used illusions to have Rat pose as a sickly goblin. Once far enough away from Caldera the illusion fell and Rat tried to explain his people’s plight to the drow. The drow weren’t interesting in helping him, they were looking for sacrifices to Lolth. After a short battle Rat found himself in possession of a a Shadow Skiff.

Rat sailed the seas looking for someone to help his people. One day sailing away from Caldera Rat had the wind die. He could see two other much larger ships to either side of him. Rat tried to use magic to get his ship moving again. He succeeded in helping his ship move along at a snails pace.

The crew The Triple Flutterblast sailing under Moogle had just stolen a load of spices from a merchant ship. They were on there way to Caldera to unload their ill begotten booty when the wind fell out of their sails.

Moogle pulled out his spy glass and looked around. He spotted a small skiff between The Triple Flutterblast and a much larger ship. All three ships seemed to be suffering from the same lack of wind. The absence of wind made Moogle uneasy. Moogle could see that the smaller ship was magically propelling itself.

Moogle ordered some of his main deck crew into a dorey to retreive the skiff and her crew. In hopes of that the skiff’s crew might have had the means to move The Triple Flutterblast out of this dead zone.

Albrecht led Paltek and Valiant to the skiff. Albrecht found Rat and two partially eaten drow aboard. Rat did his best to make himself look tough, but Albrecht, Paltek, and Valiant towed him and the skiff to The Triple Flutterblast.

Once introductions were had, Moogle proposed they work together at least until the wind returns. Paltek looked over at the remaining ship. He gave a quick count of sixteen aboard. He also noted that it appeared that this ship wasn’t flying any colours, or sails.

Rat expressed that he felt that this was some sort of trap.

With a grin Moogle declared that where there are people there is profit. He ordered his main deck crew (Albrecht, Paltek, Valiant, Ophelia and himself), into The Triple Flutterblast’s skiff, he turned to Rat he offered to share the profits of this endeavor but would not leave him aboard his ship.

After a significant amount of effort and time the skiff pulled up along side the other ship. The ship looked like it was ill maintained. The sails had rotted off, and the ship itself looked to be falling apart. Peaking over the side, the boarding party could see the deck crew was made up of skeletons.

After a brief rumble the deck crew was disposed of. During the skuffle, the boarding party noticed that whenever they killed a skeleton, motes of light flew from the defeated enemy to below deck. Rat summoned a shadow serpent and scoped out the remained of the ship. In the captains quarters he found a Deathlock Wight and some zombies, on the gun-deck he found two Wraiths and some shadows of people who looked like they were on their way to becoming wraiths and a jewel encrusted jar, on the lower deck he found nothing but gunpowder.

The boarding crew quickly came up with a plane. Using the serpent and some rope. Rat stealthily made a fuse from the main deck to the lower deck, and tied another rope around the jar. As boarding party made their way back to the skiff Albrecht lit the fuse. The crew started pulling on the rope attached to the vase, and after a deafening explosion, found the vase was unscathed at the end of their rope.

As the boarding crew returned to The Triple Flutterblast with their prize, Rat took a closer look at the jar. The jar was marked with symbols of Vecna. Rat was able to discern that this was some sort of cursed artifact. It appeared to prevent the non-living from touching it, captured souls of those who died near it, reanimated those souls as undead within 24 hrs. He also learned that a living creature could open the jar and free the trapped souls, but would become the artifact would become soulbound to the person who opened the jar until their death.

Moogle had reservations about leaving this jar for someone else to come across, and felt strongly that the souls trapped inside it be released. Together Rat and Albrecht came up with a plan. They dredged up some ocean plant life, Rat animated it. He used the plant to open the jar releasing the souls. Moogle then took the plant and the jar to his quarters.

Albrecht and Rat then witnessed Moogle open a chest, carefully move what looked like a black sphere loosely wrapped in cloth to one side and place the plant and the jar into his chest. Moogle explained that he planned on finding a way to destroy the artifact, and eluded that this was something he had some experience with.

As the wind returned, Moogle explained to Rat that he was heading to Caldera to sell his cargo. They both agreed it’d be better if Rat left before then. But Moogle made sure that Rat left better supplied.

Months past. Rat continued to sail alone. He’d heard tales that Moogle and The Triple Flutterblast had been sunk. Rat was taking advantage of the confusion during The Pirate King’s blockade of Wintersbane. He’d sank a skiff of goliath and stolen there supplies, as he was torturing the last living goliath the goliath let slip that The Pirate King was planning on attacking Caldera next.

Rat realized this might be his chance to rescue at least a few of his people. Rat cautiously sailed towards Caldera he found that Caldera was indeed under attack. A massive magically fog bank had been built up and black areas of fog could be seen moving about, and a thunderstorm had come up. Rat thought he’d even caught glimpse of The Kracken. Rat did his best to stay hidden and use the confusion to mask his approach. He past a ship that had just finished fighting off a black dragon and had lost a sizable chunk of one side.

Rat navigated into Caldera observing that the cannons for defense were firing seemingly randomly. He pulled up his ship and made way to the elevator to the mines. He found that someone had destroyed the elevator. Rat made his way to the doors to the under-sections of the city, and found a throng of people trying to break down the door with a pair of Iron Golems. Rat recognized two of them: Albrecht and Siv. After some introductions Rat agreed join the group in trying to free his people.

Story So Far - Session 4

The Pirate King ship pulled up behind the Regal Parakeet and began firing upon it. The ship was captained by a male human with an female Eladrin with a bow, and a black scalled male dragonborn with glowing purple eyes the only crew visible from the deck. A small skiff, painted white like the fog pulled up along the front and a boarding crew climbed aboard. The boarding crew were led by a pale skinned male Tiefling and consisted of two male albino dragonborn and a male orc wearing makeup to make him appear paler.

The Regal Parakeet was encumbured and not able to move its speed already. However, desite it’s similar configuration the Pirate King’s Ship appeared to be faster than the Regal Parakeet. Unable to outmanuever the attack ship Marda did her best to keep out of range of it’s cannons.

The crew of the Regal parakeet were mading short work of the invaders and the crew of the other ship. Sally jumped across to the other ship and released one of it’s ancors. Albrect followed soon after to lower the second ancor to prevent the ship from coming about. With the Pirate King ship dead in the water Marda pulled the Regal Parakeet across it’s bow (out of range of the cannons).

Demoralized the leader of the raiding party tried to escape on the skiff. Sally and Albrect killed the rival captain and discovered that the ships cannons were being manned by four human slaves. As the leader of the raiding party started to pull the ship away, K’Arl fey stepped onto the deck of the ship and Verriant shot the leader with a barrage of arrows. Nightingale flew over to try to push him off the ship when he finally surrendered.

The ships had nameplates “Distraction” and Fog Runner"The tiefling introduced himself as Melech Ambrose. The slaves indicated they had been spice traders before being captured. The traders had run the Four Brother Trading Co. The four brothers were Welf, Willlem, Evan, and Lawrence Kellerman. There was some debated about what to do with the three ships, slaves, and prisoner. It was decided that some of the crew would take the Regal Parakeet back to Wintersbane to appear as returining heros. Marda and Albrect agreed it’d be best not to let the slaves know about the base. The Parakeet would have her crew rounded out by the slaves until Liscohm and Roman could be brought onboard to help the Parakeet limp back to the base. While Verriant would return to the base with the Fog Runner to get Smeed to round out the crew. Leaving Big John, Sally, Nightingale, and Melech to guard the Distraction.

The Regal Parakeet returned to port making a point to come in with her damaged side visible. Donning their disguises Marda, and K’arl went ashore with the slaves and Albrect. The dockmaster asked what had happened. Albrect explained that pirates had appeared but the Parakeet and her crew sank the pirate ship after having rescued the slaves from it. When asked about piracy in the area the Dockmaster offered that the Imperial Outpost was enough to disuade most pirates from the area, however, after having seen how heavily ladden the Regal Parkeet was after her last visit he’d been concerened that Pirates might see it as a target.

Albrect asked if the pirates usually attacked using magical fog. The dockmaster warned that the sea tales usually spoke of the pirates appearing from mist as if from nowhere. Albrect and the dockmaster spoke breifly about making repairs to the ship, Albrect announced that the Regal Parakeet would brave the seas and make its delivery without repairs.

After leaving the docks Marda, K’Arl, and Albrect had a conversation with the former slaves. Albrect asked them what they planned to do. They indicated that they had no interest in returning to sea but had nothing going for them beyond their skills as traders and merchants. Marda suggested they come work at Roman’s resturant as purchasers. The four brothers discussed it breifly and agreed to come work at the resturant. Albrect questioned them further to make sure that they could obtain neccisary goods such as rum and not just spices. The brothers felt that their skill as spice traders was transferable to other types of trade.

The brothers were left with Squib for him to show them the resturant. Liscohm and Roman returned with the others to the ship. The Regal Parakeet sailed back out of port and into the base. The two new ships had already been docked and the crew had already set to work at rebranding them. Albrect named the larger ship, The Osprey, and the smaller one The Seagull.

Upon closer inspection, Albrect discovered that the sails on the Osprey were enchanted, granting the ship +1 speed. The crew searched the rest of the ship and found 1000gp in assorted valuables and took the Pirate King flag as a trophy. The crew decided to take the Osprey to the Caldera instead of the damaged Parakeet. The crew loaded the Osprey. With her boost in speed they felt they could make up for lost time and still return before the Shadownaughts returned.

Albrect made sure that Melech was safely locked up and left instruction with Smeed to extract information but to keep him alives. Smeed broke out into a cheshire smile, and ran off towards the prison. Roman and Liscohm took the surface route back to town. On board the Osprey K’Arl, Marda, Albrect, Sally, Nightingale, Big John, Allister, and Verriant set off for the Caldera for the second time.

Story So Far - Session 3

At the end of the first week Smeed had the ship in working order and Widget had it loaded with stone. The crew discussed how to best get rid of the three loads of stone. It was suggested that the crew could try to trade some stone for goblin slaves from the Calderi. Smeed was extremely pleased with this idea. Liscohm was left to make arrangements.

Roman, Sally, Nightingale, K’arl, Marda, and Albrecht took The Shadow of Night to the nearby island of Verisle to pay Lady Heather a visit. The group planned on trying to convince Lady Heather to move to Wintersbane and work for The Aviators.

Fearing being recognised in an Imperial settlement the party pulled up to an isolated shoreline and made their way to Lady Heather’s Bordello on the edge of town. The party found an unassuming house with the windows covered and boarded up. A Goliath stood guard on the porch demanding 20gp each for entry. Marda unsuccessively tried to convince the Goliath to allow them entry to discuss business. Albrecht demanded that since he was only half a man that he should have to pay less. The Goliath allowed him entry for 15gp.

Marda agreed to allow Albrecht to enter and to try to get Lady Heather to come talk to them. Albrecht entered the bordello and went straight to the bar. The bartender a human woman dressed in blue wearing a blue amulet, calling herself Trinity, told Albrecht that Lady Heather was otherwise occupied with a client, but indicated that Albrecht was welcome to wait and have a drink and partake in the entertainment if he wanted.

Albrecht reported to the rest of the group the situation and the group agreed to pay cover and enter rather than wait out on the porch. The group found a table and discussed the situation. They breifly questioned a lovely Dragonborn lady named Irene. They learned that Lady Heather herself was a recent arrival to the plane, and that most of the girls working for her are transients. Irene indicated that she felt like she was well compensated for her work and that the free room and board was an excellent perk. Irene also shared that there had been problems with violence inside the bordello until they hired Gauthak, the Goliath, to keep the peace. The local law enforcement didn’t welcome the bordello and had been turning a blind eye to their problems. Irene was eventually whisked away by a Dragonborn in an Imperial uniform to one of the side rooms.

Marda suggested that the boys indulge in the entertainment. K’arl managed to find Eladrin twins, Jewel and Stone while Albrect found a halfling named Jinx. With Nightingale on her shoulder Sally was getting quite soused, she’d also been sharing her later drinks with Nightingale. Roman looked quite unfomfortable and spent a lot of time drinking in the corner. Romans only contribution to the conversation was that the interior decorating of the Bordello could use some work. While everyone else was occupied Lady Heather emerged and Marda approached her.

Lady Heather lead Marda into her private office to discuss their business.Marda noted that Lady Heather’s office was beautifully decorated, in contrast the the main area of the building. Marda laid out her proposal that Lady Heather move her buisiness to Wintersbane under the protection of Marda in exchange for passive information gathering and a cut of the profits. Lady Heather agreed in principal indicating that the Imperials on Verisle were hurting her business and that a great deal of her profits were being paid out in bribes to keep her buisiness going.

Lady Heather agreed to have some tentative papers drawn up and sent to Marda’s attention. However, the deal would be conditional on Marda securing a building and approvals from the Lord of Wintersbane. Lady Heather and Marda shook on the tentative deal, as she shook Lady Heather’s hand she had an odd feeling of uneasiness at Lady Heather’s willingness to work with her. Marda shook it off as good luck.

As Marda emerged from Lady Heather’s office she found K’Arl emerging from one room with a smile on his face and Albrect being thrown out of another. It would seem that Albrects wild magic went off pushing Jinx out of bed. Marda gathered the group and prepared to depart. As they did a tiefling woman who introduced herself as Sizzle pulled Albrect aside she told him to ask for her next time, as she was into that kind of thing.

As the group made their way back to the Shadow of Night they saw a figure of a young woman standing beside their boat. It was one of the human women calling herself Trinity. This one was in black leather attire wearing a black amulet. She handed Marda a note from Lady Heather before disapearing into the night. The note read “I will also be requiring the services of an alchemist. -LH”

The group disembarked for the nearby Shadownaughts’ cache of liquor. Sally spent most of the journey vomiting over the side of ship. Upon arrival the group could see a small wooden house lit in the darkness. They sent Nightingale in to scout out the situation, he indicated that there were five people in the house. The group pulled the Shadow of Night up behind the build an snuck around to the front. K’Arl kicked in the door startling the guards.

The group killed two humans, a gnome, and an elf. Sparing a second elf. Marda “convinced” the elf to join the Aviators. The elf introduced himself as Verriant Starlight. His one condition of joining was that he not bunk with Roman. Marda took half the alcohol back to the base with Verriant, Sally, Nightingale, and Roman. Leaving K’arl and Albrecht to guard the remaining alcohol. K’Arl and Albrecht got to watch the sun rise on the small island.

Back at the base Lischom reported that he’d secured a deal with the Calderi to trade a load of stone for some goblin women, children, and seniors. He’d also found a potential buyer for the other two loads of stone. A crazy old human mage named Hazeem was willing to pay 3000gp a load.

Marda and Verriant returned to the island for Albrect and K’Arl and the rest of the alcohol. Marda wrote a quick note “Thank You” and sealed it with a kiss to leave in the basement for the Shadownaughts.

Returning to the base the crew decided to take Big John, Allister, Marda, K’Arl, Albrect, Smeed, Sally, Nightingale and Verriant to sell the stone to Hazeem. Lischom warned that Hazeem was a little unhinged and that his magical ability was over-sold. Before departing Albrecht realized that since the Regal Parkeet was riding so low in the water it appeared to be a nice ripe target for pirates.

The crew arrived at a point of land with a man eagerly waving at them. The crew discovered that Hazeem had a hole in his point of land that he was trying to fill. When questioned about it he explained that he needed dirt to fill his hole. When asked about how much money he had to purchase earth Hazeem indicated that he had enough to fill the hole. When asked where he lived he explained that he lived in the hole. Hazeem paid the party with a single gemstone that Liscohm later assesed to be worth aproximately 3000gp.

During the second trip to Hazeem K’arl and Albrect distracted Hazeem with a tour of the Regal Parakeet while Marda sent her spirit companion down the hole. Through communing with her spirit she discovered that there was some sort of magical barrier further down the hole preventing her spirit from exploring futher. Marda also tried dropping stones down the hole but was unable to determine how far down the hole went.

The party returned to base and set about preparations for the trip to Caldera. Before departing the group decided to make preparations for Roman’s resturant. Liscohm, Roman, K’Arl, Marda, Albrecht, Allister, Sally, Nightingale, Big John and Verriant left the base on the Regal Parakeet and looped around the island to Wintersbane. Marda donned her guise as the Countess DeGras and K’Arl posed as the Earl of Estabrooks K’Arl C’uellinain, Lischom went along as their estate manager, and Roman as a talent cheif, leaving Albrect and the rest to guard the Parakeet.

As Marda, K’Arl, Roman, and Liscohm left a thick fog rolled in. Surprising everyone given what a nice day it had been prior. In town they asked to docksman where they could purchase property, he gave them directions to a counting house called the Golden Goose. As the foursome entered they were met with a gnome seated at a large imposing desk, it was clear that he’d had custom furinture built to make himself seem larger and more imposing. The gnome introduced himself as Vel Derran.

Marda explained that they were there to secure a site for a resturant for her talented cook Roman. Smiling Vel told Marda that she was in luck, he’d just foreclosed on a resturant recently. Marda asked to see the resturant before purchasing it. Vel shouted “Boy, show these fine people the Cauldren”.

The boy, a young tiefling, led them to the edge of town to a building with a picture of a cauldren but no nameplate. The boy, who when asked told Marda his name was Squib, fiddled with keys for a while before opening the building. The resturant was in fairly good condition. All the fixtures were still in place and furniture was more or less intact, the only distrubing part was a pair of bloodstains near the entrance.

When questioned about the bloodstains Squib hesitantly explained that this was what happened when Mr. Derran foreclosed on a building. Squib impored Marda to not be late on payments with Mr. Derran.

Returning to the counting house Marda was outraged at the blood stains. Vel grew angry and started yelling at the boy. Apparently he was supposed to have cleaned up the place. Vel and Marda negotiated and Marda managed to get Vel down to 3500gp. Marda offered to also take the boy off his hands. Adding the boy to the negotiations Marda got Vel down to 3000gp.

Leaving with the boy Marda asked Squib if he would mind living at the Cauldren with Roman. Squib reluctantly agreed, indicated that it wouldn’t be a big adjustment given he used to live there when his parents were the owners. Liscohm, Roman, and Squib stayed behind to get the resturant running.

K’Arl and Marda returned to the Regal Parakeet. The fog was so thick they were unsure whether they’d be able to depart. Allister offered that his sight, although limited, was not hindered by the fog. He offered to help guide the ship out of port in hopes that the fog would be less dense as they got out to open ocean.

The Regal Parkeet had just left the Winterbane’s cove when Allister turned around and screamed: “Darkness approaching from the rear!”. Marda ordered some crew to the cannons and the rest to the rear of the ship. As the ship pursing them came into view the crew was able to make out a Jolly Roger with a crown being flown by their pursuer.

Story So Far - Session 2.5

A week has passed since the crew took ownership of their hidden base, now affectionately named The Nest.

Sally has more or less kept to herself. It’s clear that her tough exterior has slipped. Nightingale hasn’t left her side all week. Sally has taken to going topside and walking through the woods.Marda made a point to visit Sally.

Roman has been making supply runs into Wintersbane with the ever vigilant Alistair. Roman finally got to put his curtains up in the arrow slits. He has also proved an excellent cook, the food from the everlasting bag of provisions cannot compare to Roman’s cooking.

Even Liscohm has made himself useful. He’s been pouring over the ledgers and notes left in the vault by The Shadownaughts. From those he’s been compiling a lists of contacts, targets, and assets.

Smeed has been busy directing the crew on refitting The Desolate. The ship has now been renamed The Regal Parakeet. Smeed’s attitude has improved, he seems to enjoy his work, or at least bossing around people larger than him.

Widget and Big John have been hard at work making the suggested modifications to The Nest. John seems content smashing rocks. Widget remains hard to read, he never stops working, but is constantly coming up with new ideas and designs. It’s clear that what he lacks in magical ability he makes up for with mechanical know how.

In order to add the extra ship berths the vault had to be moved. Widget and Smeed spent an evening arguing about the best way to move it: mechanically or magically. Eventually they heard the sound of rocks cracking and came running out to discover that while they’d been arguing Big John had pulled the vault out of it’s seating and was in the process of pushing it along into the planned location. Together the three of them managed to get the vault into it’s new position.

After the vault was maneuvered into position, Marda sat down with Smeed and asked about Caldera and how long he had been a slave. Marda shared her own slavery tale and her Orc name Raincaller with him. Marda showed Smeed her mangled ear and promised him she would help those slaves. Smeed shared some of his history as well.

At the end of the week. The Regal Parakeet is ready to sail. Widget approached Marda “We need to get rid of the excess stone, for now I’ve loaded it into the hold of the ship, but I’ve got enough cut for three loads.”

Marda has been using he fine clothes she kept to pose as the Countess DeGras. She has been combing the streets of Wintersbane trying to learn all that she can about the locals, the crews current status, and what the Imperial guards at the local outpost are like. Marda has also been seeking out chefs, and potential courtesans for her future enterprises. Marda has broached the topic of her legitimate business fronts to the crew, and she is awaiting volunteers to manage each of the fronts.

After experiencing firsthand Roman’s fantastic cooking, Marda begged Roman to consider being head chef at their restaurant. Roman and Marda have discussed this at length and have even become good friends. Roman has even shared that he’s looking for the right man in his life, and Marda has made it her objective to help him find one. Roman was all too happy to be the chef. Being a chef had been one of his dreams in his younger years.

In Wintersbane there are rumors that someone set The Kracken free. No names have been circulated. One rumor has it that the miscreants that set The Kracken free were killed in the process. The people of Wintersbane indicate that Imperial patrols have been stepped up in the area since. There are also reports of several ships both merchant and military having been consumed by The Kracken.

Despite her efforts, Marda hasn’t had much luck finding courtesans in Wintersbane. Most of the women in Wintersbane aren’t interested. Marda’s found a few people she thinks she could persuade. There certainly seems to be interest among the Imperials stationed in Wintersbane in frequenting a business of that nature.

The current Lord of Wintersbane however voices disapproval at the prospect of a brothel in Winersbane. Marda suspects that he’d need to be either black mailed or otherwise convinced to allow such a business to operate in his town.

From Marda’s inquiries she’s heard of a upstart brothel on a nearby island, Verisle. Run by a woman calling herself Lady Heather. Her brothel is apparently not welcome among the citizens there, but has made Verisle a popular stop-over for merchant ships.

During the day, when not eating random mushrooms getting sloshed and spending the high frolicking through the forest, Albrecht has been keeping an eye on Roman and Liscohm under heavy suspicion that they would try to stab them in the back or incite mutiny. Albrecht had a perfect hiding spot for a while, sitting in a barrel staring out the bunghole to spy… at least until Big John carried the barrel into the vault and Albrecht was locked in there for half a day.

From his observations Albrecht has noted that Roman appears to be adapting well to the leadership change, however Liscohm appears to be less happy about the current state of affairs and appears to be trying to limit interaction with the rest of the crew.

After watching the base the first few days Albrecht felt he could leave the base for more than five minutes and not have something explode or someones entrails sitting on the dock. Albrecht hit the shops to get something more suited for his career. To which he bought a large hat and every other article of clothing was fitted with as many pockets as could be attached. He hoped he would never have to find something in a hurry.

Albrecht would also spent time talking to Alistair about his visions and tried to figure out why he had been imprisoned and how he managed to avoid painting The Regal Parakeet pink during refit.

Alistair speaks mostly in riddles. When asked about his current visions he speaks of dark clouds on the horizon and how these dark clouds are snuffing out points of light as they grow nearer. After some questioning Alistair ceases with the riddles shares the nature of his visions.

During the evenings Albrecht had been spending most of his time in the shadiest bars and hangouts in Wintersbane trying to get information and contacts to further their goals. Of priority to Albrecht was information on how to get large quantities of rum to the island without drawing attention and any information he can gather about sightings of the Triple Flutterblast and Captain Moogle since the day the ship was sunk. Albrecht was gathering contacts on the who’s who of not so law abiding citizens for the island and its neighbors. Whether it be through drink, game or other means that probably started with lots of drink.

After a few nights in Wintersbane Albrecht found a nice seedy spot in the basement of a local tavern, Knotty, where gambling and other illicit activities were common place. In the few days he spent frequenting this place Albrecht had seen large amounts of booze being brought in. When asked about it’s origin the tavern keeper, a grizzled dwarf named Haust, explained that he gets regular shipments in by boat. He didn’t indicate the periodicity of these shipment but Albrecht was confident he could figure it out in time.

Asking about Moogle and his ship leads no where. Surprisingly nobody has heard of a ship of that description sailing the seas. However, word is that when The Kracken escaped it sank four ships. Two Juggernauts and two Lilacs. The general theme of the rumors is the prisoners on The Desolate broke free and tried to escape, setting The Kracken free in the process. The two Juggernauts tried to intervene but became victims of The Kracken. Nobody seems to know the name of the fourth ship or which faction it belonged to or where it came from, but all stories agree that it was the last of the four ship to fall to The Kracken.

From his intelligence gathering Albrecht found some names of other contacts on the nearby islands and got a brief history of the area:

There are three islands forming a triangle around The Kracken Pen, which is why the region is known as The Triangle. The three islands are, Crescent, Verisle, and Slate exist in close proximity to each other and to The Kracken Pen. After The Kracken had been captured it was agreed that the three largest factions would set up towns near the pen to help keep The Kracken contained. Crescent had the largest forests and was claimed by a Eladrin Treeborn Lord who founded Wintersbane. Verisle was mostly baron and was claimed by the Imperials who built a small fishing village Hiscup the village is overseen by the currently posted Captain (rank). The third island, Slate, was claimed by the Calderi, it was not a large island and was too small to house a settlement on, instead some wealthy Calderi wizards purchased the island and built a tower on it. The tower, Licht, features a large ball of Arcane light on it’s roof and is used by some sailors as a point of reference for navigating the waters when visibility is low.

Story So Far - Session 2

With two Imperial Juggernauts fast approaching The Desolate the crew discussed a plan of action. The choices were sailing towards the Juggernauts and trying to talk their way out of the situation, or to sail over The Kracken Pen (which the Juggernauts were too low in the water to sail through). Albrecht voted for The Kracken after a dice roll and Alistair offered that the direction of The Kracken was light while the direction of the Juggernauts was dark.

The crew agreed that the prisoners (the former crew of The Desolate) needed to be disposed of. Marda suggested they be set adrift in The Shadow of Night. Sally suggested it was a shame to throw away such a nice boat and suggested that the prisoners be dropped into the ocean to swim and distract the Imperials from their pursuit.

Marda had Big John throw the prisoners over the rail of the ship into the water to give the Juggernauts something else to do and asked Sally to haul The Shadow of Night up onto the deck. Sally walked over to John and took over disposing of prisoners while John hauled up the boat. Albrecht noticed that the Juggernauts although heavier and typically slower were still gaining. He theorized that they might have ships mages using control winds to speed them along.

As The Desolate entered The Kracken Pen the party realized they’d exit The Kracken Pen just as the Juggernauts reached the exit. Fearing that they were severally outgunned the party made a daring plan. Big John loaded the longboat with the ships supply of gunpowder and Albrecht; a rope was fastened between the long boat and The Desolate to pull it along, and another rope was fastened to Albrecht. Just as the longboat was over the edge of the pen Albrecht set fire to the boat and Big John pulled Albrecht back onto The Desolate with all his strength. Unfortunately for Albrecht Big John pulled him so hard he slammed into the mast.

The explosion worked and one side of The Kracken Pen was destroyed. The Kracken slopped its way over the edge and set to work destroying one of the Juggernauts. However, the other Juggernaut remained in pursuit of The Desolate.

The crew realized that there was something off about the ocean alongside them. The water was being disturbed as if something were coming up from the depths. A ship covered in in abberant tenacle like growths surfaced beside them. The crew were also infested with the same aliments that afflicted the ship. The gnomish captain had a sword raised as if to fire on them. But he hesitated disappeared from sight. Returning moments later with a bow. He shot a single arrow that narrowly missed Albrecht.

The mysterious ship came about and sailed off towards the Juggernauts.The gnomish captain raising his hat in a show of respect. Marda recipracted the gesture. As the ship sailed off Albrecht thought he made out Triple Flutterblast on the overgrown nameplate.

Albrecht realized a letter was attached to the arrow and gave it a quick read.

After sharing the letter with the crew and the intel on how he was captured the crew aggreed that heading off to Crescent Island was the best course of action. The island was about a half a day away from The Kracken Pen.

When The Desolate arrived at the cliff face on the North side of Crescent Island Marda and Albrecht spotted three arrow slits in the otherwise featureless cliff face.

It was agreed that Smeed would pilot The Desolate out of range of the arrow slits and K’arl would repel down the cliff face, while the rest of the crew took The Shadow of Night up to the entrance of the hideout, under the shadow of night.

K’arl successfully repelled down, took out the watchman, and opened the hideout. The rest of the crew stealthly pioleted The Shadow of Night into the hideout. The hideout was guarded by humans, halflings, two hounds, an elf and a gnome. The crew killed most of the men in the hideout before knocking out the gnomish leader of the hideout. After the gnome was knocked out the remaining halfling surrendered.

The crew found a set of keys and a control rod on the gnome. When the crew went to lock up the prisoners in the cells they found one was occupied by a Warforged, Widget. Widget claimed to have built the hideout while he was under the control of the pirates who called this place home, The Shadownaughts. He had intimate knowledge of the hideout and it’s weaknesses. Widget revealed that the The Shadownaughts were able to control him using the control rod. Widget expressed that he wished to be free of his control rod. Marda handed the control rod over to Widget and offered him the choice of joining her crew. Moved by the gesture Widget agreed to join the crew.

Nightingale was sent to signal Smeed to bring The Desolate in. Once The Desolate was safely docked. Widget explained how the hideout used hydrodynamics to move ships in and out of the hideout.

If a ship is in berth inside the hideout, water is pumped into the hideout to raise the internal water level above that of the external water level. Thus when the exterior wall phases the water rushing out moves the ship out of berth and into the ocean. Similarly when there is no ship in berth the water is drained from the interior. Thus if a ship is stopped in position outside the hideout when the door phases the rushing water moves it into it’s berth.

Widget explained that he also built the locking mechanism for the vault and knew the combination. Widget told Marda the current combination to the vault and offered to change it. Widget also explained that he’d constructed the vault such that it was resistant to magical penetration.

Smeed voiced concern over letting a creation of The Scrappers join the crew. Smeed explained that in his experience with The Scrappers Warforged were difficult to construct, dangerous, and often insane. Smeed explained that there was no telling what a free willed Warforged could do. Widget grabbed Smeed and slammed him into a wall “Would you rather me with you or against you goblin”. Smeed squeaked “with”. Before being uncerimoniously dropped.

The crew met in the dinning room to discuss their plans. Widget explained that the hideout had only recently been completed and The Shadownaughts were making their rounds to collect their assets from their various caches; The Shadownaughts flagship, The Cormorant was due back in a month. Widget suggested that if The Desolate was moved out of berth and the group acted as if everything was normal that taking the second ship intact could be relatively easy. When asked if he could make a second berth for the second ship Widget gave it some thought and agreed that he could.

Albrecht, Marda, and Alister went to the cells to question the prisoners. The gnome introduced himself as the second in command of The Shadownaughts, Liscohm Brivit. After further questioning Liscohm revealed that the leader of The Shadownaughts, Captain Orris Renfrew, a dwarf, was on The Cormorant. Liscohm suggested that he was a valuable resource given his connections within The Shadownaughts. Marda offered Liscohm a position on her crew. Liscohm agreed provided it meant that he could both continue to live and be paid.

The second prisoner, the halfling, Roman Hearth. Was the hideout cook. Roman offered that he was also handy with a knife. Roman had lots of suggestions on how to improve the defense of the hideout (ie hanging curatins in the arrow slits, guarding the surface entrance, etc). After Albrecht revealed that the crew had set The Kracken free Roman begged for a shore posting, clearly afraid of The Kracken. Marda suspected that Roman might not be the straightest halfling on the crew.

With the newest crewmen released and in their quarters Marda approached Sally. Marda had started to suspect that Nighingale was more than a normal parrot. Sally led Marda into the empty dinning area grabbed some rum and began her tearful tale.

Sally tearfully ended her tale unfinished. She promised to share more later. Grabbing another bottle of rum she ran back to her room. Looking over the rum supply Marda realized that at the current rate of consumption the alcohol would be gone very soon.

Marda shared Sally’s tale with Albrecht and they started plotting the future of their pirate group.

Story So Far - Session 1

The story starts at Water’s Edge in the city of Ark Turath:

The party was gathered at the Commander and Chief’s mansion

  • Albrecht Hohenheim was brought from his specially constructed cell to the mansion
  • Marda Gras had been previously found guilty of a host of crimes and was told she was being brought to the mansion for sentencing
  • K’arl C’uellinain, a travelling sell-sword was approached on the dock with a job and was also brought to the mansion

Once gathered the Commander and Chief, Snarl, gave some background information:

  • Snarl introduced his chief tactician, a tiefling named Vance and the parties contact with The Empire, a changeling named Vohl
  • The Empire has intelligence that the Pirate King is planning an attack that would disrupt the Imperial Navy
  • Attempts to find more information out about the attack have been futile
  • The gathered party of miscreants is tasked with posing as pirates endearing themselves to the Pirate King and gathering intelligence
  • Those participating will have charges against them dropped and be handsomely rewarded given a success
  • Given that this is a black op The Empire will deny any connection to the party and no-one outside this room knows the party works for the empire
  • Vohl will be posing as an old drunk in a dwarven settlement on a desert island currently named Todge (but is a somewhat contested island)
  • Snarl left the discussion before planning occurred as he had other matters of state to attend to but requested that if the party come into conflict with The Empire that they proceed as normal but avoid fatalities

Vance took over discussion:

  • Vance indicated that the first order of business was to find the party a ship
  • Vance had adjusted crew rotation and execution schedule so the prison ship The Desolate would be lightly guarded and had a group of criminals that could be easily used as a crew
  • The Desolate was supposed to be taking the prisoners to The Kracken for execution.
  • The trick would be first getting to this ship and than to take the ship
  • Vance recommended stealing a small ship and using it to board The Desolate
  • The party came up with a plan where K’arl and Marda would dress as guards to bring Albrecht for execution using a story about how his immediate execution was ordered after he blew up the original prison transport he was on while it was still in dock
  • Vance suggested the museum piece The Royal Dingy that was tied up at the Traitor’s Gate (lowest point in the city originally used as the Royal Gate until smugglers and other miscreants started using it to gain entry to the city)
  • The Royal Dingy was more or less sea worthy and Vance adjusted the guard roster to make sure it was lightly guarded
  • At Marda’s suggestion he made sure a female guard of the same build as her was on duty

Vance gave a brief description of the prisoners on board The Desolate

  • Smeed, a goblin, a former Scrapper slave who is skilled enough to maintain the ship
  • Alistair Magnus, a false blind seer, who has made a habit of defrauding people of money using false proficiency. Described as a capable con-man.
  • Big John, who was once human but had some sort of primal ritual performed on him, covered in magical tattoos that give him an unnatural vitality but seem to have damaged his brain. He is a good strong arm and easily influenced
  • Sally Sparrow, an Eladrin, and her parrot Nightingale. Sally hides her Eladrin heritage and is probably the most experienced pirate of the prisoners but has an unhealthy attachment to her parrot

Vance handed over some gold for supplies and led the party out of the mansion via a secret passage into the first level of the city. Being fugitives Marda and Albrecht hid in the shadows while K’arl did the shopping. Through some gambling it was decided that a portion of the money for supplies would go towards buying K’arl and magical long sword (+1).

Once the supplies were bought the party made their way to the traitors gate. Marda decided that she would distract the two guards at the stairs and give the party a chance to launch a surprise attack. She acted like she was lost looking for the way up to an upper level for an important date. The guards were sympathetic but indicated that Zira would kill them if they left their post. Marda carried on the charade as long as she could. K’arl and Albrecht missed their cue to attack and Marda returned frustrated that the plan hadn’t been executed.

The party did learn that Zira, a mage, was down on The Royal Dingy, and was frustrated at having been brought in to cover for a sick guard.

Instead the party took the direct approach and launched a surprise volley at the guards on the stairs. Between the guards and Zira’s first volley Marda was dead and K’arl was unconscious. Albrecht managed to knock out the two guards before being knocked out himself.

K’arl and Albrecht awoke in the mansion again. A frustrated Vance had Marda being raised in the next room. Apparently once they’d been arrested he’d managed to get them rerouted back to the mansion. Albrecht had managed to hospitalize the first two guards.

Once Marda was raised Vance suggested they not try to steal The Royal Dingy again. Instead he’d found out that some drow smugglers had been caught in a sparsely populated section of the lower city. The smugglers had a drow ship that was made of a black wood and sailed a black sail and was almost invisible in darkness; The Shadow of Night. Vance made sure that there would be only a lone guard on the ship.

The party was successful at knocking out the guard and stealing his uniform. After they were underway the party discussed their plan. Since they’d only managed to get one uniform but a much more capable ship the party decided that they’d try to sneak aboard The Desolate at night.

The party sailed out into open ocean past two Imperial Juggernauts and alongside The Desolate. They found three crew drunk on the deck and another at the wheel. K’arl stealthily fey stepped behind the crewman at the wheel and tried to knock him out. When he failed the crew was alerted to their presence.

Some of the drunks brought the rest of the crew from below deck and another shouted out for Captain Fairweather. Outnumbered the party feared that the day was lost when Big John, Smeed, and Nightingale broke free and evened the odds. With Big John landing the fatal blow on Captain Fairweather (who had tried to escape on The Shadow of Night).

Marda took Captian Fairweather’s hat and named herself captain. The party freed the rest of the crew and went about introductions.

Marda tried to convince Big John to follow her. She used a lot of words before promising that he’d get to smash things. At that Big John agreed " Big John smash what talky lady say to".

Marda asked Smeed if he’d sail with them, he agreed given that the crew would help him free his people from slavery under the Calderi. When Marda asked if anyone could cook, Smeed offered that he’d cooked before for Scrappers. Marda declared Smeed the cook. Later when the party found a bag of everlasting provisions Marda informed Smeed he wouldn’t have to cook. Smeed responded “Good, I was going to poison your food anyway”.

Marda asked Sally if she would sail under her, Sally danced behind Marda and held her sword to Marda’s throat and threatened " If anything happens to Nightingale your life is forfeit". Before dancing away again.

Marda started asking Alistair if he’d join. He agreed saying that “Your path is bright while all others lay in darkness”. When asked if he was actually blind Alistair described “Blindness does not prevent sight, I can see that you have a dark vessel pulled alongside this point of light”.

As the sun rose it became clear that two Imperial Juggernauts were coming to investigate The Desolate and the now visible drow ship pulled along side it.


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