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50 Fathoms Actual Play
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GruffaloCrumble
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Joined: 19 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:14 pm    Post subject: 50 Fathoms Actual Play Reply with quote

Andrek : 'Nuru' Nurunain, Doreen Hunter
Cholland67 : Brock, Human Debt Collector
DudleyPaddy : Kli Sailsong, Atani Sea Rover
MellyMel : Taris, Kraken Water Mage
Stew : Thomas Clifton, Human Sea Captain

Session One - Part One [04-03-2010]

The Adrianne, a mid-sized frigate hauling lumber from the forested lands of the Free Towns to the insatiable markets of the distant Kieran Empire, is struck by calamity when some unknown force tears the bottom from the vessel, instantly sucking several unlucky crewman out into the dark, blue abyss below.
Under the desperate command of the frigates captain - an Englishman from Earth - the stricken Adrianne limps into the shallows surrounding Torath-Ka. It is here, upon the golden beaches of this much unexplored, savage land - inhabited by remnants of the brutal Ugak tribes the Masaquani optimistically imagined had been exterminated to the last red-skinned infant - that our heroes and the surviving sailors find themselves stranded.

Tasked by Captain Abrahams to scavenge food and fresh water while the remaining crewmen salvage what they can from the sinking ruin of their ship, the heroes embark along the sandy coastline. Gliding from the crows nest of their doomed frigate to the beach, Kli Sailong spotted a second mast jutting from beyond the tree-line to the north-east and the party resolved to investigate further.
Several hours and one mild case of sunstroke later, the heroes reach the other ship, only to discover it is far from seaworthy and apparently abandoned for many months, having been beached upon the coastline and partially buried under towering mounds of loose sand.

While Kli Sailsong clambers into the branches of a gnarled, old tree overlooking the beach, the other shipwrecked adventurers further investigate the beached skiff. Exploring the hold, they discover the cargo spaces have been converted into a crude cell block, inside of which languish the previous occupants of the floating prison, their bones bleached white by the corrosive, coastal winds.
Noticing that the prisoner's weapons lie beside them, Taris reasons that perhaps they were not locked inside against their wishes, but sealed themselves within willingly for what meagre protection the vulgar irons cages might provide.

While the others investigate the slavers vessel, Kli Sailong [from his treetop vantage point] spots figures approaching along the beach, larger and more muscular than either humans or masaquani, one of which rides upon a ferocious, yellow-scaled lizard, larger that a horse. Loosing a warning shot from his trusty bow, Kli alerts the others to their peril, who assume defensive positions within and around the beached skiff.

Taris made excellent use of his Stun spell to throw the approaching Ugak warriors off their guard, the lizard-rider tumbling his saddle and splashing into the shallow surf. Rid of its master, the Yellowback charges into battle, raking Brock with its claws and fangs, before fellow Englishman Thomas Clifton emerges from below and drives his rapier through the slathering reptile's brain.
Doreen Hunter Nuru lurks within the bowels of the beached vessel, leaping out at the last moment to skewer a surprised warrior on the end of his spear, while Kli Sailsong glides majestically from the jungle and runs another of the red-skinned brutes through the groin.
The final Ugak falls to the combined efforts of Kli and Brock, the latter of whom - upon cleaving the savages head from its broad shoulders - slices an ear from the tumbling bonce before it hits the ground - yet another gruesome trinket to adorn his person and impress the ladies.

To be Continued....
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session One - Part Two [04-03-2010]

While Nuru sets about skinning the butchered Yellowback into edible strips, Kli returns to his treetop sanctuary while the others force entry into the captain's cabin. While Thomas Clifton ransacks the dead slavers quarters for anything of value/interst, Taris begins reading the dead pirates journal, discovering how the slaves escaped from their cells during a particularly violent storm, murdered their captors and subsequently crashed the ship, lacking the sailing experience to alter the skiffs course.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the beached vessel attracted the attention of the savage natives inhabiting the dense jungle highlands, and those escaped slaves who did not fall in battle were dragged off by the Ugak to be sacrificed to their sinister pantheon of Walking Gods.

With the light fast fading, the heroes resolve to make the beached skiff seaworthy again and get off Torath-Ka as soon as feasibly possible. Many of the Adrianne's crew were reasonably talented shipwrights/carpenters and some of these skilled sailors must have made it to the beach in one piece.
The rising pillar of dark smoke against the sunset leads the group back to the smouldering ruin of the destroyed frigate. There, they are met with a scene of great bloodshed, the dismembered bodies of their crewmates lie scattered across the blood-soaked sand, while the camp itself shows signs of great and careless disturbance. Only four bodies can be found along the beach, suggesting that Captain Abrahams and his three remaining men must have escaped into the jungle or been dragged away against their will.
Scouring the ground for clues, Taris notices the tracks in the sand are not unlike those left by the Ugak warriors the group encountered earlier - and here and there are other prints, indicating the presence of more great lizards like that the Redman rider had been mounted upon. Recalling that the Ugaks take great care to capture trespassers on their lands alive, to later sacrifice to their monstrous deities, it is soon agreed that a rescue mission is in order, and hopefully someone whom they rescue will be able to repair the damaged skiff.

With the shadows lengthening as the sun sinks below the horizon, the heroes tramp off into the jungle, the trail of the tribesman so easy to follow that it is not until the moon has risen high above the dense foliage that the group begin to blunder blindly through the undergrowth. Fortunately, the crash of drums and flare of bonfires being kindled nearby draw the wandering characters closer to the hidden Ugak village, where they discover the entire tribe engaged in wild, ritualistic dance and chanting.
Exhibiting his great love for trees, Kli scrambles to the top of yet another leafy sentinel to better survey the area, spotting a torch-lit, mountainous stair hewn from the very rock-face leading up towards a ceremonial altar overlooking the village. While the others stealthily move around the outskirts of the vulgar hamlet, Kli glides silently above the heretical festivities, the hot air from the Ugak bonfires keeping the winged scout aloft in the dark sky.

Undetected, the heroes ascend the mountainside and soon reach the Ugak shaman's blasphemous temple. As they draw their plans, the ritual begins and the spiritual leader of the brutal Red Men begins carving evil symbols into the flesh of the first bound sailor. Swinging the black, stone dagger in a wide arc, the shaman tears open his victims throat and topples the thrashing man into the ceremonial blood pool, which bubbles and seethes with gelatinous menace.
Leaping into action, Nuru and Brock catch the first two Ugak completely by surprise and tip both muscle-bound guardians into the blood pool. Taris begins throwing bolts of elemental sorcery with careless abandon, blasting several more of the awestruck tribesman from the mountainous plateau, while Kli and Thomas Clifton start shooting their bow and flintlock respectively.
After Kli buries an arrow in the surface of the shaman's wooden facemask, the Ugak's dissident paladin is left shaken and is reduced to a smoking mass of charcoal by yet another PP consuming blast of magic from the party's Water Mage.

With their champion defeated, the resolve of the remaining Red Men falters and they are soon finished off by the righteous heroes [and Brock]. Attempting to finish the final Ugak with some style, Nuru hurls his dagger at the sole surviving savage - only to miss and bury his blade in Brock's back, inflicting two wounds [which Taris soon patches up again after the combat]. Understandably irritated, Brock churlishly tosses the offending blade into the burbling blood pool - fortunately the abashed Doreen Hunter is able to replace it with the wicked, stone blade belonging to the dead shaman - though Nuru may yet come to regret taking up this god-blessed weapon.... [The only real gods on Caribdus are uniformly evil].
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session Two - Part One [11-03-2010]

Having effortlessly thrashed the Ugak shaman and his savage warrior priests, foiled their sinister ritual and rescued the surviving crewmen from the Adrianne, the heroes turn their attention to the enormous golden statue mounted above the bubbling, sacrificial blood pool. Depicting the likeness of a huge, fearsome-looking monkape [chattering simian nusiances native to many islands on Caribdus] , if the priceless effigy was sculpted to scale, the party could have been in for a whole world of hurt had the Red Men completed the ceremony to summon Donga, their Walking God.
Too heavy/cumbersome to move, let alone carry back down the mountainside and through the jungle to their ship, the group reluctantly abandon their prize, resolved to return for the blasphemous idol just as soon as they can hire enough expendable muscle to shift it.

Meanwhile, while the others plot the extraction of their treasure, Brock stealthily creeps back down to the Ugak village [where their pagan festivities are still in full swing, the participants oblivious to the fate of their shaman] and begins to systematically set their crude, wooden homes aflame. It's only a matter of time before the celebrants notice - and amidst the chaos and smoke, Brock is spotted and hounded back up towards the temple by a horde of bloodthirsty savages.

The battle rages as the heroes and surviving sailors fight their way back down the mountainside. As their village burns and much of the surrounding jungle is also set aflame, the Ugak warriors lose the will to fight and flee with their women and children into the dense undergrowth.
Scrambling between the blazing habitats, Taris takes a moment to dig through the smouldering embers, but uncovers little of particular value. For the first few hundred yards after leaving the village, the burning foliage illuminates their path, but as the group leave the conflagration behind, they have only the moon by which to navigate the dense jungle.
Reaching the beach, Thomas Clifton and the two rescued carpenters begin work hauling the damaged skiff off the sandbar, while Captain Abrahams leads everyone else back to the piles of lumber salvaged from the wreck of the Adrianne, with which they hope to make their new vessel seaworthy again and escape Torath-Ka.

Binding the wood into a crude raft, Taris and Nuru float the lumber along the coastline to the second boat, while Kli, Brock and Captain Abrahams keep the beach clear of vengeful Ugak. Repairing the skiff takes the combined efforts of everyone not already committed to keeping the Red Men at bay, though the growing numbers massing along the tree-line don't disperse until Kli begins firing flaming arrows into the brush, setting much of the exotic flora ablaze and barring the Ugak warriors from crossing onto the beach.

The unnamed ship unfurls its ragged sails and s-l-o-w-l-y limps further from the shores of the Savage Land, the Ugaks ineffectually hurling stones and coarse insults after the retreating adventurers. With a whole world to explore, a priceless, golden monkey to abduct and an inconvenient captain to cold-bloodedly murder, the crew of the [soon to be renamed] Flabby Wench set sail towards the setting sun.

To be Continued....
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session Two - Part Two [11-03-2010]

The bickering begins in earnest even before the survivors have sailed beyond sight of the seething Ugaks left stranded on the coastline, denied their bloody retribution by Kli Sailsong's marksmanship and quick thinking.

Captain Abrahams is quick to assert his command of the new vessel, seeing the damaged skiff as a poor replacement for his sunken frigate, but better than nothing. He declares his intention to return to Baltimus, capital city of the Masaquani Free Towns and resume service with powerful trade guild, the British East India Company, whose lumber cargo the Adrianne had been transporting to Kiera when the frigate was sunk.
Thomas Clifton and the others object to this notion, claiming the skiff as salvage and thus belonging to them, not the East India Company. Opposed by the majority of the crew, former Captain Abrahams grudgingly surrenders his sword to his fellow Englishman, in exchange for which Clifton promises safe passage to the first friendly port they dock at. For the time being, Kli and Brock volunteer to escort Abrahams below deck to be locked up in one of the cages built by the skiffs previous owners to illegally transport slaves across Caribdus.

He never makes it to his cell. Aware of the trouble Abrahams could cause if he ever makes it back to the East India Company to report the character's mutinous actions, Kli stabs his helpless captive in the heart. He and Brock manhandle the man's corpse into the cell and prop it up in the far corner, intending to throw it over the side of the skiff once darkness shrouds their nefarious actions.

Meanwhile, the others discuss their plans to recover the priceless golden monkey from the Ugak village on Torath-Ka. First, they decide to hire enough additional muscle to actually carry it away from the blasphemous temple and down to The Flabby Wench. Taris convinces the others that Brigandy Bay, a pirate safe-haven concealed on the small island of Brigandy, would be the best place to buy enough cheap, expendable labour to get the job done without too much concern over any casualties sustained on route.
Assuming command of the vessel, Captain Thomas Clifton takes the helm and sets sail for the island of Brigandy.

That night, strange lights are spotted on the horizon, off towards the dread Flotsam Sea, home to the three terrible Sea Hags that inflicted this slow, drowning death upon the world of Caribdus. Wisely, the crew ignore the mysterious signals and maintain their westerly course.
While Kli keeps the rest of the crew focussed on the peculiar illuminations, his murderous accomplice [Brock] hauls former-captain Abrahams' body from below decks and topples the dead man over the side of the boat, never to be seen again.
It's not long before Abrahams' 'escape' is noticed and the small skiff is searched from top to bottom for the missing human. Abrahams is nowhere to be found, and the one clue that might have uncovered his murder - a footprint in the dead Englishman's blood matching Brock's boots - is spotted by the culprit who left it in the first place and discretely obliterated.
It is decided that Abrahams must somehow have broken out of his cell and jumped overboard, though there are no islands in sight and the general consensus is that the man must surely have drowned.

The next day, from his vantage point in the crows nest, Kli spots the floating wreckage indicative of another shipwreck and Clifton alters their course to investigate. Scouring the jetsam for survivors, a lone Scurillian [sentient crab-man] is hauled aboard, introducing himself as Equias, a super for the Spanish Guild [a shipping rival of the East India Company]. The vessel on which he served was attacked and sunk by one of the Ugak's Walking Gods, a colossal shark several times the size of a large frigate. The rest of the crew were snatched thrashing from the water into the monster's jagged maw, Equias only survived after his hardened shell prevented the predator ripping him into chunks of meaty shrapnel like the rest of the human/masaquani sailors.

After hearing his story, Clifton agrees to take Equias as far as Brigandy Bay and drop the shipwrecked Scurillian off there. The super becomes anxious, suspecting he has been rescued by wicked pirates, and the whispers of Captain Abrahams mysterious disappearance do little to alleviate his fears.
Nevertheless, as the days pass, Equias comes to trust the captain and speaks to Clifton of his self-imposed quest to learn more about the rising doom of their water world and somehow prevent the Sea Hags from drowning what little remains of Caribdus' population. Aware that the crew of The Flabby Wench intend to return to Torath-Ka to recover a vast treasure from the jungle highlands, Equias pleads for passage to The Teeth, a series of rocky islands along the southern coast of the Savage Land, where the last non-Kraken archmage Tressa the Red is rumoured to reside. If anyone knows how to save Caribdus, it's her.

To be continued....
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session Two – Part Three [11-03-2010]

The crew discuss Equias' proposition at length, consulting the tattered map of Caribdus that the late Captain Abrahams salvaged from the Adrianne prior to his subsequent usurpation and murder. They realise that the site of the Ugak temple is on route to The Teeth if they cut through a river formed from a deep valley between two mountainous peaks when the Sea Hags' curse began drowning the world and decide to take the noble Scurillian up on his offer.

First though, they need more manpower. Captain Clifton navigates into the hidden cove where the pirate haven of Brigandy Bay sprawls untidily across the gently sloping landscape. Docking alongside a rickety, poorly maintained pier, The Flabby Wench is securely moored and the dock fees haggled down to a slightly less extortionate figure.
Captain Clifton and Brock remain on board while the two Masaquani carpenters rescued from Torath-Ka are given money from the ships chest and dispatched to buy provisions and lumber to fully repair the old skiff. Kli heads into town to acquisition a sturdy wagon with which to transport the Ugak's golden monkey back to the ship while Taris and Nuru explore Drunkards Row, a popular street lined with taverns and brothels, hoping to pick up on any local gossip.

Entering a seedy taproom called The Black Queen, the Kraken mage and Doreen hunter find an empty table and order drinks. Their foaming tankards are bought over by a beautiful, red-headed human girl whose otherwise good looks are marred by ugly bruising across her face. Leaning in, the barmaid introduces herself as Mary-Anne Ross and pleads for the two strangers to help her escape from Brigandy Bay. She explains how she was bought here against her will and forced to prostitute herself for the profit of a powerful pirate coterie calling itself The Coalition.
Increasingly aware that Taris and Nuru aren't likely to help her out of the goodness of their hearts, she offers to reward them with what little money she has been able to keep hidden from her harsh masters, but the two adventurers remain unconvinced that a few hundred gold pieces are worth the enmity of the Coalition.

As they mull over the beaten beauty's proposition, Nuru observes another barmaid [a busty, raven-haired Masaquani] being harassed by a half-ugak ruffian deep into his cups. Unable to stand idly by in the face of such boorish behaviour, the Doreen hunter demands that the savage cease his lecherous groping. Squaring up to the wiry Doreen, the half-ugak marine engages Nuru in fisticuffs. Taris supports his friend by throwing bolts of elemental sorcery at the Coalition thugs rushing to contain the brawl before it spreads.
Having defeated the bouncers, Taris and Nuru find they have rescued more women/whores than they had initially envisaged. As well as the defiant beauty Mary-Anne Ross, they are followed back to The Flabby Wench by the busty Masaquani, a scantily clad female Kehana and two additional human girls of indiscernible age – with the Coalition forces no doubt hot on their heels!
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session Three [condensed] - 18-03-2010]

Having rescued a group of captive women from a brothel in the pirate harbour town of Brigandy, the heroes return to their vessel [The Flabby Wench] pursued by two wildcard Coalition enforcers [the bloodied, half-Ugak bouncers Taris and Nuru battered escaping from The Black Queen with their new 'friends'] and a horde of their bloodthirsty pirate minions.

The masterful sailing of Captain Thomas Clifton enables the crew to elude pursuit, and with no immediate desire to transform his ship into Caribdus' first floating bordello, Clifton decides to drop the women off at Baltimus, the capital city of the Free Towns - where they can hopefully buy some cannon for their woefully undefended skiff. Considering the amount of enemies the crew seems to make wherever they drop anchor, this might prove a wise investment.
Meanwhile, earthling Brock forms an envious relationship with BOTH blonde sisters rescued from the Coalition's clutches, who spend their time nursing his sore head after sustaining a nasty wound defending them from the half-Ugak ruffians intent on their recapture.

During the first leg of the journey, tensions run high between the Doreen hunter Nuru and Kressa, the Kehana harlot rescued along with the other prostitutes from Brigandy. These two races have been hateful enemies since the Sea Hag's flooded the dolphin-peoples ancestral home, forcing the taciturn Doreen to seek sanctuary with their aquatic enemies, where their already dwindling population was decimated by the savage fishfolk.
After a confrontation on deck, the spiteful fishwoman is confined to the hold, whilst Nuru spends the majority of his time fishing from the bulwark.
That night, a terrible screams leads the crew to discover the body of one of Brock's two lovers, her throat savagely slashed open. Carelessly discarded at the scene of the crime is a gore-stained dagger, which Taris immediately recognises as belonging to Nuru - yet he had been on watch with the Doreen for most of the night while the others slept! Clearly a rather clumsy attempt has been made to frame his friend, and Taris uses his Beast-Friend ability to summon those rats aboard ship to see if any of these verminous witnesses can identify the culprit. The rodents reveal that it was [perhaps unsurprisingly] Kressa that wielded the murderous blade and both Brock and Nuru rush to bring vengeance upon the deceitful fishwoman.
Captain Clifton exercises his practised talent for interrogation [ie: repeated slapping] to get Kressa to confess, but the Kehana whore is without remorse and - having been foiled in her attempt to frame the Doreen for murder - leaps to attack Nuru with her teeth and claws, only to be gutted like a, well... a fish, by the same blade she herself used to kill Brock's woman.

Dumping Kressa's body into the ocean [wrapped in silver foil with a slice of lemon and a sideplate of fries], The Flabby Wench continues to Baltimus where what was to be a joyous reunion and homecoming has transformed into a hollow return and funeral. While Taris accompanies Brock to bury his murdered lover on the headland, Captain Clifton and the others go shopping for discount cannon, haggling down a grizzled Grael merchant and installing their new arsenal upon the deck of The Flabby Wench. Having virtually emptied the ships chest on cannons and shot, Clifton decides the crew needs to haul some cargo/passengers to refill their coffers before fulfilling their promise to Equias the Scurillian and taking him to The Teeth, to discuss saving the world with Tressa the Red, final non-Kraken archmage on Caribdus.
They pick up a Masaquani Fire Mage who pays for passage south to Bluths Crown, and also a merchant who needs to transport 6 barrels of gunpowder north to Caresia, a bustling trading post in the centre of the Free Towns. You wouldn't be alone thinking it might not be the best practise to have on board both an apprentice sorcerer dedicated to the element of fire and 6 barrels of highly volatile gunpowder during the same journey [especially considering how eventful the journeys of The Flabby Wench tend to be], but this catastrophic oversight didn't seem to trouble Captain Clifton and off they sailed.
Miraculously, nothing untoward occurred on route, and both cargo and passenger were delivered safely to their destinations and the ships chest refilled with gold.

From Bluths Crown, The Flabby Wench sailed east, south of the savage lands of Torath-Ka [where their golden monkey languishes in the ashes of a blasphemous Ugak temple].
Several nights into the journey, a strange, unnatural fog rose from the dark water, surrounding the skiff. From the hazy miasma appeared the silent wreck of the Grey Courser, a ghost vessel rumoured to be manned by the damned spirits of its formed crew. As the ominous vessel draws parallel with The Flabby Wench, the temperature on board the smaller ship plummets and the crew are overwhelmed with a sense of inexplicable dread. A gangplank fashioned from rotting driftwood crashes down between the two vessels, as though inviting Captain Clifton and his crew to board the haunted ruin, its mangled rigging whispering despite the utter absence of wind.
Swallowing their fear, Clifton, Nuru and Taris cross to the Grey Courser and descend into the dark, noisome hold of the infamous ghost ship. Shadowy shapes flittered back and forth in the impenetrable gloom below decks and worrying sounds could be heard, unseen things clawing and dragging themselves closer, their relentless advance shrouded by the darkness.
Exhibiting the strength of character and resolute bravery for which the British are renown, Captain Clifton immediately turned around and ran away. He and his crew spent the rest of the night cowering on The Flabby Wench until, as dawns first light dispersed the greasy brume enveloping their vessel, the spectral hulk of the Grey Coarser also faded out of conventional existence.

At last arriving at their destination, the crew of The Flabby Wench discover that to deliver Equias to the home of Tressa the Red amidst the maze of jagged rocks jutting from the ocean, they must first traverse The Gullet, a narrow, white-water channel through the perilous labyrinth of barnacle-encrusted stone. Many ships - sturdier and better crewed than The Flabby Wench - have made the attempt in the past, few have survived intact.
Nevertheless, Captain Clifton directs The Flabby Wench into the hazardous conduit and it's only through the combined efforts of the entire crew that the skiff emerges from the other side in one piece.
To their dismay however, they find themselves stranded in a deep bowl-shaped lagoon, completely surrounded on all sides by walls of ragged, impenetrable stone. A fountain of seawater almost 200 metres tall rises from the centre of the bay and it is atop this geyser that Tressa the Red, last known Archmage of Caribdus, resides within her tower.
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session 4 [Part One] - [25-03-2010]

Having unwittingly stranded themselves amidst an enclosing barrier of tall, jagged rocks, the crew of The Flabby Wench begin to ponder how best to reach the Archmage's tower, precariously balanced 200 metres above their heads, atop a geyser of rushing, foaming water.
Whilst Brock begins bellowing for the attention of the tower's occupants [his hoarse roar barely audible over the roar of the rising water], Taris and Nuru dive below the surface of the lagoon to investigate the source of this phenomena. They discover the water pressure is escaping from a crevasse in the bottom of the 'bowl' their vessel is trapped within, but also notice that theirs is not the only ship to have made it through The Gullet. 40'-60' below the surface, propped against the jagged rock-face lies The Carcarus, broken in half by the force of its collision with the impenetrable walls surrounding the bay.
Cutting through the crystal-clear waters around the sunken vessel are a dozen grey shapes, their distinctive fins identifying the large fish as predatory sharks, though nowhere near so large as the monstrous specimen that destroyed The Adrianne.

Returning to the deck of The Flabby Wench, the crew decide to first investigate the wreck of The Carcarus in case they can salvage some clue as to ascending the geyser in the centre of the lagoon.
To draw the sharks away from their aquatic lair, the poor, unsuspecting donkey that Kli Sailsong purchased in Brigandy Bay [to haul the wagon upon which they planned to transport the Ugak's golden monkey] is callously gutted and heaved over the side of the skiff, blood and guts spilling into the once pure waters. The sharks detect the crimson mist spreading on the far side of the bay and immediately race across, passing The Flabby Wench and its donkey-slaughtering crew as they float back the other way, coming to rest above the wreckage of The Carcarus.
While Brock maintains a vigil over the feasting sharks, Taris and Nuru descend to the sunken vessel and squeeze in through a ragged hole punched into the hull through the rotting timbers. They find themselves in the drowned cabin of The Carcarus' captain, who evidently went down with his ship. Curiously, his skeleton is that of a Kraken [like Taris]. A sturdy chest containing the dead squid's worldly possessions is unceremoniously hoisted out and up to the surface by the two burly Masaquani carpenters and forced open by Brock revealing a small fortune in precious metals, minted in Tar Tarris prior to the cities destruction by the Sea Hags, though the majority of coins are badly tarnished by years spent submerged.

Meanwhile, back in the hull of The Carcarus, Taris and Nuru begin investigating the cannons that sank with the rest of the ships [now ruined] cargo - unaware that the sharks have finished fighting over the bloody scraps of raw donkey-meat and even now race back towards their usual hunting grounds.
In a desperate bid to buy time, Brock leans out over the water, slicing open his own flesh to spill his blood into the water and draw the sharks away from the The Carcarus. All but two of the bloodthirsty fish fall for his ploy, but these final two predators continue down towards the shipwreck, their pace increasing as the Doreen hunter emerges from the hold to investigate the disturbance above. Grappling the lead shark, Nuru begins driving his dagger into the fish's smooth, powerful body, while the second shark weaves around the thrashing pair to snap at the struggling Doreen from behind. Emerging from The Carcarus to find his friend fighting for his life, Taris begins blasting both fish with powerful bolts of sorcery, snatching the life from one and allowing Nuru the opportunity he needed to finish off the other with his blade.
As the triumphant divers return to the surface, Captain Clifton and the others finish of the remaining sharks with a barrage of blackpowder shot as the frenzied fish thrash blindly in the water around The Flabby Wench. The largest of these is then hauled on board and hacked apart to feed the crew as they labour over how best to proceed.
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session 4 [Part Two] - [25-03-2010]

Having delivered Equias safely through the treacherous Gullet, Captain Clifton declares his obligation to the Scurillian completed and demands the other half of the promised payment. Equias argues that the agreement was to take him to the home of Tressa the Red, still suspended 200 metres above The Flabby Wench. He refreshes the captains memory with another 200 gold and Clifton returns to the dilemma with renewed enthusiasm.
Eventually, it is decided that Nuru will swim up the geyser to the island suspended above and find something to tether a rope to, which can then be used to haul up the other, less able swimmers. Finding 200 metres of rope proves more difficult that anticipated, but enough is harvested from the rigging to reach from the edge of the island to the very top of the skiffs mast.
Kli and Equias, the two Masaquani carpenters and Brock's surviving lover remain on board The Flabby Wench, everyone else ascends to the Archmage's tower.

The closer the group gets to the tower, the taller it seems to get, quickly dissuading them from trying to clamber up the exterior wall. This leaves only one obvious means of entry, the front door. Knocking elicits no response, but a large, colourful bird [similar in appearance to a parrot] lands nearby and begins heckling the characters, warning them to turn back or face dire consequences.
Unsurprisingly, the crew are prepared to chance it and enter anyway. Disconcertingly, the interior of the tower is much larger than it should have been - and completely the wrong shape. The cackling parrot [Tressa's familiar, Carifax] is waiting for them inside, advising them that to proceed they must locate a key.
While Brock, Taris and Clifton search the fireplace and bookshelves for secret switches or panels, Nuru examines the wall-mounted map of Caribdus taking up one whole wall of the chamber. Reasoning that the key might not be an actual key, the Doreen hunter presses his webbed fingers against the town of Azy Cay marked upon the map. Immediately, the water level on the map begins to fall, revealing what Caribdus must have looked like prior to the Sea Hags' flood. The water continues to drain, eventually revealing a small metal grating which Nuru lifts aside. Reaching inside, his hand closes around what feels like a door handle, which causes the map of Caribdus to swing aside on previously unseen hinges, revealing a second, smaller door in the wall beyond.

Opening the door, the crew proceed into a long passage, unremarkable but for the curiously marked tiles along its length. They are warned by Carifax that to reach Tressa the Red, four trials [each relating to specific element] must be surpassed. Wind and Earth have already been conquered, leaving only fire and water to obstruct the parties mission.
Examining the first four tiles, the crew discover they each sport a crude illustration of a different animal; a turtle, a sparrow, a snake and a salamander. Taris notices only one of the four creatures has any affiliation with the element of fire and steps bravely onto the tile marked by the image of the lizard. The tiles glows red and grows warm beneath the Kraken's feet... but nothing else happens. Leaping from tile to tile, from salamander to devil, then dragon to phoenix, the crew safely traverse the trapped corridor and reach the other side.
Faced with another portal, the crew find themselves faced with a wall of rushing water surging towards the open door, but not one drop spilling beyond the threshold. Undisputedly the strongest swimmer of the bunch, Nuru dives in and fights the current to reach the next door. Wrenching it open, the magical seal is broken and the wall of water crashes over the others, drenching them all from head to toe and knocking them from their feet.
Picking themselves up, the crew find themselves back in the first room after entering the tower, dripping on the carpet as a beautiful, tanned woman with golden hair looks up from a book she had been poring over and welcomes the characters to her home.


To be continued...
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session Four [Part Three] - [25-03-2010]

Tressa the Red listens to the crew and realises that this motley band of murderers and mavericks could potentially be the ones destined to defeat the Sea Hags - even if they are only undertaking the quest in order to line their own pockets. The last surviving Archmage on Caribdus tells them that to defeat the Hags, they must pour a glass of water from another world [Earth] into the ocean above the sunken ruins of Ograpog and call the Hags true names to summon them from the depths.
Unfortunately, nobody living today will remember the Hags true names, as everyone that might have attended their execution would surely have perished in the subsequent flooding and civil war. Tressa however, has a plan. A powerful relic exists, called the Tear of Lys, a relic which can bestow knowledge thought lost upon its bearer, last known to be in the possession of a reckless Fire Mage called Thomas Orinjo, serving upon a privateer vessel among the Grey Isles.
Realising that the fate of their world hangs in the balance, the crew of The Flabby Wench set out immediently to track down Orinjo and the relic he carries, and claim it from him, either by hook or by crook. Tressa parts the jagged reef surrounding her tower and bids the crew good fortune on their adventure.

Several days into their journey north, sailing parallel to the eastern-most coast of Toarath-Ka, The Flabby Wench finds itself becalmed. Worse still, an enormous Roc - many times larger than their skiff - flaps out of the jungle to investigate the floating platter, literally crawling with bite-size morsels to whisk back to its nest in the mountainous highlands.
Exhausting all but one of his 20 Power Points, Kraken Mage Taris uses his sorcery to befriend the giant avian. Aware that Rocs are feared for their ability to lift whole ships in their claws before dashing them onto rocks [generally killing everyone on board], Taris commands the huge bird to pick up The Flabby Wench and fly with it as far as possible before his sorcerous commmand over the winged predator begins to falter.
Sailing through the clouds, the Roc carries their skiff far further than they could have hoped to travel normally. As he feels his influence over the monster fade, Taris has it descend gently to the surface of the Kieran Sea, release The Flabby Wench and sends it flapping back towards its home on the Savage Land, confused and hungry.

Visiting multiple harbours and coastal villages throughout the Grey Isles, the crew of The Flabby Wench trawl the dockside taverns for news of Thomas Orinjo or the privateer vessel he serves upon, The Valiant. In a miserable little mining town built upon a joyless, grey-shingled beachhead, they hear that The Valiant is moored up on the harbour front of Paltos, a thriving community built to accommodate the infamous prison built upon the cliffs overlooking the ocean.
Travelling to Paltos, they find the Captain of the privateers getting rat-arsed drunk in a dingy tavern on the waterfront. They learn that Thomas Orinjo has been captured and imprisoned within the foetid bowels of the cliff-top citadel, arrested on trumped up charges by corrupt Keiran officials planning to sell the innocent mage to the nefarious inquisitor, Tomαs de Torquemada.
The despondent captain agrees for the heroes to return to The Valiant with one of his crew - Dave Shanks, an Irishman/Scotsman[?] from Earth - to search through Thomas' possessions for the item they think can maybe save both the Fire Mage, and the whole of Caribdus. The soon realise that Orinjo was wearing the Tear of Lys around his neck when he was taken - and that if they want to recover the relic, they're going to have to break him out of prison....


To be continued... [08-04-2010]
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session Five [08-04-2010]

Having established that in order to determine the true names of the three Sea Hags [necessary to summon them from their sunken lair in the drowned ruins of Ograpog], the Fire Mage, Thomas Orinjo – or at least the Tear of Lys, a trinket he wears about his neck – must be liberated from the Kieran prison-fortress in Paltos.
A direct attack on the gates would be suicidal – or worse yet, result in capture followed by a lifetime of toil deep in the Emperor's iron mines throughout the Croaker Mountains.
Kli Sailsong suggests that the party disguise themselves as Torquemada's henchmen, come to collect the imprisoned mage from the bowels of the citadel and transport him to the Grand Inquisitor's barge 'The Perdition' for the purification of his wicked soul [ie : torture and death].
Without further ado [or even the most cursory reconnaissance], the crew – disguised in the enveloping robes and cowls favoured by Torquemada's fanatical zealots – tramp up the cliff and towards the prison.

Pure bravado [and threats] get the group into the compound, where they are left under the watchful eyes of the prison garrison – almost 50 men in total – while the warden is summoned from his office. Displeased by the unfamiliar faces and poorly justified changes to the established schedule, the corrupt Masaquani officer's career greed [and dire warnings of Torquemada's displeasure] overcome his better judgement and he escorts the crew deep into the bowels of the prison.
Desperate, dirty, starving prisoners gibber and shriek as the entourage pass their cramped and stinking cells, and eventually they reach the very lowest level of the labyrinthine complex, where those captives known to possess elemental mastery are held, awaiting the Grand Inquisitor's pleasure.

It is only now, as the negotiations over the wizards price begin in earnest that the warden discovers that Torquemada's 'representatives' have not bought along any gold with which to pay for the fettered mages, of which there are three. The first is a battered Masaquani woman who would surely have collapsed were her chains not holding her upright. The second is a defiant Doreen, exhausted and dehydrated by captivity on dry land. The final prisoner – a handsome man, though bloodied and bruised – must be Thomas Orinjo.
Abandoning their ruse, the crew of 'The Flabby Wench' discard their disguises and draw weapons, taking the warden and his sentinels completely by surprise. Grabbing the corpulent official, Brock struggles to break the warden's fat, blubbery neck with his bare hands. Realising that the man is of greater value to them as a hostage than a corpse, the others manage to prise the murderous Englishman's fingers from the wardens neck before all life is completely squeezed out of the bloated jailor.

Choking in Brock's brutal embrace, the crew have little trouble intimidating the cowardly overseer into ordering the men under his command to relinquish their weapons and release Orinjo and the other prisoners from their bonds. Locking up the guards, the crew begin the arduous climb back to the surface. Their skulduggery in the depths has not gone unnoticed and an army of armed Keiran soldiers are waiting for the crew to re-emerge.
Stepping out into the compound [protected by their human shields], Thomas Orinjo fires a streak of flame high into the sky over the prison, signalling the crew of 'The Valiant' to commence the bombardment intended to cover the crew's escape. With no sign of the fire support they were expecting - and the Masaquani warriors becoming increasingly bold – the crew have little choice but to retreat back inside the prison, executing one of their prisoners as proof they are not to be trifled with lightly.

While the others brace the door, Brock and Clifton begin smacking the long-suffering warden about, intent on learning of any other means of leaving the prison-fortress, inside of which they now find themselves cornered. He spills his guts and reveals the existence of sealed drainage system that filters the prisoner's waste into the caves riddling the base of the cliff.
Breaking through the ancient iron grate, the crew finally decide that the warden has outlived his usefulness and Brock revels in slitting his throat and severing yet another bloody ear to string about his own neck.

If the prison itself smelt bad, the dark, narrows tunnels beneath reek even worse. The noxious odour proves so putrid, both Brock and Kli begin heaving up the contents of their stomachs. Stumbling through the pitch-black burrows, the crew soon realise that they are not alone – and the figures that stalk them through the shadows are worse than mere Masaquani.
The rotting, undead corpses of in-numerous perished prisoners – those the Keiran guards had merely tossed over the cliff rather than properly bury - shamble along the passage towards the arc of torchlight illuminating the entourage.
Battling the zombies in the dark, cramped confines of the tunnel proves a daunting endeavour, additional creatures shambling hungrily from the darkness for every one that the crew defeat. Too late, they discover that wounds that would surely kill a living opponent do little more than inconvenience these brain-ravenous ghouls, as the desiccated corpse of a zombie literally cut in half by Brock's mighty longsword continues to crawl after him, his foul, withered entrails spilling out across the ground in its wake.

Thomas Orinjo - spurred by his pride to join the vicious melee – manages one bolt of flaming sorcery, setting several of the animated cadavers ablaze, before being completely overwhelmed by the superior numbers of the enemy. Clawed and bitten, as Kli Sailsong moves to drag the foolhardy man out of harms way, one prone zombie all had thought felled by Clifton's pistols rises again [!] - and severs the Fire Mage's right foot with a mouthful of serrated, brown teeth. The Doreen Hunter, Nuru, also sustains a gruesome wound as one of the undead sinks its jaws about the dolphin-man's arm.

Those of the crew that retain their feet finish of the remaining zombies and hurry on before any more of the horrible creatures can arrive to continue the slaughter. The stench of Human/Masaquani waste begins to fade, replaced by the salty tang of blessedly fresh sea air, and soon the crew can hear waves crashing against the rocky base of the cliff atop of which the prison is built. They can also hear cannon-fire, and emerge from the caves to discover 'The Valiant' in position below the bluff, all cannons raining destruction upon the prison-fortress. Risking the blocks of falling masonry from above, Kli Sailsong unfurls his wings and glides down to the deck of the privateer vessel, telling the crew to bring the frigate alongside the cliff where the others [not gifted with flight] can safely leap onto the ship.
Rendezvousing with 'The Flabby Wench' in open waters, Orinjo grants his rescuers the Tear of Lys, the priceless sapphire he wears on a golden chain around his neck, in exchange for their saving his life from Torquemada [albeit losing his foot to zombies, though they did remember to bring the bloody article back with them]. The wounded Fire Mage informs the crew that all one must do is think of the greatest tragedy to have befallen you, and shed your tears upon the jewel, and Lys will reveal whatever it is you need to know. Kli and Nuru wrestle over the relic, both openly weeping over the respective fates of their diminished kin, and suddenly the crew find themselves transported into a waking dream.

Standing upon a cold, shingle beach, they witness the execution of three women accused of practising forbidden blood magic and murdering their own family – father and sister both. They are to drown with the rising tide, King Ammenus commands, but upon asking the witches for their final words, the three Masaquani women, destined to become the Sea Hags, curse the King and his realm – and in doing so, their world – to drown, just as they will drown. And when the body of the King floats alongside their own sunken corpses, they will return to reap their vengeance upon those that survive. Though much of the vision was murky and unclear, one clue stood out, the emblem emblazoned upon the chest of one member of the jury – a leaping shark – the symbol of the Baltimus family, nobles of Ograpog that abandoned their liege in his greatest need to ensure the survival of their own family and fortune. The symbol of the family that founded and now rules Baltimus, capital city of the Free Towns alongside the British East India Company. If that man attended the execution of the three witches and either he or his records survived the flood, perhaps they will reveal the true names of the Sea Hags.

To be Continued...
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session Six – Part One [15-04-2010]

Having rescued Thomas Orinjo from the prison-fortress on Paltos and experienced a vision of the past by shedding tears upon a relic possessed by the Fire Mage, the crew of 'The Flabby Wench' now know of the two things they will need to summon the Sea Hags from their aquatic retreat in the sunken ruins of Ograpog. The first; a beaker of water from another world [Earth], and second; the true names of the witches by which to summon them from the briny depths.

Captain Clifton and fellow human Brock both know from their own experience that not every vessel that is drawn through the supernatural mists from Earth onto the oceans of Caribdus make it out of the Flotsam Sea, where the Sea Hags minions throng thickest in the black, oily water. Daring scavengers can make their fortune pilfering valuable trinkets and blackpowder weapons from these floating wrecks – if they can avoid attracting the attention of the loathsome creatures that reside below the surface. The crew set sail for the eastern outskirts of the Flotsam Sea, hoping to find such a vessel mired in the fog. Exhibiting either stalwart courage or suicidal idiocy, Clifton marks their course straight through the middle of the Sea Hags territory, but as the greasy brume descends, all sense of direction is quickly lost and even the Captain's compass spins uncertainly about its axis.

For a week, the skiff drifts aimlessly through the fog, the crew's sense of foreboding growing stronger with each passing day. Shadowy beings observe the ships sluggish progress from the fog, never venturing close enough to for the crew to see them clearly. On the seventh day, as morale on deck seems almost as low as their remaining provisions, Beast-friend Taris dispatches his winged scout [the tamed falcon he purchased in Baltimus] to continue searching for other ships from the air, returning with news of another mast jutting from the otherwise impenetrable mist. Following the birds guidance, Clifton draw 'The Flabby Wench' up alongside along the ravaged vessel; 'The Maria Tequesa', a spanish frigate from the year 1512AD.

Remaining at the helm of their own ship, Clifton passes Kli Sailsong an oil-lantern and wishes the boarding party luck as the Atani Searover leads Brock and Taris into the gloomy hold of the Spanish vessel. Descending to the lowest level of the ships interior, the group encounter a locked storeroom which Brock promptly smashes off its rusty hinges. Inside they discover several wooden casks of brackish, unwholesome seeming water, left to quietly stagnate in the bowels of the Spanish frigate since its crew were assaulted by the Sea Hag's inhuman servitors and dragged into the oily depths to be reborn as mindless, undead thralls to the witches' wills.

Aboard 'The Flabby Wench', Clifton and the remaining crew detect a disturbance in the water around the two stationary ships – and are completely overwhelmed as a horde of the Flotsam Sea's tentacled denizens surge up sides of the hull and onto the deck. Firing at the first slithering Octopon to break cover and writhe over the skiff's bulwark, Clifton blasts a tentacled appendage from its body – even as the Captain himself is attacked by more of the halfbreed monstrosities clambering up the other side of the boat.
Hearing the shot, the rest of the crew race back to support their captain – Kli Sailsong cradling a ladle filled with filmy Earth-water that they braved the Sea Hag's wrath to recover. Through the open portholes on the next level, a number of the tentacled creatures have forced their squirming mass through and into the 'Maria Tequesa'. Brock and Kli engage these, trying not to spill too much of the precious water with which they intend to raise the Hags from their sanctuary as the battle rages through the cramped environs below decks. Meanwhile, utilizing the new spell he mastered under Tressa the Red's instruction, Taris teleports himself out of the hold and into the crows nest of 'The Flabby Wench' to better survey the forces arrayed against them.

To be continued...
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session Six – Part Two [15-04-2010]

From atop the mast of 'The Flabby Wench', Taris watches as Clifton and the rest of the skiff's crew struggle against overwhelming numbers. For every one of the vile Octopons that falls, yet more emerge from the depthless abyss, slithering up the sides of their ship - their puckered, tentacled appendages allowing them to effortlessly scale the sheer, slippery surface. Worse still, lurking menacingly below the the becalmed vessels , Taris glimpses the uncertain outline of something huge and terrifying in the inky darkness – a true leviathan, summoned from the ocean floor to annihilate those who would dare trespass in the witches' waters.

Unaware of the behemoth wallowing below his feet, Clifton wrestles with his own opponents, fighting off the snaking tentacles seeking purchase around his throat. Emitting a guttural sound [like a drain regurgitating the contents of a mistreated toilet], the creature vomits up a gutful of foul, black slime across the Captain – aiming for Clifton's face, but missing and spraying its ichor across the man's torso instead.
Meanwhile, the Doreen Mage that the crew rescued from Paltos [along with Thomas Orinjo and the comatose Masaquani woman below deck] unexpectedly loses a hand, as Equias - the ships Scurillian super - accidentally clips the smooth, grey extremity from the rest of the dolphin man's arm [having rolled a Critical Failure on his Fighting roll].
The two Masaquani carpenters that came with the ship [and somehow survived the murderous purge of all hands following the original Captain's 'mysterious disappearance'] turn the tools of their trade into surprisingly effective implements of death, holding their own against the odds despite vastly inferior combat prowess. That is until one Octopon too many got its tentacles around the younger brothers throat and choked the life out of his spasming corpse, his sibling unable to do anything but watch as he fought of those that would see him share his brother's fate.

From his vantage point in the crow's nest, Taris spotted the presumed leader of the Octopons, distinctive from his monstrous brethren for the curious markings that seemed to contort across his mottled flesh. A duel of sorcerous wills entailed, with the Kraken eventually emerging victorious over the Octopon wizard, even as their opposing sorcery threatened to tear the two contested ships to kindling.
As the warlock perishes, so the mental chains holding the leviathan beneath at bay are severed. Bursting from the ocean, eight enormous, thrashing tentacles – each one the width of 'The Flabby Wench's' mainmast - descend upon the two bloodied boats, groping blindly for prey upon both vessels. Snaking around the twin masts of the 'Maria Tequesa', the Giant Octopus begins heaving the Spanish frigate onto its side, intending to capsize the ship and drown those still battling within the vessels innards.
Retaining their balance as the ships is tilted to 90 degrees and the ocean surges in - as intent upon their death as any Octopon sorcerer, Kli Sailsong and Brock fight their way up onto the pitching deck of the 'Maria Tequesa'. Recklessly hurling themselves across the widening gap between the Spanish vessel and their own, they rejoin their comrades aboard 'The Flabby Wench' moments before the frigate is dragged below the seething waves, to be town apart in the leviathans gnashing maw.

Using blackpowder from the ship's cannons to force the Giant Octopus to relinquish its grip on their own vessel, the crew gain enough time to make a break for it – although the one-handed Doreen Mage is dragged screaming into the water, ensnared by one of the leviathans retreating appendages. The crew somehow escape, sailing blindly into a sudden, unnatural fog that rose to envelop their ship almost as soon as the they were free of the leviathan's tentacled embrace. From within the mist can be heard the sound of a little girl, her voice raised in melodious singing. Emerging from the smoky hazy, her small, bare feet carrying her across the billowing clouds, the ghost-like apparition of a young, Masaquani girl approaches 'The Flabby Wench'.

Congratulating the crew for recovering the otherworldly fluid required to summon the Sea Hags, she tells them that to succeed in the destrucion of the witches they must gather the lost sabre wielded by King Ammenus of Oggrapog, the heart of the last Archmage and [rather cryptically] 'that which the Kraken have lost'. The benevolent spirit fades, and as the fog that preceded her appearance disperses, the crew are amazed to discover that by means of some sorcery beyond their ken, 'The Flabby Wench' has been carried out of the Flotsam Sea and deposited along the coast of the Free Towns.
Setting course for Baltimus, the crew resolve to find the heir of Byron Baltimus and learn the true names of the three Sea Hags, at whatever cost!

To be Continued.....
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Final] Session Seven – Part One – 22-04-2010

Returning to Baltimus, capital city of the Free Towns, the crew moor their vessel to the harbour front and disembark into the steeply winding streets of the cliff-side sprawl. Squandering a vast sum of gold from the ships chest, Captain Thomas Clifton has a brand new set of fancy clothes hand tailored to his specifications, to replace the outfit irrevocably soiled by the malodorous content of an Octopon's heaving stomach. Meanwhile, Taris and Kli scour the dockside taverns for dirt on the city's ruling house [whose crest of a leaping shark they witnessed in the vision of the Sea Hags execution], learning that while Byron Baltimus [the man from their divination] passed away some months previously, his son Bruno now governs in his stead - with staunch support from the influential British East India Company.
They also discern that young Bruno is more concerned with the carnal pleasures that his position permits him [and his immediate circle of close friends] to indulge in, hosting weekly parties at the Baltimus family mansion which degenerate into night-long orgies with beautiful – but naοve – young women plucked unsuspectingly from the general populous. The girls are treated like royalty during the evening, gowned in silk and ornamented with glittering jewellery – but in return are expected to 'perform' for Bruno and his rakes at the after-party.
Many a fair damsel has been disgraced by Bruno's lascivious carousal – and Mannie Morkan, the enraged father of such a victim approaches the crew with a contract, to avenge his despoiled daughter upon the safecracker of her ladyvault, Bruno Baltimus himself, ruler of the Free Towns.
Despising all Masaquani equally for the destruction their people wrought upon the ancestral forests of his kin, Kli Sailsong eagerly accepts the murderous commission and talks the others round - as they had intended to break into Baltimus Manor anyway, to scour the estate for an eye-witness account of the Sea Hag's execution.

Debating how best to gain admittance to Bruno's next soiree, the crew decide to spread rumours of 'The Great Alfonso', a womaniser of legendary reputation [and undiscerning taste] – who by chance has recently arrived in Baltimus in search of fresh conquest. From what they've heard of Bruno, they hope the rake will leap at the opportunity to meet their counterfeit Casanova. Sure enough, as tales of 'The Great Alfonso's' obscene exploits spread like wildfire through the city, Bruno takes the bait and a sealed letter of invitation is delivered to 'The Flabby Wench'.

Without Clifton's knowledge or consent, Brock is squeezed uncomfortably into the captain's brand new, dandified dress uniform – the gusset seams straining ominously to contain his more brawny physique. While Kli cosmetically alters Brock's appearance and demeanour from that of a dockside thug to something resembling a fat clown uncertain of its sexual alignment, Taris leaves the ship in search of a alchemist. Purchasing an assassin's ring [with a concealed compartment beneath a fake, glass jewel to store small quantities of poison] and several small pouches of alchemically synthesized compounds – one to cause drowsiness, the second to induce short-term amnesia - the Kraken mage returns to the skiff.

As the horse-drawn coach sent by Bruno draws up beside 'The Flabby Wench', 'The Great Alphonso' and his entourage emerge from their ship in a cloud of sweet smelling perfume and powder. With a stunning young woman clinging to each muscular arm [two of the prostitutes they rescued from Brigandy Bay earlier in the campaign, before unceremoniously abandoning the lot in Baltimus], 'The Great Alfonso' heaves his bulk into the back of the carriage, while his two attendants [Taris and Kli] cling onto the back of the speeding coach as it races along the cobbled streets towards Baltimus Mansion.

To be continued....
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Final] Session Seven – Part Two – 22-04-2010

Guided through the heavily guarded gates of the Baltimus estate, 'The Great Alfonso' and his 'retainers' step down from the carriage into a bustling courtyard crowded with Bruno's guests.
Laughing couples waltz around a ornamental fountain bubbling merrily in the centre of the expansive dance-floor as a quartet of mellow Masaquani musicians strum their instruments from a makeshift stage.
Endeavouring to maintain his effeminate persona, Brock withdraws from his entourage to mingle amongst the other revellers, while Kli and Taris force a path through the festive horde, heading for the buffet, a long table laden with all manner of exotic food and beverages. While the Atani Searover distracts the waiter attending the punch, Taris pours the alchemical powder secreted within his ring into the deep bowl of fruity liquor.
Meanwhile, with his two streetwalking strumpets still hanging off his arms, 'The Great Alfonso' attempts to bribe his way into the mansion proper, but is brusquely turned away by the liveried sentinels. As Brock returns to the others, he is spotted and called over to join a score of wealthy, rakish-seeming young men crowded around their larcenous host, Bruno Baltimus himself! A strapping fellow, tanned bronze and handsome, with dark, wavy hair and piercing coffee-brown eyes, the young governor of the Free Towns greets 'The Great Alfonso' with a hearty clap on the back. Bruno introduces Brock to his circle of closest confidants, chief among which [in influence, if not stature] is Edward Lazenby, a sallow-faced young man with prematurely greying hair, who has the honour of managing the British East India Company's trading interests across Caribdus.

As the evening draws on, the celebrants that drunk most deeply of the poisoned punch begin to stumble and collapse, snoring obliviously as the party continues around their recumbent bodies. More and more of the revellers begin to feel the effects of the alchemical compounds Taris has introduced into their digestive tracts through the contaminated alcohol. Those that retain their wits begin to weave drunkenly from the dance-floor, making their slurred excuses before departing for their own beds to sleep off the repercussions of such immoderate boozing.
With many of his guests either unconscious or leaving early, the party begins winding down, and Bruno [and his lieutenants] head upstairs, accompanied by a gaggle of young women, most of whom are obviously a little worse for drink. 'The Great Alfonso' is urged to accompany the group and join in their debauchery and Brock is whisked away into the mansion proper, leaving Taris and Kli to find their own means of getting in.

Masquerading as menial hirelings, the two remaining trespassers manage to penetrate the servants quarters and convince the rest of the domestic help to indulge in the dregs of the punch. Perks of the job and all that. One by one, the serving staff drift off into an artificially induced slumber.
Tipping what's left of the sleeping solution into a few bottles of strong spirit, Kli and Taris re-seal the glass carafes and distribute the alchemical cocktails amongst the few guards that remain on duty on the balcony overlooking the empty dance-floor. As they too succumb to torpidity, the dormant guards are dragged into the shadows - and the two unwelcome interlopers skulk into the cliff-top chβteau after Bruno and Brock.

Creeping through the west wing of the expansive manor house, Kli and Taris enter a large room consisting of numerous private booths, the privacy of their occupants not entirely ensured by the thin, paper partitions separating each of the small, cozy cubicles. They discover 'The Great Alfonso' and his two buxom escorts plausibly faking what the occupants of the other carrels appear to be enjoying for real. Relieving a passing waiter of first his uniform and then his cognizance, Kli Sailsong assumes the battered butler's role and dispenses expensive wine [now liberally dosed with alchemical additives] amongst Bruno's inner circle.
Convinced that the majority of the young governors friends are either out cold or otherwise engaged by their female companions, Brock sends his own harlots on their way, before the door to Bruno's private chamber is kicked off its hinges.

Swarming into the luxurious bedroom, Kli drags the shrieking woman out from under the blankets, while Brock and Taris hold the thrashing nobleman down, a dagger pressed against his exposed genitalia sufficient incentive to discourage the young man from summoning any more of his personal bodyguards. Demanding to know the location of his old man's records – and [rather optimistically], the resting place of King Amemnus' lost sword – the handsome rake's good looks are somewhat ruined by Brock's meaty fists before Bruno reveals the whereabouts of his deceased father's journal.
Guided by their naked hostage, the crew enter the office of the late Byron Baltimus and discover a dusty, leather-bound tome locked away in a sealed drawer. No amount of of physical punishment can encourage Bruno to elaborate on the missing sabre of Ograpog's fallen monarch [of which he knows nothing] and the crew soon decide the man's usefulness has run its course.
With a flash of steel, Taris relieves Bruno of the offending appendage with which he despoiled the daughter of Mannie Morkan. As the young governor collapses, writhing in a puddle of his own sanguine syrup, Brock leans down to remove the nobleman's hand [the signet rings adorning his fingers will serve as proof of death] - and also an ear [to join the growing collection of bloody ears the ruffian has been amassing throughout the campaign].

Bruno's despairing wails attract the attention of the remaining guards, those that Taris and Kli had not visited with the poisoned hooch. Too late, Brock silences the castrated nobleman by driving the point of his rapier into the defenceless fellow's bare chest, but already the steel-capped boots of the Masaquani men-at-arms can be heard ringing against the flagstones beyond the study door.

To be continued.....
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Final] Session Seven – Part Three [22-04-2010]
The Dramatic Conclusion

In a shower of wooden splinters, the study doors burst open and armed guards pour across the threshold, scrambling over the blood-slick floor of the charnel library.
The largest of the watchmen attempts to grapple Brock to the ground as the muscular warrior fumbles to light an oil-soaked brand. As the rags catch flame, he jabs the burning torch into the grimacing face of his adversary, setting the poor man's big, bushy beard ablaze. Turning from the screaming, smoking fellow, Brock begins methodically burning the priceless collection of ancient literature painstakingly catalogued across several antique bookcases around the study.

Meanwhile, another guardsman throws himself at Kli, rolls of dusty parchment scattering across the room as he leaps over the late Byron Baltimus' carrowood desk. The Atani Searover harnesses the airborne man's momentum and bodily propels the helpless mercenary out through the window, fragments of jagged glass following the unfortunate fellow to the uncompromising flagstones far below.

As more and more guards charge towards the [now burning] mansion, Taris uses his sorcery to demolish the wall of bristling steel barring their egress from the smoky library. Brock leads the charge down the clustered corridor, knocking down the stunned men left reeling by the Kraken's debilitating mental assault.
Stumbling onto the balcony overlooking the courtyard, the crew discover that the the dance-floor is now occupied by a large squad of Masaquani riflemen, their blackpowder muskets levelled to fire at anyone emerging from the smoke. Hearing the distinctive crackle of firearms being discharged at comparatively close range, the crew dive to the floor as a hail of leadshot tears through the roiling cloud of choking smog.
Staying low, the crew scramble across the exposed balcony and into the opposite wing of the doomed mansion, Bruno's inner circle of rakish noblemen [Edward Lazenby among them] still lying senseless where they fell after the party drugged their wine with powerful sedatives earlier that evening.

Smashing another window, Taris mentally overwhelms the will of the horses hitched to one of the few remaining carriages left unattended outside of the mansion. Drawing the feeble-minded beast closer to the burning building, Taris teleports himself and Brock into the comfortable interior of the coach, while Kli unfurls his wings and glides onto the drivers bench, grabbing hold of the reins and whipping the horses into action.
The horses hooves raise sparks from the cobblestones as the carriage crashes out through the gates and into the maze of steeply descending streets winding down towards the docks. Several Masaquani riders race after the speeding carriage, cradling crossbows against their shoulders as they drive their mounts within range of the escaping murderers/arsonists/thieves [take your pick].
Exhausted by the sorcerous demands upon his frail, Kraken body, Taris still finds the strength to blast the two leading riders from the backs of their horses, their surviving comrades falling behind to await the rest of their reinforcements.

Reaching the harbour-front, the crew abandon the coach and board 'The Flabby Wench', just as the rest of the Masaquani militia arrive to subdue, detain and execute them [not necessarily in that order]. As Clifton sets sail, Kli fires a warning shot from the ship's cannon towards the soldiers amassing along the docks, accidentally demolishing a large warehouse as a structural support is obliterated by the carelessly aimed projectile. The smoke from Baltimus Manor blotting out the pale moon shining overhead, 'The Flabby Wench' sets out into the dark oceans of Caribdus.

To be continued... in a future rotation!
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Character : Mr.B > Count Oolok [deranged Kraken scholar]

The sun rises on another glorious day in the drowning world of Caribdus.

There may be unspeakable, tentacled horrors lurking in the oceans and barbaric. red-skinned savages swarming the land (what little of it remains above sea-level), but you can hardly fault the weather. Blisteringly hot, the golden sun shines down from a cloudless blue sky while a cool breeze from the coast blunts the edge of the oppressive heat.

It’s a shame you’re enjoying this splendid morning from the gallows. Your wrists have been tightly bound and a black-masked, Grael executioner loops a hempen noose around your throat. Below, a horde of jeering Masaquani crowd around the scaffold, hastily erected to facilitate your immediate, public execution.

Having castrated - and subsequently murdered - Bruno Baltimus, the popular (albeit debauched) ruler of the Free Towns and fled with half of the East India Company on your trail, it came as an unpleasant surprise when the HMS Victory cut off your escape and blew the hull of 'The Flabby Wench' into kindling. Evidently Edward Lazenby survived the blaze that ravaged the Baltimus Estate; now his hatred for you burns fiercer than the flames that mutilated his face and damn near took his life.

The Flabby Wench is gone, sunk by the people's hero, Admiral Nelson Duckworth – and worse yet, the water from Earth is gone with it, hidden away in a secret compartment in the Captain’s quarters, along with the journal cataloguing the Sea Hags’ true names – and the key to defeating them.

To be continued … in August 2011!

--

Session One - 18/08/2011

Stepping out of the prison wagon and blinking in the harsh, golden glare of the sun, the outlaw crew of the Flabby Wench are marched at swordpoint onto the scaffold where the masked, Grael headsman awaits, honing the edge on his axe. Although an unapologetic rake, Bruno Baltimus had been a popular figurehead and the people of the Free Towns are out in great numbers to witness the execution of his killers.
Although given the opportunity to abandon his murderous crew and join the proud men of the East India Company, former Captain Thomas Clifton could only decline the proposition, preferring to die with his friends than serve under a scoundrel like Edward Lazenby.

As the Masaquani marines drag Brock forth and force his head down upon the bloody chopping block, an unnatural silence descends upon the crowd - which parts to reveal two robed figures approaching the scaffold. The two newcomers reveal their faces and the crew recognise them as Tressa the Red (the last surviving Archmage on Caribdus) and Thomas de Orinjo, the Spanish elementalist who they previously liberated from a Kieran prison.
Tressa uses her magic to shatter the crew's bonds, while Orinjo throws up a wall of fire, isolating the group from the main force of marines while they enact their daring escape.

Brock charges the Grael executioner like an enraged bull, the two teeter precariously on the edge of the scaffold for a few moments, then fall. Fortunately for Brock, the Grael's blubbery mass cushions his landing. Spotting a dagger tucked into the executioner's belt, Brock grabs the blade and whips off the headman's hood. He is startled to discover the Grael has no ears for him to add to his collection, nor a nose and only one eye - which, for want of a better target - he stabs the knife into.

Meanwhile, the others arm themselves as best they can with weapons taken from their fallen adversaries. As Orinjo's flaming barrier begins to dwindle, they clamber into the prison wagon they occupied on their journey from the city's gaol and race towards the docks at breakneck speed, Nuru driving the horses into a reckless gallop. They are pursued by a host of tenacious marines who leap daringly from the back of one wagon to another - until Brock snatches up a sheet of heavy canvas and throws it over the other driver, causing him to blindly drive his horses off the harbour-front and into the sea.

They board the waiting Brigantine and sail off with all due haste. They discover a gift left for them by Manni Morkan, the Masaquani swordsmith who approached the crew to assassinate Bruno after he and his fellow rakes plundered his daughter's virginial innocence at one of their debauched parties at the Baltimus estate (which was burnt to the ground as a result of the crew's visit). Unwrapping the parcel, they find they have been entrusted with the legendary blade Versallis (which, with a raise on their fighting roll, may instantly decapitate an opponent). Brock, Nuru and Kli immediately begin to bicker over the fabulous weapon, eventually deciding to play a game of 3 Card Brag with the winner taking the prize. Nuru is dealt the best hand and claims possession of the sword, which does not sit well with either of his rivals.
While Kli withdraws to plot and scheme, Brock goes looking for Nuru and the two engage in fisticuffs below decks until the appearance of the HMS Diligence (an East India vessel out of Baltimus) causes them to put their private feud aside and unite against a common foe. The two ships engage, and after raking the Diligence's crew with cannister-shot, the surviving marines surrender.
The crew board and steal all the valuables on board before returning to their own vessel and sinking the Diligence, leaving the sailors to row back to the Free Towns.

Sailing to the spot where the East India Company ships sunk the Flabby Wench, the crew find a group of Kehana scavengers raiding the wreck. All Doreen hate the Kehana for the slaughter visited upon their race by the fish men, and Nuru is overcome with racial emnity, leaping into the scavenger's skiff and chopping one of the Kehana in half with his shiny new sword. The second scavenger dives into the sea and attempts to lose the vengeful Doreen hunter amidst a maze of coral, eventually managing to get away.
Giving up the chase, Nuru descends to the ruin of the Flabby Wench and begins searching for the barrel of earth water that had been on board when she sank. As he is looking, a third fish man jabs at him with a spear and the two engage in a savage, aquatic duel in the dark hull of the sunken ship. Nuru brutally finishes his opponent then floats the earth water up to the surface, where Clifton and the others are waiting to haul it onto the deck of their new boat.

To be continued (when I get back from Ireland)....


Last edited by GruffaloCrumble on Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:23 pm; edited 4 times in total
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session 2 - 08-09-2011

After Nuru massacres the opportunistic Kehana salvagers, the rest of the crew search the skiff and discover their old Scurillian super, Equias, banged up in a cage below decks. After Kli tries - and fails - to pick the lock, they recover a key from the ragged torso of one of the dead fishmen and release the grumpy crustacean from captivity. He queries how the their quest to save Caribdus is progressing and encourages them to keep searching for the three remaining relics they need to defeat the Sea Hags: the lost sword of King Ammenus, the heart of an Archmage and (rather obscurely) "that which the Kraken have lost".
The crew ruminate on what exactly it is that Kraken might have misplaced, and although Taris is none the wiser, he suspects the answers might lie with Count Oolok, a deranged Kraken hermit, living in the wilderness on the island of Brigandy.
Unfortunately, the last time the crew of the Flabby Wench were on Brigandy, they kicked the hornets nest by absconding with a number of reluctant prostitutes from a Coalition brothel. Nevertheless, they drop anchor in a sheltered cove on the western side of the island and trek into the lawless pirate haven to ask after the elusive Count Oolok. They learn that the old Kraken dwells on the bluffs overlooking the northern shore and set off at once, blissfully unaware that they have been recognised by two Half-Ugak Coalition enforcers, who follow at a comfortable distance with a dozen skurvy murderers in tow.

Reaching the crumbling shack atop the bleak, grey cliffs, the crew are intercepted by the Count, emerging from his home in full, Kraken bone armour. He treats with Taris and serves a salty, fishy broth to the others while they chat. Oolok seems intrigued by the crew's proposal, but is reluctant to share with non-Kraken the secrets safeguarded by his squiddy kin for so many thousands of years.
Their conversation is rudely interrupted when the Coalition thugs assault the house. Brock and Nuru wade eagerly into the fray, bathing in the crimson juices of their foes. Kli and Taris hold back and snipe at the pirate marksmen with string and sorcery. Fomer-Captain Thomas Clifton stands at the threshold, a pillar of strength supporting his friends while Count Oolok uses his telekentic powers to hurl rocks and trees around his garden with careless abandon, crushing the loathsome thugs as easily as one might break an egg. When the two Half-Ugaks fall, the rest attempt to flee, but the crew cut them down as they try to disengage. Count Oolok attempts to interrogate one of the surving rogues, but the dialogue is cut short when bloodthirsty Kli puts an arrow through his throat.

Count Oolok agrees to join the heroes on their quest and gathers his few worldly possessions from the bullet-riddled wreckage of his shack. They return to their brigantine and set sail for the Flotsam Sea, where Oolok is certain the sunken ruins of Tar Taris lie forgotten beneath 50 fathoms of water. Weeks pass and they are no closer to their goal, when Kli spots dark smoke clouding the horizon. Approaching the roiling brume, the crew realise that the sea itself is ablaze, burning with a slow, dreadful intensity as far as the (watering) eye can see. Taking advantage of the hot air currents rising from the burning sea, Kli glides above the smoke and spots a vast, golden sphere away in the distance, surrounded by fiery waves. Count Oolok (and Taris, to a lesser extent) already feels drawn towards this titanic orb and Clifton sails the ship deeper into the red heart of the Burning Sea. Reaching the sphere, the crew are awestruck by the size of it, which dwarfs their ship. Nevertheless, they take down enough sail to harvest the rope required to tow the golden orb back to civilization, though this feat of engineering is interrupted when a horde of four-armed, fiery lizard-things scale the sides of the boat.

From the crows nest, Kli spots the creatures swarming the deck and shouts a warning to the others. Several of the Salamanders begin scaling the mast towards the keen-eyed Atani lookout. Nuru is caught alone at the prow, and though he dispatches the first creature with his harpoon, the wooden shaft catches fire and he is forced to throw it at a second fire-lizard lest he scorch his fingers. Taris proves himself to be the saviour of not only the crew - but the ship itself! His high-pressure bolts of sorcerous water reduce the Salamanders to piles of smouldering scale and keep the brigantine itself from going up in flame!
Towing the golden sphere from the Burning Sea, the crew are intercepted by the Kraken Great Ship, an immense, city-sized vessel crewed by the last of the Kraken on Caribdus. They are met by Admiral Caspian, horribly wounded in the battle with the Sea Hags fifteen years ago. He 'offers' to take the golden sphere off the heroes, but does provide them with a curious bone whistle, with which they can summon the Great Ship to their aid in a time of direst peril.

To be continued....
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session 3 (Part One) - 15-09-2011

Having escaped from the Burning Sea with the mysterious, golden sphere in tow, the crew are enjoying a well deserved hiatus aboard the Kraken Great Ship, before embarking on the next stage of their quest. Taris and Count Oolok pore over the Great Ship's extensive library for clues as to defeating the Sea Hags. Meanwhile Thomas Clifton tries to convince the Kraken leader, Admiral Caspian to deliver them to the dark, oily heart of the Hags' domain, the Devil's Cross, where he believes the lost sword of King Amemnus lies drowned in the sunken ruins of old Ograpog. The Admiral is able to discourage Clifton from pursuing this suicidal plan, since he knows that the King's sword - and his son, Prince Alain - escaped the watery doom shared by King and kingdom. The boy prince and his loyal retainers fled to the Free Towns, following the other Masaquani nobles that abandoned their monarch in his hour of need - though where he is now (of if he yet lives) the old Kraken cannot say.

Reluctant to return to the Free Towns so soon after their daring escape from the executioners scaffold in Baltimus, the crew search for some other means of divining the whereabouts of the wayward heir. Fortunately, during the days he spent wandering the Kraken archives, Taris uncovered an ancient scroll, upon which has been scrawled a map, pinpointing the lair of an Ugak oracle who can answer any question a petitioner might pose, providing the 'price' for that knowledge is met. (Demonstrating their own amazing powers of foresight, the crew interpret 'price' for 'blood sacrifice'.)

Returning to their own vessel, the crew make haste to Torath Ka, the savage land of the barbaric Ugak tribes (where the original crew of the Flabby Wench were shipwrecked way back at the very beginning of their adventuring careers). Dropping anchor, the crew row to the shore, leaving Brock behind to protect the ship and discourage the sailors from engaging in buggery.

Upon the beach, confronted by the vast, impenetrable jungle, Count Oolok changes his form to that of a fiery eagle and soars high above the leafy canopy, scouting out the terrain for landmarks from the map. He spots a ramshackle Ugak village a few hours march into the dense foliage.

Returning to the hostile territory of the cannibalistic Red Men, the crew are understandably nervous. Thomas Clifton damn near jumps out of his skin when he feels hands not his own, fumbling at his belt. Looking down, the captain spies a clever-fingered monkape capering away with one of his four loaded flintlocks. Drawing a second pistol, Clifton shoots the thieving little bastard in the back and storms over to reclaim his property. The ape proves more tenacious than Clifton could have ever anticipated, clinging doggedly to his prize as man and monkey wrestle for possession of the weapon. One of them catches the trigger and the flintlock discharges the contents of its black-powder belly with a deafening roar, the ball passing mere inches from Clifton's face! The wounded monkape relinquishes his grip on the gun, but the sound of gunfire has drawn the ire of its hairy kin, who begin pelting the crew with rocks, fruit and poo. Up in the trees, Kli seems exempt from the enmity the monkapes feel for his comrades, one even offers him a particularly hefty coconut, inviting the Atani to join the bombardment. While the others run for cover, Count Oolok closes his eyes, mutters his magic words and begins to rise majestically off the ground - up and out of the monkapes range. Or at least that was the plan, foiled when a (particularly hefty) coconut hits him in his delicate, squiddy bits, and he sinks unceremoniously back to the floor. Their foes fled or vanquished, the triumphant monkapes melt back into the jungle.

(To be continued....)
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session 3 (Part Two) - 15-09-2011

Nursing the tattered shreds of their pride, the crew forge on through the tropical undergrowth. A buzzing drone - increasing in volume - heralds the arrival of a mosquito swarm. Most of the explorers take some pains to discourage the bloodsucking midges from gorging on their sweet juices, but not Taris, who just stumbles along, grumbling. Nobody is surprised when he is the only member of the party who gets sick as a result.

After the mosquitoes have had their fill, the crew hear a bellowed challenge from back the way they've come. From the jungle erupts a giant monkape - easily 20 feet tall - with a smaller monkape (with a bullet wound) on his shoulder, that points at Clifton and gibbers accusingly. Setting the miniature monkape on a high branch, the larger specimen beats his chest and charges towards the human that dared shoot his son. While Clifton and the others prepare to meet the titan's rush, Kli Sailsong takes careful aim and releases an arrow - at the baby monkape! The arrow strikes true and the infant wails in pain, tumbles from its perch - and lies still, blood pooling around its tiny, broken body. With rage and grief warring behind its eyes, the giant monkape turns from Clifton to the murderous Atani marksman cowering in the branches of his tree. Wrapping its mighty fists around the trunk, the giant uproots the tree and shakes it violently, until Kli come tumbling out. As the homicidal father raises the tree like some colossus club, ready to reduce Kli Sailsong to a bloody smear across the jungle, Taris and Count Oolok pool their sorcerous resources to drag the dying baby back from the brink of death, upon which Kli's arrow left it teetering precariously. As the infant re-opens its eyes, the father's murderous anger burns out like an extinguished torch and it crouches to receive the revived child into its hairy palms. With a nod of thanks to the two Kraken healers, the giant monkape straightens up and shambles back into the jungle.

An hour later, the crew reach the outskirts of the Ugak community. Nuru and Kli volunteer to scout ahead of the others, but are almost immediately spotted by the watchful sentries. Several Red Men crowd around the base of Kli's tree, while the rest of the tribe - led by the their fearless chief - pursue Nuru through the lush, green foliage. The rest of the crew come to the rescue of their incompetent vanguard and a brutal melee ensues. The Ugak are fearsome warriors, but once their champion falls - impaled on Count Oolok's kraken bone sword - the rest of the tribe lose the will to fight and flee into the bushes.

Entering the village, the crew threaten to burn the entire settlement to the ground, unless someone (among the remaining women, children and elderly) tells them how to reach the temple of the oracle. A terrified Ugak woman, heavy with child, provides directions and introduces the crew to Loyd, a human sailor their shaman had been planning to sacrifice to their walking god. Knowing they will need to pay in blood for the information they seek, the crew bind Loyd and take him with them, although this course of action does not sit well with Thomas Clifton's noble soul.

As evening draws in, the crew set up camp, with Clifton, Kli and Count Oolok taking the first watch. After 4 hours, they wake Nuru and Taris. At some point during the night, Loyd manages to slip his bonds and makes a break for the dubious safety of the jungle. Taris hurls a stun bolt at their escaping sacrifice, but misses. Nuru rouses the others, and Kli rolls out of his hammock, bow strung, loosing an arrow that finds Loyd's leg and frustrates his flight.

The next morning they reach the temple of the oracle, an overgrown ruin crumbling with age and disrepair. The walls have been crudely decorated with carvings of a disturbing, spider-esque flavour, that raise the hairs on the back of one's neck. The tunnel descending into the bowels of the noxious, Ugak shrine is blocked by thick, sticky webbing that the crew burn their way through. At the bottom, they enter a vast, domed chamber - empty, save for a loathsome stone seat, fashioned into the resemblance of a rearing spider. They are greeted by the shaman of the tribe, a gaunt figure, robed and masked, his voice a scratchy whisper as he asks the interlopers what price they are prepared to pay for the answers they seek.

(To be continued....)
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Session 3 (Part Three) - 15-09-2011

Attempts to tease information out of the creepy, Ugak shaman prove fruitless, he merely motions the crew to drag their captive towards the grotesque, gore-streaked throne. Unable to stand idly by and witness the murder of another human, Thomas Clifton releases Loyd from his bonds and volunteers himself in exchange for the answers they seek to save Caribdus. Ignoring the objections of his friends, Clifton approaches the shaman, who indicates he should be seated. Having closed the distance between them without raising the Ugak's suspicions, Clifton strikes! Whipping a flintlock from his coat, he discharges the weapon into the shaman's face at point blank range, splitting his tribal mask down the centre in a bloom of wooden splinters. Seeing (what passes for) his face for the first time, Clifton reels away in horror. While the shaman might once have possessed the characteristics common amongst the Ugak, its appearance has been twisted into something gruesomely insectile, bristling with eyes, dripping mandibles protruding from black, swollen lips. As a clawing host of spiny legs burst from his back, the shaman raises his arms and blasts Clifton with two blasts of tainted sorcery, throwing the stalwart seaman across the temple like some discarded toy. Kli Sailsong peppers the vile creature with arrows, whilst it sloughs away its thin veneer of humanity to reveal the aberrant terror beneath. With a flourish of his (probably moist) fingers, Taris ignites what remains of the shaman's tattered robe, sending the creature up in roaring flames.

Suddenly, a barbellate stake, bristling with coarse quills drops from the domed ceiling of the temple, crushing the shaman's burning husk, like a smoker stubbing out a cigarette with the heel of his boot. Seven more of these segmented columns follow the first - shaking the temple with the force of their impact - then the vast, swollen torso of walking god, Shitaka descends, fixing the crew with a multitude of inhuman, compound eyes. Somewhat foolishly, the crew attempt to engage the god-spider in combat. Things soon turn pretty nasty (except for Nuru, who manages to mount the spider's back and is riding it like some enormous, malevolent donkey) when it dawns on the combatants that nothing short of a cannon is going to so much as inconvenience Shitaka. Kli Sailsong spots Loyd making a break for the exit and goes after him, dragging the struggling human kicking and screaming towards the loathsome chair. Punching Loyd in the face, Kli forces him into the seat - the stone spider legs closing around his resisting body and preventing his escape. Immediately, the god-spider disengages the crew and scuttles across the temple. Loyd's screams are cut abruptly short as Shitaka tucks into his delicious brains, sucking his writhing body into her gaping maw and leaving just two severed arms clawing at the arms of the dread throne.

As his body begins to dissolve amidst the spider-god's digestive juices, Shitaka asks the surviving crew what information they would ask for, in exchange for Loyd's life. Count Oolok bravely steps forth and demands the location of Prince Alain and the missing sword of King Ammenus. Shitaka utters one word; "Tulago" before skittering back into the dark bowels of her temple. The crew beat a hasty retreat to their ship and leave the savage land of Torath Ka far behind. Thomas Clifton seems a shadow of his former self, ashen and withdrawn after his failure to save Loyd from his gristly demise - or forgive Kli Sailsong the pivotal role he played in the man's horrible death. As Clifton struggles with his concience, the ship sails on for the Free Towns.

To be continued....
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