Day 185 10PM The crew of the Splash, cleaned up the ship after the battle – the sea around them was awash in the wreckage of the Deathknell and the stench of the carcass and detritus from the rotted whale. Father Pyrlig healed the parties’ wounds and restored them all to good health.
Day 186 7AM Father Pyrlig tracked the Dark Shadow and the Shale. While the Dark Shadow was some miles to the north, as expected, Pyrlig realized that something was amiss when he magically tracked the Shale, far to the west of its planned position. Father Pyrlig informed the party that the Shale may have been captured.
Temujin attempted to scry Sandara, but her hackles were up and she resisted. He tried again, this time sending her a message. Sandara replied, ‘The Shale is captured. Glaive rescued myself and the Hands’ kin, but we are injured. At Falchion Point, Widowmaker Isle. Glaive can’t scry to find you.’ Father Pyrlig sent word to Hamish Handel aboard the Dark Shadow, to sail north, and prepare to meet up at Falchion Point. The captain gave orders to sail north at best possible speed. The skies were overcast with a soft rain falling and the Splash had a fair wind at its back.
Day 186 10AM Temujin noted that Yacine was traipsing around the deck, and below decks with a stink-face. When asked, she replied that the ship still smelled of devilry. Temujin, Mittens and Nico started searching the ship looking for magical dweomers. Nico summoned Brujah, to search for anything invisible hiding aboard the ship. Mittens sensed fading transmutation emanations from the bilge so Temujin had the crew pump out the bilge, which sent the rats fleeing up to the higher decks. Finally, while the crew was on a rat-whacking party, Temujin spied magical humanoid outline among the rats piled in the corner – and he confronted the shape. The rat transformed himself into a small boy and introduced himself as Angeli – Lon Ezeel’s familiar, but recently abandoned by his master, he needed passage. The party didn’t trust him, nor had they worked out payment for passage. Knowing Angeli to be a shape shifter, they couldn’t bind him for long. They settled on his word that he would stay put, in sight, on the main fore-deck.
Day 186 6PM Coto yelled, “Sail ho!” as a frigate, with a sloop following at its flank, could be seen on a parallel course but closing the distance gradually. Captain Damiano put up a white flag, and soon afterwards, so did the frigate. The ship was called the Bloody Carnage and sailed out of Arena, on Widowmaker Isle. The sloop, the Highwayman, appeared to be a prize and had suffered some fire damage.
When the two vessels closed, their captain hailed them and requested permission to come aboard. When it was granted, he magically appeared upon the deck, and introduced himself as Captain Arcel. He was a well dressed man, in his 30s. Captain Arcel that he worked for Andronicus, out of Arena, and that he was heading to Falchion Point to gather up more hands. The party was cordial in their conversation and Captain Arcel offered up that Captain Damiano, being a freshly minted Free Captain may be interested in the Free Captain’s Regatta taking place three weeks hence [Day 210] at Cauldron Rock, to the north. While it had an entry fee of 5,000 GPs, it offered a seat on the pirate council and an island fiefdom. Damiano thought that to participate in pirate ventures in the northern Shackles and in the Regatta, the party might require a bigger ship – and he asked about leasing a vessel from Arcel’s employer, Andronicus. Arcel offered to query but suggested that his master’s terms would be steep.
Captain Arcel and the Bloody Carnage took their leave and the Splash arrived at the port of Falchion Point after night had fallen. Despite the darkness, the party was aware that Falchion Point was a dive town, that catered to providing an array of blood sports for entertainment. They were able to meet up with Glaive, Sandara, Israel and Calandra Hands, and Canale. With the exception of Glaive, the others had been beaten up badly and despite Sandara’s abilities to heal, were still sorely wounded.
Sandra reported that they had left the Splash, just before noon, and that night, after dusk, the frigate, called the Black Argosy, erupted out of the sea. The ship, with well over two hundred men swarmed the Shale. Anyone who put up resistance, were slain. Seamus, Rosie, Davin and many others put up a fight, but the ship was lost. Bodies were quickly tossed overboard, some sailors, broken men, were pressed immediately into service and Sandara and the others were beaten, stripped and locked up. Glaive had stayed out of sight. Soon afterwards, a second frigate, The Panteros, arrived. The crew of the Panteros secured the sloop, the Snake Charmer and it material and slave booty. The halfling, Wes Barker was hunted down with a large, foul dog-like beast – the party recognized it as a hound of tindalos, like that had seen on Undertown Island. The captains or officers recognized something about Clarnartus Vilnius and his relation to Norgorber. He was dragged off and tortured for some time. He was not seen again.
Each vessel had its own captain. The Black Argosy, was captained by someone called Angelidis and the Panteros was helmed by a Captain Sithhud. These two were cloaked and reported to a human female, a fleet captain named Captain Rakhna – Rakhna served her master, Bedu Janji, the Free Captain lord, a cruel man, over the Rampore Isles. The Rampore pirates had two other prize ships with them, the Saber’s Kiss (brig) and the Wave Razor (sloop).
Glaive, that evening, was able to sneak to where Sandara and the others were locked up and teleport them to Falchion Point, the only nearby port that he knew he could get to safely. Glaive would have used sending to contact the party, but Temujin reached out first before he had time to memorize sending for the new day.
Day 186 11PM With Glaive and the others, returned to the Splash, the party took to the town – they were ready for a few drinks. They settled in at the tavern, The Hammer. Listening in, they heard an eloquent female half-orc, eloquently extolling the escapades of Captain Arcel and his crew, aboard the Bloody Carnage. While Kamala took a break and chugged some ale, Mittens took his own turn, making sure not to denigrate Kamala and her captain, but regaled the patrons in the story of Captain Pilk’s Last Days – and it was a tale that brought the house down. Both Mittens and Kamala took turns telling tales, as the patrons drank and hooted in the street. The tavern across the street, the Bloody Cage opened its doors to an impromptu street fest.
While the tales were told, the free-booter, Black Jack of the carvel, the Dogger, introduced himself to Damiano and Nico. He certainly looked the part, to hitch on to a up and coming captain such as Damiano – his honeyed words were no surprises, and he was honored to buy the pair a few beers. Damiano confirmed that indeed they were looking to expand their fleet, and they would need to vet Black Jack in the near future. Jack suggested that he would be near Arena in the days to come and that they should attempt to circle back talk some more.
Day 187 10AM Nico was able to sell the Dark Shadow, for as much as he could get in such a impoverished town. As he returned to the Splash, he saw twenty new bodies join the crew – the Splash was packed to the gills with sailors! With Sandara back at the helm, Captain Damiano gave word to sail to Mazdrubal. Settling into routine, Captain Damiano noted that his magical ring of swimming was missing. Also, Nico noted that his own magical ring of protection was gone! Damn that dirty thief, or thieves! Temujin, knowing that the tight conditions and idle men could spell disaster, fired up the squad leaders to run the sailors through their paces and move fast – making speed, the Splash arrived at Mazdrubal a half day early.
Day 189 Noon Mazdrubal was a small town, similar to Falchion Point, however it was well built with wood and stone, and was a busy port town. The party moved mid-town and cased the White Lilly. After two days, there were no Nidalese in sight, and they had become accustomed to the current patrons and their schedules. They pondered, where was Angeli? And when did he disappear off the ship? They hadn’t thought about him much since arriving in Falchion Point. They worried that the gig was up – perhaps there would be no rendezvous if Angeli had escaped and prevented Nisroch from showing up. Mittens plumbed his memories and realized that Angeli had been mentioned before – as a Chelish agent who had confirmed information for the Chelish navy in a letter claimed from Zarskia.
Dwag went through the new recruits and picked five toughs to become the new ‘brute squad.’ With the influx of so many officers aboard ship, Knuckles offered to help Dwag whip these brutes into shape.
Day 191 Feeling that they had lost their chance at Mazdrubal, the party considered their next steps. Many officers were debating on when and how they would get a larger vessel. They were visited by Captain Arcel, who indeed have both a frigate and a schooner available for lease (5,000 GPs plus a favor for Andronicus) or possibly 15,000 GPs to purchase outright. Captain Damiano thanked him for the quick feedback, although Nico thought the rates were too expensive! Which they were, because it had been heard that Andronicus was, an ass!
The Splash was prepped, ready to sail, at the Captain’s orders, towards Oyster Cay, to search out and combat, Kubla Du-Khan.
[end of session 65]