Day 204 In preparation of their departure from Drenchport, the party supplied Nico with a list of scrolls, potions and other wondrous items for him to manufacture. Nico spent the day gathering the resources he needed, and spending the party’s money, so he would have the supplies to craft the wanted items aboard ship.
The party christened their vessel, formerly Dagon’s Bastard, now the Black Purrl. Sandara mentioned to the captain that the most faithful of Besmara’s followers drop treasure or gifts as signs of their devotion. Now in a new ship and about to undertake a high stakes race, Sandara hinted that such a showing might be wise. The party packaged a magical suit of full plate a magical rapier and 1,000 GPs into a cask, and with Sandara’s words of devotion, dropped the cask over the side into the sea.
Myrasep, the Thuvian representative for the Aspis Consortium, gave Captain Damiano her sincere thanks, for saving her life and providing the hospitality of his cabin. She would be taking her leave, as would Arvo, the surviving sailor from the caravel, the Gold Elixir. Myrasep stated that if she could help Damiano, that he could call upon the guild houses of the Aspis Consortium.
Day 205 With all accounts settled and the party and their new ship at the ready, the Black Purrl set sail, with Temujin at the help, heading north by northwest. Temujin found that the frigate handled nicely and he kept the officers and sub-officers at the backs of the crew to insure that they got familiar with handling their new ship. As the party sailed north towards the Eye of Abendago, the skies grew dark gray, the rain never letting up.
Day 206 Dwag was at the foredeck, supervising, as Fergal was getting their cannons set with the gun crews. Dwag overheard Sandara, unaccustomedly sniping at Fergal, “…the farther north we go Fergal, my Mistress is shortening your leash!” As she walked off with a snarky smile, Fergal glared at her back. Dwag sidled up to Fergal to determine what the exchange was about. Fergal offered that maybe his time with the party may be over soon. But the Black Lady didn’t speak to him, why does She speak to Sandara first. Fergal was unusually unnerved by Sandara’s intimation. Dwag continued to his oversight of the crew’s duties and kept the exchange to himself.
Day 208 The Black Purrl arrived At Cauldron’s Rock and the party saw a forest of masts before them. Besides Regatta participants, many spectators gathered to party and gossip. A sloop sailed along side and a Captain Arden Shale introduced himself and requested permission to come aboard. Upon the deck of the Purrl, Captain Shale stated that he was a functionary for the Master of the Gales – if the party were participants, which they were, they needed to pay the 5,000 GP entry fee. Nico settled with Captain Shale. The captain stated that his sloop would guide them to where the participants were anchored, close to Cauldron’s Rock. All captains and officers were allowed to come ashore to socialize with other participants and with the Free Council members. All other observers were anchored farther out from shore. Captain Shale took his leave and escorted the Black Purrl to their anchorage. With their ship settled in, the party took their jolly boat to shore.
Day 208 4PM The party came ashore to a carnival-like atmosphere; pirate lords of all stripes cavorted and their underlings grilled boars over fire pits and handed out cups of ale, rum and wine. All the while, the pirate lords caroused in their slickers under a torrent of rain, which they barely noticed at all. The party spotted Captain Pegsworthy and joined him for a cup and some conversation.
Captain Pegsworthy shared a letter with Captain Damiano, from Captain Cain Marko – however the party already knew the contents of have the letter having just talked with him in the past week. Pegsworthy shared the fact that the Regatta would be heading northeast, likely through some treacherous sandbars and shoals. Just a few days past, Captain Robert Paulson of the Mayhem sank his caravel against the Raker Shoals. Pegsworthy and the party planned to meet on the morrow so they could update each other’s maps of the northern Shackles.
The party saw Sadok, and his lieutenants, Hainen Boynes and Stephen Slick, but moved past to make conversation with Harlan Valance, the right-hand of Tessa Fairwind, who had sailed into Cauldron’s Rock in her sloop, the Luck of the Draw. The party shared their intrigue concerning Cain Marko and the Chelish. Harlan wished the party luck two days hence – that the outcome of the race could surely benefit the party and their alliance with Tessa, to build a block of allies who would be proactive in keeping the Chelish out of the Shackles.
After a few cups, the party eyed Captain Harrigan of the Wormwood – their first captain, eying them! They made their way over, where he was drinking, joined by Alto Broadly and Pense the Knife. After stiff greetings, the party queried how Harrigan was doing, the party having heard that he had broken Tidewater Rock, and he was expanding his control over the surrounding islands. They rehashed why the party hadn’t returned to Harrigan’s command, but he grudgingly accepted that Peppery, now Free Captain Longfarthing had indeed paid him the sloop that the party offered as recompense, when last at Bloodcove. Harrigan supported Peppery’s bid for Free Captaincy since she was both loyal and capable. Mittens and Temujin pressed Harrigan, that it was heard that he had silent allies, a cue pointing to the Chelish, specifically Captain Lucilla and Louisa Scott of the Lash – a cue that was not missed by Harrigan and the recognition of the fact, he failed to hide from the party. Harrigan and the party danced around the topic, until Harrigan stiffened up, after continually talking himself into traps, he coldly bid them good luck, and good night.
Satisfied with the soft interrogation, the party departed the beach, and after making a roundabout trip towards their vessel, they veered off and stopped by the xebec, the Sea Snake – the command of Peppery Longfarthing! Peppery warmly greeted the party and invited them aboard. After greetings were shared, the party expressed they wished to talk in private so they made their way to her captain’s quarters. Sharing wine and rum, the party wished her the best since Peppery had just recently ascended to become a Free Captain. With genuine good will, the party did question her relationship with Captain Harrigan – whom she expressed her loyalty to. The party was certain that she was aware of Harrigan’s traffic with Chelish envoys, but not to what extent. When Temujin and Dwag pressed whether someone, such as herself might be employed in the Regatta to provide blocking for Harrigan’s benefit, her response and demeanor was harder to read. Peppery did appear to be truly torn by the nature of the conversation, her loyalty to Harrigan, the danger the Chelish posed to the Shackles and what part she was truly to play in the race.
After departing, the party returned to the Purrl and took their rest. The next day more participants had arrived at Cauldron Rock, now to 17 total challengers in the Regatta.
- Free Captain Natty Dread – The Brooding Six; galleon
- Free Captain Charlotte Bailey – The Whelk; caravel
- Free Captain Harrigan – Wormwood; caravel
- Free Captain Longfarthing – The Sea Snake; xebec
- Free Captain Pegsworthy – Bonaventure; brig
- Free Captain Ramose Arkminos – Chimera’s Teeth; galleon
- Free Captain Twilla Gorn – Sullied Strumpet; sloop
- Free Captain Tawny Gorn – Albatross; sloop
- Free Captain Coral Mouth Kate – Adventurous; sloop
- Free Captain Arvey Blacktongue – Flotsam; sloop
- Free Captain Spits Bascap – Typhoon Lotus; caravel
- Free Captain Gorus Bain – Barnacled Bitch; frigate
- Free Captain Dask – Darcy’s Pillage; frigate
- Free Captain Saladin Greel – Kelizandri’s Favor; brig
- Free Captain Dravin Corst – Pharasma’s Price; brig
- Free Captain Skanks Guffy – Redcap; sloop
- Free Captain Damiano – Black Purrl; frigate
Day 209 Noon All Free Captains participating in the Regatta and their crew were invited to the Kraken, the xebec of the Master of the Gales, who was moderating the race. The race would start at Cauldron’s Rock at dawn, the course heading north by northeast to ‘thread the Iris’ a splinter of rocks rising out of the sea that every ship must navigate through. From there, they would turn northwest and make their way to the Pinnacle Atoll which was surrounded by two concentric rings of shoals that must be entered and exited around the atoll, until the contestants make their way south to the tiny island, the Coaming Point, which is the finish line. It was expected that the Regatta might take two to three days. Both the Iris and Atoll are within the perimeters of the Eye of Abendago. The Master of the Gales clarified that look outs would be placed at both the two major obstacles to be navigated. Otherwise the captains could pick their own courses.
The party asked about what would happen if there were collisions between ships? The Master of the Gales sternly looked at each captain, and reminded them that this was a nautical race, not a time to settle petty grievances or otherwise. Collision may happen when jostling for position or navigating through the dangers upon the course ahead. But should anyone overstep the spirit of the race by attacking another, and if caught, the offending ship would be sunk.
All the Free Captains and their officers returned to their ships and prepared themselves for the race start at the break of day!
[end of session 73]