Day 269 Captain Damiano came up onto the main deck as Dwag stood alongside Tahpio. He introduced himself to Jihan and stated that they (the party) was here to reclaim their lost seamen. The party was aware of the Bannermen, closing and turning portside to the Albatross, gun ports open and cannons presented. Captain Damiano pressed Jihan about why she was here and expressed his disappointment over her (and her captain’s) involvement in the potential danger and treachery to the Shackles. Jihan responded cooly that she wasn’t here to answer to Damiano, only to do her duty.
The tension rose and the party was ready for anything – as Mittens moved to act, in the distance and darkness, port side, magical phrases were spoken and a massive fireball engulfed the main deck of the Albatross. The sailors were scattered in the explosion. Father Pyrlig and Temujin clung to life. Mittens bamf’ed below deck – as the party moved to action, chain lightning struck Damiano and rained down upon the party. Damiano lashed out, grabbing Temujin’s body and pulled it down into the hatch. Dwag moved to Pyrlig, who was unconscious and barely alive. As Dwag pulled Pyrlig to the hatch, scorching rays hit him from all sides. Nico, possessing Tawny Gorn’s body – now destroyed in the conflagration, he returned to his own body in the captain’s quarters. In moments the party drew itself together and teleported to the deck of the Black Purrl in Port Peril.
Mittens immediately confirmed that the Purrl was protected by Glaive’s Private Sanctum – it was. The party healed themselves, and had a guarded sleep that night.
Day 270 The Black Purrl, The Splash and the Lehigh left Port Peril on the morning tide – Captain Damiano dictated the carefully laid out course to Sandara. Hours after passing the Isle of Saravent, Coto spied smoke on the water, close to shore. Dwag noted with his eyeglass, some five miles away, three frigates and a Rahadoumi brig – the latter was smoking. Captain Damiano recognized the brig from his manifest. One of the frigates was the Hawk – that Nico recognized having recently been in Port Peril signing on all available sailors. The Hawk, along with the Grey Wretch and The Deadweight flew ensigns for Eldred Seabreaker.
The party considered their options. Should they t-port over to the vessels and cause some havoc, but Sandara butted-in and strenuously objected to that course of action for fear of risking reprisal for their three, fully laden, fully-manned ships. The party weighed Sandara not-so-subtle opinion and decided to stay the course.
Day 271 2PM Damiano’s fleet sailed up to the Harbor Crossing, a rough looking junk. Pulling to, they questioned the captain – Captain Gabwell. He was delivering 100 slaves, from Shenchu Bay to Arena, on behalf of the Magnamarian Traders Inc. The party confiscated the ship, setting Hyrix to keep order and promised the slaves that they would be released at Dread Cat Isle, where they would be free men and women. As for Captain Gabwell, they offered him the opportunity to subcontract for them, which while a bit uncomfortable, said yes to the offered agreement.
Day 272 9AM Damiano’s fleet closed in on a carrack, the Captain’s Lady, known to be carrying granite to Arena. Captain Hubert offered no resistance. Nico pushed his way into the captain’s quarters for a closer look and found it to be occupied! He was introduced to an older woman of means, the dowager Myra Ross of Almas, Andoran. Myra Ross was straight forward with Nico, that she was making her way to her holdings in Sargava, as she had shares with the South Sargavan Trading Company. She would be most pleased with any assistance as Nico and his captain could offer and could compensate them appropriately. Nico brought Myra Ross on deck to meet the Captain. Myra was familiar with pirate’s ways – as her own son, George Ross was a member of a free-lancer vessel up north, called the Cetaceal.
The Captain’s Lady joined the fleet and headed north past Widowmaker Isle. Father Pyrlig pointed out where the Night Voyager could be found.
Day 272 5PM The party dove overboard in fairly shallow water and found the Night Voyager holed – and stripped bare. No valuables, no weapons, no bodies. They returned to the surface. Temujin scried for some of the officers they had seen alongside Cain Marko. Temujin did a double take as he successfully locked onto a dwarves sailor, ragged and malnourished, standing at the water’s edge of a beach. Temujin looked at his mirror and stood up and looked around and found that the silhouette of the islands matched, this survivor was near. Temujin pointed to the way to a small islet where the party recovered the only survivor of the Night Voyager.
The dwarf, Varren Skipjack shared all he knew. They had picked up a brother/sister, maybe husband/wife duo at the island of Coiba. They were kind of creepy. But we delivered Reicudan and Brona Dhu to the Garnet Isles, and we waited. When they returned to the ship, we sailed to the port of Halabad at the Rampore Isles. There we picked up six quiet types. Quiet, menacing, they kept to their rooms. There were two women and four men to take to Arena. The captain thought they might be assassins. We were also pressured to transport twenty slaves to Arena. Once we arrived, our passengers and slaves disembarked. We were paid really well and had a short stint of shore leave. Odds are we would be sailing towards Tempest Cay soon. A few days later, we were given a letter to head to the northern tip of Bhudrek Atoll, to meet up with Captain Jol Blassey of the Ravage Dawn for new orders. But once we got there, Captain Blassey pulled alongside, our ship was looked over by this Nidalese fellow, Karunus Impel. He spoke these words and three barbed devils appeared and ravaged our ship. The crew tried to get away, I jumped overboard and just kept swimming. I was far away, some time later when I saw the Dawn pull away and sink the ship.
The party offered to take Varren Skipjack with them, and resumed their course to Dread Cat Isle.
Day 274 5PM The fleet sailed into the eastern harbor, to see a resplendent galleon at anchor, called the Master’s Embrace. Jonny Tom, from the Andoran, informed the party that the ship had just arrived, a bit early for the party, from the Rampore Isles.
Yacine talked to Captain Damiano, stating that his father Lawrence took some days to himself after Damiano left for Quent, but after wandering the island he settled in with the Brute Squad and has made himself useful.
Day 275 10AM The steward from the Master’s Embrace, a human midget with no ear lobes, introduced himself as Thomas Pollex. HIs master was Mansur Hanji, the 19th son of Free Captain and Pirate Lord, Bedu Hanji of the Rampore Isles. They would, of course love to be neighborly and if the Captain and his officers needed anything, their island was the closest for acquiring finery, raw materials and slaves! Also, Mansur had a gift for the party. Later when Mansur Hanji came to sure, he presented two massive, and ornate, harbor cannons, along with two great piles of cannon balls and barrels of powder. Mansur reiterated what Thomas had said, that the could of course offer, at fair prices, any supplies that Damiano and his men might need. Damiano was diplomatic and Mansur Hanji and Thomas Pollex returned to the Master’s Embrace.
In the days ahead, the ships disgorged their crews, workers, free men and women and all the supplies that had purchased and acquired. The party focused on helping the work crews build a secure base for the stairs up the escarpment. Work crews were clearing the woods between the southern and eastern harbors. Yacine put up Hadden Pike with his alchemy equipment in the Chelish fort.
There was no rest in sight as all were fully engaged in preparations for the party that was soon to come!
[end of session 97]