Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ship Campaign's First Session - Lieutenant / Bard Prelude

The Andoren ship XXX limps into port, battered and bruised from the storm, missing two anchors and their topmost spars. Normally they would steer clear of the leeward shore but, unfortunately, without their anchors they were going to be battered against the shoreline anyway so they were better off making for a hasty dock to seek out repairs.

Unfortunately, while there's a current peace treaty between the Andorens and the Chelish, the ship is equipped with top secret canon equipment, carries top secret documentation, and is actually originally a Chelish vessel captured by Andoren privateers and sold to the government. So they're currently flying the flag of Taldor and taking advantage of the storm (which is blowing itself up to a hurricane) for the cover it provides but knowing they must be ready to clear the docks before too long as there'll be no escaping the Chelish once they're ready.

So the 2nd Lieutenant, Lieutenant Balthazar Archer, was sent out with three sailor NPCs and the NPC Midshipman Vera Wellard (whose hair was chopped rough at her shoulders to give her a more masculine appearance to track down and beg, borrow, or steal the requisite equipment to repair their ship and find a way to bring it back to the ship. As they get down to the dock itself, they soon realise that they have accidentally docked in the Imperial Marina, and thus their situation grows more dire, though the heavy winds and driving rain and darkness has kept any of the few guards from noticing them.

One of the sailors remembers some kind of tavern where you can buy all sorts of things, the Sally Port or something? And they set off, only to soon become hopelessly lost down the winding alleys as it's hard to see one side of the street from the other and thus keep their heads. They have a single lantern to guide their way and none are locals. One of the sailors lagged behind and there's a terrible yowling sound before he's dragged off into the night, his screams roughly silenced by some mysterious threat, leaving them to move onward. They soon notice a gang of Hellknight Armigers with Chelish sailors heading into a tavern and then coming out with a whole bunch of locals. The pressgang is out in force tonight which means war is in the air once more.

Three of the Armigers notice them and they sprint down an alley. The lieutenant is afraid to fire his gun as the noise might make the Chelish realise that the Andorens are here though if he can time it with thunder he should be all right. The alley is walled off with a threadbare rope hanging down the bricks but the various sailors shimmy up the pitted bricks and fling themselves down, leaving Wellard to mount the rope as the lieutenant covers their retreat before coming up behind her.

They spot two giant cockroaches and a swarm of roaches mingling in the trash below, sheltering from the flooded sewers, water-logged roads, and wind roughened passageways, as they're nicely wind broke here and riding high on a lot of trash and debris. The other two sailors crawl sideways along the rain slick walls, past a door to some tavern, and drop down on the other side into the darkness. Lieutenant Archer has lost his lantern now and both and he and Wellard fail to duplicate their acts and drop down onto a crate by the wall. They try again and again but fail to make their way. Lieutenant Archer threatens one giant roach that attempts to clamber up using his cutlass, only to fumble and drop it.

The door to the tavern opens as the Undine sailor, Proteus Antonia, has heard the ruckus on his way to take a piss in the alley and he sees the mass of roaches and the imperilled two likely looking chaps (Wellard does look like a boy with her hair chopped like that) who both have their uniforms covered in their oilskins. Proteus Antonia starts calling out helpful tips (Perform Oratory) to keep their spirits up and tosses the tavern's lantern into the alley, setting fire to the roaches and keeping them distracted. Finally the two manage to crawl sidelong across the wall to the safety of the doorway. In fact, Lieutenant Archer finally gets his head together and gets across with such skill he even manages to recollect his cutlass, surprising himself as much as anyone else.

The two head in through the rear door and Wellard tries to distract the Proteus Antonia (she thinks he might be some sort of tiefling, do they come in blue?) through mention of the pressgang. Unfortunately, she's so earnest in her telling of it that she seems to be bald-faced lying. Still, as Proteus leads them through the tavern he announces loudly to all and sundry about the pressgang and they flee the tavern, leaving Proteus to down their drinks on his slow way out.

Outside, however, he sees the pressgang hurry to chase those who are trying to flee them and says quickly, "I'll be damned. There is a pressgang!" Then he follows the other two as they try to make their way allong to the Sally Port, the other two sailors nowhere in sight. Eventually, they all get lost (though at least the Undine's darkvision means they can see what's in front of them) until they reach an opening into a wider courtyard that has a few wall-less timber roofs set up on creaking posts. The Slave Markets.

The session ended there.

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