Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ship Campaign's First Session - Tiefling / Mercenary Prelude

I need a better name for my campaign (running with Flashpoint campaign for now). Any ideas? I can't really call it the 'pirate' campaign as they're not pirates just yet and might end up privateers or even naval officers (who knows?) so I can't hamstring myself with what may be a false label. Anywho, so we began in Westcrown on a storm-battered night. I made the players each roll Initiative to determine who would be the first off the prelude rank and it turned out to be the tiefling.

The tiefling, in theory at this stage a simple Expert, is closing up the alchemy shop for the night in readiness to go to the Sally Horse floating tavern which is set up in an old ship not far from the Imperial Marina. The bartender there has set him up with a mercenary because the tiefling, Lhye, has recently heard that Arexia, the Elven daughter of an important cleric of Calistria back in Riddleport (the tiefling was partially raised by the Calistrian clergy), was back in the city with the Okeno slavers that had taken her. She was due to be sold with the rest of their cargo.

So Lhye sets off in the thick of a storm that has water rushing the streets and winds howling through the sky and his head starts to ache. He sees a local stray cat yowling and twisting and writhing across the cobblestones and it stops to lay at his feet. He goes to pat it and it wraps around his arm, claws and teeth sinking in, just as lightning tears through the sky (to him, it's almost like sutured smiles stitched across the storm clouds). The tiefling was always a little crazy so the odd metaphors that slam through his mind (the wind's howls sound like blessed screams, the thunder like the beating of the drums) don't seem so odd. He is pretty annoyed by the cat, though is soon distracted when lightning slams into the roof tiles nearby. As he hurries off, he starts to feel a static charge all about him and he tosses down his metal cane which is soon struck thrice by lightning, yet is strangely cool when he picks it up again.

The barbarian, Lenny, arrives at the Sally Horse tavern, which is bucking at her ropes, despite its relatively sheltered position on the River ..... Still, she heads inside the rickety death trap and purchases some rum in the dim interior (the bartender is justifiably pyrophobic during storms and sets up a simple pair of Light spells focused on the antler horns of an elk's head.

Finally Lhye reaches the Sally Horse and barely manages to gain the deck via the gangplank that's nailed down between deck and dock and that drums the cobbles against the length of its partially pulled free nails. A random tiefling on deck snickers at him but he ignores him and heads inside to the bartender who points out the mercenary. The two discuss prices and the tiefling offers Lenny a masterwork ivory horn musical instrument worth around 100gp.

Just so you know, the horn wasn't out of the player's loot, obviously, but was an additional item I allowed him to have to justify her coming into the game. Loot is loot no matter where it comes from.

Anywho, so despite the storm (or rather, because of it, as it meant the guards were likely staying indoors and the slave market would be largely empty) they set out through the winding roughly cobbled streets of Westcrown through the dark. Both of them knew of the risks of the shadow creatures, but hoped the storm and the lightning might keep them at bay, as neither has a real light source that could withstand the strong winds. Lhye had darkvision, however, so was reasonably comfortable with guiding them along.

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