Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Flashpoint: Dirty Clothes and Refitted Ships

Well, I had another look at the ship included in the module I was running and realised that by the current standards of ship-based warfare in my campaign it really doesn’t pass muster. I mean, come on, the equivalent of a small pinnace as a pirate ship capable of transporting enough troops to raid coastal villages and attacking ships? It wouldn’t even make a good slaver vessel as it is so tiny. True, back in the early days it might work out but not when you’re using Napoleanic vessels. So I upgraded it to the warrior mouse of the olden days – a Sloop of War. Same set up inside, just 90ft by 25ft rather than 25ft by 40ft like it used to be.

Anyway, so Lunjun had been disrobed in the lower deck so his clothing was clean but for his undergarments so he just throws out the undergarments, washes, and is thereafter fine. heads off into the market place to look for expensive ink to write out his new spells into his old spell book and runs into a typical Absalom-looking fellow who’s overheard his interest in spell items and has an offer for him. In long, drawn out, winding dialogue he tells him that the Aspis Consortium would like a foreigner like Lunjun, and a spell-minded one, to break into a Diobel Consortium warehouse and remove a crate that had the Absalom merchant’s name on it. Apparently, he had a falling out over a business deal and now he can’t get access to it.

There’s also a number of Mwangi artefacts in the warehouse where it’s kept and Lunjun is able to take whatever he pleases or even copy down the spells carved into some of the steles kept there. He also mentions that one artefact is a pair of gloves made out of an elf woman’s hands that allows the wearer to become a female elf (which sounds like evil magic to Lunjun’s ears). He gives Lunjun a bird whistle and tells him that there’ll be a wagon just down the road in a laneway and that they’ll pull it up at the appointed spot when Lunjun blows the whistle. He doesn’t set a time limit or tell him when or even give him a method of contacting him.


What he does offer is the bonus of additional gratitude from Aspis Consortium and a suggested but unnamed ‘bonus’ if Lunjun were to achieve this without deaths. Ideally, to achieve it without being noticed at all. Lunjun accepts the task and asks for assistance finding a mage shop to purchase his inks (the Absalom man obliges) and then heads off to discuss it with the crew to see if they’ll actually accept it after all. During later discussions (without the Captain as Archer’s player was away), they decided that it would be a worth-while idea but that, as none of them are stealthy, they’ll need to approach it from a more espionage angle of pretending to be employees and forging transfer notices and other such details.

While Lunjun went to the markets, Proteus and Lhye went to get some replacement clothes as their own clothing stunk quite badly. Proteus walks around in a loin cloth (as an aquatic seeming fellow he can get away with that) while Lhye simply smells badly. They arrive at a hospice made out of the boards of old ships (giving the building a slight curve) and find that people are being cared for by a father-daughter team of ‘healers’ rather than clerics. They have no healing magic.
Lhye asks what God they serve. The daughter states that the hospice was dedicated to a Saint Illeantha, a saint of Iomedae who had beaten back the 14th Invasion Force sent from the War Wound with the assistance of her army. She then goes quiet, thinking she may have offended the tiefling by talking about the death of the demons or perhaps offending him by thinking he would be offeneded....

Proteus simply says, “He doesn’t care about dead demons.”

The daughter says, “I didn’t mean to imply....”

Lhye and Proteus offer their magical services. The daughter expresses scepticism and asks what God he serves – thinking he might be either a pilgrim from some particularly benevolent God or, more likely, that this might be some sort of ruse prior to some demand for compensation. At this, Lhye’s familiar hops up onto a desk and puffs out its chest, indicating that it is indeed the God.

Lhye simply says, “Some Gods are more mysterious than others.” Implying himself.
So Lhye used his Healing Hex to heal all of the wounds in the hospice (as he can heal everyone once per day) and Proteus uses his Resistance cantrip to help boost the Fortitude Saves of the number of people who are ill from a minor plague of Chelish Influenze (modelled from the Spanish flu). Have Lhye and Proteus caught it? They’ll see in future.

The patients are pathetically grateful. One man, Kellepov, is a man with gray-tinged skin who reveals himself to be an attaché to the Nidalese Embassy in Absalom who had been brutally injured in an ambush of thieves who had killed his men and taken his gold. I indicated that he had gas gangrene – as it’s not a real disease in Pathfinder I have it aesthetically occasionally represent the hit point damage of fouled wounds for NPCs and therefore can be healed by Cure Light Wounds. Kellepov offered his assistance if ever Lhye needed it and returned to find his way back to Absalom.

The people, having heard that Lhye and Proteus need assistance with their clothing and their ship, enquire about which ship it might be. As most of those 1000 people who live in Diobel are either merchants, fishermen, dock workers, carpenters, sailors, or pirates, they are in quite a position to help. Especially once they figure out that the two men are quite happy to heal the others who have limped here in the queues or even wander the city and visit homes to do so. Proteus even casts Mending on peg legs and crutches to remove splinters and return it to fineness as, of course, neither of them can heal an amputation.

While they’re doing this, the grateful citizens and those who want to rub it in the Absalom church’s face and encourage these two men’s return, track down the ship known as ‘The Excrement’. They find Lenny there and offer their services and Lenny immediately impresses that she’s in charge (with Intimidate) and sets them to work. Not knowing what to ask the carpenters to do when they offer to create internal compartments, she simply tells them to give her a compartment of her own and set it up like a military ship.

The men and women set to swabbing the decks, pumping out the bilge, scrubbing out the filth of the lower deck, carving out new wooden compartments to fix in place, and even offer to move the deck house (that is central on the ship) back to the rear of the ship for better aerodynamics and aesthetic appeal (though it is, of course, a greater effort of work). So the ship is undergoing a major refit.

As Captain Archer’s player isn’t here, we’re treating it that he went off to haggle for re-fits and purchase stock and what-not and will return later.

When Proteus, Lhye, and Lunjun meet once more and return to the docks, Proteus immediately recognises what has happened to their ship (he has an appropriate trait) but the others can’t see their ship anyway. They fear that their ship has been stolen away and someone else has stolen their berth.

“Did anyone pay Lenny to remain with the ship?” asks Proteus, poking the wound.

They worry for a bit and then Proteus encourages Lhye to become the most frightening figure out there – by appearing as Lenny – and throwing his weight around with this new and irritating ship captain who took their berth. So Lhye does so, using Disguise Self, and heads up the gangplank flanked by the other two which leads to the repairmen looking quite confused as they thought Lenny was in the afterdeck that was currently being built.

Lhye calls out in Lenny’s voice, “Who is the captain here?” or something similar.
Lenny, irritated to hear her own voice, comes over to the door, opens it, and punches Lhye in the face, knocking him out cold. Lenny then chuckles to see that its Lhye and the big misunderstanding causes her much mirth. Proteus, shocked at the turn of events, is quite funny with his “Oh dear” face and his humming and hawing.

He then gives Lenny a gold piece for her troubles, as Lunjun feeds Lhye one of the Cure Light Wounds potions (Lhye still had injuries from the night before so it was still a useful use of it), and Proteus gives him a gold piece and purchases a pie and a cup of tea from the stall woman who had mysteriously set up shop outside their ship. He asks her about any sore or aching shoulders, she reports a sore tooth, and he escorts her over to Lhye for healing (which Lhye does automatically as he’s given his cup of tea – he’s become such the healbot!) while Lhye is still unsteady on his feet.

They talked about their various options with the Aspis Consortium’s offer and have largely decided to accept it but will figure out just what they’ll do and how they’ll deal with it once Archer returns. They also discuss possible flags with an artist who obviously has piratical or black market connections (or possibly both).

Be interesting to see Archer not recognise his ship. The surprises there aren’t over yet! I vote no one even tells his player yet.

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