Lhye and Proteus donned their Disguise Selfs from before and they went over to the fort at the base of the hulk jetty to make an appointment that night at 11.00PM. Their excuse for needing a nighttime appointment? They had a vampire from Geb onboard who wanted to select the slaves personally for his Lord AND because they wanted to make the transaction at high tide.
The hulk secretary was a very chubby Keleshite man with two women dressed in a few layers of gold and silver mesh who knelt perfectly still on expensive silk mats in the corners of the room (think Gorean). The two slaves upset Archer quite a bit but he endeavoured not to show it. Lhye simply noted that they were undamaged and relatively happy seeming so he wasn't fussed. The appointment was made and they came back the following night to see the hulk secretary at the foot of the jetty with his two trophy slaves standing behind him with their finger tips pressed together.
At this stage, Lhye was looking like a vampiric tiefling he called 'Finch'. They went aboard and were led by a random sergeant wardom to meet Titha Saltspray, half-elf 'Captain' of the HMS Captivity (obviously not realising what HMS stood for) in her office. She wore a bandolier as decoration (Beneficial Bandolier), soft leather boots (Boots of the Cat), and silver-and-blue Scabbard of Vigor, a Cloak of Elvenkind, and a Hat of Disguise that made her outfit look all the more splendid than it actually was.
By the way, they had fears of the cannon going off and alerting everyone so Proteus sent his monkey up to fill the cannon full of water.
Also in her office was a smiling Keleshite man wearing glasses (Goggles of Eagle Sight), with a gold-and-red Scabbard of Vigor, and a set of handcuffs at his belt with the images of doves engraved on them (Manacles of Cooperation). He made a few friendly jokes and inquired about Geb. Lhye suggested he visit to which the man noted that "Geb isn't a kind place for the quick."
"Depends on what makes them quick," said Lhye, misunderstanding the term (which in Geb refers to the living).
The man gave him a funny look, unsure whether he was joking or a liar (but guessing the latter). Still, that didn't mean he wasn't a vampire or wasn't there to buy slaves. So he didn't say anything, just scrutinised him a bit.
Lunjun noted an ornately painted large map and with a natural 20 on a solid Knowledge Georgraphy roll he identified it has a startlingly accurate and precise map of one of the Shackles islands that is nonetheless off in a few key areas. Perhaps the errors are clues that point to a treasure of some kind?
Proteus uses one of our special cards (must do a post on them later on) that are little rewards where you can change an element of the game. He recognises the ship as one that he had briefly sailed on a few decades ago when he'd been a bit of a consultant for a large section of a Taldan fleet before deciding he didn't like the naval life and diving overboard when they were within several days journey of the Shackles. He's also been in a Taldan Prison Hulk before and has a good idea that this might well be modeled on that one. Unfortunately, the lay out is pretty simple so it doesn't heaps help.
It's a four-decker boat if you don't count the quarterdeck / weather deck. Each deck had a central narrow corridor with bars on either side to split the deck in two main compartments which were further divided into six 'wards'. The bow of the ship was taken up with the various utility rooms. The top deck held the exotics with halflings on the left (divided by gender) and all the other exotics on the right (divided by gender) which meant that you had catfolk with dwarves with elves (including a mopey looking Arexia).
One of the exotics was a dhampyr. The Captain pointed her out. "If you're interested, that one is a dhampyr."
Classic line by Lhye: "Why should I be interested in someone else's bastard?"
The next deck was divided into skilled humans and Mellarius was in the male section but made a point not to look like he recognised them. Some of the humans stepped forward to be sold but backed away when Lhye made a comment about also requiring people for sustenance.
The next deck held the unskilled humans. Still no sign of Wellard.
Captain Saltspray: "Other than this, we have some solitary confinement downstairs for the difficult slaves alongside storage, cordage, but I'm sure you wouldn't be interested in that."
"I like 'em difficult," said Proteus.
"I would be interested in seeing these slaves," said Lhye.
Captain Saltspray implied that she should send someone to fetch her rather than take such important purchasers down into the hold but is convinced otherwise by a clever bit of Bluff. They all head downstairs and see that the one difficult slave is none other than Wellard.
Wellard swears blue at them when the door is opened, not batting an eye at seeing Lhye and Proteus. She swears in Varisian in an imaginative and almost lyrical way that connects insults to cures that impresses Lhye and Proteus recognises the particular style as Sczarni.
"I think this one would be better asleep," said the captain's friend, who attempts to cast Sleep but fails to overcome Wellard's sleep.
Lhye casts his Slumber hex on Wellard who collapses at his feet. The other two draw their cutlasses but are a little uncertain. Proteus kicks it off with a Beguiling Gift and a Hold Person potion while Archer clunks the Sergeant Warden in the head. By the end of it, the Sergeant Warden had locked himself in one of the cells, the rest were dead, and Proteus threatened the Sergeant Warden's life if he screamed out.
Proteus and Archer both grabbed one of the scabbards. Since they were magical, I declared that the scabbard would re-size to sheathe Proteus' trident. They asked if their guns might go in there but I decided against it since they were ranged weapons and attack bonuses to ranged are pretty epic and would doubtless increase the price range. However, I did state that I'd probably include Holsters of Vigor later on.
So they go up through the decks, clearing them of wardens and convincing the people to be quiet. Wellard convinces them that she should pretend to be Kitha and once they're in her office she'll feign being that Sergeant Warden and see them off. They return with their trunk of money (2000pp would cover it) which she'll openly open as the captain. They can then start ferrying away the slaves. How would the wardens know that they were ALL being taken? After the first couple hundred they'd lose count. Proteus could swim back and be let back in through the rear window and he could assume the role of the captain's bard.
Wellard would declare that the cannon had also been sold for a king's sum and then have it swayed down for them to ferry over to the ship. At the end of it all, she'd claim time to sleep and then she and Proteus would disappear themselves. That way they'd get to dawn and wouldn't have to slaughter the couples living on huts on the weather deck.
They took their money back and stole everything of value from the quarterdeck that they could manage.
Oh, and I forgot to mention in-game but the Nixie is imprisoned in one of the quarterdeck rooms. You'd know that by now.
Next session, they're going to try to re-take the Egress and bring their old ship back with them as well as taking revenge against the Mwangi thieves.