Seventeen Seas

Episode 26 - Stormfront
The Clouds Burst

Game Date: Clockways 26, Year 75
Starting Point: Ying Wei Sea
Player Characters Present: Bō (Cecily), Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Weed

With nothing else for it, the Hammerhead steers straight into the hurricane.

Though obviously magical, the storm is none too rigorous at first. The waves are choppy, the winds are fierce, the occasional blue lightning bolt comes streaking down to ignite patches of the ship on fire. Working quickly, our swashbuckling heroes are able to scramble about the deck, keeping the ship afloat and the crew heartened.

Things become more complicated when a great wave deposits three water elementals aboard the vessel, moving to attack the hapless crew. What’s worse, the way before the ship starts to become treacherous, great whirlpools opening up before their path. Moving quickly into battle, the Hammerhead’s officers make quick work of the elementals. Bō wields her aggressive form in combat for the first time, blasting one elemental into steam. Korbin employs his new squad of “clay golems” to help rescue overboard crew and contain the water elementals. There’re some shenanigans involving Hakari, Weed, a treasure chest and one thousand ball bearings that does not bear repeating.

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From here, however, the storm only grows worse as Captain Inio accidentally pilots the Hammerhead into one of the whirlpools. With a great blast of lightning, a fourth elemental – a towering lightning elemental – joins the fray on the aftcastle. While the heroes are busy engaging the massive elemental, sunken ships start to burst from the surf, thrown like missiles at the poor defenseless Hammerhead.

Through all these dangers and more do the heroes pilot their craft. The storm eventually breaks, however, and the Hammerhead emerges into its massive central eye – heavily damaged but still in one piece.

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Episode 25 - Into the Ying Wei Sea
The Storm Discovered

Game Date: Clockways 15 – 26, Year 75
Starting Point: Ying Wei Sea
Player Characters Present: Bō (Cecily), Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Weed

Departing New Colonia with trouble on their tail, the Hammerhead strikes out into the Ying Wei Sea, once again on the trail of the storm. The further south they sail, however, the closer and closer they come to their prize, those forbidding clouds growing all the greater on the horizon.

On the first leg of their voyage, Korbin conducts an experiment with his pearl, opening a void to another startling dimension. Captain Inio makes a startling discovery in perusing Corgaine’s pilfered letters – she and Ilisa were lovers, he discovers, and they speak in their coded messages about a secret island of the tiefling’s, where they hoped to return one day. Shortly thereafter, they’re pursued by a Colonial warship, the Courageous, which chases them until nightfall, when they manage to lose the vessel. All the while, through the spyglass, that storm grows closer and closer.

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On the second leg of their voyage, our swashbuckling heroes make the acquaintance of Toruka Kaia, the Knight of Weeds and Weed’s father. Though he has little time to speak, he pleads with the crew to protect Weed against the Lady of Weeds and gifts his daughter with an old companion – Ghostcrab. The crew also rescues an entangled sea lion from a net, allowing the wounded beast to escape and swim away to freedom. Finally, Korbin notices some competition in his duties as Chimeran priest and ponders what to do. Ever closer comes that storm, the wreckage of ships its destroyed a constant reminder of its strength and potency.

On the third leg of the voyage, Ngaio the Night-Navigator sends a messenger to collect the Pearl from Korbin, while he continues to investigate his second one. A third care package is left for Hakari and he officially goes on the investigation, attempting to discern whom his secret admirer might be. It is eventually revealed to be Woodward, the halfling spellsail, despite Hakari’s jilted suspicions that it might be Yu, the ship’s standoffish bartender. Finally, the Hammerhead arrived before the storm – a great roaring tempest that spreads across the entire horizon – and debated how best to plunge themselves into those troubled waters.

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Episode 24 - Mind Your Manors
The Beldonte Heist

Game Date: Clockways 12 – Clockways 13, Year 75
Starting Point: New Colonia
Player Characters Present: Cecily Xiao-Ling Huo, Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Weed

While Korbin and Weed get some much deserved rest, Cecily, Hakari and Deadrick head into the Interior to case the Beldonte manor and learn what information they can. While Hakari and Deadrick looks for valuables – or books, as the case may be – Cecily bumbles into her father and they hatch a plan to rescue him the following evening, when everyone is forced to listen to Lady Beldonte’s infuriatingly poor harp performances.

The next day, the plan is hatched. A carriage is stolen, signals are agreed upon and several of the crew are disguised in appropriate livery. Captain Quincy comes trotting up to the Interior’s gate, while his stealthier companions slip over the wall and rendezvous at the Beldonte estate. Korbin climbs a tree some distance from the carriage, Weed is instructed to hide in nearby bushes and Deadrick, Hakari and Cecily sneak back into the compound.

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They’re almost immediately thwarted, however, when Wan-Su is not in the kitchen, their agreed-upon meeting place. While Deadrick and Hakari commence looting, Cecily discovers him trapped in the performance hall, unable to make the rendezvous. While Deadrick and Cecily conspire to disguise themselves as servants, a guard happens upon them and manages to blow his whistle before he can be dispatched.

Chaos breaks loose. More guards come searching around the side of the house, seeking the source of the disturbance and Weed is spotted. Korbin starts making tons of chaotic and confusing noises, suggesting other whistles and the arriving militia. Hakari goes running upstairs, to loot the master bedroom, while Deadrick and Cecily start pretending to light a fire in the kitchen, hoping to lure the cooks away.

Finally, after Korbin’s summoned the carriage, Hakari’s finished his looting and Weed’s rejoined the group, Cecily manages to get hands on her father. As they all flee, Hakari spreads ball bearings all across the ground, confusing the pursuit. The one remaining household guard firing at them, the swashbucklers all pour into the carriage and flee out of the Interior and back towards their ship.

With that and a twelve hour wait to depart, they’re free from New Colonia and back on the trail of the storm.

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Episode 23 - Flock Together
Birds of a Feather

Game Date: Clockways 12, Year 75
Starting Point: New Colonia
Player Characters Present: Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Faveen Lone-Choir, Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Ovette Whick

After a tortuous twelve-hour wait, the Hammerhead finally drops anchor in New Colonia’s Channel district, mooring up against the various drydocks. Happy to disembark, the crew heads to the nearest tavern and rumor-mill – the Lock and Quay – to recuperate a little from the voyage and to plan their next moves in the unofficial capital of the Colonial Empire.

Enter Faveen Lone-Choir. The crowfolk carnie knows he’s running from something – the circus, probably – but can’t quite remember why. Stumbling into the tavern, Faveen immediately implores the heroes – particularly Korbin – for aid. So repulsed by the noisy troubadour, Korbin storms off about his errands, dragging Faveen and Weed along with. Cecily heads towards the island’s interior, seeking her father, while Hakari stays in the Channel district, on the hunt for another boatswain to compare notes.

Receiving a small reward for the cargo retrieved from the Adventure, Korbin, Weed and Faveen eventually retired to the Hammerhead, where they eventually learn that Faveen’s actually stolen a magical pearl, one that’s suspiciously familiar, from the ringleader of his circus. In the Interior, Cecily meets her father, overjoyed that she’s alive, and eager to be sprung from his indenture to the Beldonte family. Back on the dockside, meanwhile, Hakari makes the acquaintance of Tuelo, a local privateering boatswain, and scares away yet more crowfolk circus performers – the Flying Fandra Brothers, looking for Faveen and his stolen pearl.

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Back at the Hammerhead, that confrontation comes to a head as all the party members reconvene to discover a drunken Captain Inio in an altercation with the thugrobats. It’s not long before a battle ensues, all the heroes leaping to their Captain’s defense. During the melee, Cecily engages three acrobats at once, trading incredible feats of acrobatics and martial prowess. Faveen confuses and enchants his former friends with bardic magic, keeping his distance. Korbin summons spectral spirits to protect and ravage the acrobats. Hakari rides the magical crane back onto the ship, shortly before a wild magic surge causes Weed to explode the whole thing in green fire.

In short order, the circus folk are defeated – but not before the local constabulary is summoned. Thanks to a quick lie from Faveen, the guard is momentarily pacified and the crew reconvenes aboard the ship, attempting to decide how best to squirm from this latest trouble.

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Episode 22 - Into the Clemestine Sea
The Reign of Captain Quincy

Game Date: Widderways 165, Year 74 – Clockways 12, Year 75
Starting Point: Clemestine Sea
Player Characters Present: Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Weed

Perturbed by her sudden appearance, the Hammerhead’s officers pawn off Weed’s care on various members of her crew – Twenk, Corgaine – and debate their options concerning the Giuzeppa and the Adventure.Learning from Corgaine that the Adventure is actually a member of the Corsair’s Congress, she attempted to convince them to capture the vessel’s captain, but the Hammerhead’s crew made other plans. Under the guise of privateers, they would attempt to shake the Adventure down, securing some or all of its cargo with minimal bloodshed.

Departing northward across the Clemestine Sea, the Hammerhead has an uneventful voyage. The New Year arrives, with seventy-five obnoxious tolls from the ship’s chronometer. Weed wanders about the ship and develops an attraction to Korbin’s pearl. Zhitao continues Cecily’s training and the student chooses a new name – Bō. Korbin receives a missive from Ngaio, the Night-Navigator, warning him to “beware the weed”. Before long, the Adventure appears on the northern horizon. Signaling for parley, the Adventure accepts a boarding crew rows across.

Aboard the Adventure, Captain Quincy and his crew find the deck curiously deserted. Both fore and aftcastle filled with pirates lying in ambush, Captain Borothea the Braggart comes forth to hear terms. After exchanging forged letters of marque, the parley begins and is quickly interrupted when Weed, having snuck aboard, attacks Captain Borothea with drownie’s touch, causing her to start choking. However, through some quick words and cunning action, our swashbuckling heroes manage to stop hostilities before they start.

Threatening to out Captain Borothea in front of her crew as a pirate and a member of the Congress, Captain Quincy and his allies managed to secure an alarming portion of the Adventure’s cargo. Their hold full, their crew happy, the ship departed back south, headed to New Colonia and new adventures.

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Episode 21 - People Drown
The Traitor Unmasked!

Game Date: Widderways 160 – 165, Year 74
Starting Point: Sea of Rapture
Player Characters Present: Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Weed

Ovette’s death sends The Hammerhead’s crew reeling. Stunned at the sudden loss, the crew musters together a humble service, Korbin saying grace. Many pirates – including Hakari – come forward to say something on Ovette’s behalf, including one shanty sung by the fond crew, but Cecily keeps silent as the burlap sack, filled with trinkets and remembrances goes overboard. There’s a brief disagreement between the bereaved officers over who should take the warlock’s role as boatswain but Hakari eventually wins out and claims the officer’s title.

The caravel’s not a full day from Ovette’s tragic end when another disaster – a fire in the larder – strikes. Working quickly, the crew is able to extinguish the blaze before it can threaten the powder magazine but the message is clear. There is still a saboteur aboard the Hammerhead and they absolutely must be rooted out before the voyage can continue.

There are numerous subjects unearthed and discarded. The cooks are questioned, with little success. Deadrick assures them he’s nothing to do with the fire, even though he’s been seen around the scene of the crime. A plot is uncovered concerning one of Hakari’s prostitutes and another sailor, one that Hakari decides to keep quiet for now. There’s something equally fishy about Corgaine and her inaction during the emergency, the Sister citing only that she cannot, for mysterious reasons, approach fire.

Strenuous investigation eventually reveals Pimas, a near invisible member of the crew that came aboard following the battle on Crowclaw Island. Seeking revenge for her slaughtered shipmates, Pimas has been working against our swashbuckling heroes for months, immediately beneath everyone’s noses. After a brief scuffle, Pimas is chained and made to walk the plank, much to the crew’s jeering thrill and Cecily’s sudden horror, seeing another halfling woman pulled below the water.

Nonetheless, the Hammerhead continues and crosses into the Clemestine Sea. Along the way, they pass a damaged privateer, the Adventure, that seems to stick in Corgaine’s mind. Another day past, they encounter an even more heavily damaged merchant cog, the Giuzeppa, and, posing as privateers, they approach the beleaguered vessel. Learning the Adventure are too only disguised as privateers and fell upon the Giuzeppa, the faux-privateers of the Hammerhead agree to retrieve the cargo and return it to New Colonia.

Before they can embark, however, they’re hastily summoned back aboard the Hammerhead. Eerie singing steers them towards Ovette’s cabin, where they discover an eerie little child, her hair all of seaweed, vandalizing the storybooks she’s found. “Mommy drowned,” she explains to them, much to our heroes’ collective horror.

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Episode 20 - Voyage of the Hammerhead
Reunions and Funerals

Game Date: Widderways 146 – 160, Year 74
Starting Point: Cape Celesta
Player Characters Present: Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Ovette Whick

Arriving back on the Material Plane, the Hammerhead, her captain, her officers and her advisors chart a course across the Sea of Rapture. Choosing to remain off the well-charted lanes, they strike westward, following the mysterious storm that seems to somehow have moved in the weeks they spent on the Elemental Plane of Water. Departing from Cape Celesta, the Hammerhead encounters the St. Ladrosa, a saintship for the patron saint of pirates. They meet the many strange and fascinating new crewmen and they conduct one scheming session with Corgaine, discussing who Ilisa was and where she believes this storm will lead them.

Seeking a dummy flag for their vessel, to better pretend they’re privateers, the Hammerhead drops anchor at a small island in the Shrines called Withernsea, hoping to meet Cecily’s estranged parents. Dressing to the nines, they head into town and attempt to acquire an audience with the indentured dressmaker and, after much shenanigans, Cecily and Liao-Xi have a heart-to-heart. Cecily learns that, after she departed, not all things were well amongst her family, her parents separating and her father turning to drink. Resolving to find her father, Liao-Xi nonetheless agrees to help, sewing a red privateering flag for the Hammerhead and even a few sets of surprise baby’s clothing for Ovette’s unborn daughter.

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Sailing from the Shrines, however, disaster strikes. A shambling mound of seaweed, possessed by arcane magic, attacks the Hammerhead, seemingly bent on killing Ovette. The crew fights the thing valiantly, despite its parasitic tendrils and nearly manages to slay the creature but not before it gets its hooks into poor Ovette. Dragged overboard, there’s another attempt to rescue the halfling woman before she’s pulled too deep but this, alas, comes to no avail. Despite all their efforts, Ovette is killed, floating dead in the water, the shambling mound dragging her down into blackness.

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Episode 19 - Far, Far Below
The Hammerhead Departs Port Pillage

Game Date: Widderways 137, Year 74
Starting Point: Port Pillage
Player Characters Present: Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Ovette Whick

Meeting Corgaine on the Kruthik’s deck, our swashbuckling heroes strike a new deal with their sometimes friend, sometimes foe. Corgaine proposes they work together to uncover the treasure, pooling their resources and splitting the reward evenly. She doesn’t trust Inio and blames him for the disappearance of Ilisa’s items, believing them now in the hands of the Cutlass, but is willing to collaborate, should that turn up the treasure. Offering to provide them a spellsail, they agree to depart as soon as their new ship – the Hammerhead – is ready to sail.

While crew and cargo transfer between ships, the party runs a few errands, both great and small. To appease her curious child, Ovette goes book shopping, seeking children’s stories to read to her unborn daughter. Cecily is tested once again by Zhitao and, after besting her in a combat trial, decides to purchase her mentor a gift. Hakari sniffs around Scholar’s Row, seeking answers about Shun Ji’s disappearance and pockets a text about dragon turtles. Korbin goes shopping, outfits some new armor and investigates his mysterious clue from the Wise Master, discovering a trail that leads far below the floating city.

Collecting his companions, Korbin leads the Kruthik’s officers on a quest deep into the Elemental Plane, stepping through a portal that sends them far underwater. Nearly crushed by all the pressure, the crew nonetheless presses on, following a glowing light across an undersea landscape filled with wonder. One of those wonders, however, proves to be a trap; the glow they believed they were following turned out to a massive transparent seadevil, eager to snap up one of the heroes in its fanged maw.

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Working together, however, the Kruthik’s crew make quick work of the beast, Hakari keeping the creature’s massive jaws for better use in his new tavern. Following the glow, they eventually come upon the Shallow Palace of Ngaio the Night-Navigator. The great marid is a gracious host, referring to Korbin by his birth name, and beseeching his help in recovering the other two pearls from the Material Plane. Secretive and suspicious by nature, Ngaio nonetheless promises to provide Korbin with more lore, should they agree to work together. Striking an accord, the Kruthik and her crew return to Port Pillage and prepare to get underway.

Now that the Hammerhead’s complete, the pirates hire a rowdy new crew in Port Pillage and cast off, bringing Corgaine and her new spellsail, Woodward, along for the ride. Once the portal to the Astral Sea is opened, several of the heroes – Hakari most of all – wishes once again to glimpse the infinite cosmos beyond. This short voyage done, the Hammerhead reappears on the Material Plane in the Sea of Rapture, just off the shore of Cape Celesta – once again ready to start their hunt for the Sistren’s lost treasure.

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Episode 18 - Aye or Nay
The Scheming Reaches Its Climax

Game Date: Widderways 137, Year 74
Starting Point: Port Pillage
Player Characters Present: Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Ovette Whick

Quickly giving an excuse as to why Captain Inio is absent from this Congressional hearing, Cecily, Korbin and Ovette deftly dodge the matter of whether or not they should be forced to join the Congress. Soon as the Captains are dispatched to vote, Corgaine’s motion to hear the Colonial proposal wins by a landslide and, though she’s anxious about where Inio has disappeared to, agrees to accompany the corsairs to the Sea Creature for a drink.

Through an absurd lie, Hakari and Inio manage to shirk the blackmarks on the_Iron Fist’s_ paper deck and eventually reach the captain’s cabin, the one once belonging to Ilisa, Corgaine’s dead sister. A little acid dissolves the lock and they’re quickly looting the untouched valuables inside. After bagging a bottle dragon turtle, some magical navigational device and an extremely valuable sword, Inio discovers a cache of letters he believes will point them towards the treasure. That’s when the Red Hands, on Corgaine’s orders, arrive and, in the ensuing chaos, Hakari escapes and Inio is captured.

The revels at the Sea Creature, then, are cut short when a cursing Inio is thrown before Corgaine’s feet. When she learns that he was caught snooping around Ilisa’s quarters, she flies into a rage. She surrounds the three heroes and demands to know what their interest in Ilisa and the treasure is. They attempt to resist, even attempt to charm Corgaine, but this all comes to naught and they’re forced to admit that they’re seeking Ilisa’s lost treasure.

Feeling guilty about the capture of his friend, Hakari hatches a scheme to free Inio from Corgaine’s clutches. Stealing a pair of red gloves, he infiltrates the Iron Fist and, feigning orders from the Cleaver, manages to abscond Inio from under their noses. Moving quickly through the city, Hakari stashes the unconscious Inio in a room at the Happy Accident and pays a young tiefling girl – Twenk – to summon Deadrick and some toughs to hatch his plan – stealing a ship and fleeing Port Pillage.

Soon as word reaches Corgaine about Inio’s disappearance, some quick thinking on Korbin’s part – blaming the Cutlass – saves all of their heads from the chopping block. Swallowing the lie hook, line & sinker, Corgaine asks the heroes to prove their loyalty by marshalling their crew and joining her at Plunder Plaza, where they’ll mount an assault against the Basilisk and retrieve him. Returning to their ship, the Kruthik’s crew reconnects with Hakari and wonders what to do.

The plan they eventually hatch is a precarious one. With Deadrick’s help, Inio is carried from the Happy Accident into Point Pretty, territory near where the Basilisk is docked. Stashed aboard an under-construction vessel, the crew then leads the searching Red Hands towards Inio’s hiding place, convincing them that it was the Cutlass who stashed Inio here. Once he’s recovered, the Captain is carried into the Iron Hand for further questioning and the Kruthik’s crew are left to wonder about their fate.

Waiting in the Kruthik’s scheming room, our swashbuckling heroes discuss Ovette’s pregnancy, a mysterious stranger that approached Korbin and the artifacts Hakari recovered from Ilisa’s cabin, including a rare luck blade – a weapon of boundless potentiality. Before long, however, Inio does return, in one piece, and tells them the good news and the bad news. The good news – he’s been freed and they’re allowed to leave. The bad news – Corgaine is coming with them.

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Episode 17 - Under Siege
The Shriek Returns!

Game Date: Widderways 137, Year 74
Starting Point: Port Pillage
Player Characters Present: Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Ovette Whick

After some fierce debate, the Kruthik and her crew decide to join the fight against the Shriek – assuming that other pillagers leap into the fray to aid them. Waiting for the Sirocco and the Hell Hound to start the hostilities, the Kruthik slung around the battle’s side and laid waste to the rowboats full of undead marines that the Shriek attempted to drop onto the port’s shores. In this, they were partially successful – blasting three of the four rowboats but also drawing the Shriek’s attention.

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It was a fierce battle, one that nearly went very poorly for the outgunned Kruthik. Many broadsides were exchanged, the Kruthik’s pirate allies fled and eventually the Kruthik too was forced to flee. In her parting salvos, however, she dealt a final blow to the Shriek. To the pirate’s confusion, however, the ship began to dissipate, dissolving into thick black smoke rather than sinking completely.

Filled with fervor, Korbin and Cecily lead a team of Kruthik crew ashore to finish off the last of the undead hordes that went ravaging through the city. Hakari and Ovette, meanwhile, organized another team of Kruthik crewman to go looting in the attacked areas. The fighting and the pilfering concluded with a great carousal at the Sea Creature, only to be interruped by a dressing-down from Inio and eventually a summons from Coquette. The Sistren demanded that, in the wake of the events, they come and testify before the Congress, telling all they know of the Shriek and its possible motives here.

With a few hours to kill before the Congressional hearing, our swashbuckling heroes spread out. Cecily undertook and performed admirably at another of Zhitao’s lessons, earning the master’s respect. Ovette went to investigate Stashside and the wizard – Shun Ji – that the undead hordes carried away. Korbin caught his beauty sleep. Inio, Hakari and Deadrick started a scheme, wherein they would infiltrate the Iron Fist and learn what they could about the Sistren’s missing treasure.

Summoned before the Congress of Corsairs, our swashbuckling heroes arrived at the Iron Fist, the great tiefling warship that serves as their headquarters in Port Pillage. While Korbin, Ceily and Ovette met the Congress to give testimony, Inio and Hakari went sneaking about the great ironsided warship, seeking some choice intel.

On the main deck, Korbin and Ovette told their story, explaining how they knew of the Shriek and what brought them here. Captain Cutlass attempted to poke holes in their story, to cast doubt on their intentions, but Corgaine seized the moment and delivered a rousing speech about the future of Port Pillage, playing on the recent attack to rally her supporters.

Meanwhile, down below, Inio and Hakari run into a little trouble, discovering themselves on the business end of a flintlock pistol and a question that’s a little difficult to answer – “Explain yourselves”.

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