Seventeen Seas

Episode 8 - Port of Panthers
Pirates Hired, Books Collected, Ruins Explored

Game Date: Widderways 100 – 101, Year 74
Starting Point: Port Panthera
Player Characters Present: Bael Briarborn, Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Ovette Whick

Arriving in the bustling pirate harbor of Port Panthera, the crews of both Mikalakawika and Kruthik clambered ashore, eager to avail themselves of all the licentious seaside town had to offer. A little unnerved by the haunted ruins, Cecily, Inio and Ovette made for the Broken Yardarm, a popular blind-tiger, to hire more cutthroats. Meanwhile, Bael and Korbin went about the surreptitious business of selling some vodka they’d produced from Port Lunez potatoes – under the nose of Nashi, the trade boss.

At the Broken Yardarm, many new pirates were hired with promises of drink and plunder. While Ovette investigated rumors of the great looming ziggurat, Bael defeated an undead contender – with a radiant punch to the face – in an improvised bar brawl. This done and many more swords added to their ranks, the heroes split up, some to seek knowledge about the Elemental Plane of Water and other to chase a posted reward.

After some doing, Pennyfeather made the acquaintance of Bellany of the Black Rose, a very sassy sorceress and they exchanged notes about his artifact, the ravenfolk walking away with a volume tucked his arm. Meanwhile, Bael, Cecily and Ovette tracked down Five-Fang, a sahugain wanted by the local brothel’s madame for damaging one of her girls. In the process, they acquired a purse full of doubloons, the gratitude of Madame Okansha and a new crewman.

The next morning, to sate her curiosity, three of the four heroes departed to investigate the ziggurat, leaving behind Cecily, frightened away by the grim stories about the place. After braving thick jungle and unbearable stench, Bael, Korbin and Ovette reached the place and attempted to ascend – only to be afflicted by a strange curse, turning one party member against another. At this point, Ovette turned back and eventually became lost in the tangle of jungle, whereas Korbin and Bael pressed on, reaching the summit and eventually becoming trapped inside the monolith.

When a beleagured Ovette wandered back aboard the Kruthik, explaining what befell their comrades, the three of them – Inio included – started to organize a search party to retrieve them – and the spyglass. Meanwhile, inside the pyramid, the two trapped heroes performed some foul sacrifice ritual, spilling a morsel of Bael’s blood to grant access deeper into the depths of the ziggurat.

What awaits them below? Only time will tell.

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Episode 7 - Articles of Agreement
Every Soul Signed

Game Date: Widderways 92 – 100, Year 74
Starting Point: Port Lunez
Player Characters Present: Bael Briarborn, Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Ovette Whick

Arriving at Port Lunez in the goblin-haunted Gnashclaws, the crews of the Mikalakawika and the Kruthik were both happy to disembark on shore leave, despite only five days at sea. Going their separate ways, our shipwrecked heroes embarked upon various errands through the humble stockade town, some more noble than others.

Bael Briarborn and Korbin Quill sought to purchase some dry goods – mainly potatoes – to start a bootlegging sideline. Ovette Whick started off responsibly, attempting to purchase the necessary supplies for the ships, and wound up sharing a drink with Prince Tua in his cabin. Cecily, meanwhile, joined a group of merfolk and pirates at the Green Gills, Port Lunez’s most popular tavern, and may have, in her cups, spilled some secrets she ought not.

The most infamous adventure the heroes shared, while in Port Lunez, involved an attempt to spring a goblin prisoner from Fort Lunez, for dubious and unknown purposes. Devising numerous schemes, each more complicated than the last, it was a simple enchantment from Ovette’s unearthly powers that freed their new friend, Overbite, from the Governor’s custody. Fleeing Port Lunez at first light, the Mikalakawika and the Kruthik departed for Port Panthera but not before Captain Inio, impressed with her loyalty to the cause, named Cecily his first mate.

Along the journey, the two ships weathered windstorms and faithless fog, the latter banished by Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill and his elaborate ceremonies on the Mikalakawika’s deck. In addition, a long debate and review process produced a comprehensive list of articles of agreement that, after some persuading, the pirates could all happily agree to. After much celebrating, the small flotilla drifted through the Owathi Chain and arrived at Port Panthera, here to recruit some more pirates for their cause.

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Episode 6 - The Right of Parley
"Down With The Tyrant!"

Game Date: Widderways 90, Year 74
Starting Point: Axebeak Island
Player Characters Present: Bael Briarborn, Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Ovette Whick

Rowing across the expanse between the Mikalakawika and the Kruthik, our heroes quickly assemble their stories – they’re representatives of Prince Tuakoniakamai, here to investigate rumors of treasure and ancient ruins connected to Aquos, the Elemental Plane of Water. Invited to tea with Captain Pampion, things begin very courteously, despite the crowd of simmering, battle-ready pirates that encircle their conversation.

During the conversation, it becomes all the clearer that Pampion, despite all his pretensions, is unpopular among his crew. A former naval officer, he disdains rowdy behavior and drinking, much to the chagrin of his buccaneers. Spinning another in a long string of lies and falsehoods, the Prince’s representatives convince Captain Pampion that the treasure they sought is actually on the shores of Axebeak Island. Intrigued at this possibility, the pirate captain sends a crew of marauders aboard to search for the goods – unaware that a team of merfolk await them, ready to steer them towards the axebeaks and murder any who escape.

Meanwhile, as the time drags on aboard the deck of the Kruthik, the heroes start to prod the crew closer and closer to mutiny, while Pennyfeather continues to antagonize the Captain. As the sun sets and no word from the landing party, tensions finally mount and weapons are drawn. Fortunately, all the heroes badgering seems to have done the trick, turning half of Pampion’s loyal crew into mutineers and a bloody melee breaks out upon the deck.

While most of the party concentrates fire on the Captain, Bael sneaks away and into the Captain’s cabin, searching for valuable loot. Eventually, with the aid of the snarling hyenafolk mutineer Daranyu, Captain Pampion is slain and the ship claimed – eventually – for Prince Tua!

After another round of scheming, the hierarchy of the two “privateering” vessels is re-arranged. Bael Briarborn now serves as Vice-Admiral and Captain of the Mikalakawika, with Pennyfeather as his quartermaster and Daranyu as the first mate. Captain Inio, meanwhile, takes over command of the Kruthik, with Ovette as his bosun and Cecily as his master rigger. In addition, Inio is eventually convinced to surrender the spyglass into Korbin’s care, as a sign of good faith that he won’t shut up about.

The heading to the southwest, the small flotilla of ships departs Axebeak Island, headed towards Port Lunez and eventually Port Panthera, seeking supplies and sword-arms.

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Episode 5 - Return to Axebeak Island
The Maiden Voyage of the Mikalakawika

Game Date: Widderways 87 – 90, Year 74
Starting Point: Palmsport, Statue Islands
Player Characters Present: Bael Briarborn, Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Korbin Quill, Ovette Whick

After three days of shore leave in port, the shipwrecked heroes reconvene on the docks outside Thumb Street, some with new duds, others new lovers and some, in the case of Inio and his throng of ruffians, new friends. When Prince Tua arrives, he introduces them to his newly purchased vessel, the Mikalakawika and welcomes the heroes aboard.

Once aboard the barque, Bael – under the pseudonym Jagglesworth – is inducted into the Prince’s Royal Guard and Pennyfeathers is elected the ship’s quartermaster by a large margin. With Inio installed as the Captain, the ship prepares to get underway, but not before the shipwrecked heroes share a whispered conference of scheming in the Captain’s cabin, in which loyalties are questioned and backstories are revealed.

The Brave Prince departs for Axebeak Island the recovery of Inio’s lost spyglass, a three day voyage in total. Along the way:

  • Bael unsuccessfully attempts some “pirate fishing”, much to the Captain’s dismay.
  • Inio and Prince Tua argue near constantly,
  • The vessel passes by an abandoned island, piquing Cecily’s curiosity.
  • A thunderstorm sweeps upon the Mikalakawika from behind and the sailors, with grit and determination, persevere with minimal damage.

On Widderways 90, the Brave Prince arrives once again at Axebeak Island, a sight passing unpleasant for Bael’s eyes. Dropping anchor, three divers – Bael, Korbin and Konolani – are sent below to search out the spyglass, but not before Bael warns Prince Tua against Captain Inio and his treachery. Through the use of detect magic, Korbin manages to locate the spyglass and, back aboard the ship, passes the item to Inio beneath everyone else’s scrutiny.

No sooner has this exchange happened than sails are spotted on the southern horizon. The spyglass fetched, the ship’s revealed to be the Kruthik, a known pirate that’s followed them from Palmsport. A fierce debate erupts on the Brave Prince’s deck, a dozen or more plans suggested and shot down, before the Kruthik manages to close the distance and offer terms of surrender. Thinking quickly, Ovette shouts back that the ship is under the care of Prince Tua and terms of a parley are drawn up.

Piling into a dinghy, as the Prince’s “representatives”, the heroes – plus Makalini, the merfolk spokesperson – row across the gap to meet with Captain Pampion of the Kruthik, a squad of merfolk ambushers swimming below, should the worst happen.

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Episode 4 - Welcome to Palmsport!
A Plan, However Convulted, Is Hatched

Game Date: Widderways 83 – Widderways 84, Year 74
Starting Point: Palmsport
Player Characters Present: Bael Briarborn, Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Corbin Quill, Ovette Whick

In the office of Professor Krillkator, sahuagin sage, Korbin Quill learns some valuable information – that the necrotic mark etched on all their foreheads is a curse, removable only by a casting of lesser restoration and, what’s more, that the massive pearl he carries originates on the Elemental Plane of Water. Meanwhile, at the Second Hand, the remainder of Bael’s companions attempt, with mixed success, to haul him up the stairs and into his bed before Korbin arrives with the news.

Beating the streets, they manage to locate a priest – Brother Miego – who offers to remove the curse, should they come to a prayer meeting. The next morning, four of the party – Korbin, Cecily, Ovette and Hurricane – attend the meeting, whereas Bael and Inio elect to case the docks, looking for a likely ship to commandeer or, in Bael’s case, join. After a brief stint of shopping, a heated debate emerges amongst crew about their next course of action.

Inio desires nothing more than to return to his spyglass, deposited on the bottom of the sea near Axebeak Island. To accomplish this, he means to hire a pirate crew and commandeer a ship to chase down the legendary treasure the spyglass supposedly guards. Bael, however, is fiercely opposed to committing acts of piracy and wishes simply to join a merchanter’s crew and earn an honorable wage. It’s ultimately the other three crew – Cecily, Korbin and Ovette who win the party over, deciding to commission a wealthy individual to pay for the expedition to retrieve the treasure.

For this role, they elect Prince Tua, the thirdborn son of King Mohuwawahikiko, the merfolk monarch. A libertine and a gloryhound, the Prince is discovered carousing in the Idle Hands and is fed, mostly by Korbin, an outrageous story, involving ancient temples and the Elemental Plane of Water and, above all, a fortune in magical pearls. Swept up in the fantastic narrative, the merfolk princes agrees to fund an expedition to recover the “treasure” – on the condition that he leads that expedition. Before anyone can object, Bael agrees and offers his services to the prince as his royal guard.

With three days to commission the ship, the heroes, having lied their way into command of the voyage, prepare to depart Palmsport and return, once again, to Axebeak Island.

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Episode 3 - The Gunpowder Plot
Civilization Ahoy!

Game Date: Clockways 188 – Widderways 83, Year 74
Starting Point: The Shriek, Vindharna Sea
Player Characters Present: Bael Briarborn, Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Corbin Quill, Ovette Whick

Leaping through the hole blown in the side of the Shriek, three of the four heroes – all except Corbin Quill – clamber aboard one of the ghost ship’s dinghy’s and scramble to escape the caravel’s clutches. The ravenfolk priest, meanwhile, goes racing through the lower levels of the ship, seeking to blast a hole through the bilge with his divine magic. Soon as he does, he risks the onrushing water to swim to safety and eventually meet his fleeing companions.

After enduring a few musket volleys, the shipwrecked heroes manage to put enough distance between themselves and the ghost ship that the Shriek, rapidly sinking, does not give chase. Cast adrift in the middle of the Vindharna Sea, the heroes quickly attempt to plot a course for Palmsport, in the Statue Islands – the nearest safe harbor. Taking turns rowing, they get underway, even fishing for food and constructing an improvised sail along the way.

However, they soon discover that, even separated from the Shriek, the strange curse still afflicts them, sending them back onto the ethereal plane whenever the sun rises. Strange and disquieting as this may be, it works several times to their advantage, allowing them to escape a thunderstorm that ravages the seas of the material plane.

As they near Palmsport, they make the acquaintance of a merfolk opportunist, one Konolulani, who offers – for a price – to tug them into harbor. As the party debates their next move – join a pirate crew or commandeer one, they arrive in Palmsport and quickly go their separate ways; Bael and Inio head to a drinking hole, Ovette and Cecily work a simple con on the street and Corbin seeks out a disgraced sahuagin scholar, to learn what he can about the curse that afflicts them and, what’s more, the bizarre pearl that he bears.

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Episode 2 - The Shriek
A Warm Welcome Aboard

Game Date: Clockways 187 – 188, Year 74
Starting Point: Axebeak Island, Vindharna Sea
Player Characters Present: Bael Briarborn, Cecily Xiao Ling-Huo, Corbin Quill, Ovette Whick

When attempts to knock Captain Inio unconscious proved unsuccessful, the halfling pirate was eventually convinced to join the Hurricane’s survivors in joining the ghost crew – when offered his cherished flintlock pistols. Given an hour to collect their things and bid farewell to Axebeak Island, the heroes piled into the dinghy and rowed out towards the great looming specter of the Shriek.

Once aboard the ghastly vessel, they made the acquaintance of First Mate. A jovial enough fellow, First Mate explained that he’d very much like to hire these living crew but they’d each need to meet the Captain first. While each crewmember in turn made the acquaintance of the mysterious Captain in his cabin – and were each subjected to his scrutiny – Bael Briarborn made his way through the Shriek’s lower chambers and happened upon a hold full of slaughtered corpses, all preserved for later consumption.

Determined on escape, the heroes started to scheme various plans involving sabotage and gunpowder but were first subjected to the initiation ritual, wherein strange letters were marked upon their foreheads. With that, the Shriek was underway, sailing towards parts unknown.

While the Captain continued to question the new crew about the Hurricane’s fate, Cecily and Ovette set about making themselves useful aboard the ship. Corbin, meanwhile, continued studying the ship’s strange markings, hoping to learn more about the strange necromantic magic. It was Bael and Inio, sleep-deprived and loopy, who ultimately provided the window they needed to escape – accidentally igniting one of the cannons on the lower gundeck. During the chaos and the fire that engulfed the ghost ship, the crew defeated Second Mate in open combat and scrambled to commandeer one of the ghostly dinghies.

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Episode 1 - An Island Uncharted
The Wreck of the Hurricane

Game Date: Clockways 186 – 187, Year 74
Starting Point: Axebeak Island
Player Characters Present: Bael Briarborn, Cecily, Corbin Quill, Ovette Whick

With no memory of what brought them there, three crewmates aboard the pirate schooner Hurricane – a pregnant halfling spellcaster, an elven martial artist and a “ravenfolk” scholar – awaken in the surf of an uncharted island. Crawling from the wreckage of their mysteriously destroyed vessel, they soon make two important discoveries; they have no memory of what brought their ship down and they’re not alone on the island.

Indeed, there’s another maroon stranded aboard the island – a half-crazed half-elf – and it takes the four shipwrecks the better part of the first day to come to terms. Working together, with suspicion and mistrust among them, the Hurricane’s survivors canvas the beach, searching the wreckage for supplies and equipment. Finding enough food and water to survive, they also uncover several notable items from the wreck, among them the Captain’s mysterious spyglass, a few chests of personal items. Before long, however, they also discover the island’s eponymous apex predator – the axebeak.

Attacked by a massive flightless murderbird, the survivors scrape out a victory before they stumble upon another pair of the beasts, attempting to devour another unconscious survivor, revealed to be the Hurricane’s halfling Captain, Inio. Once he’s brought up to speed, Inio quickly falls into despair, muttering something about not having “enough time” and relinquishing his hold on his once-cherished spyglass. Uncertain what foul mood has o’ertaken their Captain, the survivors make a camp and argue about how best to escape the island.

The following night, keen eyes spot lights on the western horizon. Fanning their signal fire, they hope to draw the incoming caravel closer, only to discover – by way of its black sails and undead crew – that it’s the Shriek, a fearsome ghost ship that legends says ferries away the souls of the dead. As a party of undead sailors rows ashore, the survivors are torn on what action they should take. Soon as they land, Second Mate, their mantisfolk commander, promises to conduct them safely to the vessel’s mysterious Captain, who wishes to recover any survivors of the wreck.

Debating furiously, the survivors flipflop on whether to relent, flee or fight. In the end, they reluctantly agree to accompany the undead sailors back to their vessel, some far less willing than others. The Captain, meanwhile, refuses to come at all and, left no other option, Corbin attempts to knock the unsuspecting halfling out.

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Prologue - Once in a New Moon
"I shall be your gracious host!"

Game Date: Widderways 29, Year 73
Starting Point: Dakanpur Sea
Player Characters Present: Crew of the Avalanche

Tossed about by a terrible hurricane, the Avalanche, her captain Jolly Janda and her crew of buccaneering miscreants were stranded in a patch of unnatural fog in the midst of the Dakanpur Sea. For nine days, they languished thus, with no wind and no means to move the ship until the lookout spotted a strange orange light, way away to the southeast.

Desperate for any sign of life on that empty sea, Jolly Janda chose a landing party from among the crew and quickly dispatched a dinghy to investigate. Along the way to the island, the crew was able to ascertain that the island they approached was Candleclimb, known for its solitary lighthouse. Everything the crew had heard, however, was that the island and the lighthouse were both long abandoned.

Upon arriving at the island, the crew made the acquaintance of three strange beings – mephits, extradimensional imps native to Ignos, the Elemental Plane of Fire. These three – the hot-headed Steam, the unctuous Smoke and the dim-witted Magma – invited the very suspicious landing party to a great revel their master, the illustrious Dif’Khilal’Faham’Hariq’Algushuq, Supreme Lord, Sustainer, Cherisher, Master, Nourisher of the Coalfire Court, is throwing within the abandoned lighthouse. Highly reluctant, the heroes accepted the invitation and joined the three mephits inside the tower.

Once there, they made the brief acquaintance of their host – now only a face in the firelight – and started to mingle. The party is a lavish, opulent affair, full of strange creatures and bizarre fire magics. While the captain gorged herself at the banquet table, the crew made the rounds and began to grow suspicious about their host and the guests at the party. Upon hearing the testimony of one memory-addled dwarf, one member of the crew abruptly left the party, while the others were ushered upstairs to meet with their host.

Lord Dif, an efreeti from the City of Brass, was only to happy to receive his new guests and explain his plight to them. Years ago, an ancient wizard bound Dif to the massive brazier at the top of the lighthouse, forcing him to return once every two weeks – during each new moon – and illuminate this fog-shrouded region of the Dakanpur Sea. Immensely bored by this edict, he became adopting those shipwrecked on the island into his retinue of party guests and became dismayed when the crew expressed no interest in joining his endless revels on the Plane of Fire.

By tricking the efreeti into releasing them into the care of his mephit servants, the landing party was able to take the elemental imps by surprise and escape. One member – the crew’s warlock – decided to stay behind, join the captain and accompany Dif to the Plane of Fire. The rest, after looting the cabin of the ancient wizard who once dwelt here, hastened to the waiting Avalanche, eager to escape the vicinity as soon as possible.

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Prologue - All That Glitters
"Gold! Gold! Rivers of gold!"

Game Date: Widderways 29, Year 73
Starting Point: Cape Celesta
Player Characters Present: Crew of the Banshee

At the losing end of a long string of bad luck, the Banshee and her disenfranchised pirate crew limp into port at Cape Celesta, their ship damaged, their prospects nil and their morale in the pits. With precious little coin in their purse, the dour Captain Tadalina the Tall sends what crew remains after the failed mutiny attempt about the pirate port, to seek repairs, supplies and any trace of work they might be able to scrape up.

At The Serpent’s Stair in Queensfeet, a notorious gambling establishment, some members of the Banshee’s crew make the acquaitance of Harma Hardscale, a crazed dragonborn beggar who promises to lead them to an island where “the gold runs in rivers.” Skeptical of this claim, they nonetheless bring Harma back to the Captain and, to prove her point, the dragonborn reveals one of her hands, made entirely of sparkling gold.

Scrambling to recruit enough crew to undertake this foolish venture, the Banshee’s buccaneers fail to keep the rumor of this island – Islum Auro – entirely on the sly. A day into their voyage there, the Peryton, captained by the notorious Captain Ringmail, is spotted on the horizon, hoping to follow the Banshee to the coordinates Harma provided.

A ruse is quickly hatched, whereby the Banshee’s crew will pretend to surrender, to make a lucrative business deal with Captain Ringmail and offer him the “correct” coordinates, with the stated intention to sail behind him. Through a few moments of tense negotiation, the notorious Ringmail eventually agrees and sets sail, promising to come back to blast them to smithereens, should be believe he’s being deceived. Happily waving Ringmail away, the Banshee waits until he’s out of sight and sails instead for the real island.

Once there, they discover evidence of the wrecked Gargoyle, the ship Harma once served aboard, as well as stumbling across her starved crew. Their mouths turned to gold, they’ve slowly started to starve, as nothing can slake their hunger. When offered a gold doubloon to eat, the marooned crew went mad, scrabbling for the rest of their money and were quickly dispatched by the fast-acting crew.

The further into the island they trekked, the more and more golden vegetation and wildlife they encountered. Eventually, they came upon the stream itself, turning everything it touches into pure gold. When a crewmember leaned too close to the water, however, to dip in his amulet, a crogoldile – a crocodile made entirely of gold – lashed out and yanked him into the water.

At lightning speed, the crew rescued their comrade and edged away from the crogoldile’s territory – not before their halfling comrade was almost entirely transformed into gold. Still able to move and breathe as normal, the crewmember was forced to consider this an improvement.

Their deck piled high with golden vegetation and wildlife, the crew of the Banshee departed for the horizon, resolving instead to visit St. Oalande, rather than risk returning to Cape Celesta and potentially facing Captain Ringmail’s wrath.

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