Seventeen Seas

Episode 44 - Voyage of the Dragon Turtle
The Turtle's Maiden Voyage

Game Date: Widderways 35 – 41, Year 75
Starting Point: Dead Makalo
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

After three days of Shipbreaker, the Dragon Turtle is complete. Its interior redesigned, its weapons gleaming in the midmorning sun, a corona of fog clinging to its timbers, the newly-christened pirate galley is an impressive specimen, the culmination of many weeks of toil and trouble spent acquiring and outfitting it. Its proud crew wanders its timbers, exploring every nook and cranny of their new vessel.

Employing a sahuagin street gang, Korbin manages to recover the eleven chests of gold – and the shockserpent skull – that they’d buried in Dead Makalo. The crew seems apprehensive about this development, such a large amount of gold not getting distributed amongst them. After a brief discussion, the officers decide to distribute some of the money into the ship’s fund and then, assuming no one attempts to grumble or take the cash in a month or two, they pay out a share to the crew.

Setting sail from Dead Makalo, the Dragon Turtle crosses the Excelsior Sea, headed northwest towards Leviathan Rest and the first anchor point on Captain Ilisa’s treasure map. Along the way, they become accustomed to their new vessel. Korbin casts a protective spell, to ensure that the Lady of Weeds doesn’t return for her stepdaughter. Hakari spends much of the time with Yu, getting drunk, avoiding his duties and lounging in his dinghy. Nasira develops a small entourage among the dragonborn criminals, including Deadrick, who seems quite taken with her. Weed, meanwhile, spends most of the voyage screaming at odd intervals.

The galley weathers a particularly nasty thunderstorm, that shakes and shocks the vessel. A few days from Seabottom, the Turtle, shrouded in thick fog, overtakes and plunders a hapless Colonial merchant, the sailors surrendering the cargo without struggle or complaint. The next night, a drunken Hakari spots a strange flashing light from the deck that, as he watches, spells out his name in Thieves’ Cant. Conferring with an equally drunken Deadrick and Nasira, he resolves to investigate, bringing curious Weed and dragging reluctant Korbin along with.

Rowing through a dangerous shoal and singing bawdy ballads, the pirates approach a lonely island in their dinghy, dominated by a single lighthouse. Searching the place, they eventually find nothing – until Korbin climbs to the summit and the banshees appear.

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The banshee’s first scream has little effect on the swashbucklers. The pack of drownies they send scrabbling after them are quickly dispatched. It’s the banshee’s second scream that nearly does the pirates in. With two heroes down and one staggering on his last legs, the battle becomes that much more dire. It ultimately falls to Deadrick and Weed to defeat the remaining few banshees, blasting them with magical lightning and hastily reviving their fallen companions. Plundering a mere thousand doubloons from one of the nearby shipwrecks, it’s a sober and serious crew that return to the Turtle, taught the steep lesson of adventuring while intoxicated.

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Episode 43 - Take the Helm
A Golden Opportunity

Game Date: Widderways 31-32, Year 75
Starting Point: Dead Makalo
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

The shockserpent attacks, lunging at Nasira and nearly swallowing her whole. The tail lashes at Hakari, who goes scrambling up a shockstone statue. Korbin summons a swarm of ravenous insects to throng the serpent’s midsection and Weed throws spells of various types – cold, lightning and air – at the beast, looking for what’s most effective.

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It’s a brief but bloody battle. The shockserpent’s bite and especially its lightning breath are mighty indeed, knocking several of the heroes unconscious multiple times. However, it was their combined teamwork that allowed them to win the day. Hakari grappled the beast, attempting to clamp its maw shut. Nasira struggled to wrench the Golden Wheel away from its clutches. Korbin maintained concentration on his swarm of insects but it was Weed who delivered the final blow, trapping the serpent’s head within a sphere of stormy air.

Once the serpent was slain, our heroes rested, carved up the carcass and searched the wreck of the Majestic. Inside, they found a literal king’s ransom – fifteen thousand doubloons, a small trove of magic items and the corpse of an ancient Colonial king. Arguing for several hours about how best to transport the gold, they ultimately buried the majority, carried a few chests out and back to their apparatus, now freed from the shockstone’s magnetic grip.

After another journey in the apparatus, as uncomfortable and obnoxious as the last, our swashbuckling heroes returned to Seabottom and passed on the news to the Captain. Inio, in return, passed on the news that has officially departed, headed back south in the company of her mentor. After a brief discussion of what to do with his massive fortune they planned to unearth, the pirates departed to meet with Shipbreaker – not before Inio pulled Korbin aside and offered him the position of first mate.

In Shipbreaker’s cave, the Yasmaridd’s officers failed to secure the kraken’s aid in recovering the gold but did manage to convince the shipwright to add an additional modification onto their vessel, as compensation for how difficult the favor ultimately was.

The only question that truly remained, however, was which modifications to get?

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Episode 42 - Forty Fathoms Deep
First Field Test

Game Date: Widderways 31, Year 75
Starting Point: Seabottom
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

Reconvening with Korbin, our swashbuckling heroes filled their ravenfolk companion in on the details – Bō’s missing, Shipbreaker’s a kraken, the Golden Wheel situation – but the cleric was hardly convinced. Giving a side-eye to the chicken-facehugger abomination that accompanies them, Korbin reluctantly agreed to accompany them on their fool’s errand to Dead Makalo. All piling into the apparatus of Kwalish, they departed Seabottom and headed east.

It was a short but stressful journey in the apparatus. Nasira took over driving duties and quickly became enraged by the lack of labels, the vessel’s unmaneuverable nature and the large number of obstacles in their way. Hakari took the opportunity to stretch out, removing his boots and pestering everyone – particularly Korbin – with his unkempt toes. Weed demanded to have her disturbing storybook read over and over. Korbin, hemmed in on all sides, took pains not to go mad.

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Once they arrived on the outskirts of Dead Makalo, their instruments started to fail them, affected by magnetic interference. Scuttling through the shattered reef city, the apparatus fell under attack from merfolk zombies and ambush predators alike. Through a judicious use of spells, turning undead and trial-and-error with the unlabeled levers, the pirates were able to negotiate their way through the reef and eventually arrive at the gates of the massive merfolk palace, the three masts of the Majestic visible in distant silhouette.

No sooner had they crossed the threshold, however, than the heroes were forced to contend with the shockstone statues that guarded the way. Their iron apparatus – and their metal armor – magnetized to the side of the stone, it was a long trudge to the palace doors, occasionally interrupted by brief bursts of lightning originating from somewhere inside the palace. Once through the doors, they explored the sunken ruin with magical lights, eventually encountering and banishing a coral golem that guarded the throne room.

In a great courtyard, they came upon the wreck of the Majestic, its wooden rotten and covered in seaweed and its darkened spaces occupied by something sinister. No sooner had the heroes wrenched free the Golden Wheel that that something – massive sparkling electric eel – reared its ugly head to oppose them.

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Episode 41 - Breaker of Ships
Exit Bō, Enter Nasira

Game Date: Widderways 29 – 30, Year 75
Starting Point: Seabottom
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Bō (Cecily) / Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

A ship bursts from a calm sea on a clear day. Dripping water, the pirate sloop Vendetta sailed past the Yasmaridd, her oxenfolk captain making a passive remark about never returning to Seabottom again.

Braving the whirlpool, our swashbuckling heroes arrived in Seabottom, a little dumbfounded at the wonder and impracticality of the place. Swinging onto the Risers, they immediately set about the two most important tasks – drinking and shopping. While Bō searched the town for prostitutes, seashells and books to buy, Hakari, Weed & Inio headed straight for the local blind-tiger, the Coral Cudgel, and promptly got drunk.

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It was Hakari’s idea to “circle the drain” – to down a drink in all eight of the small town’s many bars and taverns. It was a sordid affair, the pirates slogging from tavern to tavern, stepping on sea urchins, gawping at shipwrecks, rescuing mugging victims and eventually passing out back in the Coral Cudgel. Unbeknownst to them, this was the last time the crew would ever see Bō.

The next morning, the monk was gone, a gift was left in their chambers and there were still several errands to run. Accompanied by a swaggering young dragonborn of the Yassin clan as muscle, the pirates paid a visit to the trade boss and made a tidy sum from their cargo. After Hakari made a short detour to the brothel to purchase the contracts of a few more prostitutes, they headed toward Shipbreaker’s cave, despite the trepidatious warnings of everyone they asked.

In a cavern stacked with shipwrecks, the pirates made the acquaintance of Shipbreaker, a massive, many tentacled kraken obsessed with shipbuilding. Speaking psionically to their minds, the kraken offered the heroes a deal – it would repair and enhance the Yasmaridd in exchange for an artifact fetched from a nearby ruin. The Golden Wheel, a splendid ship’s wheel aboard the sunken royal vessel the Majestic, sank many hundreds of years ago over the haunted merfolk ruin of Dead Makalo and Shipbreaker desperately desires this wheel.

In order to fetch it, the kraken lent the heroes a submersible apparatus that would allow them to reach the sunken reef city. As to what waits lies in wait there, Shipbreaker could not say.

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Episode 40 - Early in the Morning
Up She Rises

Game Date: Widderways 17 – 28, Year 75
Starting Point: Shao Han Sea
Player Characters Present: Bō (Cecily), Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Weed

Dark shapes swim toward the surface and the shadow of the dragon turtle. Spreading out to scatter the other predators, one of them – a sea lion – snaps at the tentacle of a lurking giant octopus.

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Scavenging the carcass of the dead dragon turtle, our swashbuckling heroes made quick work of the interloping sea lion predators that came to harass them. With divine magic, eight tentacles and martial arts, they dispatched or discouraged the beasts in short order and went back to looting the enormous creature’s body for all its valuables. In the head, the dragon turtle was stripped to the bone, with seventy tons of meat, organs and shell to be scavenged.

Sailing northward, the Yasmaridd departed the Shao Han Sea and crept carefully across the Clemestine Sea. The weather was bleak and unpleasant, dotted by rain and even a small thunderstorm. The crew was suspicious and ever-vigilant, watching the horizon for signs of trouble in this very populated sea. The islands passing on their port and starboard were tempting prizes themselves, full of spoiled noble’s mansions, but discretion made them turn aside.

Along the voyage, Weed showed everyone her sack of treasure and Korbin “appraised” their worth. Bō made the rounds of the crew and even took a lesson from Chuanli, her new master. Hakari and Yu finally hit things off and spent the night together.

While on night watch, Korbin was quick enough to warn the crew before seaweed came crawling up and across the entire galley. The rest of night watch grappled and possessed, the Lady of Weeds revealed herself and beckoned Bō, Weed and Hakari forward. Offering them peace in exchange for the child, the Lady was roundly rejected and battle was joined.

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While Bō and Korbin took the fight straight toward her, Hakari battled the possessed pirates, knocking them out with precise blows. While initially reluctant to attack her stepdaughter, the Lady of Weeds quickly changed her tune once targeted by a lightning bolt.While Korbin started to convert pirates back to their side and Hakari scrambled to arm and aim a catapult, Bō kept slugging at the Lady of Weeds and was (briefly) transformed into an octopus by Weed. In the end, it was the young child herself who banished her evil stepmother, painting her with lightning until all the seaweed receded and she sank into the ocean.

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Episode 39 - Kill the Masters
Slaves Freed, Masters At Odds

Game Date: Clockways 74 – Widderways 17, Year 75
Starting Point: The Whip
Player Characters Present: Bō (Cecily), Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Weed

High atop Mount Beacon, a burning blaze is lit, a signal to the other islands on the Whip – there’s trouble on ib-Jaffad.

Aboard the Yasmaridd, the pacification process is completed when Blooboil and his team of slaves and pirates clears the lower decks. On the top deck, Captain Inio and the crew work feverishly to get the galley ready to sail, while the Hammerhead does battle with the fort. After exchanging cannon fire and trebuchet stones, the ill-maintained fort of Jaffad finally crumbles and the pirates can, with their two vessels, make good their escape.

Returning to Sirenspire, the pirates proceeded to sell the Hammerhead for thirty thousand doubloons, to sell those slaves that refused their freedom and to sell what cargo they could find aboard the slave galley. After refitting the Yasmaridd, they departed back northward, headed towards Seabottom and the mysterious, magical Shipbreaker rumored to be based there.

Sailing from Sirenspire with a combined crew of buccaneers and freed slaves, the Yasmaridd cut canvas across the Shao Han Sea, making for the Clemestine and Excelsior Seas beyond. Along the way, the ship contracted greenwood, a magical effect that causes greenery to sprout from all the ship’s wood.

A few days past the Whip, the Yasmaridd crossed paths with a small elven junk, making speed southwest. Raising the black, the slave galley gave chase and was nearly spun about when the unassuming elven vessel summoned a tidal wave to crash down upon them. The vessel, the Qiaomei, was revealed to be a counselor ship, ferrying elven ambassadors from Gong Zao and, among their number, was Chuanli, Cecily’s former mentor. Taking the ships good, they arrived to ferry Chuanli and his monks to the nearest possible port.

When master and student reunited, it was revealed to Bō that Zhitao had not been entirely truthful with her and that she had slain a former pupil of hers during a training exercise. Her former master departing in shame, Bō agreed in private to Chuanli’s offer to join him on Zao and made plans to depart herself, unbeknownst to her companions.

On the cusp of the Clemestine Sea, the Yasmaridd discovered the bloated corpse of a dead dragon turtle, floating on the surface of the sea. Rowing out to investigate and scavenge the dead kill, the pirates made two startling discoveries – firstly, that the dragon turtle was certainly slain by something huge and unnatural and secondly, that a pride of sea lions had arrived to steal the kill from them.

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Episode 38 - Conspiracy to Commandeer
Breaking the Chains

Game Date: Clockways 74, Year 75
Starting Point: ib-Jaffad
Player Characters Present: Bō (Cecily), Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Weed

Hatching a plan to incite a slave revolt aboard the Yasmaridd our swashbuckling heroes divided into three groups. One group – Inio, Weed and Korbin – would pretend to be privateers and slave merchants, offering to sell many of the dragonborn crewman as slaves. Meanwhile a second group – Hakari and Bō – would infiltrate the ship’s lower decks and start freeing the slaves they discovered down there. The Hammerhead, meanwhile, would keep its distance, ready to fire on the fort should things go south.

The first phase of the plan went swimmingly. Posing as a privateer captain, Inio and his entourage easily made contact with the ship’s qayid and were taken to a small lounge where they could refresh themselves. Meanwhile, Hakari, Bō and a small number of aquatic pirates swam beneath the galley and crept up along its opposite side. With the help of the slaves, they managed to gain entry and start to process of freeing everyone.

Exchanging stories with the qayid, the diplomatic group managed to make the sale of the slaves and they were brought below. When Bloodboil and his fellow “slaves” were brought below, they were quickly dispatched by Hakari and Bō but not before a whistle could be blown and the alarm raised.

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The ship exploding into chaos, the crew running hither and yon, Hakari and Bō worked to free more slaves, arm them and send them running up to the top deck, battling any marines they found along the way. Meanwhile, the qayid was incapacitated by a joint effort of Inio, Korbin and Weed and together, they strode out onto the deck to dispatch the massive slavemaster that was marshaling the ship’s defense in the captain’s absence.

After a long and pitched battle, involving a thunderwave, a ballista bolt used as a spear and the swarming heads of Mother Monster, the Yasmaridd was quickly pacified – all save the additional fifty men sequestered below. As the pirates were attempting to deal with this problem, the fort and the Hammerhead exchanged hostilities, in the form of trebuchet stones and cannon barrages.

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Episode 37 - Election Day
Democracy In Action

Game Date: Clockways 69 – 74, Year 75
Starting Point: Sirenspire
Player Characters Present: Bō (Cecily), Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Weed

While the Hammerhead completes its repairs, the crew completes its business in Sirenspire. Bō and Weed hit the streets, seeking rumors about warships that could potentially be stolen. Korbin seeks out Magistrate, the local scholar, and learns much about extraplanar activities, Far Thanaz and even gets a lead on a starting point for the treasure map. Aboard the caravel, meanwhile, Hakari hears rumbling of the coming quartermaster election.

There’re three promising candidates – Deadrick, Yasha Battle-Beast and a newcomer, Nadia Knuckles. Meeting in secret, the Hammerhead’s officers – and one lowly crewmember – ruled out Yasha as too dangerous to lead but couldn’t consent between Deadrick or Nadia as the new quartermaster. Interviewing both, our swashbuckling heroes were undecided, some swaying the votes towards Deadrick, some away from Yasha and others abstaining from interference at all.

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The election was a messy, uncouth thing. After delivering rabble-rousing speeches, the initial votes were tallied. Minus a few stray votes to fringe candidates, the votes was cleanly split between Deadrick and Nadia. General pandemonium ensued, calmed only by Weed’s sorceries, and a run-off election was conducted. This time, thanks to smear tactics, Deadrick managed to pull ahead, accepting the position of quartermaster amid a rowdy brawl.

Sailing from Sirenspire, the Hammerhead adjusted to its new crew, received a visit from the Night-Navigator’s emissaries and endured another attack from the mysterious seaweed monsters. This time, strands of the vile weed possessed several unsuspecting crew, forcing Hakari and Bō to fend off the attacks without slaying their comrade. In the end, only one crew – Yrnesta the Yellow – was slain, adding a sobering note to the business of Weed’s mysterious parentage.

Arriving at ib-Jaffad in the Whip, our swashbuckling heroes debated the best method to attempt to steal the massive warship they found anchored there.

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Episode 36 - Into the Shao Han Sea
Season Two Begins!

Game Date: Clockways 48 – 69, Year 75
Starting Point: Shao Han Sea
Player Characters Present: Bō (Cecily), Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Weed

Escaping the Shriek and its captive leviathan with the daybreak, the Hammerhead sailed eastward, making for Sirenspire and the nearest available pirate port.

Along the way, Bloodboil was spared from execution, Korbin was demoted to a common sailor and Bō and Hakari agreed to assume the duties of quartermaster until another could be elected. Despite the high number of prizes, the pirates elected not to take a ship, owing to their extremely damaged craft. While searching through Corgaine’s letters and papers, the remaining piece of Ilisa’s map was uncovered – save for a tiny hunk in the middle.

One night along the voyage, both Hakari and Bō fell prey to an insidious seaweed monster, attempting to strangle the two pirates with its tendrils. Ignoring every other member of the crew, the hauntingly familiar creature targeted only the first mate and the boatswain. It was Hakari who defeated the creature’s central brain down in the Hammerhead’s bilge but no questions were answered for the time being about who the attacker was or why they failed to target Korbin or Weed.

Arriving at Sirenspire, the Hammerhead narrowly avoided smashing themselves to pieces on the rocks, lured by the haunted singing of the disembodied sirens. Soon as they dropped anchor, the crew split into factions, some going shopping, others going drinking. Their ship repaired, their cargo sold, their carousing complete, they all reconvened in the scheming room to discuss their next venture – commandeering a proper warship.

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Episode 35 - Leviathan
Two Titans Clash

Game Date: Clockways 48, Year 75
Starting Point: Shao Han Sea
Player Characters Present: Bō (Cecily), Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Weed

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A compulsion falls across the deck of the Hammerhead, urging its crew to run forward and hurl themselves into the boiling water below. Most resist and those that do not are saved by Korbin and Bō’s quick thinking. Before they can congratulate themselves too much, three massive tentacles rise from the water and commence an attack on the unsuspecting caravel.

It is a bitter struggle. With one sweep of a tentacle, the Leviathan can snatch a dozen sailors in its grasp and several of our swashbuckling heroes are so ensnared. Hakari works quickly to tie down crew, to ensure they’re not carried away. Bō and Weed take the fight immediately to the creature, lashing out with fists and spells. Korbin commands his golems to operate and cannon and commence firing on the tentacles but notices that the third tentacle is most interested in Emilio and its secreted Pearl. Destroying the ship in its attempt to apprehend him, the tentacle grabs the Pearl and slinks back into the water defeated.

While Korbin leaps into the water in an attempt to wrest the Pearl back, a third party enters the conflict. The Shriek, firing strange blue ballistae, appears on the horizon and engages the Leviathan. Supremely wounded by this attack, the great behemoth lets go of the Pearl and swims off to confront this new threat, allowing Korbin to escape the boiling water with his prize in tow. Due to some expert sailing, the Hammerhead is able to swiftly escape the churning water as sea monster and ghost ship give ferocious battle to one another.

Before they escape, however, they manage to see that it’s the Shriek, somehow, that emerges as the victor, the Leviathan’s great defeated corpse rising to the surface.

As they lick their wounds, new anxieties gnaw at the Hammerhead’s crew. What was the Shriek’s aim? Why did it come to their aid? What was that strange glowing metal they used to defeat the creature? Against their better judgment, our swashbuckling heroes crew a dinghy and row across to investigate. When they arrive, Hakari’s guess proves correct – it seems the Shriek’s crew mean to raise the Leviathan from the dead for some fell purpose. Unable to intervene but unwilling to stand by, they go sneaking onto the Shriek while its crew is distracted and pillage the mysterious Captain’s office.

As they make their hasty escape, the undead crew catches wise and, what’s worse, the dead Leviathan starts to come to life, complicating their escape all the more. Finally, in a wacky plow that involves waterwalk, Hakari dragging Korbin by a rope and Weed polymorphing into a giant octopus, the Hammerhead’s crew make their escape, returning to their vessel immediately as the Leviathan comes under the Shriek’s control.

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