Seventeen Seas

Episode 47 - Icebreaker
Iceberg Ambush!

Game Date: Widderways 65, Year 75
Starting Point: Shamala Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

Farther and farther north does the Dragon Turtle sail, into waters frozen and speckled with ice. Wrapped in what blankets and furs they can scavenge, the pirates guide their mighty vessel through a forest of ice floes, narrowly avoiding running the ship aground at every turn.

As they round one particular bend, however, Hakari hears the ice overhead shift and collapse, spilling down onto the deck. Scrambling back, the pirates avoid the avalanche of ice and snow that descends onto their ship – but do not avoid the avalanche of orcish raiders that spill down onto the vessel, accompanied by a mighty frost giant warrior.

It is a long and bloody battle on the deck of the Dragon Turtle, between the outnumbered orcs and the ambushed pirates. Among the orcish ranks are great berserkers and shaman, evoking wintry powers to edge out the pirate’s advantage. The frost giant is a terrible foe, sweeping pirates aside with great swings of his axe. From a distant iceberg, more frost giant hurl great snowballs toward the ship, attempting to punch holes in its deck.

When our swashbuckling heroes arrive on the scene, however, they quickly turn the tide.

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Weed launches lightning, slaying the shaman and many orcs with her. Hakari climbs into the forward catapult, shoots himself across the deck and slams into the frost giant, tumbling the massive warrior to the deck. Nasira comes running from belowdecks and leaps into the fray, slaying both elite orcish warriors with her glaive. Korbin, with plenty of magical assistance, ultimates manages to cow the giant and his warriors, demanding they surrender or be slaughtered.

When the bloodletting is done, twenty orcs and twenty pirates each lie dead, among them Hugo, one of the last remaining member of the Kruthik’s crew. While Nasira chastises Weed for lying amid the slain, Hakari rallies the orcish survivors, boasting of his prowess until they accept him into the tribe. Korbin, meanwhile, makes the acquaintance of the frost giant, one Vjergblin, and learns of the many plights currently befalling his people – a missing jarl’s daughter, the dragonborn warship that may have stolen her and the presence of a massive undead sea monster, one that pulls war-bergs down like toys.

After much scheming, the heroes decide to accompany Vjergblin back to his hall to meet Jarl Balvorg. Before they depart, they send one of the frost giants, a suspicious giantess named Skalfadani, to accompany the Dragon Turtle on its way to Leviathan Rest, to ensure safe passage through the floes.

Climbing aboard a nearby iceberg, the pirates join Vjergblin on his odyssey north, back towards his frozen home and the heart of frost giant power in the region.
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Episode 46 - Into the Shamala Sea
Scheming Abounds

Game Date: Widderways 45 – 62, Year 75
Starting Point: Shamala Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

In the middle of the night, Weed surfaces from her sleeping bath and follows Ghostcrab onto the Dragon Turtle’s deck. To the bemusement of Hakari and Korbin, she points out to sea – at seemingly nothing – and dives in. Weed, however, see bright lights, bubbling water and eventually the image and voice of her father, the Knight of Weeds. Strangled by seaweed, he urges her to “Seek the star, seek the story!” before he disappears.

It is a long and lonely journey across this stretch of the Shamala Sea. The weather grows colder, the oceans are empty in all directions and the crew starts to go a little squirrelly. There’s a lengthy debate involving Korbin, Hakari, Inio and Nasira about the ship’s recent vandalization and whom should be responsible for cleaning it up. There’s a strange and unexplained bribe left for Hakari, Korbin and Weed, imploring them to “look the other way”. Eventually, after much horizon scanning, sails’re spotted and pursued.

Capturing the small dragonborn merchant, the pirates collect her cargo of myrrh, salted beef and slaves, a little reluctant about the last item. In the process, Korbin convinces Wan-Su not to join the merchant’s crew and Nasira discovers the cargo may actually be the property of her father and her father’s clan. Deciding to boost morale, the officers release the held gold they’d promised and the crew is jubilant. Hakari takes this opportunity to invite Nasira to his cabin and attempts – somewhat unsuccessfully – to hash out their difficulties.

Continuing on their voyage, the Dragon Turtle is eventually attacked by a hungry scrag, hanging off the craplines and munching on whatever sailor comes down to relieve themselves. Leaping into the fray, the officers make short work of the creature. One by one, Hakari lobs off each of its three mutated hands and stuffs them into a sack. With lightning and magical sickness, Weed and Korbin manage to prevent the creature’s infamous regeneration. Nasira takes the fight straight to the beast, dealing a menacing blow that further frightens the dumb creature.

When the scrag is finally defeated, Korbin attempts to collect both enough funds and the scattered body parts of Ghassan, the fallen pirate, and casts raise dead on them. After a harrowing experience in the after-life, Ghassan returns to swear his further fealty to the ship and the crew.

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Episode 45 - Wanted Men
The Turtle Hides In Its Shell

Game Date: Widderways 41 – 44, Year 75
Starting Point: Excelsior Sea
Player Characters Present: Hakari, Korbin “Pennyfeather” Quill, Nasira az-Yassin bin-Nurit, Weed

A pair of sails on the distant horizon gives Korbin pause. Casting an arcane eye spell, he determines that they’re both bounty-privateers. The dragonborn galley is captained by a dashing draconic figure, whereas the Colonial cog is captained by some preteen relation of Lord Philip Reis.

Consulting with his Captain and his comrades, there is some indecision over what’s to be done. Hakari and Yu are busy preparing another fecal missile to lob at the incoming ships from the trebuchet. Having convinced a naive young crewman, Siddan Snort, to vandalize the ship’s name from, Nasira recognizes the qayid’s description as her older brother, Fairuz and wishes to give battle. Weed, meanwhile, makes everyone who comes near her cry uncontrollably. The Captain is torn, not sure whether to maintain their cover as a fog cloud or whether to meet these challengers in open battle.

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It’s ultimately the former that wins out, the Turtle following the wind and sailing peacefully by. The two bounty-privateers watch the suspicious cloud closely, even offering a hail, but when the ship doesn’t break their cover, they pass by. Much to Nasira’s consternation, the Turtle escapes the confrontation without shot of cannon or swing of sword.

Two days hence, the Turtle stumbles across another, even more curious vessel – a tiny keelboat, wearing a massive wizard’s hat, with magical fireworks declaring it to be "*BIGBY BALDSARE’S MAGICAL MYSTERIUM OF MYSTICAL MERCHANDISE!* With a large crowd of followers, the pirates investigate the small boat and discover the extradimensional magic shop of Bigby Baldasaré, archmage extraordinaire and bored shopkeep. Enthralled by his merchandise and appalled by his prices, our swashbuckling heroes haggle with the wizard, agreeing to return to his wondering vessel when they’ve scored a big haul.

Crossing into the Shamala Sea the following morning, the Turtle and her crew are faced with a choice. Do they attempt to bribe and bamboozle their way through dragonborn waters or do they brave the northern sea, sailing far around the Dragon’s Horn, in order to reach Leviathan Rest beyond? In the end, they choose the latter, Hakari and Korbin eager to see their northern climes and Nasira not eager to run further afoul of her potentially peeved relatives.

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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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