Voyages of The Black Dawn

To the Docks, A Salvager Taken, and Back to the Fingers.
Of Loot and Legends

There is great debate about whether or not to go look for the missing crew members. They drink a bottle of rum in Gronk’s memory and depart.

Sailing south, Merk spends his time carving new rune shot.

They sail for The Docks to rest, recruit, and repair. It takes 12 days. The crew is glad to be out of the Sea of 1000 souls, they are less pleased about the Captain specifically avoiding marks. The captain resolves to divide up shares once they make The Docks.

Fang and Burt recommend establishing a rendezvous point on The Docks at a bar. The Captain wants a bar with a dashing bartender. They settle on “The Dapper Chap”, a bar known for its strapping bartenders. Blythe orders a strong drink and flirts. She enraptures a bartender named Theodore and they spend the night carousing.

Burt visits his local favorites.

Fang and Jade disappear into their rooms.

Merk restocks and settles into the boats to work on the jacks below decks.

Morning:

Merk scouts the ships in port looking to trade in jack parts. He finds a contact. Outfits the Black Dawn with mounting brackets for the Mariners and replaces an arm on each with harpoon cannons.

Fang goes recruiting, finds the Ogrun Thuum, a rigger.

Burt finds “Bloody” Barry Longfellow, a mate, and Linus Wheffelbautum, a carpenter.

Blythe, tousled, visits Gond. Recruits Leu Bloodfire, Trollkin muscle, as a bodyguard. Over the course of interviews, she also talks to Gond about rumors of their exploits. He shares his knowledge of their first voyage down the southern Cygnar coast. She shares her story of killing Ayvil with him. Blythe hits on Gond, spends another night with him. She is most impressive.

Over the next 3 days:

Buy more armaments, cannon and swivel guns. Repair damage. They also outfit the 2 new ships with interchangeable figureheads and sails.

The armada sails for the Gulf of Cygnar.

6 days out: They spot a cygnaran transport, and decide to sail on.

10 days out: They spot a merchant fleet bound for New Larkholm. It is 3 ships, a galleon and two smaller escorts. The Mariners are hoisted to the decks and mounted in their brackets, pirate sails and flags are unfurled.

Blythe orders her armada to engage.

The Black Dawn’s Mariners successfully harpoon the front of one of the escorts, but miss the back. Attempting to reel them in leads to an off kilter angle of fire. The Black Dawn sustains minor damage in the broadside, meanwhile the other escort manages to rake the Sea Wolf, substantially damaging it. Meanwhile, Spart fires exploding rounds into the galleon and the escort engaged with the Sea Wolf. firework sparks flying.

Gurtha takes a hit, and the Black Dawn strains its cables and splits its hull in places. Blythe leads boarding party, attempting to swing to the poop deck. WIth the rigging askew she misses, and lands in the middle of the main deck. Nevertheless she cuts down many sailors in a bloody circle around her. Acid from her blade horribly scars and grievously wounds many. Burt is the target of a sniper from the galleon. Blythe continues to cut a bloody swath, and Burt pulls away, critically wounded. Meanwhile Merk snipes out other crew engaged in melee, and Fang guns the other escort down; the ship founders.

All board the galleon. Fang, Thuum and Leslie take down a massive ogrun who emerges from belowdecks with an iron bar, Blythe cuts swath to captain, Burt and Barry manage the crew. The deck is aflame from Sparts firey spot, and Barry tries to smother fire with bodies. Merk has a Mariner hoist him up on his shield and he picks off arcanists who are bolstering the enemy crew. Blythe, engaged in a duel with the captain, distracts him by slicing her own bodice, and seduces him into submission. Fang give a compelling speech once the ogrun falls to the enemy crew that they need to stop fighting and put out the fires. Lily offers to sleep with captain if they surrender. He accepts, saying he’s not paid enough for this.

Searching the ship they discover that it is a salvage vessel outfitted with a massive diving bell for retrieving shipwrecks and cargo. This is the Summer’s End, captained by Herve Leverte and currently chartered by Dayne Horgenhollar, a searcher for the legendary ‘Ineluctable’. He was blown apart by Spart when an explosive round entered into his cabin during the fight. Nevertheless, they are able to discern his purposes from what remains of his notes, and also retrieve the FIgurehead from the Ineluctable from the hold. A small vial of reddish liquid is also retrieved from Horgenhollars room.

Legend says that the Ineluctable was captained by the Lady Black, a thamarite who became a scion, but rebelled even against entry into the deities presence while she still had purposes on Caen. She was allowed to return, and given a talisman which would grant her 3 wishes, two of which she used to find and outfit the Ineluctable. Lady Black was a terror on the seas, and was last seen sailing into a storm, pursuing a mark. She was presumed to have sunk, but the Ineluctable’s resting place was unknown, until Horgenhollar found it somehow.

Meanwhile, Merk investigates the diving bell, diving apparatus, and hoist. He negotiates with Leverte to get training on how the hoist works, and in return he will be a first mate for a trial period and earn his captaincy back as a pirate. Fang gives a unifying speech to the new crew, and many join.

They proceed to repair the captured ships and set a course back to 5 fingers, a voyage of 12 days.

2 days: They encounter a small fishing ship.

10 days: There are massive storms at sea. Some crew are swept overboard, but the ships themselves come through without major damage.

Outside 5 Fingers: They cross paths with a small cygnaran merchant fleet. Blythe lets them make port and does likewise with her armada.

The crew and officers set about restocking, and taking on new crew. WIth their loot they purchase a luxurious tower, 6 stories tall with a basement and dock, in Pergione. They visit Gerrold, and discuss Kilbride who has been taking advantage of the church to do raids in the existing power vacuum. High Captain Waernuk has opportunistically moved into the area as well. Merk asks Gerrold about the vial, and he explains it is a distillation of fluids from an Alzabo; a shapeshifting horror with a desire to consume sentient beings. After such a meal, it possesses the victims memories, and can speak in their voice. The vial is capable of granting the memories of the beasts victims in flashes when consumed. Merk asks Gerrold to find a way to destroy it and report back to them.

They return to their tower, and make plans. Fang and Merk debate drinking the fluid. Blythe thinks it ought be destroyed. They plot to have someone drink a bit, then they will interrogate and kill them since they will not be able to trust them anymore. Merk and Fang are interested in finding the rest of the Ineluctable. They think perhaps the third wish on the talisman might still be there, and they could sell it. Blythe wants nothing to do with a cursed item herself.

Blythe investigates the possibility of selling the vial to Kilbride. She uses her street contacts to determine he is married, but has mistresses around town.

They decide to plan a lavish party. Many invitations are sent out, including to Kilbride. He accepts.

View
Inroads in the Fingers, and North to Khador
Blood and vengeance

Evening:

Blythe sails the Black Dawn back to Doleth Island. Plans are debated. The party wants to organize a way to cure the rest of the Chaser Island infected. They debate putting Chaplain Gerrold under Kilbride’s protection. After docking, the crew is given shore leave on a rotating basis; 2 days off, one day on. Fang, Jade, and Vyros stay with the Black Dawn. Blythe and Burt go to the Cathedral to inform remnants there, Merk goes to check on Thomplin’s progress on cortexes.

Blythe talks to Spart about collapsing the Commisar’s theatre without explosives or fire. Spart hatches plan to destroy all the buildings, but Blythe reins him in. She makes very sure that the plan is specific; destroy the theatre, no explosives or fire, no collateral damage. Arriving at the Cathedral, Blythe gets the run down. Everything has been quiet here. Blythe uses her etiquette to ingratiate herself to Gerrold. It works, she spends the evening helping him organize his business. She breaches the topic of him working with the High Captains, and he is open to that possibility if it will precipitate cures. Meanwhile, Merk arrives at the shop. Chuck gives the report that Thomplin will likely be finished tomorrow. Merk relieves Chuck and passes the night uneventfully.

The next morning:

Merk sees Thomplin return to the shop. Later that morning, Thomplin flags Merk. Inside, Thomplin delivers a crate, and Merk pays him, then heads back to the Cathedral. He spends the early afternoon reinstalling the cortexes into the Mariners.

Afternoon:

Meanwhile, Blythe, Burt, and Gronk check out the bar to see if Kilbride has sent them a message. They find none. Instead, they head into the Bringles Hall Boys’ territory to see if they can make some contacts. They spend the day ingratiating themselves, learning their impression of the Black Dawn crew, and Blythe practices some seduction to get their attention. Impressions are inconclusive… they have heard of the Black Dawn, but general impressions are neither favorable nor unfavorable. Blythe introduces herself as the Black Dawn’s captain. She exaggerates all the good points of the stories in true pirate fashion. Blythe buys a round, and asks if there is anything her crew can do for the Boys, she is leaving in a couple days, but will be back. They say they might have something for her, and will consult with their leaders. Burt brings up the High Street Commissars and how much he hates them to solidify their friendship.

Late Afternoon:

Merk stocks the boiler of the beat up Mariner. He takes it out into the ruined courtyard and directs it to help repair some of the wall. It is a learning process, Merk gets and idea of how they can operate. He then switches them out and tries the same with the other chassis.

Evening:

Blythe, Burt, and Gronk return to find Merk practicing with the warjacks. Burt sits and drinks, watching. Merk sends out for parts, and makes some minor repairs. Blythe wants to set up a clinic for the afflicted, and works more on the organization. Spart returns, asking for more money for pipes; it is given. Merk delivers the warjacks to the Black Dawn.

Night:

Burt and Merk accompany Spart into the rigging. At Spart’s direction, they set up a pump and piping down into the water tower, and fill it with acid. Spart sneaks around the structure, lining things up, and saws through its legs. Merk blows out a leg with runeshots, and it crashed down into theatre. The marquee starts sparking, so Merk shoots out the transformer. All escape in the resulting panic and return to the Cathedral. Spart shares the story with the Captain, who is significantly put out. Blythe has a drink, dealing with the stress. Merk scouts the area around the Cathedral, hears alarms, and sees emergency crews heading north. He checks out the Black Dawn as well, and finds all is well. Fang indicates that many ships have made sail suddenly with people fleeing. He wants to know what is going on. Merk tells him not to drink the water. Merk also tells him to be ready to sail. Fang says that he’s heard other crews in the wharf hullabaloo say that there are terrorists loose, that there is a door to hell opening, and that there are strange vapours rising. Merk shares what Spart did. En route back to Cathedral, Merk checks out the theatre site. There is panic, and people are being evacuated in a two block radius. There is a caustic mist, and people coming out of it have blotchy skin. Merk returns to the Cathedral to pick up Burt, and they leave again to seek out any last commissars. In the theatre district, Merk is pointed out by witnesses and chased by the constabulary. Merk leads the constables on a chase while Burt circles around and kills a helpless woman witness. They continue to search for commissars stealthily. Noticing the local law enforcement searching, they maintain a low profile and are not further noticed. They return to the Cathedral and inform the Captain. Burt sends Spart back to the ship, Merk goes with him. Blythe drunkenly wishes Spart dead. Back at the ship, Merk works some more on the warjack wreck in the hold.

Morning:

A constable has come by the cathedral looking for someone of Merk’s description.Blythe makes arrangements to relocate the ship to the south docks. Blythe goes amongst the street throngs to gather rumors of what people are thinking about the recent events. She gathers that they think that the gangs are going to war. Blythe wants to talk to Kilbride, and so goes to meet with the Bringles Hall Boys, with Gronk accompanying. Using her contacts, she is directed to a tannery on Captain’s island, where she can give the supervisor, Kellin Terronce, the passphrase “How much oil is left in your winter stores?” Blythe returns to the Cathedral to get Chaplain Gerrold’s blessing in negotiating the meeting to cure folks under Kilbrides auspices.

Merk returns to the ship to work with the jacks and get the crew used to them. He decides to drill the jacks in finesse.

Fang goes to research the location of Blythe’s rival, Ayvil. Burt goes with him. Together they concoct a story that they are merchants looking for information, and discern Ayvil’s possible locations based on his last known time in the Docks, recent weather, and travel times. They telegraph the port authorities of the various ports. By deduction, they learn that Ayvil was in Ceryl, and left for Port Vladovar. While waiting for a telegraph to return, they drink at a bar.

Late Morning:

Blythe and Gronk sail for Captains Island.

Afternoon:

They locate the Planth Tannery. It’s in the slaughterhouse district. Terronce is met, a tall man, shirtless, lithe, with long muscles, and a snub nose. Giving the passphrase, they are brought into the back, passing vats of chemicals, hides, carcasses, tanning frames, and finally into a back room with a bargaining table, bloodstained and knife marked. Blythe offers her services in getting Kilbride to cure people. Torrence thinks that she has her own plans, and Blythe works her charms on him. Blythe offers a cure for the disease, and a means to organize its distribution through the Morrowans. She tells him that they took out the Commissars, and offers the use of her her crew and ship too, after prompting. Asked what she wants in return, She says she wants prestige and a position in the city.

Terronce goes to check with his contacts, while Blythe and Gronk wait. Through the wall they hear chopping, and squishy thumps. They sit uncomfortably for half an hour. Terronce returns and says that if they can bring him a Cygnaran letter of Marque from an experienced crew, they’ll be welcomed into the fold. Blythe agrees, and returns to the Cathedral.

Late afternoon:

All meet up. Fang is surprised and glad to see that the Captain is not dead.

Wolfshead Chuck was sent to make new arrangements to buy a Sloop. He finds one with a modified engine that can be overstoked. They christen it “The Sea Wolf” (Formerly The Fish-nets). Fang and Burt go recruiting. Their priority is to find a good engineer, and a helmsmen. They recruit for the next 3 days.

3 days later:

The new armada sets sail, and hugs the coast en route to port Vladovar (a 9 day journey), looking for marks.

2 days in:

Sight a slave vessel escorted by two warships. Pass on.

4 days in, dawn:

Sight a Cygnaran Privateer; a barque called the Clocker’s Canary. They’ve never heard of them, and debate passing, but decide to take it anyway. Chuck is left in charge of the Black Dawn, which will stand off, while the rest move to the Sea Wolf and maneuver to board. Once in range, they fire upon the crew. Burt sets a gunner on fire, Merk thunderbolts another away. Blythe shoots the captain.

Small arms fire is exchanged, and grapples are thrown. Attaining the deck, Blythe jumps into the middle of the fray, slashes many crew, and sprays acid on them from her mechanikal sword. Burt shoots the captain and sets him on fire. He falls, significantly scarred. Merk shoots out those taking charge on deck. Blythe follows suit.

Sarah, fighting hand to hand, is flanked and taken down with club and cutlass, concussed.

Burt blows out the captain’s eye, cuts his head off to intimidate the crew into surrender.

Survivors are tied up. Blythe tosses the captain’s cabin, and finds a letter of marque. They’ve taken down 2 pirate crews. Blythe offers the survivors a chance to join their crew or be ransom prisoners. 17 sign on, but 1 officer and 2 crew do not and are secured in the brig on the Black Dawn. The new crew are distributed between the Sea Wolf and the Clocker’s Canary. The Sea Wolf is rechristened the Tipsy Siren, and the Clockers Canary becomes the new Sea Wolf.

Continue sailing to Port Vladovar:

6 days out, evening:

2 Khadoran warships sighted. The Black Dawn and company try to flee, but the Sea Wolf is overtaken. The Khadorans fire royal class arms, but miss. The Sea Wolf stokes up and outruns them eventually.

7 days out, night:

There is a glowing in the misty waters around the Black Dawn. Burt relates that these waters are called the Sea of 1000 Souls, after the massive naval casualties in the Orgoth War. The crew is restless, but Fang calms them with a speech.

8 days out:

6 Khadoran merchant fisherman ships sighted. Armada passes on.

9 days out:

Arrive in Port Vladovar, a Khadoran Navy city with rocky shores and heavy batteries protecting the natural inlet to a substantial bay. They sail on, north to a natural bay where they can take the longboats ashore. Blythe finds a suitably hidden bay. She also specifies a secondary point where they can meet up if the ships have to move. Heave to in the hidden bay, and they take the longboats to shore. Blythe, Burt, Merk, Fang, Gronk, Jade, and one of the crew who speaks Khadoran hike to town, a journey of a day and a half.

1.5 days later:

They arrive on the outskirts of town late at night, make camp, and enter the next morning. Heavy gauge trains rock the streets, and large stone buildings bearing red banners rise overhead. The Winter Guard and Manowars, also in Red, patrol the streets.

Blythe arranges for moderate lodgings in town. They use the story that they are in town to arrange trade between Port Vladovar and textile companies in 5 Fingers.

Blythe, in disguise, leads the group in collecting rumors… starting in the taverns, and then going to the markets. They also check with customs. For a small fee, and part of the afternoon, the registers are checked. They indicate that they want to hire Ayvil for shipping purposes. He is in port, his ship is docked for repairs. He is staying at an estate in town.

Mid afternoon:

They walk for an hour to the neighborhood. There are many tall townhouses, 5-7 stories, with short flights of stairs leading up to stout doors. Merk scopes out areas where they might get to the roofs. The stone buildings are scalable, but they would be noticed. The streets are lit, and so are the alleys.

They find a meat shop in the area. Blythe buys picnic supplies, and casually asks about Ayvil. She learns that he stops in every week or so. The shop owner does not know his business, but describes him being in the company of some of Blythes old crew, a rough but capable lot. They go to find a picnic spot and wait until dark.

Night:

Burt sneaks into the alley adjoining Ayvil’s building and shoots out the lights with his silenced pistol. The party enters the alley, and Blythe dons her armor. Merk climbs the building on opposite side of the alley to get a good vantage point. Jade picks the lock on Ayvil’s back door. The translator is left out back to watch. Blythe tries to sneak in, but finds the door barred. Burt checks a window, shimmies it open with a dagger, climbs into what must be the servants hall, then sneaks into the kitchen, and unbars the back door.

Gronk is left by the door in the kitchen. The rest go through the house looking for the master bedroom. The 1st floor, is receiving and servants rooms. The 2nd floor is a library and study. The 3rd floor is guest bedrooms, which the party avoids as they are obviously inhabited. The 4th floor is the master suite, and a hatch with a pull down ladder leads to the 5th floor, which is storage.

Meanwhile, Merk sees Winterguard checking out the shot out lamps. He shoots one from the roof in the arm. They sound the alarm, and Merk shoots again. They take cover. The translator shoots one in the back and runs away.

Inside, the party breaks the 4th floor suite, and enter. It is lavishly decorated with hardwood furniture, objet d’art, and a portrait of Ayvil himself over the stonework fireplace. Creeping in, the party is at the arch to the master bedchamber when the whistles and alarm are sounded outside. Blythe charges the bed, jumps, and cuts through gauzy curtains in mid air, seeing two forms under the covers. From previous experience, she takes a guess that Ayvil is on the right. SHe is correct, and pins him to the floor, right through the bed, with her cutlass. The woman next to him screams. Burt shoots her right between the eyes.

Meanwhile, Merk shoots and ends a Winterguard outside. He maneuvers around to get better shots on the reinforcements coming down the road.

Inside, Blythe and her gang attempt to maneuver back down stairs, but they see men quickly coming up the 3rd floor landing. Fang throws a fire grenade down the stairs to block them. Blythe pulls down ladder to 5th floor and Jade blows a hole in the roof with explosive arrows. They climb to the roof and jump to Merks building. Merk says he’ll hold them off, and the rest jump to the next building. Blythe rigs a rope to belay down the building. Her knot is loose, and she falls, nearly killing herself.

The rest quickly rig another rope to a balcony, then carefully climb down using the stones the rest of the way. They sneak out of the area, and beeline it out of town.

Back at the ship, they wait for the translator, Merk, and Gronk. Merk shows up after 2 days. They wait 5 in total, but the others do not show.

View
Through the Quarantine
The Black Dawn sails again

Still flush from battle, Burt floats the idea of moving against the Commissars now, since they are weakened, but Blythe would rather make in-roads with Kilbride first and get more support. She shares her plan to work her way up his organization to be #2, then kill him.

Gerrold organizes a pyre for the bodies. The party claims the ordic armor and misc minor valuables from bodies.

Burt and Merk debate what to do with the mariners. They decide to try and wipe the cortex. Burt leaves to try to find someone who can perform the wipe, while Merk removes cortexes. No one is found this evening.

Meanwhile, Fang questions Gerrold on the difficulty of the ritual he performed to cure them, and if he could write down directions that another could follow. Gerrold confirms that this is possible, but it’s dangerous to attempt without the proper preparation and participants. It is best if he and his contingent performs it.

Blythe, in a roundabout way, tries to discern Gerrolds thoughts on pirates. They are not favorable. Burt, having returned, questions him on what he needs to cure many people. Gerrold has all the materials, but depending on how wounded his acolytes get per ritual, they might need to be replaced. Faithful Morrowans are not easy to come by in Five Fingers.

Blythe, Gronk, Fang, Jade, and Vyros go out to a bar. Vyros makes inquiries about Kilbride’s gangs in the area and learns about the “Bringles Hall Boys” led by Jase Lowell. He also finds a lead on a jack chop shop that could wipe the cortexes. Fang buys rounds for all, and much song ensues.

The rest of the party have a few drinks, and Vyros returns with his information. All eventually return to the Cathedral.

Next morning:

Burt and Merk make contact with Vyros’ cortex wiper. It is a gobber shop, run by Thomplin Greeze; a gobber with a ruined ear and a rheumy eye. He seems to favor silk robes. They wait for customers to clear, then give the passphrase. A bargain is struck, and Merk runs to grab cortexes. In a back room, Thomplin attaches nodes to the cortexes, removes the glass hemispheres, and engages the expensive, baklava like layers of rune plates. The cost is 725 gold, half up front. It will take three days for a wipe and reset back to defaults. Merk decides to stay and guard the shop, but is very conspicuous. Thomplin tells him off and he goes to get lunch. Burt goes to shop for armor.

Meanwhile, Blythe hires a courier to take a message to Kilbride. “Capt Blythe – Seeking a partnership, have information relating to events on Chaser, we volunteer to assist.” Return message instructions are given care of a local bar.

Blythe, Gronk, and Vyros go shopping for a dress and new hat, as well as general piratey clothes. Blythe buys Gronk a fancy studded belt.

Merk stakes out shop after Thomplin leaves for the day; watching it that night from an alley.

Gerrold, meanwhile, arranges for the inoperable mariner jacks to be moved into the Cathedral.

Next day:

Burt relieves Merk.

There is a message from Narvosh: their pass is ready. Blythe wears her new dress to meet the Lt. and brings Gronk along. Fang and Jade have a date near the luncheon meeting. Narvosh passes off a package of security uniforms, documents for getting on Chaser, and a flag for getting past the blockade. Blythe and Narvosh find a room for the rest of the payment. Fang and Jade get room in same building. Blythe, afterwards, offers Narvosh future favors of any type.

Meanwhile, Merk and Vyros check out the state of the High Street Commissars. They find out that they have been seriously hurt by the party’s actions. Many are left, but their best weapons are gone.

The party reconvenes at the Cathedral and makes plans.

Afternoon:

Wolfshead Chuck is sent to watch Thomplin as the rest go to Chaser to retrieve the Black Dawn.

Taking a ferry to Captains Island, they travel on foot going North to the bridge. They present their forged credentials, which are accepted. They observe signs of reinforcement to the barricade and damage from battle. The deck is slick with blood. Fang asks if all has been quiet, but the response is that it’s never quiet anymore.

Playing along with their documents, the party starts their ‘patrol’. Along one street they find a pile of barrels rigged with wire. On another they find trigger cobblestones pried up and rigged to blow when depressed. Spart has obviously been busy. They skirt the barrels, and carefully step over the cobblestones. Now actively looking for traps, others are found in rigging they must cross (which they do slowly). And more in abandoned buildings in the vicinity of the dock.

They discuss how to approach the ship, and there is much worry over being mistaken for the enemy. Jade and Burt take off their uniforms and sneak towards the Black Dawn. Finding a clear path, Jade returns to the party to report, and Burt sneaks aboard, telling the crew to make ready. Burt notices that some cannon have been relocated to point towards shore, and that there is jerry-rigged apparatus present on the bow.

The party, led by Jade, removes their uniforms and sneak to the ship. En route, a shot rings out and a sniper’s bullet hits Vyros. They make a dash to clear the rest of the way and take cover in the ship. Merk, however, sneaks back to the sniper’s post. It is on the upper floor of a tennement, and he climbs the stairs carefully and quietly. Finding the room, he kicks in the door just in time to see the sniper disappear out the window and up the wall. At this moment there is a great rumble and the lower floor of the building erupts in flame. The whole structure is collapsing, and Merk jumps out window, having no time for any other action. As he falls he spies the sniper on the roof and hits him squarely with a thunderbolt shot. Merk lands the tumble as best he can, and escapes with deep gouges and bruises, but nothing broken.

Spart is surprised to see Merk, and marvels at the jump as well as his own handiwork with the building. Merk and Spart return to ship, and begin preparations to disembark. Spart reveals that he’s rigged the sluice gates to blow and send the Black Dawn into the channel on command. Josephus expresses concern that this will damage the ship, and Capt Blythe agrees to only use Sparts method as a last resort.

An hour later there is an explosion in the distance. Some of Spart’s traps have been tripped. It is agreed in haste that they must leave now, and Capt Blythe issues the ‘Let’s go’ order to Spart. Jorm, below, yells out to the crew that “It’s really happening this time!” Spart, leaping to the bow, pulls a piton connected to a taut rope. Spart quickly harnesses himself into a leather lash that he’s affixed to the deck and the rest are left to grab what they can as they try to hold on. The rope and piton quickly disappear over the deck, and triggers the charges that blows open the drydock, detonates the supports holding the ship, and flings the Black Dawn into the channel.

Josephus, having exclaimed a colorful invective at the order while he dove below decks, calls for tar. The boilers are stoked, and the Black Dawn pulls away into the channel and out of the quarantine as a Galleon appears at the wharf.

View
Gerrold's Cure
Behind old walls

<meta />Night, continued:

The party sneaks back to the Cathedral, and Capt. Blythe makes sure they were not followed. Observing the court before the Cathedral, there are folks about, but the party has no means to discern if they are spies. A drunk murmurs  in an alley, man in a window is  smoking a pipe, etc.

Entering, they reconnect with Merk and exchange news of their exploits.  

Gerrold, still in a nightshirt, is pressed upon to perform the ritual that will cure Blythe, Fang, and Burt of their green glowing curse. He prepares himself and his acolytes, and has the party meet them down in the crypts. Chosing a wide area three levels down, surrounded by the crumbling sarcophagi and statuary of Morrowans past, Gerrold and his acolytles, in full battle array, surround the afflicted. Gronk, Merk, others stand guard at intervals as well as at the entrance to the crypt to ensure they are not disturbed.

As Gerrold et al. begin chanting, Blythe, Fang, and Burt seem to be washed out of reality. All is darkness beyond the circle of monks, and their flesh is obscured in shadow. Only their armor and maces remain clear. The afflicted begin to get nauseous and sweat. Green slime exudes from their pores, flitting up like sluggish tentacles as it drips and collects on the ground like a pile of emaciated maggots. Fang takes his own Morrowan mace and smashes his pile repeatedly. Dark shapes are seen assaulting the outer ring, and the Morrowans fight them back while Gerrold completes the ritual. Reality returns and the afflicted find themselves cured. Many of the acolytes are wounded and rent with horrible claw marks. Fang, Burt, and Blythe brought to dormitories to rest.

Next Morning:

The three are still fatigued, but recovering.

Blythe makes a large donation to the Cathedral, on top of what was done before, in appreciation.

Jade and Merk go out into the city to spread the word to the populace that the infection is curable. Jade encounters Vyros, an Iosan thug who has worked with her before, and entices him to join the crew.

Meanwhile, Blythe invites Lt. Narvosh to lunch via a courier. He sets up a meeting at a decent restaurant on Captain’s Island. In the meantime, Blythe asks around Doleth about him, but finds nothing. At lunch, small talk is exchanged and BLythe steers the conversation to information gathering. Narvosh reveals that Kilbride has connections with the Order of Illumination, and that Riordan does not. Narvosh also indicates that the Black Dawn is scheduled for destruction due to a hive of troublemakers in the area. Blythe immediately thinks of Spart and his guerrilla warfare. Blythe reveals herself as the captain of the Black WInd, and “purchases” a pass through the ship quarantine. Narvosh promises to deliver the pass soon, and Blythe suggests they meet up at this eatery again. Blythe returns to the Cathedral.

Fang, seeking to expand his propaganda, hires a printer to run broadsheets advertizing the cure. He is sure to include a stylized fang image on the sheet. They will have it available next week.   

Evening:

Everyone returns to the Cathedral and discusses the day's events. Blythe considers selling out Spart, but the crew is strongly against that, saying that although he is a loose cannon, he does tend to get things done.

Watches are posted to ward off any retaliation by the High Street Commissars. Sure enough, at twilight such an attack comes. A warcaster leading a pair of Mariners and a host of thugs storm the cathedral; sniper fire echoes across the court from the rooftops.

Vyros, Merk, Leslie, being on watch in the aging front courtyard, take cover and attack. Vyros immediately critically wounds the warcaster, his bolts punching through the magical protections like cracking an eggshell. The others take out the reloaders on Mariner warjacks, silencing the carronade that smashed through the gates and court statuary. The Mariners and 6 thugs enter the courtyard while Merk is hit by rifle fire from the rooftops. Merk calls for help, and an acolyte runs to inform the others. Burt and Fang run to engage, while Blythe runs to inform Gerrold, who mobilizes the Morrowans.

Merk, with his thunderbolt shots, sends many flying, including a Mariner a couple of times… it’s bulk smashes into what remains of the fencing and walls. Burt sends out a hail of lead that clears stragglers. Leslie is battered, then skewered on the ground by a thugs pike, spitting blood. Fang rushes to help, and manages to stabilize Leslie. A Mariner misses Vyros and Fang, smashing its anchor into the ground. Vyros uses his daggers to slash repeatedly at mercenary faces, then disengages to seek out the warcaster. He rounds the corner across the court and spies him on roof. Two bolts in rapid succession fly out and snipes him dead; The Mariners go inert. The final fleeing thug is shot in the back by Vyros and Burt. Gerrold arrives with contingent right at the end, too late to fight.

View
Guests of the Morrowans
Drinking and murder

The still quarantined party waits til morning to observe the response at the bridge. Meanwhile, on the dark streets of Doleth, Fang proceeds to the Cathedral of Morrow. He finds it shut for the night. He finds a side alley to rest until morning. Next Morning: Fang knocks at the cathedral door and asks the acolyte who answers after Chaplain Gerrold. Fang is informed that he has disappeared. Inquiring of Chuck and Leslie he learns that Leslie has left, but Chuck is still here. Fang is brought to the residence area where the Morrowans and Chuck are engaged in eating a big plate of eggs steamed with onions. Chuck tells Fang that Gerrold cured them a while ago, but then disappeared. After breakfast they search his rooms, finding his medicines and potions out of order. Fang, exhausted from the previous nights events, takes a nap, then spends the rest of the day questioning the acolytes to discern clues. He determines that in the days leading up to the disappearance there were some gang members from Riordan’s forces (High Street Commissars) hanging around the cathedral. Fang spends the night at the Cathedral in Chuck’s room. Meanwhile: The quarantined party reconnoiters the city. Blythe designates a clock tower as their rendezvous point should they need to suddenly regroup. It is an abandoned municipal building (even before quarantine). The clock no longer tells the right time. Scouting it out with Jade, Merk and Burt, Blythe sees a Galleon patrol destroy a building. They spend the morning observing further. The patrol holds position a long time, and eventually moves on. Afternoon: They return to the hotel and decide to wait til the supplies arrive tomorrow and see if they can bribe their way off. Gronk and Merk begin to weaken the walls of the hotel to allow access to neighboring buildings. Evening: Spart returns dragging a bag of scavengings including a mason jar of crackly blue green powder, an oozing cow tongue like thing, a massive pipe bomb, etc. His hands smell like old cinnamon. Merk instructs Spart to rig buildings to blow in such a way as to collapse on the Galleon. Night: Blythe, Burt, and Jade, sneak out to check the destroyed building. It is mostly collapsed, and looks dangerous to enter. They decide not to check into it further, and return to the hotel. Next Day: It is supply day. Blythe, Burt, Merk, Gronk go to the supply drop. Jade goes along as well, but breaks off before reaching the cache and sneaks into the vicinity to observe. Blythe, bribing Lt. Narvosh, arranges to smuggle folks out. Waiting hidden in a side building at the cache, Narvosh indicates when the coast is clear to hide within emptied barrels and crates. Burt winds up in a hogshead of apples. Merk and Jade are in a crate of coal. Merk rips his shirt to use for masks. Blythe and Gronk return to hotel, and inform the rest of the crew of the plan. All resume drinking. At the same time, the supplies are moved off the island via cart. Burt is rolled for a good portion and almost vomits. Jacks load the crates onto a wagon, which rumbles over a bridge and past the barricade. Things are unloaded, and soon all is quiet. Burt is upside down, and tries to kick himself out. Merk drills a hole, sees a wall. Jade tries the other side, and sees the coast is clear. They pry up the corner of the crate with a bayonet and find themselves in the basement of a distillery. Street level narrow windows are high up the walls, copper vats are against one wall, and a stair leads up. They retrieve Burt, easily finding him within the only hogshead that seems to be cursing. Burt finds a cask of rum and fills his flask. Jade and Merk rinse off in it. Scouting out windows, they see industrial traffic. It appears that they have been transported to the Spiritgrav on Captain’s Island. Jade sneaks up the stairs, thinking to sneak around and open the cellar loading door. She is spotted by workers. She mumbles out some excuses about delivering coal from the mine, and almost shoots someone, deciding at the last minute to just run instead. She flees into the street. Burt and Merk, hearing the commotion, bolt out a window. They split up, and Burt sets a bum on fire with his gun as a distraction. Merk is seen and pursued by constables, but distances himself with his high speed. The next day: Blythe sneaks to the Black Dawn. She informs Josephus, Jorm, and Sarah that they should carry on with repairs and guard the ship. Blythe is going to sneak off the island and make contact in a week or two. She tells the same to the crew at the hotel, and that they should keep on making inroads with the quarantined populace. Blythe stays put at the hotel til the next supply day when she and Gronk can be smuggled away. Meanwhile, Burt and Jade leave the SpiritGrav and proceed west to catch a ferry to Doleth and by evening they have made it to the Cathedral of Morrow. Meanwhile, Fang has been asking around about the High Street Commissars. He learns they operate in the Maiden Bridge District from the Cathedral clerics. He decides to venture out and learn what the streets say. Fang finds himself at the Left Hander, a booze house and gambling den. After getting kicked out of a number of tables he finds a communal gambling table. Sitting amongst the losers, Fang buys chicken wings for the lot and strikes up a conversation. They recognize the Black Dawn, and sing some of the song. Havron, a local leatherworker who regularly gambles away his livelyhood, is impressed with Fang. He tells him that the Commissars are in the old Trenner Theatre, north of Crucible Alley. Fang impresses that the Black Dawn will be making more of a presence, and to keep them in mind. He drinks with the lot for a while, then heads back to the Cathedral, led by Crilla Yon. Night: Fang meets up with Jade and Burt. Make a plan to scout Trenner Theatre. It is a legitimate business district, and Burt informs the party of the Captains influence in the area. Commissars are enforcers, not political or influence actors. Burt, Fang, and Jade head to a bar close to the Trenner. Chuck is told to stay and wait at the cathedral in case Leslie comes back. They observe that the Trenner is run down, it’s electric marquee having fallen through the awning and now sits on the ground. It is occupied by what looks like squatters, but they know better. At a nearby bar, Burt tries to chat with the bartender, but the bartender is not chatty. Fang briefly entertains singing the Black Dawn song here, but Burt dissuades him with a cuff. Fang asks the bartender about the theatre and learns that 4-5 years ago it shut down, and a few months later the marquee fell in a storm. It was ostensibly sold later, but no new shows have ever taken place. He also asks about Leslie and learns that he/she has come in, mostly drinks a little, and meets others. Burt gets a vague reading of the room, identifying some of the rougher elements, and they wait. The bartender tells fang that Leslie last left with a Commissar member. After about 2 hours, Leslie walks in. Burt gives small wave, and Leslie attempts to inconspicuously walk out. Burt follows. Fang loudly orders more drinks to create a distraction. Leslie walks down side alley, and meets with Burt. Leslie informs him that he/she has infiltrated the Commissars, who are holding Gerrold prisoner. Burt fills him/her in on the rest of the party developments. They arrange a contact at the bar. Burt tells her that he/she can spring the chaplain if it’s a sure thing. Burt returns to the bar, and they continue to hang about til close, returning to the Cathedral afterwards. Meanwhile, Fang has been spreading rumors about Blythes nemesis, Capt. Ayvil. Next Day: Vandals have defaced part of the courtyard, and acolytes are busy cleaning it up. Fang helps them scrub, then goes on date with Jade. Later that evening Burt and Jade check in at the bar near the Trenner, Leslie shows up, but no contact is made. Burt closes down bar again. Back at the Cathedral, Chuck challenges Fang to a belching contest, but Fang demures. Fang asks about buying a new ship. Chuck says he’ll tell him if he wins a contest. Not belching, but farting. Fang blows him out of the room. Chuck, nauseated, says that he’s arranged for a purchase, but the incident at the Jubilee happened before he could finalize the deal. It should still be a good, assuming the parties are still alive. Back in the quarantine, Blythe flirts with Handsome Jon. Next Day: Fang watches out for vandals, and buys flowers for Jade. Burt goes shopping for cool pistols. Meanwhile, Blythe instructs the quarantined crew to relocate to the Black Dawn, and goes to the supply cache. She makes contact with Lt. Narvosh, who indicates the trouble that happened with the other group, and that the price has been raised. Blythe offers other additional ‘non monetary’ compensation, which Narvosh accepts. The rest of the payment is made. As before, he signals for members to hide in the crates. Blythe promises that they’ll wait to be released this time. Gronk, quick and silent, hides in a turnip crate. Blythe goes into a textile crate of linens. Night: Transported to the warehouse, Blythe and Gronk wait for release. Gronk eats many turnips, and belches a lot, but does not reveal their locations. A thin teen releases them that night, whistles to let them know the coast is clear, points them out the door. Blythe and Burt go to the cathedral. On ferry to Doleth, they see a massive explosion from within the quarantine. Sailing on, they reach the island and the cathedral. Blythe reprimands the crew for their haste in their smuggling exit. All share information and make a plan. Burt and Blythe head to the bar to make contact with Leslie. Making contact, once again Leslie surreptitiously talks with Burt. Blythe remains in the bar. Leslie indicates that there is a loading door that’s assumed blocked, but that he/she thinks could open. Gerrold is in the basement stores, guarded by 4 thugs at a time. Basement access can be gained through the stage via the lifting apparatus, or across the stage, down a hall, and down a stair. The audience area is a favorite congregating point for the Commissars, however. Burt thanks him/her, and says they’ll meet at the loading door tomorrow night. Burt returns to the bar and fills in Blythe. They close down the bar. Blythe flirts a lot, but does not go home with any of her amours. Next day: Blythe walks the streets, trying to get a read on local events. Makes inquiries concerning the Jubilee explosion, but finds little but rumor. She thinks Riordan might be behind it, and wants to contact Narvosh and find out which side he’s on. Blythe also makes moderate donation to the Cathedral. Over drinks, the party debates ascending to godhood in a variety of ways. Night: As planned, they meet Leslie at the loading dock. Gronk will wait at the door leading into the backstage area. Leslie slips behind a curtain, and signals the rest to sneak over, avoiding the eyes in the ‘audience’. Some are sharpening weapons, others playing games, some sleeping. Leslie points out the holes in the floor and access to the apparatus they can climb to below. One by one, they stealthily enter the hole and climb down the apparatus. Blythe almost falls, Burt gets temporarily caught in the floorboards, and Jade is delayed waiting for Burt to get out of the way, but all make it down unseen. Leslie takes the stairs. Proceeding down a long hall, they first ambushing the guards in an antechamber, then forcefully push into the suite where Gerrold is being held. Burt silently dispatches many, and Fang manages to hit one with his lacerator. One is knocked down, pinned to the floor by Blythe, and Fang attempts crush him with his mace, but it’s Jades arrow that finally ends him. None have time to raise the alarm. Fang and Burt grab some coin purses. Gerrold is recovered in a nightshirt and leather slippers, and they exit the way they came. Outside the loading door, Leslie asks to borrow a pistol from Burt, who acquiesces. Leslie takes careful aim back inside, fires, and returns Burt’s weapon, contented. He/she says “He found out too much”. They quickly retreat to Leslie’s safehouse.

Meanwhile, Merk makes his way back to the Cathedral, laying low to avoid the law. 

View
Breaking Curfew
Breaching the line

Over the next 2 days:

Merk has made progress on the jack, but it is still not operational. He’ll need a better workspace or a lot more time to finish it. He sneaks back to the Captain’s lodging by night to check in, but then sneaks back to continue his work.

Fang talks to Hank and Handsome Jon, instructing them and the other crew to ingratiate themselves and the group with the locale folks. His goal is to establish the Black Dawn as a crew people turn to for help and thus establish influence and to use popular support to become influential Captains in Five Fingers. Handsome Jon is in charge is placed in charge of the operation, and Fang volunteers to help as long as they are still in the area.

Blythe and Jade begin a nightly reconnaissance to get a sense of martial patrols and strength. They observe somewhat regular patrols usually about half a dozen people plus warjack support. All are clad in chemical gear and gas masks. They observe a patrol crossing off the island via bridge, and discern some form of hand countersign being used. They chose to stay longer to observe more and establish a pattern.

Fang makes some contacts to try and create disguises that look like the chemical uniforms of the patrols.

Merk gives up on his jack and returns to the hotel.

Fang sneaks out to the cliff face at night to see if he can scrounge the clothing he threw in a few days ago. Securing and lowering a rope, he scales down the cliff face to the surf. Lodged in a rock crevice, he finds the body of one of the guards he dispatched. He swings over, and grabs it. The decay bubbles out of the suit. He dry heaves as he stripes the body. He now has a greasy, smelly set of Crucible Armor. Returning to the hotel, he sets up a cauldron in the lobby and boils the suit. It still smells bad, and now the lodging smells like noxious soup. Fang blames Spart.

Blythe, frustrated at the situation, drinks rum heavily. The hotel stock is running low.

Next Night:

A plan is made: At midnight they will sneak to the bridge, Fang will fire off a few shots, and come running towards barricade in his uniform disguise, making as if he has been ambushed. At that signal, Merk will shoot the person most visible to the other guards. Meanwhile Blythe and Jade will take positions to also fire on the bridge. In this way they hope to test the bridge defenses, and perhaps get Fang across.

The plan is put to the test, and everyone sneaks into position. The bridge is barricaded and guarded by a force of 5 guards plus two light warjacks armed with chainguns. Fang throws a fragmentation grenade to begin the diversion and goes running. Merk fires a thunderbolt shot at the foremost jack, flinging it back into the wooden pilings behind it. .

The jacks open up with chain guns, and pepper their hiding places with bullets. Merk has taken cover on the second floor of a former residence, and the bullets rip through the walls. Jade, from a closer position amongst some crates near the bridge, repeatedly shoots one of the crucible guard, who fires a magical flare against her. The area she is hiding becomes illuminated and clear in the otherwise murky night. Jade relocates to the quay wall. Another arrow from Jade drops him, and she proceeds to disarm another one of the rifleman before the other defenders drop behind the barricade. The jacks adjust their aim as best they can, and all reposition to avoid covering fire.

Fang, meanwhile, runs past the barricade, and sees charges set in front. He discerns the trigger mechanism by the barricade, and wires running behind and down to the far end. Past the bridge, military forces have taken over some of the seedy buildings and turned them into temporary barracks. There is much activity as the alarm has been sounded and reinforcements for the bridge are mobilized. Fang yells that they need help, and keeps running, passing into the city in the confusion.

Blythe retreats and attempts to ambush an incoming patrol, but they come by another road. She throws a grenade to try and draw them, but it only precipitates them taking cover behind the barricade faster. The party retreats to the hotel.

Fang, ducking into an alley, locates a transient and cuts him down. He removes his disguise and puts it on the body to throw anyone who might come looking for him off the track. He disappears into the streets of Doleth Island.

View
Quarantined
Martial Law

Continued:

Jade and Spart are sent to update Capt. Blythe on the evening’s events while the rest of the party looks to commandeer a boat to get back to Doleth and the Church of Morrow to get help for Leslie and Chuck.

Merk sees an unguarded longboat, but Carlos wants to steal a guarded smugglers skiff. Not wanting to get into a scrape at this juncture, Merk convinces them to take the longboat. Ordic warships are sighted in the channels, but the party keeps a low profile and passes by without incident. They beach at Doleth and proceed to the Cathedral of Morrow. Knocking after hours, an acolyte responds and takes in Leslie and Chuck. Fang informs him of their deal with Chaplain Gerrold, and the acolyte agrees to stress its importance and update them on progress. Returning the way they came, the party returns to Capt. Blythe and sits tight for the night.

Morning:

Merk, Fang, Carlos, Jade, and Gronk journey to the armorsmith to check on their order. Bert stays with the Capt. Spart is sent to scope out the western cliff for any zombified crew.

The smith is barricaded in his smithy. Behind the thick door the party can hear his workshop fired, and something large moving about. He is wary of looters, and says he intends to hunker down and wait out the trouble. Merk and Fang convince him that they can protect his shop, and will fetch things for him if he can repair their armor. They are let inside, and see the workbenches, forge, and even the heavy cobblestones of the floor covered with supplies and works in progress. The smiths laborjack has also been fired up. Merk will stay on the premises and guard, and also pick up tips on smithing.

The next day:

Fang and Carlos journey back to Doleth to check in at the Cathedral. All is well, but there is no news. On their way back, they observe the warships placing buoys and metal nets in the channels.

2 weeks pass:

The party, true to their word, guards the smith while he finishes their armor. They spend their time fetching food, parts, fuel, etc for him. A fortuitous meeting in the streets leads to Annabelle, a mercenary warcaster, is hired on.

Over this time the party has observed expeditions being sent to investigate The Green. They are heavily layered, and wear chemical masks, but the symbols on their clothing identify them as Ordic Military, and Order of Illumination members. Fang and Carlos approach one such group to ascertain what they know and what they are here for. Merk hangs back, trying to be inconspicuous. Fang eventually succeeds in convincing the group that they have clues as to the nature of The Green and a number of the members follow him to where they say they are. The real plan is to divide them, capture them, and interrogate them. Unforeseen, Spart and Annabelle come out from a side alley, having been doing a patrol of their own. Having their cover blown and lies exposed, Merk shoots the Order member in the chest. Fang demands the rest surrender while Carlos covers them.

They bring the prisoners into an abandoned warehouse and interrogate them about what they know. The Green is a Thamarite terrorist act… they are trying to contain it to the island, but it is spreading. It’s influence can be discerned by an arcane process. All prisoners but the Order member are executed. The Order member is knocked out and kept for when he’s healthy enough to interrogate. Money, jems, valuables, and weapons are looted, and the bodies are flung into the ocean depths.

The Order member is wrapped in a tarp and brought to Capt. Blythe. Being brought up to speed on this plan for the first time, Blythe decides he should die. They end him, and wait for night to dump him in the ocean. They confiscate his mechanical quad iron, banded with silver and etched with sigils.

Next Day:

The party visits the smith to ask about the mechanikal quad iron. It has no discernable power source, but the smith says it has great power. He doesn’t know how it works, but the Order is highly protective of such things. It’ll bring trouble to the wielder if the Order finds out they have it. They are highly insular with their technology.

The party decides that all confiscated weaponry ought be thrown into the ocean.

1 week later:

Martial Law has been declared, and the island is locked down. There are military patrols in the streets, complete with warjack contingents, including one that towers above the rooftops. Supply caches are established for use by the quarantined population during designated times, but all other movement is curfewed. Anyone breaking it will be shot.

There is much discussion on whether or not these caches are a trap. Jade, Fang, Carlos, Merk, Annabelle, and Spart are sent to investigate. At supply, crates are set up guarded by warjacks with axes and chainguns. A few other townsfolk who have not fled are there, receiving distributions of salt meat, dried vegetables, and bread. The military commanders take notes of where people are staying and their names. The party says they are near the smithy, and give false names. Annabelle asks about who is in charge and hears of Maj. Leopold Harrison from Lieutenant Kellin Narvosh.

Fang asks them to carry a letter to the Cathedral of Morrow addressed to Chaplin Gerrold. Its contents include asking about possibilities of a cure, if he can send it, or get them off the island.

The party drops off some food off for the smith. They agree to wait for a reply from Chaplain Gerrold. Depots are set up every other day, so it will be at least that long.

That night:

Jade and Merk attempt to sneak to the Black Dawn to check in. Merk is detected by a patrol, but runs away, finding an abandoned home to bunk in. Jade reaches the Black Dawn and talks to Josephus, who says that the ship can be ready in about 5 days. Sooner, if he was able to work on the exterior.

After Jade leaves, Merk sneaks to the boat and starts work on repairing the warjack in the hold. He decides to remain here to complete as much work as he can. Hopefully he can get the jack to work well enough to help launch the boat from drydock.

2 days later:

The party returns to the supply depot. There is no response from Chaplain Gerrold yet. They ask the Lieutenant if they can get to the Cathedral, but he says that’s out of the question.

View
Mob Rule
In the aftermath of the Jubilee massacre

3 days later:

The city is in chaos as mobs run through the streets, quarantines are set, and strange sounds echo in the dark. Merk, Fang, Jade, and Josephus go looting for steamjack parts en route to check on their ship. They decide upon a particular boarded up storefront, and hatch a plan.

Fang, looking out, spies Carlos standing nearby. Fang convinces him to join the crew. Carlos says he’s worth 20 men. They travel together to the North Rivergrav, and find the Black Dawn in drydock. Josephus agrees to repair it. Fang tries to recruit some looters into service repairing the ship (the regular workers having fled), and a minor fight breaks out. A few shots are fired, and the ruffians scatter. Carlos helps them find some real shipwrights, and threatens to break their noses unless they help. Fang offers to pay them anyway. They are shown to the Black Dawn.

Fang and Jade take a longboat to Doleth Island to get advice at the Cathedral of Morrow. It takes the better part of the day.

Evening:

Fang and Jade arrive at the Cathedral. Chaplain Gerrold is a broad, late middle aged man with angular features. He says he can cure the curse, but it will take time. He needs 3 weeks to send for resources. Fang gives him contacts at the Black Dawn and the Inn as well as 500 gold. Fang spends some time in prayer. There are many supplicants here, praying for their city.

Fang and Jade paddle back towards Chaser island, and see robbed figures moving in the glowing green aftermath of the massacre. Fang pilots the boat to the cliff face, which Jade climbs. Sneaking amongst some rubble, she discerns that the robed figures are gathering the bodies… which still seem to be moving lethargically as they are loaded onto carts. One of the ‘bodies’ is “Clubfoot” Felix!. Fang calls out from the boat, drawing one of the robed figures to the cliff edge. A cacophonous whisper is heard in the air, and glowing runes appear around the hand of the robed figure. Jade and Fang shoot him, but he completes the spell, bathing the boat in Hellfire. Jade shoots a robed figure by a cart, and the man at the cliff face, killing both. The one by the cliff falls, hitting the boat. Fang jumps into the water, and Jade dives in off the cliff. Both swim to a beach north of the Tow Bridge.

Trying to find the nearest crewmen, they come to a common room. Spart is there, and they convince him to go spy on the men on the cliff. Fang and Jade then head back to Capt Blythe.

They agree to send a message to Kilbride about what they saw. Fang will deliver the message. He stops by the Black Wind en route to Captains Island to collect Merk and Carlos. Jade stays at the boat to protect Josephus and the Carpenters.

Fang bribes the guards at King’s Channel Bridge to cross. They proceed to Anchor island. There, Fang passes off the message from Capt Blythe. The message describes what Fang and Jade saw on the cliff. The party returns to Chaser island, picking up Jade.

After Midnight:

Through stealthy observation from the rooftops, the party finds the entrance to the warehouse where the cultists are taking the bodies. Merk silently kills the guard and takes his place. Then they ambush some carts. The door is barred, but Merk shoots it and Carlos ninja kicks it down. An Acolyte casts a rending spell, and a guard hits him with a mace, but Merks pistol shots, and two grenades, drop the guard. Fang ends the acolyte. Carlos fortifies the room, and Merk, Fang, and Jade move down the ramp where the carts were going.

Behind a double wooden door the party observes a ritual chamber with an altar on the far end. A man is there chanting, while acolytes grab bodies from a pile in the corner and transfer them to a dias. There, they shrivel and dessicate, eventually being thrown into another corner. The party attacks, and Carlos and Jade are almost killed by horrible spells, but eventually Merk knocks down the leader, and Fang and Jade shoot him to death.

Looking through the pile of bodies, the party rescues Wolfshead Chuck and Mister Miss Leslie from the pile. Merk collapses the pillars supporting the warehouse, and all regroup at the exit. Suddenly, a flaming barrel comes rolling in and explodes!. From outside, Spart calls out ‘Look out!’. He joins them in the street, saying that he blew up a bunch of the cultists, and has planted a many booby traps. “They’ll be sorry!”.

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A Pirate's Nature
Wrapping up loose ends, and the Firelight Jubilee massacre

Blythe shows the treasure, and gives an inspiring speech to the crew. They decide to wait a day, and determine if they should journey back in.

Blythe notices that many of the crew are still sick. She talks to Spart, and discovers that he has been improvising the meals, cooking shoe leather as well as salt pork. He has a barrel of wet flour that he’s been ‘feeding’. In the pot on the fire, he says that he put the non-poisoned food on one side, but kept the good stuff on the other. Blythe rips into him, threatening to throw him overboard if he doesn’t get better at cooking, and stop poisoning the crew. She finds him an assistant to keep an eye on him.

They anchor for 2 days, waiting for the fog to go down. It is spilling out of the cave, rolling down the hill into the water, where it dissipates. In the meantime, the crew begins to recover from their ‘sickness’. Tevelyn remains holed up in his room, Trundel is sick in bed, and Malik organizes the remaining crew. Blythe uses the opportunity to inculcate piratical thought amongst the rest of the crew.

The Golden Edge is heavily damaged, all excursions into the caves have been deadly, and the two ships are nearing skeleton crew status. There is perhaps a month of supplies left before they would be forced to sail for civilization. Blythe decides to sail back to Mercir, by way of Highgate, ostensibly.

One week out, sails are spotted. Fang looks out, and identifies it as a Cryxian slaver ship. He sees black ogrun, known for ferocity and cannibalism. Paths would cross in the next day or so. Blythe orders the course changed to avoid them.

Another week passes, they enter the Gulf of Middlebank. THey encounter a small group of Cygnaran Warships. They are not on the same course, and Blythe orders that that remain so. The Cygnaran ships do not move to intercept.

Blythe and her company plan to blow up the Golden Edge, taking down any loyalist crew with her. Spart is ordered to rig the powder hold to detonate, then Blythe will call a meeting of her officers, and Spart, on the Black Dawn. Then, the tow cables will be cut and the Black Dawn will sail away.

The plan is put into effect. Officers and Spart row over, and the cables are cut. The fuse takes much longer to burn through. Spart counts it down, but it does not explode. Blythe is angry, and Syphon throws Spart in a long boat and begins lowering him down, telling him to fix it. Spart repeatedly counts ‘1’. Blythe orders the gunners to fire on the Golden Edge, and Syphon stops lowering the long boat. The Black Dawn pulls around, but the Golden Edge explodes in a massive, fiery burst. Spart counts ‘0’! Syphon pulls him back up. A new course is set for The Docks.

3 weeks later, they arrive. They are short food, and the crew is hungry. Shares are doled out to the crew, and 2 days shore leave is declared. The ship is re-supplied. Merk meets them on the docks, having been waiting for them.

Blythe talks to Gond, withdraws some of their treasure. Gond wants to know about their adventures. Blythe fills him in. He also tells her that Ayvil was in town about a month ago, and was asking about her. Apparently, he caught rumor of what she was up to, and was asking around.

Syphon tries exchanging the treasure, handling it with gloves to avoid curses, for regular currency. He is able to exchange a quarter of it. The party purchases gear.

Fang and Syphon seek out Geoffrey, finding him in the Empty Crate tavern. They show him the empty box, and tell him they found it empty. Fang asks what was in it, so that they can look for it when they go back. Geoffrey is visibly distraught when he finds the box empty. Syphon physically intimidates him to reveal what he knows of the item. Geoffrey tells them that it was a Cryxian power source of some kind, that he wanted to study. It was one of Capt. Alexanders favorite prizes, as no one has successfully retrieved any Cryxian tech like that.

2 days later, they sail for Five Fingers. Syphon, worried about cursed treasure, stays at The Docks, he gives away a lot of his excess ‘cursed’ treasure. A weeks smooth sailing brings the Black Dawn into port, 1 day before the Firelight Jubilee.

Late Morning: Fang wants to find someone to finish modifications on his armor and research cryxian curses, Merk wants to shop and gamble. Blythe arranges Wolfshead Chuck to arrange for the Black Dawn to be repaired, and makes inquiries into purchasing a new ship and hiring Jack Marshals and steamjacks. Jade accompanies Fang.

In the streets, the party is confronted by a gang. They point at Fang and demand he return what is theirs. Responding that they do not know what they are talking about, the gang attacks.

Burt rapidly kills many gang members, but the gang leader, a swarthy swashbuckler, knocks out Blythe, parrying a number of attacks. Merk blows back a massive Ogrun, after Fang hit him square in the face with the mace to no effect. A gobber flees the scene, trying to get into the rigs above, but Burt shoots him off the ladder, setting him on fire and blowing out an eye. Burt also shoots the leader, who tries to hobble away, spitting blood. The ogrun charges Merk repeatedly, but can’t seem to connect well. Jade shoots him through the neck, and Merk ends him. His head pummeling into the stones, he passes gurgling on the ground.

Fang stabilizes the gang leader, and he is taken prisoner.

Taking a room at a run down inn, they strip their prisoner and strap him to the bed. Fang, wearing his mask, rouses him, and begins an interrogation. Burt helps by sticking his pistol into his wounds. He says his name is Bairn, and that he thinks they work for Riordan, but the questions they ask convince him otherwise. He says that his intel came from Smek, the gobber Burt killed,, and that he said that they had an old pistol of some importance to the Rovers, his gang.

Fang notices that he has the pistol described in his pocket.

Blythe strikes a deal, she’ll give Bairn the gun and will free him, if he clears their name with Kilbride, the high captain who patronizes the Rovers. .

Bairn is freed, given the gun and his clothes back. He stumbles towards the Paulson street HQ, ostensibly. Merk and Burt stealthily follow. Bairn goes into a Clockwork repair shop. Merk pretends to study the prices outside, then goes in. Tools are along one wall, workspace fill the room. There is a middle age man in a leather apron present. Also, two thuggish brutes are playing a boardgame with stones in the corner over a barrel. There is a door leading deeper into the building. Merk plays off that he was looking for a watch, and is directed another 3 doors down. He leaves. A short while later a scrawny man leaves the shop, and speedily walks east. Merk and Burt follow. He travels to Captains Island, crosses through, and crosses a bridge to Anchor Island. Two large men in heavy armor guard the bridge.

Merk takes up a hidden position in a construction site. He snipes one of the guards off the side of the cliff with his rune shots. The other runs down the bridge, makes some hand signals, and runs back. Merk shoots him, and he takes up position behind some rocks, scanning for Merk. Merk leaves the construction, rejoins Burt, and they head back to Chasers Island and the rest of the party.

Later Afternoon:

Burt checks in on Chuck. He is getting quotes for ship repair. Lily takes a room at an upscale lodge. Hires Gronk to be her bodyguard. Merk replenishes his runeshot. Fang and Jade heads to the taverns, trying to spread his pirate shanties. He does a good job.

Next Morning:

An unaddressed letter is delivered by runner to Blythe. It says:

“If you want into my good graces, you will get rid of the Twin Bridge Blades in the Bridge’s Belly Tavern. Once they’re gone, we’re even. -K”

Blythe summons her crew back. They plan a to check out the Bridge’s Belly.

Noon:

In a dingy hovel built into the side of a cliff below the bridge, the party finds the Bridge’s Belly tavern. Fang and Jade approach, with Merk and Burt watching from a distance. A guard stands in front of the door, asks what brings Fang and Jade there. Fang shoots him in the head, killing him. Burt moves the body aside.

Fang and Jade walk in, get some chowder. Some drunk sailors are about, as well as some tattooed men, obviously gang members. Merk and Burt walk in, get some beer and shots. Fang challenges a gang member to a knife throwing contest.

When the man throws his two knives, Burt rolls an acid grenade at the two gang members at the table. Merk shoots the bartender in the head, killing him instantly. Fang draws his pistol, shooting his knife throwing opponent, grazing his shoulder. Jade puts an arrow through the head of a gang member by the door, spins around and shoots the knife throwing man in the chest.

They point weapons at the sailors present, convince them to leave peaceably. They take their drinks with them.

Fang steals some rum. Merk opens a trapdoor behind the bar, and observes kegs below. He also sees some work tables, with tools and bits of material (shavings, wire, etc). Merk closes the trapdoor, ties it shut, shoots out the keg stands to barricade it.

Stealing more alcohol, they leave, heading back to the inn. Fang declares ‘Free Booze’ to the folks outside.

Fang and Jade take a room next to Blythe. Blythe hires a doctor to treat her wounds, sends a message to the priests of Morrow about her Cryxian curse.

That evening:

Havershaws Folly, the site of the Firelight Jubilee, is destroyed in a massive blast, thousands die. The whole area is cordoned off, and glows green at night.

Fang visits the temple of Morrow, Merk checks on the crew to see who might still be alive. Burt and Merk hear many rumors, from asteroids to dragons to dark energies, to Khador attack.

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The Extraction
The island gives up some of its gains

Back aboard the ships, Siphon checks in with Spart, who has poisoned much of the food indiscriminately. Most of the crew is sick.

Fang goes to see Percy, who is sick in his bunk. He tells him that Fenntower fell fighting zombies. Offering his condolences, he takes his leave. He also checks on Jade and Leslie, who made it back to the ship and were in the process of checking the weapon stores for mechanica.

Meanwhile, Blythe seeks out Malik. ‘Informs’ him of the events in the same way as Fang. He tells her that 80% of the crew is sick, and that Tevelyn has secured himself in his room to avoid this ‘plague’. Fortunately, of the original pirate band, only Sarah and Jorm are sick.

Siphon and Fang distribute found mechanika amongst their crew.

Blythe and Fang go to talk to Tevelyn. Through the door, they inform him of the predicament.

Blythe, being the highest member of the social order and de facto admiral now, appoints herself as Capt of the Golden Edge, with Dirty Burt as first mate. the Black Dawn will be captained by Fang, with Siphon as the mate.

As the Black Dawns new officers row over, Siphon sees a large eye surface and re-submerge in the silty water. A massive thing, streching back towards the island breaks the surface. It is composed of thousands upon thousands of muscular leech-like strands. A massive eye is pushed up on a stalk, surveying the ships. It belches forth a spray of acid all over the deck, melting some of the crew outright and horribly burning others. Jade lets loose with exploding arrows, Burt with harpoons and explosives, and Fang with grenades and swivel gun. Siphon commandeers a longboat, and has some of the crew row out to the beast. Stepping upon it, he hacks at the eye stalk. Blythe gets a crate of grenades from below. The Black Dawn fires many shots with her deck guns, but the beast heaves itself up out of the water and sticks itself to the side of Golden Edge. Another spray of acid washes through the gun deck.

Tevelyn, in his gas mask, emerges from his room to call down lightning. The beast tries to pull the ship down into the water, making it very hard to stand. Tevelyn dislocates his shoulder trying to stabilize himself on mast.

Siphon succeeds in hacking down the eye stalk, and the beast shudders. The stalk collapses down on him, pinning him amongst the leech-like tendrils. The crewmen quickly free him, but he is much the worse for wear.

Josephus organizes repair party for the Golden Edge, taking pains not to get the leaking silty water on them.

Early Evening: The rumbling subsides, but the monster is still twitching. Blythe orders it unstuck from the Golden Edge, but it takes hours to get the sticky thing detached completely.

A new away party is formed to return to the now partially sunken island. Blythe, Burt, Fang, Siphon Jade, Sasha, and 5 other crew row back. Blythe is careful to leave sympathetic, piratical crew in charge of Golden Edge.

The island is tilted, and the beach landing is submerged, but they find the trail head. Hands tap the underside of their boats as they approach. Quickly disembarking, they head up the trail, only to be pursued by more of the horrible undead things. Siphon, with a mighty swing, explodes one into Blythe. The undead rip into Siphon, but the crew riddle them with bullets, Jade finishing them off.

Night: They reach the cave once again. Restarting their fire pit outside, Siphon leaps upon the opportunity to take a nap while Jade keeps watch. The rest go in. Approaching the maw and re-engaging their now tilted crane rig, they lower a torch, then lower Fang. He sees froth in the water, and broken up rafts. He straddles one, and collects others in order to make something close to seaworthy. Burt goes down next and helps reconstitute a raft. Blythe comes down with some makeshift paddles.4 other crew come down, and they all paddle to the ship. They find it partially above water now.

Searching through the bow, they go below and into the crews quarters. Skeletons rest in hammocks, while others stand listlessly against supports. Attacking, many are crushed before they have a chance to retaliate. A green mist begins to collect and seep through the floor, and a spectral being, unseen, enters Burt. Possessed, Burt fires upon his own crew, killing two, and seriously injuring Fang, setting him on fire. Twice. Fang purges the ghost by slamming his blessed mace into Burt’s head repeatedly.

A deep, grating sound is heard in the depths of the ship, and a giant black metal hand punches up through the floor. Fang and Burt fire upon it, slowly retreating up the stairs. A wide helljack, green light shining from its necrotite chambers, lumbers after them, but is slowed down by the concentrated fire. Retreating to the raft, the party paddles away, Burt managing to finish off the helljack from a distance.

All survivors manage to retreat back to the rope, and return to the top of the cave.

Huddling in the cave, a fire burning outside, they rest the night. The watch hears heavy rustling in the jungles, and sees flashes of green light from the maw irregularly.

Morning: A new rigging is put in place above the maw. Burt is lowered down with a flare. The waters are still and calm. Jade, Siphon, and a Trollkin crewman are left up top. Blythe, Burt, Fang, Sasha, and one other crew descend once more.

They return to the raft, and paddle to ship. Returning to the deck, the ruptured helljack has spilled necrotite and containment fluid across the planking. Resuming the search, they go into the lower aft, finding the officers mess and chambers. Broken windows and shifted furniture litter the areas. It is decided that they should re-enter the aft-castle.

A crewman stays on deck to watch the rafts, and Sasha watches the hall. The rest of the party re-enters the captains rooms to fill bags with treasure. The bodies begin to twitch, and Fang and Burt take to smashing them.

Green flashes of light appear outside, and mist roils on the water. Sasha and Blythe look out onto the deck, they unnaturally sense other ships, storms, and something otherworldy outside, as if they were in the midst of a great battle in a storm, but the ship is physically as it was, calm and decrepit. Blythe hurriedly delivers more treasure to the deck in bags.

She sees fog rolling in and hears a storm. Across the deck, she sees a massive creatures shadow. Returning to the cabins, she encounters Fang, who has found a box matching the description that Geoffrey had given. Opening the box, they find the cylinder containing a strange apparatus. The center glows, and support braces extend its length. Wire of some unknown material stretches from the center to disks layered at the extreme ends. Burt tries to pick it up, but it is very, very cold. He puts it back in the box.

Suddenly, Sasha runs back into the hall and slams the door in a panic. Burt goes to check it out, and sees a ghostly melee on the deck, and giant fangs attacking from the shadows. He retreats back inside. Fang keeps filling bags and notices fog rolling in through the windows. It grows thick and cold, and is difficult to see through, though green flashes of light irregularly illuminate the surroundings.

Blythe thinks perhaps the thing in Geoffrey’s box. Fang smashes it with the blessed mace, and it erupts in a sickly green explosion. It washes into the hall to hit Burt and Sasha as well. They feel a deep, tingling burn that goes to the bone (Sasha and Burt to a lesser extent). It lingers afterwards.

Grabbing what they can, the party heads out onto the deck, assailed by shadows as they go. Blythe sees Alexander, the man, fighting something horrible and unseen on the deck. Alexander sees Blythe and attacks. Burt shoots him with a mechanikal pistol and sets him on fire. He is overcome by whatever shadowy foes he was contending with in the mists.

Throwing the treasure onto the raft, they try to escape as quickly as they can. A burst of otherwordly cannon fire decapitates Sasha.

At the rope, no signals are returned from the top. Fang and Burt climb, and find the tunnel filled with fog, and Jade, Siphon, and the Trollkin outside. Blythe ties on the treasure, and it is hoisted up. The rope is lowered again, and Blythe manages to find it in the fog. She is hoisted up, too. The fog addles her mind, but she resists her mental inclination to cut the rope.

Fighting back down the trail, they reach the longboats and row back to the Black Dawn.

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