Voyages of The Black Dawn

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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Of Beasts and Betrayals
Pirate's nature revealed

Evening:

The party sends Jade, Mr. Miss Leslie, and 1 crewman go back to the ships to retrieve magical weapons. Siphon is lowered back down to look for Gronk. Miraculously, Gronk is clinging to a log in the darkness. The undead mill nearby, in the water, and on what remains fo the rafts that have drifted. Carefully and quietly, Siphon retrieves Gronk and pulls him up.

Meanwhile, Blythe questions Islington on his faith, flirtatiously. It is well received.

Siphon is re-harnessed, and takes Fangs last grenade. He fastens a gem from the treasure trove from Burt, who has noticed they are glowing, to a rope. Being lowered once again, Siphon lures all the remaining raft skeletons into the water. He notices bubbles appearing, and a green mist now clings to the water. Something large moves in the water. He is hoisted back up.

They wait and observe, and feel a tremor in the ground. The party pulls the crane assembly back from the edge. They send the jacks to build a fire at the mouth of the cave. Blythe keeps watch over the edge. Far below in the murky blackness, she sees giant eye emerge.

The jacks are sent to drill into the rock ledge and drop stone onto the eye. The Earth starts to shake.

Charges are set off to collapse the edge, and the earthquake jumps in magnitude. The party starts tactically retreating towards the longboats. Blythe sees green mist coming from the cave. Siphon sees some of Jades arrows stuck in a tree.

Onward, they see blood on the trail, and paths away. They find the body of the crewmember sent with Jade, disemboweled. Siphon sets him on fire.

Pushing on to the landing, it is swarming with undead. They attack, cleaving through the zombies. Taking advantage of the confusion, the pirates also kill Fenntower, Islington, and Kensington. Fang, Gronk, Dick, 2 wounded crew in one boat flee in one boat. Burt, Siphon and Blythe in the next. 1 jack marshall is left marooned on the island.

As the island sinks, the party madly paddles for the ships.

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To the Sinking Island
The discovery of Capt Alexanders treasure, and the Captain himself.

Afternoon:

The fallen crew are burned on a pyre.

The party brings the columns back to the top of the hill and finds their appropriate bases in the ground. Aligning a torch with the columns as prescribed in the map, they take a bearing to an island. Siphon discerns that the landmass does not match that described on the map, and Fang determines that the island is sinking.

The party begins the trudge back to the beach. That night, they take shelter under the roots of a large tree against a hill. The clicking sound in the trees is noticeable. Dirty Burt realizes the medallion he’s wearing feels colder. When he takes it off, the clicking seems harsher, and closer. It mutes again when he puts it back on. The gems set in it glow on and off. Blythe convinces him to keep wearing it. The sprites do not attack that evening.

Also that night, Gronk expresses his feeling that the ax he’s carrying is not good. He is disturbed by the glow. It keeps him up that night.

In the morning:

The party returns to beach, load onto longboats and return to the ships.

Spart has fed silt rat leg to a crewman of the Golden Edge, William. He’s had a stomach ache and diarrhea for the last day. The rat seems not to have sensation where he’s covered with silt.

The arty sets sail to the next island. It will take a little of a day and a half to reach.

Evening:

Blythe holds party to celebrate first accomplishments.

Spart is tasked with finding a way to clean silt.

Arriving at the island:

Blythe convinces Fenntower to bring along the Golden Edges cook, and also instructs Spart to poison its crew crew while they are away.

Shambling humans are observed on shore. Lily fires canister, then flaming shot at the island, starting a large fire. They sail around the island, and spy a cave high on a mountain that is their destination.

Evening:

A good spot is determined to establish a beachhead, and a similar landing party as done before departs. It includes Fenntower, Islington, and Kensington, the officer crew of black dawn minus Chuck, and also Gronk, Miss Mister Leslie, and Seasick Dick. William, the Golden Edge cook, also goes along. 12 misc crew members assist. They send jacks to clear the landing, and erect barricades. Camping down for the night, William cooks a good dinner.

On watch, Siphon queries Lily about her intentions. Specifics are beat around, but they seem to be of similar mind. They observe Tevelyn working on the ships from the shore.

That night, they are set upon by some of the shamblers previously seen. Some of the crew are disemboweled and partially eaten. Blythe bravely leads the party in fending them off.

Morning:

The party cuts through the jungle to the cave mouth in the side of the mountain. The cave mouth is overgrown, and Fenntower cuts the way in. Inside they progress down a tunnel until they come to a large hole. It spans the tunnel, with perhaps a 20 foot gap to the other side. Sharp rock extensions jut out over the hole. Siphon drops in a torch, and it falls a considerable distance before being extinguished in water below.

Fenntower rigs a crane, with a pulley system and the jacks. Siphon is put into a harness, with a torch and sword. Fang ties himself onto the rope with a gun in one hand. They are haltingly lowered down by the jacks. It is nearly 200 feet down, and the blackness around them is oppressive. At the bottom, Fang dives into the water. Something very large swims close by. Siphon pulls Fang up quickly with a rope. They attempt to swing to discern a shore, but none is seen. The scaffold creaks and the rope scraps along the rocks. Dirty Burt warns them not to do that. They ascend.

Jacks are sent to fell trees for a raft. Fang organizes raft making.

The rope rig is reengaged, and Jade is lowered with a keg of oil to spread on the water and light to hopefully see better. Others use spyglasses from the top, but neither they nor Jade can discern anything but water.

Siphon spies flotsam in the water at the edge of the light. Jade is pulled back up.

Mid afternoon:

Rafts (3x 10×12) are completed and lowered in. Siphon and Burt go with the first raft. Lily and Gronk with the second, Kensington and 1 crew with the third.

Islington, Jade, and Fang, go down once the rafts are in place. They row towards flotsam. It is part of a sail and rigging. Following it, they find a sunken ship with its masts still extending above the water. Blythe climbs the mast, and recovers its flag. It is the flag of Alexanders ship, The Adventure. They plumb the depths from the ship, out to the edge of the cavern. It is determined that the ship is sitting in about 60 feet of water. Returning to the rope, some alchemical flares are acquired. The flag is also shown to Fenntower. He is very excited by the find, but try as they might to convince him to go down, he’s too scared of heights. The alchemical flares secured, the party ditch their heavy armor, and prepare for some diving.

Arriving back at the wreck, Burt is the first to dive the wreck with a line. There is a mass of rope and sail floating, but he reaches the deck, and explores some of the below-decks. Bodies are everywhere. The stores are rotten and decayed. Upon his assent, something large disturbs the rigging, and Burt hurries to get back on the raft.

Burt and Jade dive, and explore the aft cabins. They discover a hanging corpse in one of the officers quarters. In the captains cabin, more bodies sit around a long table covered with coins, gems, and other valuables. Burt and Jade retrieve some gems, but as they do the corpse of Capt Alexander suddenly moves to stop them. They flee the cabin, with the rest of the crew awakening and trying to catch them. They manage to get back up to the rafts, but the undead crew are right behind them.

The line is cut and the party begins paddling away, but they are pursued by ghosts and skeletal crew. They seem to be able to progress with a decent speed through the water. The ghost lets out a wail, causing great distress, and one of the crewmen begins to bleed from every orifice on his head. Islington produces a symbol of Morrow from his pocket and holds the ghost off, until Burt dispatches it with his mechanikal pistol. The skeletons are held off the rafts long enough to make it to the rope.

Lily tries to rig raft for lifting, but the skeletons are too close behind. Everyone begins climbing. Kensington carries the crewman wounded by the ghost. Islington is the last one up, and cuts the rope behind him as skeletons start to climb after. In the ascent, Gronk falls, his scream being abruptly cut off by the water.

The rest make it back to the tunnel above.

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Treasure Hunt
Blythe and Fenntower on the hunt for Capt. Alexanders treasure

At sea:

In the first days at sea, Fang tries to ingratiate himself with the first mate, Hector Islington, and also tries his charms on Jade. Dirty Burt associates with Big Johnny Kensington, the quartermaster of the Golden Edge. Meanwhile, Blythe keeps tabs on Fenntower and Geron. The crew of the Black Dawn try to convert the rest of the crew to piracy.

12 days in, the armada encounters The Tried Hand, due in Mercir 3 months ago. They close the distance to get a look, but see no activity, and sail away. There are more pressing concerns.

The battle at the narrows:

Arriving at the narrows, the current is too strong to pass. James Tevelyn uses his stormcaller technology to conjure a storm to counter currents. Halfway through, a massive tentacled beast is seen slipping from a cliff side cave into the water. It attacks the Golden Edge. In the fight, many crew are killed, and the ship slams into the cliff, damaging the bow. Tevelyn is knocked off his feat, but his lightning keeps the tentacles at bay.

The Black Dawn stands off, taking shots of opportunity. Initially they continue on, but when the ship veers, they return to help. Fenntower is grappled by tentacles, but freed by Siphon and Geron. Clearing their way to the front, Geron is grappled and Dirty Burt shoots him many times.

The beasts long, think, long toothed head comes over the bow, and snatches up some crew. Fenntower retreats below, but returns with Alexi Kolska, one of the mechanics, and his Freebooter. Charging across the deck, the Freebooter grapples the head and nearly crushes it. Siphon finishes off the beast.

Geron, cut, crushed, and punctured, bleeds out while Fenntower and Siphon try to save him.

The Black Dawn tows the Golden Edge out of the narrows. The dead are buried at sea in a sorrowful ceremony. A full ⅕ of the crew are dead or incapacitated.

Islington takes over command of the Golden Edge.

The Archipelago:

After 2 more days of sailing, they pass from the pleasant sea into silty cryx water. It seems to coat anything it touches. Setting up an experiment, they fetch some up in a bucket and dunk in a rat. The silt sticks, and they cage the rat for observation. Swimming is hereafter banned.

Consulting the map, the first marker island is located, and they land in the western inlet. Gear is brought ashore in longboats.

Fenntower, Islington, and Kensington go, along with the officer crew of the Black Dawn except Wolfshead Chuck. He stays behind to keep control of the ships. Gronk, Hank the Hatchet, and Miss Mister Leslie also go along.

The sand beach is sticky with the silt, and the jungle trees are sickly green and purple. There are flinty, sharp rocks everywhere. Using light jacks outfitted with chainsaws, a trail is cut through the thick jungle. The party hears clicking in the distance. Fang identifies the source of the sound: a spirit known to be able to explode a mans heart out of his chest.

Arriving at a ravine, they find a broken rope bridge. Only one cable still spans the distance, and so Jade climbs across with another line. A new cable is brought taught, and the bridge is carefully crossed. It is too rickety for the jacks, so they are left behind.

It is slower going without the saws, but the party makes headway. They pass by a tree with noose remains in its branches, and bones at its root. Jade identifies that some of these bones have been moved… or perhaps got up and moved themselves. The party presses on.

That evening:

Siphon identifies a defensible area to camp amidst some rocks. The party pitches camp. In the middle of the night, those on watch hear the clicking again, and see pinpoints of a green glow in the trees. One of the watchers chest blows apart. Siphon discovers that this cause is not directly magical as the stories say, but is the result of a mass of boney spikes being hurled at great speed. He finds some of these embedded in a tree.

Jade manages to sneak into the jungle and come up behind some of the “spirits”. They look like stretched skulls, with small arms and legs with too many joints. They skitter through the trees, and project the boney spikes from their mouths.

There are many of these creatures, and the party shoots at them from cover in their camp, while Jade continues to flank them. Siphon and Blythe are hit by spikes, horribly wounding them. The wounds fester. Blythe pushes through, but Siphon becomes feverish and ragged.

Morning:

The party travels through the jungle to the top of the sighting hill marked on the map. They find a field of bones, and spots for three columns. 2 of the columns have been dragged off. Siphon is too weak to continue, so he remains on the hill with some crew and gear. The rest follow Jade as she tracks the columns. The trail leads to a cave. Entering, they descend through a dugout tunnel at first, but break through to a worked stone passage. The stone is black, and carved with designs. An hour of travel in, they arrive at the heart of the hill. There is a ramp leading down into a large room filled with a green glow, corpses litter the floor. Some are shambling about. Lily shots one from the top to the ramp.

Entering the room, they see it is circular, with niches cut in the walls. There is a high dais surrounded by a cleft filled with bones. On the dais in the middle of the room, an undead pirate challenges the party. Lily tries to identify herself as ‘The Corpse Master’, but that only fuels his rage. He orders his minions to attack.

The pirate descends from the dais, and cuts into the party, literally bisecting some of the crew with mighty blows. As he does, shades of their former selves seem to hang in the air, only to be sucked into the ax. DIrty Burt expends round after round into the minions that just won’t stay down. Blythe cuts a wide swath, and engages the undead master.

Landing blows that should fell mortal men, the master seems to be able to deflect harm to his minions. As he is attacked, the minions around him shrivel. Finally, the onslaught is too much, his minions are destroyed, and Lily cleaves his head off with Fang and Gronks help.

The undead vanquished, and the wounded tended to, the party searches the room. Down in the cleft, amongst the bones, Fang spies the two missing columns. He is lowered in, and, crunching through the dry bones, hoists them out.

Dirty Burt climbs the stairs to the dais, and finds a throne of bones. He retrieves a jeweled gold pendant hanging on it, along with other treasures.

The party makes their way back to the mouth of the cave.

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Mercir to sailing with Fenntower

Limping into Mercir harbor, the crew is glad to get some time on shore. Merc Sharr calls his contract finished. Having heard rumors of his mentor, he leaves to find him.

Fang uses family connections to secure lodging; a fine villa. His fathers credit will sustain the party while in town. Who knows what will happen when he finds out?

Lily arranges for ship repairs, and Irving scopes out Hamm Fenntower: A collector of pirate artifacts and the holder of Capt Alexander’s map. He learns his movements and habits.

Lily sends a letter to Fenntower under her cover identity, expressing interest in the map. Sends gift of pastry. She would like to arrange meeting.

Percy Trundel, Fenntower’s agent, sends back word that he will meet at her leisure. Lily sends back a meeting time at the Brass Hollow, an upscale tavern. They make a good impression, and present themselves as buyers or partners on an expedition.

Irving tails Trundel home.

Fenntower agrees to meet with the party, and on arriving at his villa he personally escorts them to his gallery. He has been collecting for years, and has many ship parts, bric a brac, weaponry, and nautical mechanika on display. The party notes the heavy guard.

Puzzling over the strange markings on the map, it is determined that the hashes can be seen to be rhulic letters with the application of a polished cylinder placed in key locations. Fenntower is overjoyed, and invites the party on an expedition that he’s been holding ready for just such a breakthrough.

Fenntower has retained Miles Geron, a former Cygnaran marine, to captain the Golden Edge to retrieve the treasure. The party gears up, makes ready, and the small armada sets sail.

Irving shoots a razorbat king

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From The Docks to Mercir

Blythe and crew decide to sail for Mercir, to acquire the treasure map of the late pirate Capt. Alexander. Dirty Burt charts a course following the Cygnaran coast.

The crew avoids contact with Cygnaran ships, disguises the Black Dawn as Blythe’s Llaelese cover identities private ship, the Adelina Di Rovisto.

Off of Sandbotom Point, a fierce storm comes upon them. The winds seem to shift to draw them in, and, try as they might, the cannot tack out of it. Through the wind and the rain, they catch sight of something burning, but they continue to try and break free.

The cause of the storm is soon revealed to be the Satyxis blackship Hellkite. Emerging though the storm with full wind in its sails, the Hellkite rams the Adelina and drops heavy iron spikes into her deck. The Satyxis swarm the deck, led by the Capt, Meira Brinebight.

Lily and Fang rally their crew, and hold the deck. Edith is harpooned and carried off by black ogrun, no doubt to fuel the Satyxis vile blood magic. Dirty Burt and Merc make the deck slick, and Brinebight is felled and washed overboard. Many of the Adelina’s own crew are wounded. The Hellkite’s crew is pushed back, and they try and disengage with a barrage. Spart organizes return fire from below, and both ships are heavily damaged.

Merc snipes out key rigging from the Hellkite, but it still manages to pull away and open water between them. The Hellkite and the remnants of it’s crew escape.

Lily and crew push out of the storm, and limp around the point. They encounter the Cygnaran privateer Evening Sentinel and Capt. Barry Yornel. They send them after the Hellkite, and sail into Mercir harbor.

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The Voyages of the Black Dawn
Pirates of the Meredius

Sailing from the Ordic port of Five Fingers, The Black Dawn captained by Lily Blythe has recently acquired a new mate, Barlo Fang. The crew have been impressed with Capt. Blythe, and she has made a name for herself and ship since becoming active in the last few years. This outing is off to a fine start, with multiple merchant vessels being raided.

DATE: Skiggs are discovered aboard ship, and a fierce, but careful battle ensues. The beasts have a taste of gunpowder, and consuming it makes them highly volatile. One blows up on deck, and the rest are knocked out and thrown overboard. Powder stores are depleted, but the voyage continues.

DATE: A merchant carrock, The Lady Hannah, is spotted. Coming upon her by night, a boarding party takes the crew by surprise. A pitched battle ensues, with the boarders fighting the crew and guards for control of the decks. Blythe cuts through swaths of them with a show of expert swordsmanship,Merc Sharr blows the crew in the riggings away with his runeshot, and Fang pushes forward with the crew.

Bairn Cammol, a hired gun for the Hannah arrives on deck, and is challenged to a duel with Sharr. Two experts, the fight is fast and bloody, and just when it looks like Cammol will end Sharr, Fang shoots him in the back of the head.

The crew of the Black Dawn secure the ship. Gronk takes a particularly powerful blast from a scattergun in the Captains quarters, and Capt. Havar is taken hostage. Some of the crew decides to join Blythes company, others refuse and are marooned. Sharr attempts to poison the rations they leave them.

DATE: The fleet sails for The Docks to offload their cargo and sell the Hannah. Making contact with Gond the Korune, he negotiates a price that includes repairs to the Black Dawn, and a night with Capt. Blythe. Blythe discovers that Ogrun are not so easy to please.

The party also takes in a number of rumors, including that there is a treasure map being held by an aristocrat in Mercir, and that there is a substantial bounty on the head of an old rival.

The party decides to spend some of thier loot upgrading the arms and sails of the Black Dawn, and spend a week in port. Gond is retained to hold some of the loot. The night before they sail, the party is out at a fighting match, when Fang returns to find their ship being robbed. He bravely tries to take the ship himself, but is quickly mobbed. He dives into the water to escape the thugs.

The rest of the party is only a little ways behind, and hurries to the mooring. There they find the thieving pirates being led by a broad Ogrun, and being assisted by an Ordic seafarer laborjack. Sharr and Dirty Burt fire upon the intruders, while Blythe and Fang hold the gangway. Thanks to Sharr repeatedly blowing the enemies into the water, the thieves are soon riddled with bullets and cuts. Fang is laid low by the pugilist, but recovers. The party finds some of their crew dead or incapacitated, but no cargo missing.

Having identified the ship the culprits came from, Spart preps a hogshead bomb, and Dirty Burt swims out to place it by their ship, The Jolly Jester. Making sail (leaving Pete the cabin boy behind as well as a number of other crew), the Black Dawn scrapes against the shoals, but detonates the charge as they sail by. A chain reaction hits the Jester’s powder hold, destroying the ship utterly.

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