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.
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.