First Session (17 page pdf) – “Reavers of the Coast” – The group decides to embrace their piracy and raid the little Chelish logging town of Hollobrae. But can they live with the results?
Warning, adult content.
In the first session of Season Three the Reavers get on the road – well, the open ocean – and want to raid a town. OK, I think. Every adventure module ever wastes 10 pages of its limited space on “here’s another shitty little starting town” so I pulled some old third party modules I’m unlikely to use as written, pop one open, oh look it’s the logging town of Hollobrae. It’s from an old Fiery Dragon module called “The Silver Summoning.” Little crap town, VIPs in town for an elf-human wedding. I plunk it down in Cheliax and we’re ready to go. Cleverly, they send in a scouting party first, who figures out what’s up and gets Lavender Lil invited to be the entertainment at the bachelor party.
They devise a careful multi-pronged assault plan on the town that starts to go awry immediately. Turns out there’s a sorceress in the inn who Glitterdusts the pirates (after they murder her uncle the bartender), this makes the fight with the locals and bachelors harder than they planned. The inn and people there were largely detailed in the Silver Summoning adventure and so it added a nice layer of realism and complexity to the NPC interaction. There were lots of great little moments, especially because they took the crewmen they know the best with them. Sevgi went upstairs and had a real round by round knock-down-drag-out with a bachelor that reminded us of the knife fight in Saving Private Ryan. Then in an anticlimactic moment, they met Martino Marcellano, a Chelish noble who used to own Bel, Sevgi, and the ex-slave members of the crew! He’s a hotshot duelist but Wogan blinded him and Sindawe beat him unconscious with no opposition. Dang it.
Then Wogan and Sindawe got to the “bachelor party room” – it was funny, they peek through the keyhole, see a sick orgy with Lil, Tommy, Seyanna the succubus (allegedly back in Riddleport) and some rakes. By the time they gather Serpent and bust in there’s no succubus but everyone is dead except Lil and Tommy. He claims “poison.” Wogan really did investigate the keyhole after to make sure it was “reading right.”
They head out, loot, and as the ship bombards the town they leave, taking the sorceress from the inn and Marcellano. The group that hit the armory decided to go out on their own initiative and kidnapped a bunch of elf women from the bride’s party!
One of the things I like to do in evil campaigns is to test the PCs. See what their limits are. As they fought off a couple devils from the local church of Asmodeus’ quick response team, Serpent actually tried to free as many of the women as he could in the confusion – three of the five thankfully got away as a result. (Marcellano escaped on his own recognizance to torment them later.) None of the three pirate command staff were in favor of taking the women really, but Sindawe didn’t want the morale complications from saying no and Wogan’s a pretty “go with the flow” kind of guy. Serpent was willing to help them escape but once they were at sea with the last two he didn’t stick up for them.
Then we have the moral interaction play itself out. Sindawe didn’t see a way out of letting the agitated crew auction for the elf women (Nariel and Natulcien). Morale and mutiny is a real thing, so he didn’t do the ethical thing but it was probably the practical thing. So Bojask the half-orc rapist gets one, and Tommy and Lil get one (actually they bid for her out of compassion, to keep her relatively safe – don’t tell anyone; a couple of the other pirates did too – Little Mike is a nice guy at heart). Similarly, Samaritha saves Daphne the sorceress’ life by promising to keep her Dominated – she is forced to sign the Articles by Sindawe in exchange for this “favor” though. The rest of the time is trying to ignore the screaming. (Yes, I laid it on thick to try to generate guilt.) Captive women on a ship, pirates… You know that this is going to cause a lot of turmoil going forward. And stay tuned, it does! No bad deed goes unpunished in the long run. It’s hard to blaze a path between “pirate” and “psycho dirtbag” especially when you have a large group that’s a mix of those, and that’s part of what we’re exploring in this campaign.