Eighth Session (13 page pdf) – “Treachery Island” – One of their new recruits suckers the Teeth of Araska into a nasty ambush! After a bumper crop of burials at sea, they go make friends with a Nisrochi necromancer in order to get traveling papers in-country.
Well, the island cove ex-Captain Sempronia lures the ship to as “a good place to repair” has an “interesting magical obelisk” on it! This calls for a landing party, which is promptly attacked by Sempronia as her men, who have been laid up here on the island, board and try to take the Araska. She doesn’t want to be an ex-Captain any longer and wants their ship!
Sindawe knocks her out with a flurry of blows.
Serpent asks, “What do we do with her?”
Sindawe says, “Kill her.”
Wogan pulls off her helmet, presses a pistol to her temple and shoots (34pts).
Sindawe snatches up her glaive and runs for the ship, followed closely by Hatshepsut.
Wogan tells Serpent, “We should have hired that other guy over her.”
Serpent replies, “What other guy?”
I LOL’ed. Apparently the whole big scuffle with Duke Ron that Serpent took so poorly was promptly forgotten. Luckily with this party we can just chalk it up to the booze (in-character, naturally).
Bonus Game Content: Character sheets for Sempronia, her privateers, and Duke Ron and Kitty the Cantankerous, since they were in the same Hero Lab portfolio!
The privateers had a plant on board the Araska, who did some careful door-jamming prior to the action so as they board they swiftly overpower the crew. The ToA crew rallies a bit and holds them back till the PCs manage to fly/run/dimension door back to the ship from the island and then the murder level escalates.
Once they repel the boarders the butcher’s bill is high – 23 dead or wounded; rapid clerical help takes that to 5 dead. That’s the most losses they’ve ever taken at once, and it’s quite sobering. A little time under the lash has the couple surviving prisoners reveal that Cannonball Jack and Kent the Rusty Butter Cutter (he had claimed no nickname at his interview) were from their crew, and secured a bunch of hatches to make the takeover easy. Kent died in the fight and his corpse is hung from the yardarm but they decide to give Jack a pass because Samaritha dominated him and claimed he didn’t take part in the mutiny. True, or is she going soft? We’ll see.
Then they reach the borders of shadow-haunted Nidal. If you’re not familiar with it – it’s a whole dark magic Hellraiser-infested shithole of a country.
Luckily they know a necromancer from Nidal – they had previously fought an angry whale while at sea, then later faced that same whale as an angry undead whale, and then had been visited by the necromancer’s homunculus with a market research survey asking about how terrifying the resulting creature was on a scale from one to ten. Ever ones to make friends, they got his deets to look him up if they ever came this way.
They deal with Thartane the necromancer, who has a keen sense of necro-style. He briefs them and can get them some travel papers (Nisroch is all super “let me see your papers” Nazi style). But he wants something to experiment on. Here’s how that conversation went, which pleased me no end.
As a research oriented necromancer, he polls the PCs to come up with his target lifeform…
“So now for my part. Each of you, describe to me the most disturbing part of the worst creatures you’ve encountered. What is truly horrifying? I want to take something that fits that description and turn it undead to see if it’s even more effective.”
“Tentacles! I hate tentacles. They drag me down, down…” says Sindawe, with a far-away look. “And being ripped apart by undead tigers.”
Wogan shudders. “Those slimy, three-eyed aboleths, I can’t stand their eyes.”
“Being raped into having chlamydia. And secretions.” Serpent shrugs off the concerned glances of his crewmates.
Thartane muses over his market research. “Something slimy, with three eyes, tentacles, and rapes you into having chlamydia while it tears you apart. Hmm. I can take care of the undead part myself of course…”
“Sounds like a froghemoth,” says Serpent idly.
“A froghemoth!” Thartane brightens. “Brilliant! Yes, bring me one of those. I think some can be found in the northern swamps of Nidal. I need it alive, of course.”
The command staff’s feet grow cold quickly. “Can’t we bring you a baby one? How about an otyugh, they’re kind of like that…” Everyone hems and haws about the difficulty of the task.
“Oh nonsense, you’ll do fine.”
I was laughing my balls off, it was very much like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man scene from Ghostbusters with Serpent as Dan Aykroyd.
With an accord reached, they head to the capital of Nidal…
“To Nisroch!” declares Captain Sindawe.
“Those are reasonably common last words, just for your information,” notes Mase Venjum.