50 Fathoms Actual Play

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#41 Postby GruffaloCrumble » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:15 pm

50 Fathoms (3)
Session Three / Part Two (25/10/2012)

While Clifton haggles and Peggy stands accused of espionage, Nuru scours Kaja in the hopes of meeting any other Doreen that have found their way into these frigid, northern climes. He chances upon a kinsman (a grim fellow, missing several fingers to frostbite) in the Blue Badger Inn. Nuru's new friend warns him that there is a group of Kehana pirates in town, trying there hand/fin at whaling. It's not long before the two Doreen are premeditating murder.

Since the crew collectively know bugger all about hunting blue bears, Captain Barf leads them into a disreputable side of town, frequented by the rugged, dangerous folk that make their living out on the icy wasteland beyond Kaja. In the smoky common room of a delightfully ramshackle tavern (called The Frigid Bitch), the hook-handed Grael bartender lectures the crew on the issue of greedy Masaquani merchants driving the indigenous blue bears ever closer to extinction! While the Grael rely on the beasts for sustenance, they have always been careful not to over-hunt, a concern that the Masaquani do not share. Realising how deeply the Grael detest the merchants squatting along the fringes of their Arctic realm, Peggy incites the natives to riot, forging their anger into a blade with which to sever the Masaquani death-grip on the profitable fur trade. A mob of outraged Grael trappers march on Kaja, dragging the Masaquani from their homes and driving them into the Cold Sea.

The tide of angry Grael breaks against the formidable gates of Marcel Maleck's (merchant prince governing the Kieran Empire's interests on Arfk) fortified compound, where a small army of mercenaries hold the horde at bay. The guards are content to hide behind the merchant's strong walls and take pot shots into the crowd. Their smug expressions slip somewhat when they recognise Captain Barf at the head of the mob.
Peggy urges the captain of the merchant's household guard to yield, before there is any further loss of life (and presumably, limb). Before he decide whether he values his own skin more than his master's gold, Kli Sailsong saunters up and shoots him in the face - which somewhat sours negotiations between the two groups. Captain Barf begins spinning his battle-ball around his fat head, it soon becomes apparent that he can no more control his own weapon than he can the colour of the sky. Increasingly dizzy/disorientated, the spinning Grael reels through the front wall of the merchant prince's opulent home, demolishing the lavishly furnished chambers beyond. The entire building groans as Captain Barf takes out several supporting walls, then collapses - burying the (somewhat nauseous) Grael beneath a mountain of rubble.

Wild eyed and frothing at the mouth (Pat took the Berserk edge as his most recent advance), Kli Sailsong pursues the few surviving sellswords into the darkened streets of Kaja - most of which is now on fire, as the Grael purge all traces of Masaquani decadence from their town.

Digging through the wreckage of the merchant prince's mansion, the crew pull Marcel Maleck from the rubble and threaten to break his fingers if he doesn't surrender the combination to his safe. It contains gold and valuable gems worth 10,000 pieces of eight! The sight of all that treasure overwhelms Captain Barf, the greedy Grael snatches the safe and runs off with it under one muscular arm. The crew watch him go in stupefied silence - all except Peggy, who played an Adventure Card in secret, to empty the contents of the safe into her own pockets mere moments before Captain Barf stole their prize out from under them.

Binding Maleck's wrists, the crew shepherd their wealthy hostage towards the harbour, pausing to rescue a hoard of blue bear furs from one of the merchant's burning warehouses. Burdened with plunder, the crew commandeer Maleck's ship (a frigate) and put Kaja to their rudder.

To be continued....

Meanwhile... Captain Barf realises that he's been mugged and swears bloody vengeance against the crew!

Meanwhile... Brock reaches Baltimus ahead of the Kieran fleet and is immediately recognised and apprehended by a group of Company redcoats. He manages to bite off one unfortunate man's ear, before they get a bag over his head and bundle him off. Brock now languishes in a cage suspended from the cliffs outside the city, to repent upon his crimes before his scheduled execution. From his lofty vantage point, Brock has an unrivalled view of the Kieran fleet, as the great forest of sails rises with the dawn over the eastern horizon....

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#42 Postby GruffaloCrumble » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:42 pm

50 Fathoms (3)
Session Four / Part One (01/11/2012)

Captain Thomas Clifton (Stew)
A stalwart officer of Her Majesty’s Navy, Thomas is possessed of a noble and valiant spirit. He is suffering a crisis of confidence after witnessing the nefarious depths to which his crewmates are prepared (nay, enthusiastic!) to sink in pursuit of plunder and personal glory.

Brock (Victor took over Charles' character, for this one session only)
Another Englishman, yet as different from Clifton as chalk is from cheese. Brock is a violent thug with the moral decency of a rabid animal, a gleeful pyromaniac and a compulsive hoarder of other people’s ears.

Nuru (Andy)
A lonely Doreen hunter, Nuru spends most of his time fishing from the prow and reflecting sadly on the inexorable decline of his race.
Horribly disfigured after outstaying his welcome aboard a ship that was about to blow up.

Kli Sailsong (Pat)
Kli is a ruthless Atani searover with a chip (more like a whole sack of potatoes) on his shoulder. His jealous love of plunder is rivalled only by his bitter hatred for all things Masaquani.
Recently incurred brain damage in a bar fight that got out of hand. Don't feel sorry for him - he bought it on himself.

Count Oolok (Hugh)
An eccentric Kraken aristocrat, Oolok was lured from his peaceful hermitage on the island of Brigandy by the promise of vengeance upon the Sea Hags, who bought the entire Kraken race to the very brink of extinction. He still mourns the untimely death of his good friend Taris (RIP).

Peg Leg Peggy (Mel)
A charismatic woman, whose voluptuous figure is only slightly blemished by her one wooden leg. She and Count Oolok go WAY back - and while the crew first encountered her in the Free Towns, she previously spent time in Brigandy Bay. This saucy sexpot has forgotten more of piracy and pillaging than most seadogs ever learn.

Frederico (Tony)
The latest addition to the crew is a foppish swashbuckler from England. He has an eye for the ladies - the other is hidden behind a eyepatch, which he only wears to appear rakish and exciting. A lover then, rather than a fighter, if only battles were won by the man wearing the most fashionable clothes, Frederico would be nigh on unstoppable!

Other Passengers, Prisoners and Crew
Thomas de’ Orinjo: a hot-headed Spanish elementalist, he lost one hand during the crew’s escape from a Kieran prison.
Equias: the ship’s mean-tempered Scurillian quartermaster.
Chin Wong Pen: Ancient Chinese herbalist.
Mei Pen: His daughter and sometime assistant.
Isaac Bones: undead, zombie pirate enjoying the comfort of the ship's brig.
Plus 5 salty seadogs (which is the polite way of saying generic NPC sailors).

Having hijacked The Cold Comfort, pride of Marcel Maleck's merchant fleet, Captain Clifton sails south, skirting the Whip Islands before veering west into the Pirate Sea. Manhandling their wealthy hostage below deck, the crew are surprised to find that the brig is already occupied by a rakish looking human, who appears completely at ease, despite his unfavourable circumstances. The charming stranger introduces himself as Frederico and explains (somewhat smugly) that he has been detained by Maleck's men after he rather audaciously managed to seduce the Masaquani merchant's beautiful wife AND innocent daughter - simultaneously! Despite their initial reservations, the crew cannot help but be impressed. They release Frederico and toss Marcel Maleck (the cuckolded husband) into his vacated cell.

After a week of uneventful sailing (no rolls on the Random Encounter Table, as Brock's player would have been left idle), the stolen frigate sails into Baltimus. During the voyage, Frederico zeroes in on Mei Pen like a penis-shaped torpedo and gradually begins to win her affection. Nuru is indifferent to the sudden competition for the girl's heart, there may have been a brief spark of attraction between himself and the herbalist's pretty daughter, but her interest in him waned abruptly after his face was burnt off. (Some women can be so shallow!)

Thanks to Count Oolok's ability to 'read' the underwater currents and direct Clifton to the swiftest, The Cold Comfort reach the Free Towns 24 hours ahead of the Kieran navy! Sailing passed the towering, white cliffs, Kli spots an old friend languishing in one of the claustrophobic cages suspended dizzyingly high above the jagged rocks at the base of the craggy escarpment. Brock waves cheerfully back from the confines of his dangling prison. Evidently the British East-India Company did not heed the warning penned by Prince Alain, before his ill-fated dip in the Flotsam Sea.
Despite some of the crew believing that a cage is the best place for Brock, they resolve to break the brute out, preferably before the Kieran fleet blockades the harbour. Since the majority of the crew are still wanted fugitives in the Free Towns, they send Frederico into the city alone. As the fashionable fellow is ferried to shore, a second boat laden with Masaquani officials is rowed out to the party's ship....

Flanked by a pair of Company redcoats, the Harbour Master requests to come aboard The Cold Comfort and document her cargo. After some muttering on deck, the crew consent. One of the marines accompanies the petty bureaucrat, the second stays with their little boat. While Clifton struggles to fabricate plausible answers to the officious little man's endless stream of questions, Nuru discretely slips over the other side of the ship. While the lone sentry flirts with Peggy, the sneaky Doreen erupts from the water and drags him below the gently lapping waves, holding him tight as a lover until his futile struggles cease. At the same moment, Kli Sailsong buries a dagger in the second redcoat's neck, spraying the horrified harbour official with gore. Before he can cry out, Count Oolok impales the unfortunate man on the business end of his bone sword. (I am seriously considering making all my players take Bloodthirsty as a new hindrance! He was just doing his job! And it gets worse....)
Nuru hauls the drowned body of the first redcoat aboard and the crew strip the two dead marines down to their skivvies. While Thomas Clifton and Peggy change into the uniforms of the East-India Company, Kli Sailsong begins chopping up the corpses with an expression of psychotic delight. He takes pains to do this in sight of Marcel Maleck's cell (the bastard).

While the deranged Atani bestows the butchered remains upon the inhabitants of the harbour, Frederico is shopping for a new hat - and not just any old hat! The biggest, most garish, most extravagant hat that money can buy! With feathers and everything! The obsequious shopkeeper also cajoles Frederico into purchasing a matching cape. Before leaving the bazaar, the flamboyantly-dressed Englishman also acquires a sack of rotting vegetable matter, with which to pelt the other prisoners, so as not to arouse the suspicion of Brock's jailers.
When Frederico arrives, Brock has been moved from his cages to the stocks, where a crowd has gathered to hurl abuse - amongst other, less palatable substances - at the convicted murderer. Frederico begins hurling slimy turnips at Brock's head. After exhausting his supply of mulchy missiles, he retires to the pub, to iron out the fine details of his daring rescue.

Brock however, is not the sort of man who sits around waiting to be rescued. As dusk settles across Baltimus, the guards bind the big man's brawny wrists and begin herding him back towards his cage. The guards are overconfident and careless, Brock manages to get his chain around one man's throat and forces him into the stocks. He draws the poor fellow's sword, wielding it awkwardly as his hands are still bound. Somehow, he still conspires to fend off three more redcoats - until he rolls a CRITICAL FAILURE and slips on a turnip that Frederico had bounced of his head earlier that day. Brock stumbles over the edge of the cliff - grabbing hold of his cage at the last moment and clinging to the bars as it swings out over the nauseating drop down to the distant sea.

Drawn from the tavern by the commotion on the clifftop, Frederico spots several redcoats priming their muskets to fire on Brock, who is hanging from the underside of his cage like some hideously scarred ape. With a dramatic flourish, Frederico fouls the nearest man's aim - his shot ricochets of the bars, rather than Brock's skull.

A bat fluttering over the battlefield suddenly assumes the form of a Kraken sorcerer and begins throwing fireballs around like a crap juggler. The marines open fire on this fearsome apparition, but their bullets bounce off Count Oolok's magical armour, as though his skin were made of stone!

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#43 Postby GruffaloCrumble » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:47 pm

50 Fathoms (3)
Session Four / Part Two (01/11/2012)

While the Masaquani officer co-ordinates the recapture of the escaped prisoner, a pair of Company redcoats hurry up to him, urgently brandishing a sheet of parchment. It is a pardon ordering Brock's immediate release, signed by one Prince Alain Amemnus! (Mel used an Adventure Card to succeed with a raise on his attempt to forge Alain's handwriting/signature, having carefully studied the prince's journal. He forgot that - outside of the party - very few people actually know that the son of King Amemnus survived the doom that befell the city of Ograpog, when the Sea Hags first came to Caribdus).
Noticing that the ink is still wet, the marines scrutinise these peculiar newcomers a little more closely. One is an attractive woman with a peg leg, the golden buttons of her jacket straining against her ample bosom. The second is strangely familiar... one of several faces plastered across the Free Towns after the assassination of the previous governor. Having made no effort to disguise his identity (other than to slip into a dead man's ill-fitting clothes), Thomas Clifton is identified and the genuine redcoats open fire! The officer raises his flintlock and shoots Peggy in the chest at point blank range. She collapses, blood soaking through the front of her 'borrowed' coat....

Steadily building momentum, Brock swings his legs and knocks several guards off their feet. Releasing the bars, the bruiser soars majestically through the air (with all the grace of a pig being fired from a trebuchet), landing amongst a squad of Masaquani musketeers. Meanwhile, daring Frederico engages the most brawny of the marines in a bout of fisticuffs. After the big fellow shrugs off the Englishman's first few punches, Frederico resorts to underhanded tricks to regain the upper hand. The time Nuru spent begging Chin Wong Pen to instruct him in the martial arts of ancient China pay off with interest, the Doreen is a blur of grey fisted fury, decimating the opposition!
Having defeated the guards, Kli Sailsong begins carving the symbol of the underground Atani Freedom Fighters movement into their dead flesh.

Celebrations are short lived - the battle on the clifftops has drawn a large force of redcoats from the city, who quickly surround and advance upon the party's position. Frederico throws himself upon the mercy of the British East-India Company and is detained, pending further investigation. Kli hurls himself off the edge of the cliff and glides away - several Masaquani marksmen frustrate his bid for freedom by shooting his fragile, wing-like membrane full of holes. Suddenly finding himself subject to the immutable laws of gravity, the vengeful Atani plummets towards the sea. Thomas Clifton and Peggy play dead (although Peggy is hardly having to act, the bullet lodged in her breast will kill her unless she receives immediate medical attention!) and since they are still wearing the stolen uniforms, they are mistaken for Company casualties and carted away on stretchers. Nuru hides in some bushes while Count Oolok transforms into an inoffensive animal native to the island and slips away unremarked. Surrounded and abandoned, Brock is disarmed and recaptured with minimal fuss.

Thomas Clifton and Peggy are taken to an infirmary in Baltimus. Fortunately - thanks largely to Kli - there are no other survivors to identify them as imposters. Peggy is taken into theatre and the bullet is extracted from her body - as Clifton is only feigning injury, he is immediately discharged with orders to return to his duties. Leaving the hospital, Clifton still makes no effort to conceal his face and is soon recognised (again!) and arrested.

Nuru is also delayed by a Masaquani patrol, the sentries demand that he remove his sealskin mask, so that they can compare his appearance to a list of wanted fugitives. They recoil from the sight of his horribly disfigured face - fortunately, he know longer looks anything like the Doreen involved in the murder of Bruno Baltimus and the patrol move off.

Meanwhile, Mei Pen spots Kli Sailsong floating alongside the ship and the half-drowned Atani is fished onto the deck. Chin Wong Pen is summoned from his cabin and the ancient Chinese herbalist begins applying fish entrails to the (numerous) bullet wounds. Count Oolok, Nuru and Frederico all return to the vessel - there is no sign of Thomas Clifton or Peggy....

Not even Thomas Clifton knows where Thomas Clifton is right now! After he was caught, a bag was pulled over his head and he was manhandled to some unknown location within the city. When the bag is removed, Clifton finds himself seated beside Brock in a dimly lit room, both of their hands/legs have been securely bound to their chairs. Facing them across the table is a familiar face - well, half of one anyway. Edward Lazenby was partially disfigured (much like Nuru!) when the crew burnt the previous governor's mansion to the ground.
Lazenby interrogates his prisoners, he is especially keen to know the reason for the assassination of Bruno Baltimus and why they maintain this fiction that a phantom fleet of Kieran blackships is descending upon the Free Towns. When their answers prove unsatisfactory (Vic obviously had no idea what happened in the previous rotation and Stew had completely forgotten), two burly redcoats emerge from the shadows and begin softening them up with their meaty fists. The beating is only interrupted when a frantic clerk bursts into the room with news that a Kieran fleet has been sighted. Clifton and Brock look smug and Lazenby feels a bit of a tit. He sends the prisoners back to their cell, while he makes ready to repel the invaders!

With every able bodied man (and woman) required to do his/her duty, Peggy (much recovered, but still masquerading as a Company redcoat) finds herself being marched aboard the HMS Justice. Unable to get away (for fear of being shot as a deserter), the former pirate madame finds herself sailing to war alongside Admiral Nelson Duckworth, the most celebrated privateer on Caribdus!

To be continued....

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