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I'm going to forgo the chase in order to get our new players in that much faster.
Despite the apparent advantage the Besmara's Bounty has over the the smaller craft, the other ship's captain is a wily sort as the chase last most of the afternoon until finally a shot from one Rosie's ballista crews tears a hole in the other ships sails.
I'm sorry guys. I didn't mean to shortchange your victory but I didn't want to drag this out for days with the various back and forth while we have new players waiting to join. Next time, I promise.
Unfortunately, the captain of the other ship must have spotted you as soon as you spotted him as, with Percival watching, the oars are suddenly retracted and a white sail can be seen rising from the mainmast in a futile attempt to outrun your ship.
A little Retcon
The crew divides itself into groups of two and begins searching the ship from stem to stern, finding no sign of the missing crewmen or the sahaugin who attacked the ship.
Sahaugin colonies can range anywhere from simple cave complexes to vast underwater cities, depending on their numbers. Most colonies are built in coastal waters or near shipping lanes to provide a fresh supply of food.
As the morning sun begins to rise the crew reports, bleary eyed from the lack of sleep, to the main deck for their days assignments. Soon they fall into the routine of their jobs as the Besmara's Bounty heads out to sea. Shortly before the midday meal the monotony is broken by the lookout's shout of "Sail, ho!" as he points toward the horizon.
Alright, after conferring with the rest of the crew I've decided to go with the general consensus but I decided to go with the top two choices which everyone could agree on.
Sorry for the radio silence but I too have been suffering from burnout recently. Although GenCon re-energized my batteries it's been awful hard to overcome the inertia of sitting still.
Percival, you currently have three skills that can be considered background skills.
You spend all of that day as a shake down cruise, getting used to the way the ship handles with the new improvements and getting the new recruits stowed and settled in. You retire that evening satisfied with the ship and crew.
Survival check DC:17:
You search the area as well and find some wet footprints in the shape of a clawed, webbed humanoid foot.
Knowledge (nature) check DC:15 (only if someone made the previous check):
You recognize these prints as those of a sahuagin, a warlike and cruel race of aquatic humanoids who dwell in the ocean's depths.
Okay, as they say at my union meeting "The Ayes have it and so ordered."
So, after going over everyone's characters and separating out the Adventuring Skills from the Background skills this is what everyone has left to spend.
Randall actually had to spend Adventuring Skill points to cover his Background skills, which you can do but not vice versa.
Please let me know what you're spending on what so I can update your portfolios as well.
Also if there are any other rules or things that you would like to add, let me know.
As you and the Captain begin walking along the beach he grabs an unopened bottle of wine from a nearby sailor and searches for some place quiet. Once far enough away from the party for some privacy he sits down on the sand and offers a place next to him for you. He opens the bottle and offers you the first drink before he begins to talk.
He began his career as a member of the Andoren navy and eventually became an Eagle Knight of the Steel Falcons. Joining the order's fleet, the Gray Corsairs, he served proudly through dozens of missions eventually rising to the rank of Captain of his own ship, the Bonaventure.
As Captain, Pegsworthy served Andoran faithfully until one day during a skirmish with a Katapeshi slave galley when the Bonaventure's mast was struck by a catapult stone and toppled into the sea, dragging him with it as his right leg became entangled in the rigging.
He would have drowned if not for the quick thinking of his first mate, Casron Drale, who dove into the water to rescue him. Unable to free the leg the quick thinking mate drew his sword and severed the Captain's leg and pushed him back toward the surface to an awaiting rescue boat, thereby saving him from a watery grave. Unfortunately his best friend wasn't so lucky as Drale's cuirass slowly weighed him down and he never made it back to the surface. He vowed then and there that his friend's sacrifice would not be in vain and that his injury would not keep him from the sea.
After convalescing in Augustana, and lacking the means to magically regrow his leg, he was fitted for a peg where he joked that he would be the first one legged Captain in the fleet. The Admiralty had other ideas though and, after pronouncing him unfit to command a ship of the line, reassigned him to desk duty at the naval yard, a fate worse than death.
After over two years of appeals fell upon deaf ears it became clear that the Admiralty and the People's Council had no intention of ever allowing him to serve aboard a ship again. He returned to his desk and kept doing his duty until he overheard an admiral discussing his latest appeal with is aide in which he said that it would've been better if the first mate had let him drown where he could have served as a martyr to the cause rather than a pain in everyone's arse.
Incensed at he insult not only to him but to his friend's sacrifice he began to formulate a plan. Using his job at the navy yard he began contacting others who had similarly been invalided out or been cashiered for various infractions and the next time "his" ship, the Bonaventure, was in port he and his men snuck into the yard and "liberated" the ship and began to sail for the open seas, and the rest is as they say, history.
Looking at the now empty bottle he tosses it into the ocean before standing up and brushing the sand from his uniform. Offering you his hand to help you up. Looking into your eyes he smiles "To the Hells with it." he says as he moves in for a kiss "Would you like to return to my quarters?" he asks, hopefully.
1d4 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
The next morning dawns way too early for some as you and your crew prepare to board the Besmara's Bounty. As you bid goodbye to Captain Pegsworthy and his crew you can overhear some of the sailors humming the tune to Randall's song as they board their launch back to the Strix. Captain Pegsworthy frowns as three of his men decide to stay behind and try their luck with the new ship and it's captain. Pegsworthy understands and wishes his men good luck and good hunting as he and the rest begin to row back toward their ship moored in the harbor.
Finally the day comes when your ship is ready to set sail. Captain Pegsworthy is there along with Rickety and the rest of your crew. As the Captain prepares to christen the Besmara's Bane with a bottle of fine Sargavan wine, from his own stores no less, he offers a toast before smashing the bottle against the ships prow "Good fortune and sure sail await the one what can crack the Rock.”
Knowledge (local) DC:15:
The toast refers to a small castle called Tidewater Rock that commands a small, protected harbor on a remote island south of Motaku Isle. It is said that anyone who can claim Tidewater Rock as her own will have good luck, as the castle makes a strategic watch point from which one can strike the nearby shipping lane.
The crew issues shouts of approval as the chocks are hammered free and the ship rolls free into the estuary.
Captain Pegsworthy takes you up on your offer of a party and arranges for his officers and crew to take part. The party is a smashing success with a couple of fist fights and only one knife fight, resulting in a none too serious injury. The luau last until the wee hours of the morning where the light of the coming false dawn begins to brighten the sky.
1d3 ⇒ 3
Following the trail to it's end you soon arrive in a small clearing on the promontory over looking the bay on one side and the ocean on the other. Here a simple wooden watch tower rises some 20' from the jungle floor, a crude ladder nailed to the structure allows access to the platform above. Several broken rum bottles lie strewn about the base of the tower.
Heal check DC:20:
He appears to have died from some sort of allergic reaction
The blade of his rapier is stained with the same kind of yellowish ichor that you encountered in fighting the wasps.
The parrot flies down from the rafters to land on the dead man's chest, squawking pitifully "Shoo, fly. Don't bother me.'
A quick check of the rest of the watchtower turns up nothing of note or worth, except for a tranished, brass spyglass lying in the open footlocker.
Jaina, with the sow in front of her dead, surveys the fight before trudging through the jungle to get at the remaining boar. With the roots threatening to trip her all the way, she places the pig between herself and Percival before punching at it. As she steps forward to swing, her foot becomes entangled in the undergrowth and her punch goes wild missing the wild boar completely.
Percival and Randall combine their attacks on the large male boar and strike it down. It gives one last grunt before it expires, blood oozing from it's wounds.
The remaining sow, wheeling in a desperate attack, turns to face Rhialla before attempting to gore the Cleric with her razor sharp tusks. The creature, slowly being surrounded, is too distracted to mount a successful attack as her tusks only find open air.
The sow attacking Jaina is now dead, while the one attacking Randall is now in negative numbers and under Neela's hex, but fighting on due to it's Ferocity. The remaining sow is attacking Percival, who I assume drew his shield as well as his weapon before stepping up, otherwise that attack is going to hit.
Begin round #2. Every can post and I'll sort it out in my summary.
In the "free" round you know there is something out there heading towards you, but you cannot see them until such time as when they appear at the top of round #1. Furthermore I'm going to rule that due to the undergrowth and trees in the way that they are going to have concealment (20% miss chance) to anyone further than 5' away (Percival).
The jungle undergrowth would count as difficult terrain. You can cast Enlarge Person on Percival but then he would be considered to be squeezed between the trees. I've updated the map to show the creatures (a boar and two sows) as they appear from the tree line.
Difficult terrain, such as heavy undergrowth, broken ground, or steep stairs, hampers movement. Each square of difficult terrain counts as 2 squares of movement. Each diagonal move into a difficult terrain square counts as 3 squares. You can't run or charge across difficult terrain.
If you occupy squares with different kinds of terrain, you can move only as fast as the most difficult terrain you occupy will allow.
Flying and incorporeal creatures are not hampered by difficult terrain.
In some cases, you may have to squeeze into or through an area that isn't as wide as the space you take up. You can squeeze through or into a space that is at least half as wide as your normal space. Each move into or through a narrow space counts as if it were 2 squares, and while squeezed in a narrow space, you take a –4 penalty on attack rolls and a –4 penalty to AC.
When a Large creature (which normally takes up 4 squares) squeezes into a space that's 1 square wide, the creature's miniature figure occupies 2 squares, centered on the line between the 2 squares. For a bigger creature, center the creature likewise in the area it squeezes into.
A creature can squeeze past a creature while moving but it can't end its movement in an occupied square.
To squeeze through or into a space less than half your space's width, you must use the Escape Artist skill. You can't attack while using Escape Artist to squeeze through or into a narrow space, you take a –4 penalty to AC, and you lose any Dexterity bonus to AC.
As you are making your way along the narrow jungle path you hear noise from somewhere off the trail , as if something or someone is rooting around in the dense jungle undergrowth. The noise suddenly stops only to be replaced by a loud grunting noise and several high pitched squeals as whatever it is begins crashing through the jungle towards you.
With the situation on the docks defused Captain Pegsworthy shakes Percival's hand before he and his men clamber back into his boat to return to the Strix to see to his men and arrange a shore leave schedule but he promises to be on hand once the Besmara's Bounty is ready to launch.
As you make your way back to the villa you are approached by Rickety. A worried expression on his face he begs your pardon before beginning to explain "I'm worried about Godwin. He may be a drunken sot but he's never missed signalling a ship's approach, not ever. I would appreciate it if you could head out to the lookout tower and check on him for me. I'd send some of my own people but I'm afraid I'm a little short handed right now what with all the things that's been going on. If you would do this for me I'd be willing to lop off, say, another 100 gold pieces off the price of the squib."
"Yes, Miss, it was a hard won fight" he tells Neela, but his expression suddenly sobers as he continues "but I lost some good men in her taking."
You've heard something of Captain Pegsworthy of being am honorable man who lives by his own code of conduct. He is considered to be ruthless but fair, sometimes paroling those he's captured who don't have the means to pay a ransom while holding those who can.
Turning to Percival he says "Relax, your secrets safe with me. In fact I would consider it an honor if you would allow me to christen your ship when she's ready to set sail."
Knowledge (local) DC:15:
It is considered good luck to have a Free Captain or a Lady of noble birth (and where are you going to find one of those here?) to christen a new ship.
Sorry, everyone. I had this post ready to go on Saturday but while flipping between screens I accidentally X-ed out the page and lost it all. After an hour of typing the F-bomb could be heard throughout the entire house. This is the first opportunity I've had since the weeekend to sit down and retype it all.
You can see the shoulder's of the officer relax slightly as the tension in his body releases. He looks to Percival before saying "I apologize for the intrusion. I didn't realize the dry dock was in use until we landed ashore. My names Pegsworthy, Captain Merrill Pegsworthy, and my men and I just captured the Strix here and were bringing it in for a refit. I can just imagine we gave you quite a start when a Chelish galleon began sailing into the bay unannounced."
Between Prcival's pike and Jaina's fists the pair manage to drop the remaining wasp to the ground where it buzzes feebly before dying. With the immediate area clear of insects the party returns to the safety of the store, with the female worker in tow.
Knowledge (local) DC:15:
You know it is highly unlikely that the Chelish navy knows the location of Rickety's and even if they did they wouldn't send just one ship to take care of this wretched hive of scum and villainy.
The sailors on the dock are definitely not dressed in Chelish marine uniforms, instead they are wearing an assorted motley of clothes except for the man standing in the middle who appears to be wearing a greatcoat of the Andoran Eagle Knights.
Sense Motive DC:15:
Although the sailor's are standing with weapons drawn they appear to be holding their position in a defensive cordon around their officer and don't appear to be ready to attack.
Neela uses her magic to befuddle the wasp facing Jaina. As her magic takes hold the creature's future becomes unclear.
Jaina , with Neela's hex bolstering her, punches the wasp in front of her. Landing a solid blow she draws an angry buzz from the creature.
Rhialla and Randall both strike the wasp facing Percival with various results. Randall's thrust barely leaves a scratch on the wasp while Rhialla's pierces the creature's armor striking the soft flesh underneath.
Percival takes a step back from the wasp in front of him and levels his pike. With a powerful thrust the point of his pike goes through the creature's body to emerge from the other side. With a sickening squelch he withdraws his weapon as the wasp drops to the ground, dead.
The remaining wasp continues it's attack against Jaina but misses horribly.
Top of round #3
Jaina rushes out, dodging to the left to avoid one of the wasps stings, she punches the one in front of her, narrowly missing on of the creature's multifaceted eyes.
Neela follows everyone out of the safety of the store in the marketplace, where she pauses for a moment to take in the scene before her.
While Neela's magics keeps the wasp befuddled Percival, Randall, and Rhialla attacks manage to kill it. Suddenly unopposed our heroes seek refuge in a nearby store with some of the other villagers.
You have about 10 rounds to do whatever you need to do before this latest incident occurs. We'll keep the same initiative order if you decide to go back out and rescue the woman.
Actually, Jaina, Percival finished off the wasp in front of you with his awesome pike handling skills. The remaining wasp is the one to the south. If you wanted to attack it you would have to move up to it as it is 10' away, which would mean no flurry of blows for you.
Unfortunately, the wasp is too close to Percival for him to effectively strike with his pike. He would either need to step back 5 feet (which given the obstacles behind him is impossible) OR drop his pike as a free action and draw another weapon for close in fighting.
Jaina steps up to the wasp and unleashes a devastating one-two punch to the creatures midsection, causing it to move backwards before it re-orients itself and swoops in for the attack.
The wasp that Jaina struck begins buzzing louder than before as it lunges with it's stinger. Fortunately Jaina is able to sidestep the attack as the wicked barb misses the Brawler.
Percival is not so lucky as the wasp facing him stabs it's stinger into him. As the point strikes home he can feel the creature's poison being pumped into his blood stream.
Top of Round #2, everyone can go before the wasps strike again.
Neela curses the wasp in front of her mere seconds before Percival stabs it with his pike.
Not so fast!
With the refitting in capable hands our heroes return to the villa after finishing their tour of the little village. The officers and crew of Besmara's Bounty carouse until the wee hours of the morning before returning to their billets for some shut eye.
Okay, everyone can go whenever you want to post and I'll straighten it out before I post.