How to deal with Isabella - Fever Sea Spoilers

Skull & Shackles

I was reading ahead from where my PCs are, and was curious how to go about getting the map tattoo from Isabella. It seems like a confrontation would be in order, as in the PCs kill her, and get the map that way. I also read somewhere about being able to capture her, I'm curious how that would play out. I realize it's up to the PCs, I just want to be prepared for what they decide.

I ruled that Isabella dropped dead in such a way that the could see her tatooed back. Her wounds were in such locations that they did not damage the tatoo.

A confrontation is assumed.

Isabella is the one who is being aggressive. See Isabella's tactics. Capturing Isabella for questioning is highly unlikely. Capture results in her committing suicide. You should read the development at the end of the encounter again. She uses a poison needle in her false teeth to insta-kill herself if captured.

Depends how you play it. A lot of people including myself relised that she is such an interseting NPC and so underused that it was a shame to have her killed off. I rejigged her level to slightly lower and the players actually decided without me interveining to capture her and give her an ultimatum.

It worked really well and the map was dead simple to sort out as the players just copied it and I was able to relay the background info through her.

She is still an evil piece of work and the players are finding it hard to trust her which makes things really interesting.

I assumed the question was about the AP as written.

uh, on the idea of capturing her:
Isabella is a vicious, awful creature. She should be GM'd as an NPC to do everything she can to murder any player character that leaves her an opening. If your PCs do capture her, she'll take every opportunity she can to kill them, get away and then come right back after whoever she did not kill while escaping, to finish them off.

You are talking about a woman with a mouth full of wooden sharpened shark's teeth who basically delights in killing people in the most awful ways.

There WILL be a confrontation, if you play the scenario in any way that even approaches how it is written. Hopefully, you will play Isabella during her encounter with your PCs in a way that in no uncertain terms lets them know exactly what she is all about and how horrifically scary she really is.

I guess another option for the map could be if you kill her just take the map of her back as a skin parchment instead?

yeah mine is not as written (slight de-rail sorry)

in my case, she's a slow burner with treachory in mind and will turn on them at some point. The players have started to see how evil she is as they witnessed her treatment of the Threshers crew who left her at tidewater(after the players had taken the ship she systematicaly killed the subduded crew until only one remained which who is now completely mad having lost an arm an being shut in a store room. The captain player let her carry on as he saw it as vengence. Said captive will now be let off at the nearest port with a tattoo on him saying this is what happens when you tangle with us. I'm hoping as the captain player is warming to her methods he will give her command of a vessel (he has hinted of this) then its time for the treachory to begin.... :) bascialy she is not a complete psycho but is a cold calculating killer and waiting for the correct moment to strike, I might even have her take down one of the NPC's such as Rosie that the players have grown fond of.

I changed it as I didn't like another underwater cavern, there was no shaughin in mine, she's one of Harrigans pawns instead and was attacking the fort under Harrigans orders (I wanted to get something of the Harrigan plot in to part 2 as it was rather lacking on that front, Tidewater seemed the best place as he has already been made a fool of by the lady of the rock in the past)

To be honest I love the AP but it has changed so much with the actions of the players and my adding/changing things that anybody reading it then playing would not have a clue what's going on lol. It's become a real beast of a story (part 2 has taken roughly 30 weeks of 3 hour sessions and they have only just finished it, we dont us xp but level up when the ap suggests everyone is having a real blast.

Yeah I decided that Isabella was interesting. I am actually bringing her in early as a deceptive vixen only to return later with another crew aboard the thresher. I am modeling her after the red head con artist from Firefly episodes "Our Dear Mrs. Reynolds," and "Garbage."

She will show up early double cross the PCs and come bak later the question is will they hate her enough to kill her and keep the map or keep her around as she would gladly share the info to save her own skin (keep alive long enough to seduce/murder the pcs and get the upper hand).

I like her and am going with a different approach, for reasons similar to Ferrinwulf. I'm taking inspiration from the current Captain Morgan rum ads running here I the States, where a pirate is broken out of jail for the map on his back. I'm going to have my crew find a verse hinting at treasure, but no map. Whereas Isabella is going to have the map but no verse. I'm not using Mancatcher Cove, as the party just came off an underwater cavern crawl in book 1 and think a repeat is just weak storytelling. I'll be using something else, this forum is full of wonderful suggestions, to fill that space.

Anyhow, I'm playing this as Isabella needs the party and they need her. She's still a hateful, evil person and will betray them at her first chance. In throwing out the saughin storyline, I've added the twist that Harrigan was responsible for the Thresher's capture and her subsequent imprisonment. He turned her over to authorities in either Senghor or Bloodcove (depends on where the party preference lies) for her eventual execution by Chelish authorities.

Sign of his betrayal and of good faith to his Chelish allies

This puts her in an "enemy of my enemy" position with the party, but she's going to have her own agenda, which they are going to have to be wary of. The potential for an alliance is there (my group has told me their alignments are "morally ambiguous, leaning toward evil) particularly if they give her what she wants, a ship and a shot at revenge. However if they impede her in any way, she'll backstab them and make off with whatever she can to get what she wants.

Honestly I'm still in the planning stages, but I felt the character was too cool to just kill off and so determined from the start to rework her involvement in the story.

Yeah, we just turned her into a Ghast and had the Oracle control her that way.

Lamontius wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

This is exactly what happened with my party. They captured her, she was able to escape, and then she became a thorn in their sides for the majority of the adventure path, eventually hooking up with Harrigan and working together so they could both get their revenge on the PCs. They hated her guts, and were incredibly satisfied when they finally killed her.

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I always wondered if anyone ever saw the odd connection to Dragon Age (I + II )


Captain of a pirate ship ? General looks ? right..... Her early abductor's vessel named "Dragon's Dishonour" ?

Besides she is already a dig on "Cutthroat Island" with the tattoed-to-skin map.

Are we certain here that 'interesting' character isn't really code for 'insanely hot' character?


At any rate, I was kind of hoping my PC's would capture her as I was relishing the idea of her being a real handful as a prisoner - I envisioned her as a sadist with a deathwish - but their fight with her was a rough one and in the end they ended up killing her outright.

Story Archer wrote:

Are we certain here that 'interesting' character isn't really code for 'insanely hot' character?


True, so true.

Besides the "hot redhead" factor of the campaign, or the fact that everyone is running (and swimming ) around in shirtsleeves, probably soaked through etc.... tropic vacation^^ *probably sends a lot of male player minds reeling*

Although as originally statted she will be pretty difficult to capture alive since she has that poison tooth option, which she intends to use

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Diamond B wrote:
Honestly I'm still in the planning stages, but I felt the character was too cool to just kill off and so determined from the start to rework her involvement in the story.

In our run, she was a mercenary hired by Harrigan who had cultivated Sahuagin allies on her own...

I have to say that this was far and away the best AP we've ever run as a group. I made a number of additions and changes to a lot of the encounters, including some interesting side treks. If you want to discuss some specific ideas, feel free to drop me a PM as I'd love to share some ideas with you.

Since I replaced the Sahuagin with Deep Ones from Lovecraft's mythology, Isabella isn't quite so "sexy" anymore and I changed her spell list to me more "deep-ical".
Don't think the Innsmouth Look will improve her all that much, but Charisma is not really based on "insanely cute" looks, right ? And for everything else, there is "Alter self"

And that way, she will serve my "Dagon Rising" alternate plot ( I never really liked the statted out religious proclivities of Harrigan much ), much better, and probably offer some material to "rise" from being dead a few times (more Deep One-ish every time^^ )...

Might even be more gross fun if I have the party's suave bard shack up with her first at some time in port ? Say meeting at Red Cove, seducing him/them to get some inside info or place some tracking item on their ship, which makes her turning up later far more "plausible".

Who said abusive/abused psychopaths can't be sly and conniving ?

The PCs could see she has wooden teeth and take them out after she's been knocked out, also finding the poisoned spine.

Yeah Isabella is evil, but she can also be a very sympathetic character after the life she's lived. She's a very broken and hurt woman, and I will greatly enjoy the captains efforts to rehabilitate her, getting her teeth grown back would probably help that.

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