Thursday, February 7, 2013

First Day out of Fiume

Jan 16, 1651, Friday morning
Weather:  with chilly temperatures and a brief drizzle, with calm weather.

Allow me to break the tone of the post by explaining that as these new rules for sea travel (linking it to weather and all) are new to me, I'd like to move forward slowly, get a feeling for it and walk the party through it as well.

So, as the party does board the ship on the 15th, they're somewhat disquieted by a vicious storm that is blowing off the continent, known to the locals as the 'Bura' ... this is a hard wind which, on this particular occasion, by chance, blows only for a short 9 hours before letting up.  Madam suspects some higher force may have taken the step of breaking the brief storm, but as early afternoon comes on it allows the Petrel's Wing to set sail.  The Bura set down about three inches of snow, and Madam's 30 crew are less than pleased as they shovel off decks and clear ropes for hauling the ship onto the water.

The wind is poor, gentle at first, then reduced to nothing more than a light breeze in the evening, then gentle again throughout the night.  With the morning, the weather is dead calm, so that the Petrel does not even have water pouring over the rudder.  The ship drifts very slowly between the isles of Cres and Krk, and Madam is beside herself with fury.   The progress has been no more than 27 knots.  She has nothing good to say about clerics and their accursed meddling with the weather and the good winds, she has less good to say about the month of January and she's positively incensed by the discovery that on her first day out her favorite cheese has been nibbled at by rats.  She has the whole crew out in the morning hunting every corner of the ship in the blasted cold trying to kill every rat aboard, while she broods on the quarterdeck glaring back at the passage through which the party has just come.

There's little for the party to do, I know ... and though this may be a bit slow in the running progress, like I say I just want to get a handle on ship movement and travel.

45 comments:

Maximillian said...

I like it, reminds us how much we're at the whims of the weather.

Ahmet said...

Whenever Ahmet comes near the chickens they cluck and squawk, and the rooster rears up protectively in his cage. It's obvious that he doesn't seem to like animals very much, and they certainly do not like him.

He asks Enrico, Tazio, and Carlito if they have any experience tending chickens. (They apparently don't, but Alexis can correct me if one steps forward as the chicken whisperer.) He will then expand his search, starting with the other PCs, then the NPCs.

He also posts Enrico, Tazio, and Carlito, each working an eight-hour shift, as guards to protect the chickens (and their anticipated eggs) from harm, whether it comes from rats or sailors.

Lukas said...

Lukas will attempt to persuade Ahmet, since he's already keeping watch, to have his sack covered iron chest that contains many books in the 'watch area'.

He's long past attempting to persuade Ahmet of NOT doing something if it isn't a life or death situation.

Alexis said...

No crewman finds a single rat; nor can anyone confirm that the Madam's cheese was in fact eaten. The whole sequence seems to be a desire on her part to punish her crew just to satisfy her anger at the weather.

Ahmet said...

Are you sure she's missing cheese and not strawberries?

Andrej said...

Andrej would like to pass the time studying, learning to read, should Lukas be so inclined.

Sofia, on the other hand, spends her time training with her glaive and daggers and chatting up the new mercs, particularly the man-at-arms Oscar. Possessing Personal Magnetism (all party hirelings within 20' are +2 morale) she hopes to endear herself to Andrej's new followers and learn more of their character and possible motivations.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Beat me to it Ahmet)

Lukas said...

Lukas will of coarse spend time teaching Andrej to read. After all, we now have a lot of it.

Ahmet said...

During the time he's not zealously guarding chickens, Enrico whispers to Lukas that he also would like to learn to read... but please don't tell Ahmet, who believes that reading weakens the eyes and softens the body.

Maximillian said...

I'll waste a fair amount of time watching the world go by, and in watching the sailors at their work, for truly everything is new and fascinating. Of course there's plenty of time for other activities such as light-hearted sparring with Mareo or whoever is interested.
At the end of the second day, before the evening meal, I'll see to the horses, cleaning out their hold, and will make a habit to do this. I'll encourage Mareo to relieve the others from their chicken-watching for short periods of time during the day.

Lukas said...

Lukas will shake his head at Ahmet's stance and then reply, "It's not like he's not going to notice. It takes a LONG time to learn to read. If you don't think you can persuade him, perhaps I can come up with something."

Alexis said...

(OOC: And I do love that movie - steel balls and all)

Oscar and the others positively LOVE Sophia ... she's their kind of girl.

Motivation wise, the general sentiment is a desire for peace and quiet, straightforward enemies vs. friends, the possibility of making money in some distant future, finding a place in the world. They all fought in the war that ended three years ago; they were together in Lienz when a town near there was destroyed and burnt to the ground, women and children executed, for being Protestants. Both Moritz and Konstantin were personally involved with that ... and while they followed orders, and believe in their hearts the Protestants deserved to die, they wish to leave that grisly work for others. They'd rather fight soldiers than children.

Alexis said...

Maximillian,

What would probably astound you most is that much of the rigging, poles, sails and so on above the ground is covered in rime, a thin ice - yet the sailors seem to contend with this barehanded without falling from the rigging and dashing their heads on the decks fifty feet down. A crewman, if asked, will laugh and say that at least this winter they're not in the Baltic. "The ice gets so thick on the ropes," he says, "We have to break it free with a hammer before we can climb; its not so bad doing it before you go up, though ... its having to break the new ice all over again on the way down."

Alexis said...

It should be noted that by this point, Andrej CAN read ... most things that are written are clear to him now, signs aboard the ship, even many of the passages in the Bible. It's only when writings are complex, or when words with more than three syllables are involved, that he gets confused at the sense.

A perfect reading score would be like a lawyer or a philosopher ... so 33% isn't at all bad.

Andrej said...

(OOC: One of my favorites too, and the rare case maybe where I loved the book and movie equally. Had Ahmet not beaten me to the punch my coment would have involved Madame Salvadore and the handling of steel balls, going for the cheap laugh I suppose)

Maximillian said...

I laugh along with him when he relays that story, although after he turns his back I'll shake my head and rub my hands for warmth, drawing them back inside my bearskin. Later, when I think no-one's looking, I'll grip an icy rope and make a short effort to climb it, although I won't go more than a few feet above the ground.

If I have no success, I'll challenge Mareo, who can climb poles quite nimbly, to see if he's able.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Ahmet's been trying to convince us since the start of this campaign that he has steel balls)

Maximillian - as it happens, that's not the case at all.

You find the rope actually fits quite comfortably in your hand. The ice is not cold, nor particularly unpleasant; easily, you feel certain ridges in ice and rope and you see at once how they might make their way to the top; you climb a few feet from the ground and find you could probably, easily, go further.

Maximillian said...

Ho ho, I'm a sailor now.

Lukas said...

Rats on the ship makes me wonder about the blessing of ships, locations and activities by churches. Would it just be the standard sermon benefit? Or would it actually grant some other benefit...

Alexis said...

What do you do, Maximillian?

(OOC: interesting idea, Lukas ... but if the rats don't go on board ships, how do port towns get rid of them?)

Maximillian said...

Wait, When you said the ice was not cold, did you mean not uncomfortable, or did you mean supernaturally so?

I took it to mean the former.

Maximillian said...

(they get rid of them the old-fashioned way, with pipers.

Alexis said...

I mean that the ice is not uncomfortable. I promise to use "magic" type words when I mean something supernatural.

You're a DRUID, my son. Strange as it may seem, you're not just a 'summer' druid, or a 'spring' druid. Naturally the ropes are cold. But as you're in touch with the nature of things, you're one of those sick sort of people who kind of gets a thrill from the very cold ... like those people who love to take a dive in icy ponds throughout the winter.

Nyet?

Lukas said...

God I hate those people. Though I tend to wear three layers mid summer so...

Maximillian said...

Got it, thanks. I was just "testing the ropes" as it were, I don't intend to do anything about it now, and will resume my housekeeping activities as described above.

Maximillian said...

(OOc: point of order, do I know how to swim?)

Alexis said...

Precedent setting question.

Okay, druids and rangers always know how to swim.

Lukas said...

I myself have been thinking since our capture that perhaps with a planned ocean voyage I should have been practicing swimming in freezing water.

Ahmet said...

OOC: Druids and rangers knowing how to swim, and spellcasters knowing how to read, made me wonder about class 'hidden bonuses' in your game... are there more?

Fighters: Can fight on horseback (is this a house rule or a AD&D rule? I forget)
Rangers: As fighters, plus swimming (and can read as spell-casters?)
Paladins: As fighters (and can read as spell-casters?)
Clerics: Reading
Druids: Reading, plus swimming
Magic-Users: Reading
Thieves: Reading (but not until 4th level?)
Assassins: ?
Monks: ?
Bards: Can read?

Why do Druids automatically get reading? Even without spellbooks, I can see why clerics do (reading scripture), but I don't think of Druids as learning their craft from books.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Druids also have scrolls, so there must be symbols involved with their development - plus there's all those sage abilities I give them, so they must read and write notes on animals, plants, natural phenomena, etc. Thus, reading ability.

I was planning on making a series of posts for the wiki on this subject today, Ahmet - actually yesterday, but I got hung up. Thank you for the baseline. I'll get started on those pages right away)

Alexis said...

(OOC: Everyone. Please understand that today I'm feeling a bit burnt out; I know that Toronto is under a heavy blanket of snow at the moment, so James/Andrej may be as well. I want to spend today in quiet contemplation, get through necessary tasks, update the wiki, MAYBE write a post, though I have nothing in mind yet.

I trust everyone is good with a holiday. I'll master Ahmet's questions above, and continue to answer anything regarding this post ... but I'm not up to the gymnastics necessary to build the next post. I trust you understand)

Maximillian said...

Of course Alexis, sometimes there's just no inspiration. Talk to you Monday.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Hmm.. I like the idea of Druidish scrolls not being "written" per se. I'm not saying Druids can't learn how to read and write... just that it's not a given that they can. Gives more flavor to the class I think.)

Alexis said...

(OOC: Actually, I think it gives more flavor to the class that they CAN read ... in that they have special subjects they know about which no one else does. I'm prejudiced - I never think a lack of knowledge lends anything flavor. Besides, there are 7 other classes that can't read.

Which, incidentally, also answers your question about rangers, paladins and thieves later abilities to read spells etc. It is presumed that rangers and thieves learn to READ and not write, and that paladins only learn to pray - because, as I say in the wiki, the reading thing is not based on their spellcasting, but on their sage ability)

Lukas said...

(I'm still a little fascinated by the idea of a wizard getting shipwrecked on an island and scribing his spells onto natural materials to recreate his spellbook.

Imagine coming across a cave on a desert island with spells scrawled all over the walls. Or with pieces of tree bark with arcane writing carved into it...)

Alexis said...

(GCI: Except that a spellbook requires magic ink to create ...

But you were right before about eventually getting enough experience to gain a spell like message ... though that has a very short distance)

Alexis said...

(OOC: Lukas, I mean to add all the combat stuff to the wiki, but that's time-consuming for the present; I'd like to break it down into its constituent parts, so that EVERYTHING that's combat has its own page.

Lukas said...

(OOC: It's a wishlist not a requirement Alexis. I'm hoping at least the stuff I will use will be up before the next combat.

Are you considering making pages that link to collections of data? So one page just sends you to each of the combat pages, one to travel, one to the markets and so on...)

Alexis said...

(OOC: yes, general and specific pages both)

James C. said...

(OOC: Rain here now, but the snow is coming and I'm on my way home soon if I have any say-so. Take it easy everybody and have a nice weekend.

Also, thanks to all for this engrossing and pleasant diversion. Obvious and deserving thanks go to Alexis for the Herculean world-building and game running efforts that make this possible... but thanks also to Ahmet, Lukas and now Maximillian for being such good players and boon companions.)

Oddbit said...

(OOC: I noticed the swimming post. Great... Now I have to make friends with the tree hugger so they'll rescue me.)

Alexis said...

Okay, sorry I'm somewhat lost. At this point, I believe there are no open issues regarding this particular venture, and we're ready for the next post. I'll start putting it together.

Maximillian said...

I hope you are well rested from the weekend.

Lukas said...

I am ready to proceed on the next leg of our voyage! Maybe this time we will meet a weak looking vessel riding low in the water with riches.

Alexis said...

The next post is up.