Monday, July 29, 2013

A Moment Below Decks

Feb 8, 1651, Monday evening
Partly cloudy and cool temperatures, and a light air, with a prevailing wind


After three days of slow progress

As the wind dies, the Petrel struggles its way east.  The party is told that somewhere out there is the island of Kythera and the island of Crete, but naturally nothing can be seen but the dark blue water of the Mediterranean, lapping gently at the boat, suspended particles of detritus clear as a bell down to eight, ten feet as you stare into the sea from the rails.  There are no birds, not because there's anything wrong, but because of the season you're told, and a dozen stories of ancient battles fought with galleys come to mind.  This would be fine weather for a galley, were it not too early in the year and therefore deceptive.  It is poor weather for a sailed ship.

The captain still has not made an appearance, though it has been six days now since the events on Zante.  The party has carefully packed all their loot away now, to keep it from the prying eyes of the shipmates, but now and then Jacobo and Anders have both dropped very definite hints that they could say something if not for their "very dear friendship with fellow adventurers," such as the party.  "It's a shame others can't see how much you took from that mountain," says Jacobo to Maximillian on the Sunday morning.  "Yep.  That's a real shame."

On the evening of the 8th, the ship steadily heaving all of five feet a minute, yet in a generally southeastern course, there's a violent ruckus on the deck below, that draws some Andrej and Lukas from their cabin, and Maximillian and Ahmet from the upper deck, along with any hands who are free to go look.

The sight is the cook, Maurice, his forehead cut wide open with a broken plate, the deck outside the Captain's cabin awash with soup and stewed beef, the captain's cabin door slamming closed and the barely-heard but unquestionable railing of the captain behind the closed door, at the top of her lungs.  Those aft and on deck chance to hear the last said a bit louder.

"I only wanted her to eat," says Maurice.  The general feeling of the crew to this, and for the next hours thereafter, is the desire for the same.

Knowing Andrej or Maximillian might rush to aid, be it known that Maurice would shrug off such attention, preferring to dress the wound proudly and hope it scars well.

72 comments:

Maximillian said...

On the 6th I healed to full, so on the 7th and eighth I have healing available in addition to andrej's.
Ahmet can decide whether he gets both spells, or whether Enrico gets one of them. The first, on Ahmet: 7
the second, on Ahmet or Enrico: 8

Alexis, given that we were mostly packed by the time the two found us, I'd say that anyone who was on deck when our haul was loaded aboard ship would have seen the same as them... nonetheless, hint taken, but I'd like the rest of the party to come online before I unilaterally decide our response.

Alexis Smolensk said...

As a good DM, I am giving the benefit of the doubt as to the gold, the engraved stuff, the nicer pieces of jewelry, etc, all things that you would naturally protect, having grown up in a harsh world ... but which would be harder to conceal on the trail down the mountain, than loading it across to the boat - so no, I don't think everyone would have seen what the two saw.

If they had, I'd have already stolen stuff of yours.

Ahmet said...

After eight days, Ahmet is at 39 HP (out of 53), plus the 7 from Maximillian = 46.

Enrico is at 11 HP (out of 17), plus the 8 from Maximillian = fully healed.

Andrej said...

Andrej has spells still for the 6th, 7th and 8th:

7 hit points on the 6th will fully heal Ahmet, meaning Andrej has a full compliment of spells to start unless there's another still with wounds.

Should Max inform Andrej about the hints Jacobo and Andres have been dropping, he advises caution. On the one hand, we could pay them off, but that could be seen a sign of our weakness and they could press the advantage. On the other hand, we could tell them to fuck off and things could go badly. Thirdly, I imagine they wouldn't be so bold if the captain were out on deck, we could endeavor to draw her out and see her take a more active hand in running the ship.

Ahmet said...

Let's set up a rotation of guards:

Ahmet and Tazio
Lukas, Enrico, and Hichem
Maximillian, Mareo, and Carlito
Andrej and Sofia

James C. said...

Agreed, Ahmet.

Is anybody willing to go see the captain?

Maximillian said...

I'm not willing to go see the captain, but I am wiling to go see the bosun, if we decide to give a portion of the spoils. I'd suggest having the bosun share it out instead of having to pay off each leach in turn.

Lukas said...

Well, I have a feeling that the bosun wouldn't take kindly to folks on board stealing goods from the hold. Their share or not.

The crew may not be used to passengers, but there is a proper order to these things. If the commanding officer says to loot it, they loot it, if not, they keep their business as their own.

That said, hopefully the bosun isn't the sort to command them to loot our stuff.

Also this makes one polish for each of you since I calculate 3 additional days?

Ahmet said...

I think the captain will come out when she wants to.

Maximillian said...

I agree Lukas, that's why I was thinking to cut this off at the neck, bring whatever we might pay off to Jacobo and Anders, plus a little bit for the Bosun, and ask that he distribute "the ship's share" to them that deserve it. If that means Jacobo and Anders get too little (I'm inclined to pay them a token for finding us) then we can slip them something in consolation.

Andrej said...

Upon further reflection, we're not paying these fuckers a copper penny. They are emboldened by the captain's absence. We are here because we have common cause with her. Would she prefer our resources be spent on developing a port or given to her crew to soak themselves in booze? Provided she's not spiraling out of control and we're on the verge of mutiny I say we trust in her authority and continued benevolence and post guards as per Ahmet's suggestion.

Try this Max... hint back to either or both that the last time you shared your bounty with the crew a man was lashed into oblivion. The next time you do so will be at the pleasure of Captain Salvatore only.

Maximillian said...

Yes, I like it, that's much more direct.

Alexis, gut feel, do any of these men actually consider me a friend? curious about the rest of the crew as well. If I believed that they were doing anything but threatening me, I might change my tone a bit.

Speaking of friends, When I'm not on guard duty or tending to the horses, I'd like to get to know more about this cook, he (and his hawk) seems like an interesting fellow...

Andrej, how much room do you have in your chest?

Andrej said...

Andrej directs his master at arms Detwiller to divide the men up into groups to support the four watch teams. Deitweiller himself, Belbog and Moritz will support Lukas. Matthais, Lorenz, Dominik and Rainer will support Max. Kilian, Valentin and Marco will support Ahmet while Gabriel, Roland, Konstantin and Manfred support Andrej.

We should be discrete in our watch-taking. We don't want to call any more attention to ourselves.

Lukas said...

Agreed Andrej. I am perfectly willing to begin non-lethal suppression of the crew should a mutiny occur. I fancy the captain would take kindly to having a mutiny turned into a number of sleeping sailors and none of them have seen any of us in action yet I believe.

Also, perhaps we should leave the most menacing hydra head slightly visible during our guard with the other three wrapped nearby...

Andrej said...

It is Andrej's and Sofia's practice to lock their packs in their chests while aboard ship, so given that I've still got about 50 lbs. of weight that Sofia's chest can take.

Andrej said...

Agree on both counts, Lukas, but should the whole crew mutiny I think we're fucked. There are definately some higher level fighters mixed uo in this crew. I'm hoping its just thee two we have to deal with, and numbering around 20+ ourselves we should be able to dissuade all but the most involved actions against us.

Lukas said...

Here's the thing. I am willing to bet that there will be division among the crew, probably with the officers being sided with the captain. This said, generally officers seem to be a bit higher level and probably prepared for that kind of conflict.

Alexis Smolensk said...

In general, the crew is somewhat resentful of the armed detachment aboard, the fact that the party does no significant physical work, and the sense of propriety that both the soldiers and the party seem to have. But there's no sign whatsoever that the crew feels anything more than antipathy.

Andrej said...

That assumes the officers are loyal and have no ambitions of their own. Imagine an officer quietly bristling at the bos'un taking command. How hard would he have to be pushed to lead a mutiny? How many could he sway to his cause? Should it be an even split, our force would likely tip the balance. Should it not...

Andrej said...

I bet Alexis is just loving how our imaginations are running wild here. :)

Alexis Smolensk said...

On another note, taking from the party their general intent, the evening passes into night, and the night into the next morning, with no real change in the weather. The ship seems caught in a doldrum between systems and there's nothing to do but wait it out. Skies are clear and the temperature is cool (so, better), and the slight wind remains steady.

Maximillian dodges into the kitchen to find the cook, and there he sees the Captain sitting on a stool in the corner, bowl in her hand, eating porridge with a short wooden spoon.

"Yes?" asks the cook.

Maximillian said...

(heh, yeah, from threat of minor pilfering or a knife in the back, to imagining full on mutiny...)

Maximillian said...

(Stammering slightly) I came to ask if your hawk had brought news, but I can return another time. Excuse me.

Maximillian said...

I've had a minor change of heart. Should I encounter Jacobo or Anders in private again, I'll tell them that I do appreciate all they did for us, searching across the island and bringing us back safely. Further, I'll say that without the captain's blessing, I cannot give them more than a token, but please take this with my thanks I will then open my belt pouch and count out 3 gold and 10 silver for each of them. I will also say that knowing good men who can be counted on is valuable indeed, and I hope they can help me in the future, for mutual profit.

I will let the group know that I paid them this, and that they should turn away the two leaches should they come to each in turn.

Maximillian said...

Oh, and regarding maurice, I'll return in the early afternoon, say at 2, and ask after his hawk.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Maximillian doesn't chance to see either alone throughout that Tuesday; and as it happens, Maurice is sleeping at 2 in the afternoon.

The Captain comes out on the deck after her breakfast, about eight bells, and the command passes seamlessly to her. Almost in one moment, the feel of the ship is back to normal; she seems completely herself, with no signs of brooding and discontent with the crew or the condition of the ship. When two men on the forecastle break into a brief dance and song, motivated by god knows what, Andrej sees her smile plainly.

Still, if she gives a compliment to the Boatswain, no one sees it.



Lukas said...

Lukas is more at ease as well with the captain back, but he does maintain his attention to their goods.

Maximillian said...

Well crew, you know my intent should I be pestered by those two again, but that action could be superseded by an action on behalf of the group if anyone wants to make a proposal, otherwise we can await arrival at our next port.

Regardless, if we should enter into conversation with the captain, I will commend her on an excellent and capable crew, and commending Jacobo and Anders for their diligence in finding us. I continue to make effort at engaging the cook in conversation, wanting to learn about the nature of his relationship with the hawk.

Maximillian said...

Yes Lukas, we should continue to keep a watchful eye.

Ahmet said...

Now that she's seemingly back to normal, Ahmet seeks out the captain.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Ahmet, she's on the forecastle.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet waits to approach her until she's back in her cabin.

(OOC: The other PCs can tag along if anyone wants, Ahmet isn't trying to seduce her. Just wanted to tell her what happened on the island and the murmurs about filching our stuff.)

Maximillian said...

Oh no, Ahmet, I wouldn't dream of tagging along ;)

Lukas said...

Yeah I'd like to give it a day or 5. Don't forget your gift.

James C. said...

Have at it Ahmet.

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: giving what time I have)

Ahmet, having been below decks nearly seven days, she annoyingly refuses to do so now. The sun goes down before she does ... and she still doesn't.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet is patient.

(OOC: Honestly guys, I just want to tell her what's going on. A more eloquent co-speaker might be helpful. THEN you can leave the room... ;) )

Andrej said...

Ahmet is plenty eloquent. :)

Lukas said...

Yes, do go on Ahmet. If you can't talk to her about something important like this, how can you ever talk to her about anything else important?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Point in fact, after dark, there's but one lamp on the forecastle, and the Captain is the only person there; Ahmet has noticed in the past that the Captain does seem to regard her cabin as fairly private ... particularly of late.

(OOC: I'll have a lot more time today, fellas, if you're all still out there ... lol)

Maximillian said...

Haha, I imagine Ahmet looking for backup, and all of us chuckling and pushing him onwards.

I am on, but will probably be incommunicado around 2 pst. We've usually died down by then anyway.

Lukas said...

We're here, we're all just waiting on Ahmet to go meet his favorite lady under lantern light during a romantic cruise.

Maximillian said...

Ahmet meanwhile is pacing belowdecks, trying to figure out what he'll say ;)

Lukas said...

He should use one of the heads like a puppet and put on a show. Who has a stocking to use for the adventurer Ahmet?

Andrej said...

lol

Yes, I'm here and available as well and await Ahmet's next move. :)

Alexis Smolensk said...

... who apparently is not here.

If it isn't a big deal, I'd like to take it as read that the Captain has been informed. She certainly would have heard from Anders, Jacobo and the Boatswain that you were taken successfully off the island, that you seem to have taken some trophies of a kind - someone has probably seen a hydra head by now - and that you were bloodied by some battle. No doubt, you're generally in good health upon visual confirmation (the Captain is not likely to have missed your comings and goings on the deck, or been reported to regarding your health).

So unless there's something else Ahmet desires to address ...

Ahmet said...

Back!

Yes, Ahmet informs the captain that:

1) They slew a hydra on the island in a glorious combat.
2) He presents her with the short sword with amber stones.
3) He tells her that some crewmen have been grumbling, and they've set up guards to watch their stuff.

Maximillian said...

Yes, sorry to let things lag, I cared less about the informing, than in making sport of Ahmet as he advanced his own goals...


Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: Don't let the post today give you the impression that I have some trouble with sport, Maximillian; you didn't let things lag, I did, waiting for Ahmet. And here he is!)

The Captain asks of the sword, "Why do you give this to me? I've done nothing."

Lukas said...

Note to self; get an apprentice to research an eavesdropping spell. Then proceed to punish said apprentice for the obvious implications of developing an eavesdropping spell.

Ahmet said...

"It is a gift, in gratitude to your service to us, and your share as our source of transportation."

Andrej said...

(OOC: You must read OGLAF, Lukas)

;)

Lukas said...

(OOC: Until I get a hawk with eye lasers my life is not complete.)

This said, I put another point in the column for apprentice wizard henchman.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: This party really needs a delusionist!)

Lukas said...

(OOC: It's not that bad, we probably are better off without one anyway!)

Alexis Smolensk said...

"I ask for no gift, friend Turk," she says. "Certainly not for driving you off an island. Certainly for perhaps making you enemies in Zante - there are those who now would associate you with I ... and Koufonisia is part of the same Republic that Zante serves.

"Keep your weapon," she adds. "Mind you don't remove your own head with it."

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: before you decide, Lukas, be sure you read the two new illusionist spells I added to first level, and the two as yet unposted spells I added to 2nd level, to replace phantasmal force and improved phantasmal force. I'm working on ideas to replace spectral force now, and it is clear the upper level spells on that class need a MAJOR rework; I haven't looked at it much, not having an illusionist in my campaign higher than 6th. But now the one I have is 8th, and it is crystal clear the post-3rd level spells don't measure up at all.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet purses his lips but says no more. He returns the sword to its place among his belongings.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Nothing else? Tuesday the 9th of Feb is coming to an end. Would we want to continue?

Andrej said...

Yes please.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I'll be bound up until 2:30-3:00 mountain time, so I'll see what I can do; hard times this week.

Lukas said...

I will notice the sword returns with Ahmet. I will also be asking Ahmet about the exchange. With less joking, I was actually giving him a hard time earlier.

Otherwise I am ready to continue, for now.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet relates what the captain said, particularly about possibly having made enemies in Zante and, by extension, Koufonisia.

Andrej said...

Andrej waves this talk of enemies off. In Cumana, one's value is judged in part by the power and influence of one's enemies. A worthy party is bound to make some worthy enemies. He needn't remind his mates of the interest they've possibly aroused amongst the Gnomes of Zurich (still love this, by the way) or the Magi of Great Khorezm.

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: Actually, its from an old Steve Jackson card game called Illuminati that we used to play back in High School - my favorite secret society was the "Boy Sprouts")

I got shanghaied and lost a half hour ... and I've got to give it up for the day now. So, sorry fellas, have to wait until tomorrow)

Lukas said...

Reminds me I need to commission a lead lined box.

Andrej said...

(OOC: I'd love to see the complete list of Lukas's "to-do's" and how funny would it be if somebody else read it completely out of context... "lead box, magic ink, arbitrarily punish new apprentice, acquire hawk with laser beam eyes...")

Lukas said...

(OOC: Ok ok, I'll start keeping a list. To do: Make to do list.)

Lukas said...

(OOC: To Do list has been updated to be it's own page on the Lukas Blog.)

Andrej said...

brilliant!

Alexis Smolensk said...

The next post has been created.

Maximillian said...

Haha, yeah, nice.