Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Captain's Agenda

Wednesday afternoon, May 19th, 1651
With clear skies and warm temperatures, a moderate breeze and a crosswind.

Moon: waxing gibbous, 5 days before the full moon

On the fourth day of your journey, the Captain lets it be known that she would like to speak to the party. She has not been seen by any of the party since Amisos, but has been in her cabin day and night.  Only Frelg and Anders have entered the cabin, and in both cases the Master-at-Arms Jesper and the second mate Henri have stood watch at the door.

Who would attend the summons?


65 comments:

Andrej said...

Andrej attends.

Maximillian Boii said...

Max attends.

Alexis Smolensk said...

You're let in by Henri, the mate, and you find the Captain in the dark, the shutters over the back windows closed, and no candles lit. It is day, however, and sunny, so there are slivers of light that make it just possible to see that she has chosen to sit in the darkest part of the room.

"There is a law," she says, "That no ship may pass through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov with siege weapons aboard. The Strait is very narrow. It is my intention to wait until the first night's rain, then run the Strait while fully armed. This will mean I must wait south of the Strait for the right conditions, which is itself dangerous, for I do not want to meet with an Ottoman patrol ship.

"You may run the Strait with me," she says, "Or I will put you off at the port of Krym. It is an Ottoman town on the Crimean Peninsula, but it is friendly to pirates and my ship will not be searched. Otherwise, you must run the strait with me. Choose."

Lukas said...

According to google map walking directions (guideline not rule) that puts us 361 KM off target. (also plopping us at a different city on the shoreline near the city that looks like the one you're talking about. As that one is a little bit inland on google)

Andrej said...

Going by road is doable, but it will be slow-going with the serf families. Also, there is the matter of traversing the Zaporizhian Sich, which if I recall correctly was described briefly by Alexis as "something out of a Conan story."

Is there any way to asses to risk of running the strait vs. taking the road based on the party's collective knowledge, Alexis?

Andrej said...

Found the passage:

...Zaporozhia is like something out of a Conan novel; the people are human and extremely nomadic. Although there are "cities" in that territory, these are almost wholly tent cities with a continuously changing population, as clans come in, rest or trade for a few months, only to move outwards again to be replaced by other clans. So there's always a collection of persons and tents there, but the actual persons changes seasonally. There are almost NO permanent structures, not even a palace - the only ones would be scattered churches, mostly of foreigners. The Zaporozhians are principally animistic. They also tend to be 'mad' by European standards. They're violent, prone to clan in-fighting and revenge loops, extremely traditional in outlook and proud. Families are large and xenophobic in the extreme. Marriage outside the clan is done for political reasons, and then very rarely.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Can people please look back and see what comment I deleted while trying to delete the comment that Lukas didn't want posted?

Grr ... blogger.

Andrej said...

The upside might be that Andrej could literally lead the party through his home town of Itoskhan.

Andrej said...

Alexis, I recall a comment from Lukas confirming his presence at the summons that is no longer there.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Sorry, no there is no way to balance the dangers of one risk vs. another.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yeah, good, that's the one that's missing. Thank you Andrej.

Andrej said...

You're welcome.

I'm leaning toward disembarking but I can be swayed if there are strong feelings to the contrary. Primarily I'd like to see some of Cumana on our way to Azov and our rendezvous with Detweiller.

Maximillian Boii said...

I trust the captain's judgement with regard to the ship, and do not fear running the Strait, but I don't have a strong feeling regarding the matter.

My chief concern about disembarking is adding a delay to our arrival, in case Detweiller has found himself in trouble, in addition to managing such a large caravan through wild lands.

Lukas said...

My main concern. Xenophobic + Violent and an entire settlement party.

We will need to practice a LOT of diplomacy and avoidance to make it to our destination by land.

If we get caught running the straight and are identified, we then have the obvious problem of settling in the area we just shat in.

How about plan C. Land and take a different more legal ship?

Andrej said...

That thought hadn't occurred to me Lukas, but its the obvious choice. Should we have trouble finding passage we'd be forced into Plan B, but I'm comfortable with trying.

Does the captain have any opinion or insight into how available a different ship would be in Krym?

Lukas said...

Not going to lie, I feel like the captain does not really want to talk for long.

I suggest taking the landing and thanking the captain for the trip. We should also make mention of our plan just in case.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The captain doesn't, except that potentially the party could wait weeks, even months, for an available ship heading for the mouth of Don River, or Azov. No ship will put the party off on land in Cumana, not at this time of year. The Don River, and by way of passage the Volga, has broken up now of ice and every ship is chock full of goods going up the river not that it's open. So free space is pretty nigh unavailable until probably early to mid-July.

Ahmet said...

Sorry, haven't been at my desk all day. Ahmet attends but offers no opinion on remaining with the ship or being landed early, seeing pros and cons either way.

Lukas said...

Hence the siege weaponry.

With all the goods heading north by ship, what are the odds there are goods heading by caravan on land we can travel with?

Seems like an opportunity to travel with folks who know the land, know the natives, and probably are the least likely to be harassed by xenophobes.

Andrej said...

I don't want to wait months. Do we brave the Ottoman Navy with the Captain or the xenophobic barbarians on our own seems to be the choice before us. Ahmet, you have to vote one or the other. :)

I'm sticking with xenophobic barbarians and freely admit its mostly out of curiosity. I'll go with majority rule. A simple vote with any tie breaker being a toss of the die seems appropriate.

Ahmet said...

Before I vote...

Ahmet again endeavors to speak with the Captain directly, asking her about her future plans.

"Once Andrej has his mission established, I do not see myself remaining here," he confides to the captain (and to everyone else in the room). "I must return to my cousin Fatima, and give her what money I have. Then I will start my new life, perhaps in the Americas... or perhaps on the high seas. Tell me, Captain, do you think our paths will cross again some day?"

Lukas said...

I vote for land.

Either way is danger.

Sea: Piss off government.

Land: Encounter already pissed off xenophobes.

Preferred result: Not piss anyone off who isn't already.

Andrej said...

Andrej raises an eyebrow but does not comment on Ahmet's plans.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The Captain tells Ahmet, "Yes, of course." She chuckles. "Do not think I will be delayed; I have been through the strait twice, I have a good pilot. With night and a cloudy sky, I shall slip through. Once I am on the other side, the hunting will be good, and you will hear speak of me."

She pauses, then finishes, "We have not met twice already by chance."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet grins at that. "Perhaps our third meeting will last longer, then. Tell me, Captain, would my friends be a help to you if we remain aboard, or a hindrance? You know we four can fight, but we have families aboard as well. Perhaps you would have an easier time if we were put on shore before the strait?"

Alexis Smolensk said...

"Of course you would be of help to me," she says. "Both in the Strait and in helping me hunt afterwards. Are these new leg-chains you've purchased in Amisos worth all that much to you?"

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: I'm off to a meeting that will take up the rest of the day. I'll be around late tomorrow morning - but I will check in at 11 EST)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet looks at Andrej.

Maximillian Boii said...

I thought I voted already, but I guess not.

I vote sea.

Andrej said...

"Not just families, but old friends as well." Andrej looks to Ahemt at this.

"But I cannot say for sure where they would be safest. If the turk wants a fight, and Max is willing, who am I to resist it? Lukas?"

Lukas said...

"If we wish to do this, it would be best that we could drop off our goods on the other side to free up space in the hold for acquisitions.

Would it be possible to dart through, dump our goods and people and catch up with said people at a later date?"

Andrej said...

I'd just as soon keep our goods and our people close. I'm hoping the captain's intent is to take us directly through and on to Cumana, only "hunting" as opportunities may arise.

Alexis Smolensk said...

So, a final decision?

(Maximillian, have a look at the blog Tao's Work . . . I was able to fritter around a little while sitting about listening to people chatter)

James C. said...

The final decision appears to be to stay aboard. Can the capain confirm a general intnet to take us dierectly to Cumana/ Azov?

Alexis Smolensk said...

"We shall see," she says dismissively.

Andrej said...

I'll take that as settled as its going to be, then, unless there are any objections or last minute thoughts. Andrej resumes his normal shipboard routine of study, prayer, preaching and creating food and water.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet lingers in the Captain's cabin even after Andrej leaves. He looks at the other two and hopes they get the hint.

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: Just checking in. I may have more time this morning than expected)

We can probably take it as a given that Ahmet is left alone. Does anyone else have a parting comment?

Lukas said...

Lukas will follow with Andrej and make a point of speaking to him.

"'We'll see' is not a very good answer Andrej. We'll see could mean 'no but I don't want to tell you that'. It could also mean 'I'm going to ensure your stuff gets dumped overboard or destroyed so you have no reason to leave'.

I have a bad feeling about this and it's impact on the mission. I am beginning to wonder if this will take longer than travelling by land."

Ahmet said...

(Just to speed things along...)

Once Maximillian takes his leave as well, Ahmet turns to the captain and explains to her about Sevim and the Kadi, his family's lost fortune, his poor treatment of the woman, their eventual reconciliation, and the value she demonstrated in Yadine. But he makes it clear they are not sleeping together.

"Captain, I am no holy man," he says, "and I am the wrong religion anyway. Once Andrej is established here, I would like very much to sail with you again, if you would have me."

Maximillian Boii said...

Fyi, I counted 2 votes for sea (presuming a bit on ahmet's part) so not settled yet lukas if you feel strongly, or andrej. I'd be happy to consider passion as the tie breaker.

Andrej said...

"The captain is, well, the captain, Lukas. It's her ship and her rules. She won't make us any guarantees, nor do I expect them, but she's been fair with us so far, and I do expect that to continue. Also consider this, were you and I to force the issue, and demand we disembark at Krym, it would be against Ahmet's strong feelings to the contrary. I see now that he won't be my companion forever. Fair enough, I need him to be my companion for now. My advice is to be patient. We'll find our way to Cumana."

Lukas said...

I've already voted land Max I have no interest in changing my vote, but that is the nature of voting. It appears I have been outvoted.

"Ahmet has developed a following. I wonder how the situation will work out when he suddenly decides to go marauding indefinitely?

And I stand by my concerns about US marauding having a negative impact on our mission. Perhaps the locals and government might be more tolerant of us having some un advertised deal with the pirates, but BEING pirates might be a problem.

This isn't the Mediterranean or the Black Sea. This is a small body of water. As the captain is heard of, so shall we.

It really doesn't matter though. We would be instead dividing our votes than swaying to a particular choice. We shall see what comes of it. If we get run out *I'm* not the one who made a promise to the church so perhaps my vote should not be swayed by that point. You are the one who is taking the risk. All my commitments fit in my vardoo. That includes you and the others Andrej."

Andrej said...

"I share your concern and appreciate your commitment to the endeavor, Lukas. Really I do. If there was a clearer, known path from Krym to the mouth of the Don I would opt for it. As it is, I suppose I've acquiesced to the devil I know instead of the devil that I don't.

As for Ahmet, his choices are his own to make."

Lukas said...

"I think you fail to understand the most important thing about the devil Andrej. The devil wants you to think you know them. But you never will. How do you think the most holy of us fall?"

Andrej said...

Out of character, I'm basically going along with staying on board as a concession. I'd rather be disembarking at this point for reasons Lukas has already stated.

I understand Lukas and I are the only ones really vocally committed to establishing the mission. Andrej accepted this undertaking way back when without conferring with the party at the time and I suppose just hoped everybody would go along with it. Everybody has, to a large extent, and I appreciate that immensely... but Max is ambivalent and Ahmet increasingly looking beyond it, and I respect that my goals at this point won't necessarily be those of everybody else. My intent is to devote a lot of time and energy to the mission. If that's not everybody's bag, I understand. I don't know what this means for the campaign as a whole but I'm hoping we can arrive at some goal that we all see as worthwhile to work towards so that we may continue playing together as a single group.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Ahmet hears the Captain mutter something, that may have been "mutter, mutter ... chance." At any rate, she only answers that she has made plans for the next year, and that those plans will take her to "A place I never expected to go." She then tells you to reassure your friends, to let them know that if she doesn't get you to where you want to go, she will be sure to return your shipping fees and give a hundred gold pieces besides. After that, she asks that Ahmet leave.

Lukas said...

Essentially I saw it breaking down thusly.

1. We put some basic effort into getting mission started and supplied/producing.

2. We start ranging near the mission for adventure.

3. We use our leveled minions to do anything more than a few days away from the mission. Or watch the mission as we wander off and do heroic things.

The actual paperwork for the mission seems like it could be done in weekly or even monthly segments that could be done in parallel to gameplay. It pretty much amounts to a status update and actions taken outside of 'encounters'.

Ahmet indefinitely running off with pirates may not work well with that concept though. Perhaps there is some way we can work that out?

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: being that this is online, there is a reasonable possibility that Andrej can concentrate on the mission, while Sofia - once she arrives - can continue with the main party. On the other hand, the players who are concerned about the mission being 'boring' should know that the lands around are unoccupied, somewhat wild, and filled with opportunities for adventure and gain. They might hang for a bit to allow themselves to see how quickly they grow bored)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Lukas, we had the same expectation.

Alexis, that second bit about the region being unoccupied and rife with adventure is what I was counting on.)

Once all are satisfied with (or at least accepting of) our decision to stay aboard without I'm ready to move forward.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I just want to assure everybody that Ahmet's lack of interest in the mission has nothing to do with me as a player. It's just the way it has been presented -- Andrej establishing a church and converting people to Catholicism -- obviously has no interest to a man of action like Ahmet, even if he weren't a quasi-Muslim. That said, as long as there's action here I intend to find excuses for him to stay!)

Andrej said...

(OOC: That's reassuring, Ahmet, thanks.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Are we good to move forward then? Are there any other things to say, discuss?

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Ready to move on.)

Lukas said...

Let us proceed.

Andrej said...

Let's do it.

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: I think I'm just going to concentrate on work right now. Sorry to make you wait, fellas)

The ship will slacken its sails and wait upon the open sea, expecting to pass through the Strait the night of the 20th, if it chances to rain.

The peasants have some idea what is going on, and none of them can concentrate long enough to listen to Andrej talk about religious matters.

Maximillian Boii said...

Sorry, I've been unable to keep up today. I'm ready to move on. I'll take this opportunity to say that I'm not at all worried about remaining engaged while we're establishing the mission, (there will be plenty of adventure, I'm sure) I've just not figured out how to align my own goals with it.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: That's where I'm coming from, Max.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

Well.

I feel like four people broke into my bedroom last night and beat me with rubber hoses.

I'm just working on some process stuff ... I'll get myself together in an hour or ninety minutes. Hang tough.

Maximillian Boii said...

You guys should get better locks...

My beatings seem to only happen during work hours.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Andrej, I don't want you to think that I feel you've hijacked the campaign. Not at all! We had to go somewhere and this is as good a place as any. In fact, if we had been told "There are great adventures to be had in Cumana" we all would have been clamoring to get here as quickly as possible. And in fact there are great adventures to be had in Cumana, as there are in every corner of Alexis's world. We'll be fine.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

Sorry Lukas, I was clicking to open the page and deleted the content instead. This is something I really hate about blogger; the two links are sometimes a half a pixel apart when the comment is of just a certain length.

I hope your double-teabag tea wakes you up. I'm living on coffee.

The next post, for the record, is up.

Andrej said...

Ahmet, no worries. I just wanted to check in with everybody out of character based on some of the in-character dialogue. I'm good now.

Lukas said...

Thanks Alexis. I hope you don't have shit coffee. I hear that's common.

My double dose Earl Grey has put the power of starship captains into me very quickly.