50 Fathoms: Session 21

In a lot of ways, this campaign is built around island-hopping in between the main plot points. It’s a whole world full of stuff, and only like 12 really key things. As a GM, I’ve struggled to run that without making it feel kind of like filler, or like a distraction from the main plot. It’s a very different type of campaign than what I’ve run before. I like the Savage Worlds plot point campaign structure, but it takes a mental adjustment from what I’m used to, I suppose.

 

The Party:

Yang Hou, human sailor

Lars, doreen hunter

Boggsworth Binns, masaquani scoundrel

Theodore, human fire/air mage

Skitters, scurillian water/earth/air mage

 

The Setting:

The Village of Kuwayway in the Whip Islands

Caribdus, a drowning world

 

The Story So Far:

Departing from Fort Rum to make their way across the world to Tressa the Red’s home near Torath-Ka, the crew of the Potsticker decided to stop in at Kuwayway, in the Whip Islands, to resupply. Seeing the huge populations of sea turtles nearby, they caught a few to turn into turtle soup, and who knew what those shells could be useful for? Pulling into the docks, they were greeted by the dockmaster, who collected their docking fees, checked their papers, and – as a matter of course – warned them to stay away from the Old Fort up on the plateau. Obviously, the party couldn’t let this lie; telling them to stay away from a place just makes them want to go there more.

They made their way to the local tavern, the Turtle Shell, in order to see what the locals – and the other visitors – said about the fort. While they were there, they discovered a large group of Spanish crewmen from the two Spanish Guild ships docked here. The crewmen were griping about their captains, who were forcing them to participate in the trade war with the British East India Company. These sailors wanted nothing to do with the whole thing; they wanted only to resume their normal trade routes and activities, to peacefully sail the seas. Boggsworth figured that if their captains were the only things holding them back from retiring from the trade war… they could do something about that.

The first captain, they discovered, was still aboard his ship. Boggsworth and Lars went there to get him out of the way. Boggsworth knocked politely on the door to his cabin, and he answered, rather impatiently. Boggsworth distracted him while Lars got into position to do… well, what Lars does best. The captain was quickly relieved of his skull, spine, and several internal organs. Boggsworth and Lars cleaned things up as best they could – wouldn’t want the blood to stain the wood of the deck – and grabbed what the captain had been writing in before they’d interrupted him. Never knew what kind of interesting information they might glean from the ship’s log, after all.

The other captain was currently at the town’s brothel, and Ted, Skitters, and Yang Hou made their way over there to see what could be done about him. They greeted the brothel madame, and asked if they had any girls who would suit the very discerning Yang Hou. He caused a distraction by having the madame summon all of the currently unoccupied young women of the brothel, and loudly and insultingly rejecting every single one of them, one at a time. While Yang Hou kept everyone occupied in the front room of the brothel, Ted and Skitters snuck back to the individual rooms to see if they could find the captain.

It took a while – and several awkward encounters – but they found him, and Ted rather quickly turned him into a pile of ash. They paid off the girl he’d been with to say nothing. They quickly returned to the front room and got Yang Hou out of there, then returned to the rest of the crew back at the Turtle Shell. They said nothing to the crews of the two ships; they simply waited for them to discover that their captains were nowhere to be found. Once the crews started spreading the news, Skitters spread a rumor that he’d seen the two captains running off together, leaving their ships behind. Both crews celebrated well into the night, with drinks all around.

The next day, the crew of the Potsticker – after nursing their hangovers – decided to go up and investigate the Old Fort. They’d received a bunch of different stories as to why exactly the place was haunted – but everyone agreed that it was unsafe to go there after dark. The party decided to scout the place out in the daylight, then hang around until dark to see just what happened there. During the daylight, the place seemed thoroughly unmenacing. The ground was muddy, and most of the wooden structures had long since rotted away, but the stone walls of the fort remained intact. They built a fire in the middle of the fort, and gathered up all the old bones they could find, the place being littered with them. Perhaps giving the bones a proper burial would lay any ghosts to rest.

When they took patrols around the fort for a time, even at night, they found nothing else that would seem to indicate a haunting. They returned to the fire, only to find… even more bones. Bones that they would swear had not been there before. They re-buried them, just to see if anything happened. It did not. But from up on one of the watchtowers of the fort, Boggsworth could see that the surface of the burial pit that Skitters had created with his earth magic was disturbed. Rather than let the creatures get the drop on them, the group chose to be proactive in destroying the fleshy, rotted monsters.

Yang Hou and Boggsworth both shot at the fiends – some of them melted back down and stopped moving, but some of them simply reformed around the holes that had been blown through them. Lars ran forward and slashed and sliced at them, though his knives did not seem to do much damage to the monsters. Ted’s fire magic, however, was super effective against the creatures, burning a large group of them to cinders. Skitters’ water magic effectively power-washed the remaining fiends off the walls of the fort as they attempted to climb it.

With the threat of the fort removed, the crew of the Potsticker became heroes, not only to the Spanish crews, but to the people of Kuwayway as well. Once more, the town celebrated down at the tavern, and the drinks flowed most freely. In the morning, the Potsticker left port, to make their way south towards Tressa the Red.

Session 20

Session 22

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