50 Fathoms: Session 32

This session, we got to break out a Savage Worlds ruleset that I haven’t had the opportunity to learn or use yet – mass battles. It’s a decent set-up for something that would otherwise be time-consuming and confusing, requiring huge amounts of table space for minis and maps. Unfortunately, though, I think it had the side effect of being kind of anti-climactic. Still, it was good to at least give it a try, even though I’ll have to think about using it again for other big battles.

 

The Party:

Yang Hou, human sailor

Theodore, human archmage

Boggsworth, masaquani scoundrel

Lars, doreen hunter

Skitters, scurillian archmage

 

The Setting:

Brigandy Bay, a pirate town

Swindon, on Perck

Bristo, on Cuwayo

Caribdus, a drowning world

 

The Story So Far:

With the group agreed to take part in Admiral Duckworth’s attack on Brigandy Bay, they made a quick jaunt back up to Fort Rum to pick up more of their ships and men – you never know when one extra ship or one extra cannon might make all the difference in a battle of such importance. The outcome of this fight would change the landscape of Caribdus forever. They made sure that their preparations were thorough – powder bombs, cannonballs, and grapeshot were all stocked up, filling every cargo space the ships could spare.

On the way to Brigandy Bay, they joined back up with Duckworth and his British East India Company fleet, hoping that they still had the element of surprise. It seemed, when they arrived, that they did, even though they were outnumbered by the pirates nearly two-to-one. They quickly began firing cannonshot into the town and at the ships docked in bay. The pirate captains quickly mustered themselves and began firing back with what ships they could. With Annie captaining the Kung Pao (finding absolute glee in destroying the town where she’d once been sold into sex slavery), Sarah in charge of the General Tso, and Prince Alain commanding the Lo Mein, they quickly turned the tide of the battle, reducing the number of pirate ships significantly.

Yang Hou expertly commanded the firing of the cannons across all ships, timing the shots most expertly. Lars swam through the bay and cut through swaths of pirates on land, as did Boggsworth. Skitters and Theodore cast huge blasts and bursts of magic elemental energy to take out their foes. Not far behind them, Duckworth’s men valiantly swarmed the shore to take out any pirates who attempted to flee further inland. They left any innocents (not that there were too many of those in Brigandy Bay in the first place) and any of those who surrendered rather than continuing to fight. After all, they didn’t want a bloodbath, they just wanted to discourage the rampant piracy on the island.

When the battle had concluded, the fleet of pirate ships nearly wiped out, the Happy Family fleet assessed their damage, alongside the British East India Company ships. Though a few ships on their side had sunk, they’d mostly only taken damage – even the pristinely maintained Happy Family ships took damage, which were repaired under the next few weeks. Yang Hou’s care and oversight saw all their ships returned to the best condition possible, at times using salvaged wood from the pirate ships they’d sunk during the battle. Waste not, want not after all. He also managed to piece together intact components from a wide variety of ships to put together two more remarkably cohesive ships – a schooner named the Chow Mein and a Chinese junk called the Crab Rangoon. Two more members of the ever-expanding Happy Family!

After the enormity of the battle, the group took some time to go back to Fort Rum and recuperate for a time – they deserved some rest and relaxation for certain. But after a couple of weeks, the itch to hit the open seas once more struck them all, and they decided to resume their quest of finding the golden triangles for Rufus Redbeard. Knowing that the last two that they needed were in Bristo and Swindon, they decided to go to the southernmost location first. Before going right to Swindon, though, they wanted to stop in at Shark Bay, the other preeminent pirate town they knew well, and see how the news of Brigandy Bay was being received.

What they found there was mostly relief that the fleet had not fallen on Shark Bay and fear that the British East India Company would come after them next. It seemed that most of the local pirates were staying well clear of Company ships, and the Potsticker crew was pleased enough with that reaction. After stopping in to visit Liam and Dublin of the Blue Parrot Inn, they made their way over to Swindon, to find Winston the kehana, who would have information about a particular golden triangle.

Swindon only having one tavern, The Gallows, they knew that was where their search would start. Fortune was on their side, as Winston was actually drinking with some friends there that evening. He had two things to offer – a golden triangle and a map to where Redbeard’s treasure was. All he asked was that he be allowed to join the crew of the ship as an equal member and receive a fair share of the enormous treasure haul when the time came. Captain Boggsworth consulted with the rest of the crew and then gladly accepted the offer – with more ships meant more opportunities for advancement in the Happy Family and they had plenty of crew spots to fill.

Bristo was almost immediately north of Swindon, just a quick jaunt across a narrow strait to get to the island of Cuwayo. Although they’d come to Cuwayo many times, mostly to go to Baltimus, they’d seldom explored the south or east sides of the island, including the settlement of Deiking, or Little China as it was known. Still, duty was duty, and they decided to go to Bristo and get the last triangle before having some fun in Little China (where there definitely would not be any Big Trouble, no sirree).

When they arrived, they found a thriving agricultural settlement, one that was rarely struck by pirates despite its prosperity due to the town’s well-trained militia. They made their was once more to the town’s tavern and listened in on the local gossip. There was a British East India Company ship in port as well, and they caught up with some of the other sailors who had been involved in the raid on Brigandy Bay as well. Skitters, eating dropped crumbs and spills on the floor, discreetly moved under tables and listened in on the conversations there.

He found who consensus agreed was the most educated, intelligent man in town, a British visitor by the name of Nathaniel Sullivan (Theodore took a liking to him immediately). They politely interrupted his supper to discuss what they sought. While Nathaniel knew little of Redbeard and less of golden triangles, he did suggest where a treasure haul containing such a thing might be found. Three days’ hike out of Bristo, there was a valley marked with an X on a map Nathaniel had once bought. The valley had once been settled but had been abandoned a few years ago, long before he acquired the map. He allowed the party to trace it and wished them luck in finding it.

They enjoyed a pleasant stroll through the wilderness, taking in the sights and foraging for the local edible plant life to supplement their supplies. When they came to the valley marked by the map, they found an old abandoned farmhouse, a lightning-struck tree, a lone gravestone at the edge of the woods, and a conspicuously bare patch of earth. All of these sounded like great places to bury treasure, so they split up to scope them all out at once. First, Skitters and Boggsworth went over to the bare patch of soil to see what they could excavate. Skitters used his earth magic, and Boggsworth instructed some interns to help speed the process along by digging.

To their surprise, they did actually find a treasure haul, but not the one they sought – this one contained a few hundred pieces of eight, some powder bombs, and not much else of importance. Over at the lightning-struck and blackened tree, Yang Hou was being pelted with coconuts by some of the local monkapes who were living in another tree nearby. He ignored them and continued to investigate the area. Theodore used a blast of water to get them to leave him alone, and his blast actually cleared off a marking on that tree – a skull carved into the trunk. He used his Burrow spell to go deep into the earth himself, speeding downwards at an alarmingly fast rate.

He quickly came to a skeleton buried in the soil, and when they touched it, the skeleton’s eyes lit up red and it shouted a warning at them, “Curses! Curses upon those who disturb this treasure!” After they recovered from the surprise that had given them, they realized it was no more than a cheap enchanted trick, and that no real curses lay here at all. They therefore proceeded to disturb the treasure, obviously. Here they found thousands more pieces of eight, as well as a familiar-looking golden triangle with strange, unreadable writing engraved upon it. Yang Hou added it to the ones already strung around his neck, the set now complete.

Rather than start the trip back to Bristo and their ship, they decided that since it was near nightfall now, they’d camp out in the abandoned farm house and set up a watch schedule so someone would be on alert at all times. Around midnight, Lars spotted an enormous monkape – around 20 ft. tall – meandering out of the woods and into the clearing. He immediately sent the interns to wake the others and stealthily moved outside so he could make sure it wasn’t going to attack.

Indeed, them monkape seemed mostly interested in shaking trees to catch all the bananas and coconuts that fell off, shoving them into his mouth in vast, greedy handfuls. Since he posed no threat to them yet, the group decided to befriend him as best they knew how. Knowing that monkapes were quite intelligent (…more intelligent that some party members, in point of fact), Boggsworth grabbed one of the bananas that had fallen, sprinkled some cinnamon on it (from his handy bandolier of spices) and offered it to the monkape as a gesture of peace. The monkape looked confused, but agreeable, and ate the banana. He started pounding the ground for more. Boggsworth sent some interns back to the house for supplies, and he managed to prepare a delicious bananas foster for their giant new friend, who was clearly delighted.

Sometime near morning, the monkape wandered back into the woods, and the group smiled at the easily averted potential disaster.

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