Sunday, February 28, 2016

Session 3: "Sourberry's Missing"

Octalym 25-26, 572fk
Ship's Cash: 1580 gold
Ship State: Undamaged, Lawful Merchant, (Deck Space: 6/10, Hull Space: 18/20)


     Grimms, Harrick, Corwyn and Calder bide their time with food and drink at the Laughing Otter, which continues to grow busier as the evening proceeds. Grimms strikes up a conversation with the Minstrel, Ninean Melos, who invites him to a session later in the evening.


     Eventually, the tavern reaches such a fill, that no tables are left for new patrons, which leads to a tense conversation as the owner asks Calder and his group if they would mind moving to the "side room." Rightfully guessing this has everything to do with Calder's race, Calder is ready to head back to the ship and Harrick is ready to argue, when Grimms smooths over the owner long enough for another table to become available, averting an ugly situation with extra doses of ugly potential.

     Still, the mood has been somewhat ruined, and the four aeronauts soon return to the ship; Grimms lagging behind long enough to make his introductions to the extremely large Mayor of Hardune Pointe as the man lumbers in with toadies in tow.

     Back on the Maven, Corwyn notes that he's feeling somewhat sick, and begs off for his quarters.

     Caywen Informs the crew of a passenger fare opportunity that presented itself while they were gone. The General Manager of the local mill, Mr. Wetherell, wished to pay for the safe passage of his young daughter and niece to Milum.

     The crew is allowed shore leave for the night and Grimms returns to the Otter with them. Caywen follows along after supper onboard the Maven.

     Back at the Otter, Grimms meets up with Ninean and they play some tunes. He notes that Ninean seems to be working with a young Kirith Syvani pickpocket in the crowd.

     Eventually the entertainment turns to a somewhat organized, bare knuckle event in the side room where Grimms fights and drinks his way to a small profit, and a comfy spot on the floor against the backside of the hearth before morning.

     Meanwhile Cawyn overhears an interesting conversation between the Mayor and a stern looking woman in a Constable's jacket and mail, the gist of which is the disappearances are more than rumor, and the Constable thinks the time is overdue to call in the Imperial investigators. The mayor does his best to calm her, asking for her to wait another week, until the Harvest festival has passed at least. She leaves the Tavern none to happy.

     Sated on beer and rumor, Caywen returns to the ship.

     Sometime around 3am the Bosun awakes Harrick for his watch, noting with concern that one of his hands, Sourberry, has failed to return from town. After a quick questioning, other members of the crew recall Sourberry leaving with one of the barmaids. Harrick decides to put the matter off until morning.

     Over breakfast, the owners find that Grimms has failed to return as well. Disembarking the ship once more, Caywen, Calder and Harrick head to the tavern where they question a tired looking Cyril. She informs them that she doesn't remember anything concerning Sourberry, but she leads them to the side room where they find Grimms sleeping peacefully beside an empty bottle of Durin whisky; a huge bruise covering half his face. Cyril recommends they check the guard tower for Sourberry.

     Together they all tramp down toward the Guard tower, when Harrick spots a guardsman searching a narrow alley. Questioning the man, they learn that an Aeronaut went missing last night. Brief questioning reveals that it was Sourberry. Guardsman Fey escorts them to the Constable at the Guard tower for the full story.

     When they arrive, the Constable introduces herself as Angela Steede. She informs them that a barmaid came in early this morning with a report of an incident on the edge of town. She and an Aeronaut were taking a late night stroll when they heard a noise in the bushes. Sourberry pulled a dagger and went to investigate. The sounds of an awful struggle ensued, the woman became frightened and ran off. The constable has had her deputies searching the town, river's edge and nearby woods, but with little luck so far.

     When the group reveals that they are aware of the multiple disappearances, the Constable doesn't deny anything. She reveals her frustration with the events of the last month, noting that there have been eight people gone missing mysteriously in the last six weeks, all but one of them travellers and aeronauts arriving or leaving from Hardune Pointe. With little evidence to go on, her team has been unable to do much. This latest missing man is one too many, and she's ready to call in the Imperial investigators.

     When they ask, she is more than willing to let them question the barmaid, ordering Guardsman Fey to escort them to her home and stay with them.

     Together they question the barmaid, Nani, about the events. She reiterates what she told the Constable, adding after some additional questioning that she and Sourberry were in the woods to the North of town - a little further out than she initially reported. She feels horribly responsible after running off and leaving the poor man to his fate. She agrees to lead them to the sight.

     Once there, Calder does some top notch investigating, revealing several important clues among the bushes. He finds the tracks of several small boots, like those of children or kudra. They array and position denotes a struggle. He also finds a few small. blue threads smashed into the dirt.

     When Nani mentions to Caywen that she remembers seeing a small, flying shape in the trees above, Calder investigates further and finds a few bits of hemp rope beneath a nearby tree.

     After spreading out and checking the nearby woods, and finding nothing else of note, they return to town, discussing the clues. Nani doesn't recall Sourberry wearing anything blue to account for the threads. As for the multiple small prints, there are of course plenty of children in town. There are no accounts of faelinarie or fairies, besides your standard folk tales, and the Kudra tribes generally stay well clear of the town, and can't as a rule, fly.

     When thinking on the matter, Fey does mention one possibility, noting a travelling salesman named The Fabulous Sheerhan who is camped along the river trail and has been in town for a little over two months. He says the man travels with a group of Tinker Dinari who suffer from Democ's Malady. Sheerhan is a friendly sort who sells wonderful elixirs and restorative potions. The Dinari stay on his Windcutter, due to their sickness, and they fix things the townspeople bring to them, like Tinkers are wont to do.

     The group eyes one another at this possibility, Calder looks nervous at mention of the demon spawned leprosy, knowing full well that he is most susceptible to its danger. Still, it being the best lead they have to finding Sourberry, Calder offers to return to the ship while they go investigate the Fabulous Sheerhan.

     There is a sign leading from the river road that points the way in colorful letters: "This way to the Fabulous Sheerhan!" A little further on is a warning sign: "Be made Aware, Sufferers of Democ's Malady reside here."

     Arriving in the clearing, they spy a small, gaily decorated windcutter airship, tethered and in the midst of various repairs. A small painted cart rests before it, and an equally colorful tent is pitched in the foreground, another banner proclaiming, "The Fabulous Sheerhan - Travelling Elixirman and Restorative Handyman, Artificer of Potions, Gadgets, Cogs and More!" is strung at the opening.

     They spy several small, swathed and robed figures before the fire, or moving in and out of the tent. Nothing is visible of their skin or faces. When one sees the group, he steps inside and soon a short man with a neatly trimmed, red beard and a long coat of riotous color steps out. He introduces himself as none other than the aforementioned Sheerhan.

     Over the following conversation he's friendly and affable, with little to hide. He explains how he found the TInkers two years ago, shortly after they had been attacked by a rift-spawned demon. He has developed a mutually beneficial relationship with them since then, providing potions and medical care that maintains their otherwise incurable condition, and room and board upon his ship in exchange for their services.

     When Corwyn's illness is mentioned, he offers a free visit, and gives Grimms an elixir guaranteed to have him feeling much better in no time. Grimms also mentions the possibility of doing supply business together, which Sheerhan takes great interest in.

     When they leave, it's with no evidence that Sheerhan is anything more than he says, though they are all suspicious. Guardsman Fey obviously believes the man and his helpers to be harmless, but when they ask, he is more than willing to get the Constable to come with them next time, to search his ship as a precaution.

     The group bathes thoroughly in the river before returning to the ship, taking all precautions against infecting their captain with the deadly malady. When they get back in the evening, they find that Corwyn is feeling a little better and Calder has informed the Good Mill manager that their trip will be delayed a day or more.

     That’s it for the third session. I hope you were entertained. Please feel free to add your comments. And join us next time...

     Onward and Upward Aeronauts!


Quest Log


Contracts


The Vanishing Sailors Near Hardune Pointe.


     Beautiful music. Night time disappearances of lone sailors. No alarms raised. At dock and in the sky around the town of Hardune Pointe.

Spice Protection (Escort)
Milum, Deoria to Drystan, Fom
Pickup Date: By Oct 29, 572
Delivery Date: Expected Arrival Dec 1, 572
     Ora R. Chauntaclor of Highwind Shipping needs a light gun escort capable of high altitude flight for a zeppelin convoy of Spice and Silk.

Payment: 2250 of 3000 gold due upon delivery.

Ice Swamp Extraction (Rescue)
Milum, Deoria to Marfach Murk, Fom
Start Date: By Oct 30, 572
Delivery Date: Unspecified.
     Pastor Ezekiel Vernell needs Bishop Foyle Doyle retrieved from a Missionary Camp in Marfach Murk.

Payment: 6000 gold upon delivery. (3000 for information)

Dry Goods to Kaergot (Shipping)Milum, Deoria to Kaergot, Fom
Start Date: By Oct 26, 572
Delivery Date: Nov 31, 572.
     Goodson Shipping and Freight wants 14 crates of various dry goods delivered to its warehouse in Kaergot.

Payment: 1000 gold upon delivery. (-5% Factor’s Fee to Mr. El)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Session 2 - "First Flight"

Octalym 23-25, 572fk
Ship's Cash: 1580 gold
Ship State: Undamaged, Lawful Merchant, (Deck Space: 6/10, Hull Space: 18/20)


     Having committed to the purchase and operation of the Maven, the new owners set about preparing for departure. Grimms heads down to Airmen’s Row, visiting taverns and public houses in search of a crew. Though his warmup songs of dark, loving gods from beyond the ether fail to win any converts, he does manage to carouse and cajole his way to twelve new crewmen willing to work for initial reduced rates. (7 gold each for the first month + standard shares. Paid at the end of the month.)


     Calder, Herrick and Wical Briarwood head over to Templeton, in search of Pastor Ezekiel Vernell of Murbagh’s Cathedral. After Calder gets cold looks from the acolytes in the square, they are lead to his offices. In a brief meeting with the elder Neran priest, they learn a few more details about the rescue mission to Marfach Murk, and officially take on the contract for the agreed upon price of 6000 gold, or 3000 for viable information.

     Bishop Foyle Doyle last sent a crystal communications just under five months ago.

     He was heading up a missionary camp in the interior of the marshes, attempting to convert a large clan of Bullywug to the path of light.

     Though his last few crystals were sparse on details, there was no indication from them that anything was amiss. He requisitioned supplies and reported that he had finally had a meeting with the Bullywug Chieftain.

     Further crystal attempts with the camp were met with silence. Two attempts were made by local patrols to find the camp, but were unsuccessful for unknown reasons.

     They next head to Ora R. Chauntaclor of Highwind Shipping where they sign up for Topwatch on the Spice run to Drystan. They learn that a Durinos, Steele Mountain vessel, The Smoke, is running heavy guard and another Deorian Cloudrunner called the Vesper is running peripheral. They negotiate a quarter pay up front (+750 gold), sign papers and agree to meet on the North Downs on the morning of the 30th.

     2350 gold.

     Late that night, back on board the Maven, Mr. El agrees to find them a simple, low pay contract to fill their hull and heads off. Three of the new crew bunk aboard and the owners share a last glass and head off to try out their new beds.

     In the morning Mr. El returns with his shipping contract for 14 crates bound for Kaergot, Fom for 1000 gold. The rest of the crew arrives and is briefly vetted by Bosun Bratun, who besides finding Fitzroy and Leslie - two young Neran lads with attitude - to be somewhat less experienced than they originally claimed, approves of Grimms’s selection.

     Calder is introduced to the Maven’s currently non-functioning Porter-cog, Grail, and excitedly accepts the challenge of fixing him. After a brief meeting over Booth’s so-so prepared breakfast they load on the Kaergot crates, pay their docking fees (-100 gold), restock with provisions for 17 until the end of the month (-510 gold) and decide to take the Maven and crew on a test flight to Howell. Through a favorable wind, and steady rain, the Maven rises into the busy sky and heads west under excellent guidance from Cawyn and steerage from Corwyn.

     1740 gold.

     The day long flight passes into the night with the Maven rising above the hail and rain into the roiling cloudscape above. The crew are run through their paces, hauling out the guns and lashing them tight, running storm drills and manning their positions in good order. Fitzroy and Leslie give the Bosun some lip, but Grimms quickly sorts them out and has them separated for good measure.

     Calder has the rotation cuffs smoothed out on Grail, and after a fresh oiling he gives the cog’s crystal heart a jump start with the Maven’s core and Grail comes to life, his one good eye blinking slowly. The old steambot’s voice is slow and simple as he introduces himself and awaits instructions. Calder brings the cog on deck and introduces him to the new crew before sending him back down into the hull to power down and await orders.

     1 Day offline travel = Fuel 19/20

     By first light of the 25th, the Maven is entering the outskirts of Howell when Cawyn spots Riftlight 2 miles off to the Norwest, just below the Ether. The planar tear is too far off to be of any immediate concern, but since they are close enough to contact the Howell Air towers, they note the event in their logs and crystal the warning in.

     Docking at the visitor towers (-20 gold), they grant the crew a three hour leave and Corwyn and Cawyn head into the tavern district to get a drink and pick up rumors. Calder heads to a Cog Supply shop to buy backup parts and a new eye for Grail. (-120 gold). The others stay aboard the Maven, continuing to fine tune the systems and “get comfortable.”

     1600 gold.

     Besides the normal, boring, city rumors, the two Wicals (priests) strike up a conversation with two sky sailors who tell an interesting tale...

     Over the last several weeks, many aeronauts have vanished from their ships on the Eiryl River run (Howell to Milum)

     “Me mate on the Bonnie Boiler was mates with a man that went missing while in flight just ten day past. No sound. No warning. Just vanished on his watch! And no trace left behind to tell as what happened...”

     On the return flight, they overhear some crystal chatter of a merchant captain warning others to stay clear of Hardune Pointe, as he lost a man there just last evening. When Harrick asks, they mention that some of the crew mentioned hearing bee-utiful music in the night, prior to his man’s disappearance.

     After discussing the matter among themselves, the crew decides to stop in Hardune Pointe to investigate, reasoning they still have five days before they need to be back in Milum. Harrick wonders where the profit is but goes along.

     They dock at the single skytower (-10 gold) and head into the town square. The place is busy with road, river and sky travellers. Carriages, carts, and even a nobleman’s Arcanicraft clutter the roadside. They enter the Laughing Otter Tavern and Public House and Grimm’s goes to work. (buy the busy tavern a round on Grimms (-10 gold). After some flirtatious use of his telepathic abilities, he learns from Cyril Redlake, a smitten barmaid, that lots of strangers, mostly sailors, have gone missing around the village, but her boss, Meryll, doesn’t want anyone to talk about it, for fear of losing customers with an official Imperial investigation.

     1580 gold.

     As they sit at a corner table in the crowded tavern, discussing their options, a talented Syvani minstrel begins to play his flute for the customers. He’s quite good. The group shares a suspicious look and Cawyn mutters something about making earplugs.

     That’s it for the second session. Join us next time...

     
Onward and Upward Aeronauts!



Quest Log

The Vanishing Sailors Near Hardune Pointe.


     Beautiful music. Night time disappearances of lone sailors. No alarms raised. At dock and in the sky around the town of Hardune Pointe.


Contracts

Spice Protection (Escort)
Milum, Deoria to Drystan, Fom
Pickup Date: By Oct 29, 572
Delivery Date: Expected Arrival Dec 1, 572


     Ora R. Chauntaclor of Highwind Shipping needs a light gun escort capable of high altitude flight for a zeppelin convoy of Spice and Silk.

Payment: 2250 of 3000 gold due upon delivery.



Ice Swamp Extraction (Rescue)
Milum, Deoria to Marfach Murk, Fom
Start Date: By Oct 30, 572
Delivery Date: Unspecified.


     Pastor Ezekiel Vernell needs Bishop Foyle Doyle retrieved from a Missionary Camp in Marfach Murk.

Payment: 6000 gold upon delivery. (3000 for information)

Dry Goods to Kaergot (Shipping)
Milum, Deoria to Kaergot, Fom
Start Date: By Oct 26, 572
Delivery Date: Nov 31, 572.


     Goodson Shipping and Freight wants 14 crates of various dry goods delivered to its warehouse in Kaergot.

Payment: 1000 gold upon delivery. (-5% Factor’s Fee to Mr. El)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Session 1 - "The Maven's Cry"

Airships and Arcanists
Welcome to our new Campaign!
DnD 5th Edition, Steampunk Fantasy in the land of Aeranos.


What is it? It’s steampunk Aeranos. Airships, shard pistols, fireballs and dragons, floating islands and pirate kings. Ship graveyards in the Ether. Mechanized golems and arcanicraft races. Magic vs. technology. Gods vs. mortals. Ancient, magical civilizations transformed by dirty industry and the tycoons that run it. Wyld Syvani shardslingers. Rebel druids. Angry fey. Durin mines belching black clouds from the deeps. Mad Dinari tinkers, wonderful gadgets, demons at the fringes.


More to the point, I’m trying my hand at a truly sandbox style roleplaying experience. We’re going to concentrate on Travel turns, random events, and costs to keep the ships flying. I’ll be borrowing from all kinds of existing material, and probably cobbling together my own rules as well. Let the chips fall where they may. It’s an experiment. Fingers crossed it goes well.

The Characters

Calder Balathor (Active Player)

Tiefling Engineer/Gunslinger, Male.
Current Captain by democratic election, Calder is highly intelligent, but sometimes reclusive when working on a new project. He has loyalty to his friends and crew, but rarely anyone else.

Cawyn Briarwood (Active Player)

Durin Druid, Male.
A follower of the Old Gods, the first ways. A keeper of the balance in an increasingly unbalanced world. And an Aeronaut to boot.


Corwyn Lys (Retired Player

Neran Cleric of The Summoner, Male.
Corwyn Lys is a mid-20's male, blonde haired blue eyed around 5'10" with a medium build. He's a cleric of The Summoner, but doesn't appear to be especially interested in proselytizing.

GrimmsToken.png

Grimms (Inactive Player)

Neran Warlock of Ye Olde One, Male.
An outlander raised by Hill Giants who worships the benevolent tentacled Old One from Beyond the Ether. Grimms is an odd Aeronaut for an odd world.


Harrick Token.png

Harrick (Active Player)

Orokan Fighter, Male.
Harrick has been an aeronaut for a few years now, with some seagoing experience beforehand - the oroka has been a solid warrior-type on deck with weapon and shield. He's a little light on the whole "mercy" thing, but does have a loyalty to his fellow ship and crewmates.


Session 1 - "The Maven's Cry"


Octalym 23, 572fk
Current Money: 0
Ship State: NA


The Deorian capital. The City of Princes. An old, sprawling and beautiful medieval metropolis, overlaid with the trappings of modern arcanic industry. Great, Skytowers, moored with zeppelins and airships of all sizes, festooned with flags of many nations and needle-like communications crystals. In the cobbled and shadowed streets below are a mixture of horse drawn carriages and hand-carts, with the occasional hovering arc sled or arcanicraft.


And pedestrians; workers, soldiers, scholars and business types, in plaid, tweed, rags, leather and silk, going about their daily business, in robes, armor, waistcoats and top hats. Urchins on the corners, peddlers hawking their wares, the heavy tread of steam golems. And over it all, the smoke, steam and vapors of a hundred factories mixing with the fog off the great Eiryl River.


Having been drawn from various locations to the Deorian Capital of Milum, our intrepid adventurers sit in the well appointed, if sterile waiting room of The Law Office of Prof. E. Oxley Dudfield Esq. executor of the Captain’s will. Some are acquaintances, having served briefly together on one of Captain Fathak's fleet vessels. They are all here as the result of the following letter.


As an esteemed colleague of Captain Fathak D’Burgeourin, you are invited to attend a special reading of an amendment to the good captain’s Last Will and Testament. While attendance is not required, certain provisions of the will are of a time sensitive nature, and your presence is strongly recommended.


Sincerely,
Mister El.


Octalym 23rd, 572FK
The Law Office of Prof. E. Oxley Dudfield Esq., Suite B
Trinity Downs Aeronautical College of Commerce and Engineering
Milum, Deoria


They wait a brief while in mostly companionable silence.
After a half candle or so, a richly dressed human with short, curling blond hair and a finely polished walking cane enters. He is flanked by two men in business jackets and bowlers. In a cultured, easy going voice, he introduces himself as Master Barnabus Valmont, a one-time colleague of Captain Fathak’s.
Over a mostly one sided conversation, he reveals that he is a chief party in the Captain’s Will, though he doesn’t know what the particulars of this meeting are about. The party reveals that they know little about it either. Grimms takes the opportunity to hand Valmont a little hand drawn pamphlet explaining the virtues of the Great Cthulu. The businessman accepts it graciously.
Eventually they are saved from awkward small talk by the entrance of the mysterious Mr. El, a grizzled old human aeronaut in a fine sailor’s coat and battered top hat. It’s immediately apparent that there is unspoken animosity between he and Valmont. Mr. El pops into the office to hurry along the executor and they are led into the offices shortly after.
Professor Dudfield turns out to be a Dinari (gnome) in a finely tailored business vest and a solicitor’s mantle. After introductions, he informs Valmont that his presence is not “technically” allowed at the reading. Valmont asks the party if they mind, and they allow him to stay.
Adjusting his spectacles, Dudfield proceeds to open the papers and read:
Amendment to the Last Will of Fathak.jpg
When the reading is over, Dudfield explains that he has details on the accounts and amounts in the noted bank accounts, but asks that Valmont leave the room before proceeding. Valmont does so with a smile, only delaying long enough to mention that he is glad to have met them, and that he will be available if they need any help in the coming decisions.
When they are alone, the Professor reveals that each party has inherited 6000 gold - a none too small sum. He also tells them that the Maven’s Cry is currently docked nearby. Mr. El suggests they take a look at the vessel before coming to any decisions. Grimm seems enthusiastic to start flying. The others assume a more cautious optimism.
On the way across the campus to the ship tower, Mr. El is asked about his relationship with Valmont. He explains that he knows only a little about the man. He claims that Fathak and Valmont were once close friends and business partners, but their relationship seemed strained in later years. Since then, Valmont had little openly to do with the Captain. When the Captain died last year, it was revealed that Valmont was one Fathak’s key creditors through various intermediary companies. Most of his contracts and vessels have fallen into Valmont’s hands now, which seems downright suspicious to Mr. El.
They find the ship to be old and well seasoned, but in fair condition. They meet the ship’s current Boatswain, a Durin named Bratun Darge and the First Mate, Perry Hargate Booth, who show them around the ship. After a semi-thorough inspection, Calder pronounces the Maven a fine vessel.
Over drinks in the captain’s mess, Mr. El describes the business life of a ship like the Maven’s Cry, and tells them if they take her on, they’ll be starting with practically no reserve funds. He’s quite frank about everything, and promises that he will help with procuring contracts, for a negligible sum.
He goes over the expenses, noting crew pay, dock fees, and taxes.
Expenses
Docking Fees: 50-150 per day in port.
Bank Payment: 750 gold per month
Maintenance and Stock: Crew of 20 (3000 per month)
Crew Pay: 10 gold per month plus shares.
Share Dispensation (after expenses)
Captain and First Officers (PCs): 5 Shares each (all after expenses)
Boatswain and First Mate: 1 Share +1/2 Share for peril
Deck Crew: 1/2 Share, +1/2 Share for Peril)


Then you all look at the current contracts available:


Book Run (shipping)
Milum, Deoria to Torelan, Manawyn
Pickup Date: By Oct 30, 572
Delivery Date: Dec 20, 572
Master Varic Nornin needs two crates of highly valuable texts shipped to Lady Iarrora Syljyr, Tower of Lions.
Payment: 2000 gold upon delivery.


Spice Protection (Escort)
Milum, Deoria to Drystan, Fom
Pickup Date: By Oct 29, 572
Delivery Date: Expected Arrival Dec 1, 572
Ora R. Chauntaclor of Highwind Shipping needs a light gun escort capable of high altitude flight for a zeppelin convoy of Spice and Silk.
Payment: 3000 gold upon delivery.


Ice Swamp Extraction (Rescue)
Milum, Deoria to Marfach Murk, Fom
Start Date: By Oct 30, 572
Delivery Date: Unspecified.
Pastor Ezekiel Vernell needs Bishop Foyle Doyle retrieved from a Missionary Camp in Marfach Murk.
Payment: 6000 gold upon delivery. (3000 for information)

That’s it for the first session. Join us next time for some actual adventuring.
Onward and Upward Aeronauts!