9th August 2020.
It's Sunday lunchtime and it's a blazingly hot day in the middle of a classic English heatwave. We're at Vicky's with our picnic blankets in the back garden.
This means it's time for Matt's 50 Fathoms game.
Location: The Perdition.
From Win's position in 'The Perdition's' rigging, she spoke to Califax, holding out Tressa' heart to him and trying to convince him to carry it to Shia. Califax refused, unwilling to carry his former pet's heart.
Suddenly the bloody heart became an actual sparkling ruby, cut in the shape of a gleaming heart? In a moment though, the illusion had vanished and only the real heart remained?
Califax then warned Win that she would need to preserve the heart.
Meanwhile, sailors from below had scrambled up the rigging, leaving Win no option but to surrender.
All of us had been captured; we were taken below deck and put into two separate cells. Win and Rufus in one cell and the rest of us in another, separating the magic users.
Unbeknown to any of us in the cells, Califax had flown over to Shia, in his talons was the Tressa's heart. Somehow, he had gotten it off Win? He dropped it into Shia's hands and told her that it needed to be preserved.
Shia ordered a crew member to bring over a jar filled with salt water and placed the heart into it.
Then Shia and Rackham ordered their ships to begin bombarding The Perdition.
From our cells we heard cannonballs whistle overhead and occasionally strike The Perdition. There was a lot of shouting and commotion elsewhere in the barge.
We tried to look out of the cell, hopefully any guards would have been called away from our cell. Baxter and Terrance started working on the door, trying to break it open. Cannonballs continued to whistle past.
Back at the ships. Shia continued attacking The Perdition, Rackham, in his little shallow-hulled skiff, advanced towards The Perdition.
At our cell, Baxter and Terrance continued to try and break the door open, they had met with some success, the door had been split into two and still required some more bashing.
A cannonball struck the barge close to our cell, shaking it so hard that dust showered us, we also heard splintering wood.
Baxter and Terrance continue bashing at the cell door and finally it broke open, we were free.
We dashed down the corridor we had come from and immediately encountered Win turning the corner. It appeared that Rufus and Win had also managed to escape their cell, although Rufus was no where to be seen?
We could see that Win was stressed, Win told us that she had lost Tressa's heart, it had gone missing from her pocket. We had no choice but to find it before we could leave the barge. We could feel the barge shiver from another cannonball hit.
Win said that she might be able to locate the heart if she was not disturbed and allowed to meditate for about two minutes.
Outside, the attack on The Perdition continued and Rackham sailed even closer. He launched several magic spells at the barge.
So we started looking for a suitable spot for Win to meditate on a boat that was under attack! After a little searching we came across Rufus, he was looting a room he had found to be empty. It seemed a good spot for Win's meditating.
An explosion rattled the entire barge, anything not nailed down jingled, shook and bounced around.
It was slight and almost imperceptible, but we could feel the barge beginning to list.
Win settled down, 'got comfortable' and began meditating. The rest of us stood guard.
Further away we could hear yelling and shouting to 'abandon ship'! Panic was spreading throughout the barge. We also heard voices ineffectively trying to calm the crew down.
Half way through Win's meditation, Califax appeared, began flapping around and making a nuisance of himself. We told him to keep quiet, but he interrupted us and explained that Captain Shia had Tressa's heart! Win snapped out of her trance, glared at Califax and demanded he explain himself.
Califax said that he had seen the heart in Win's pocket and on a whim took it and bought it to Shia. If parrots could shrug, I'm certain Califax would have!
The Perdition was under attack and listing, the crew were panicking and distracted. Now was a good time to try and escape.
As we were escaping, Rackham was approaching the barge. He could see the hull was breached at the waterline and was taking on water. He dived into the sea, swimming underwater towards the breach.
Whilst swimming, he could see people hitting the surface of the water above as they abandoned ship, he could some were swimming and others flailing about as they sank down to the sea bed.
Rackham swam through the breach and was in the hull now.
Meanwhile Shia kept her attack up on The Perdition.
Those of us below deck made for the top, most of us that is. Rufus had decided to linger in the sinking barge, looking for loot.
Once the rest of us reached the deck. It was pandemonium as sailors and mercenaries ran around. Some were diving overboard, others tried to contain the damage being suffered and so on. The was a cacophony of screaming and shouting.
We weaved our way through the chaos, hoping to be unnoticed...
"BE CALM" Boomed an unimaginably loud and seemingly disembodied voice. For a moment, a brief moment, the crew froze, caught in a moment of tranquillity looking around expectantly, easily enough time for us to be spotted unfortunately.
We sprinted, ducked and dodged our way to the jolly boat, throwing caution to the wind as the chaos resumed. Fortune was with us, unchallenged we boarded the boat and kicked off the barge. Then we realised, Win wasn't here, she been separated from us somehow, but it was too late to turn around. Win was still aboard The Perdition.
But Win wasn't the only one, Rackham was now searching below decks for loot, as was Rufus.
After Win had gotten separated from us, she tried backtracking to a hiding spot, but it was to no avail. One of the cardinals on the deck spotted her and yelled out, "Heretic!" and advanced to confront Win.
Below decks, Rackham and Rufus crossed paths. Rackham continued looking for loot, Rufus decided to go looking for the others.
Rufus wandered on to the deck just in time to hear the cardinal menacing Win with an axe.
Rufus stepped up and issued him a challenge. The cardinal wheeled round to Rufus, a smile split his face as he said, "We have ourselves another heathen here.".
Now it was the turn of several other men to step up and join the cardinal, ready for a fight.
I play, I paint.