31st August 2020
It's a bank holiday Monday and we're round Vicky's.
It's time for Matt's fortieth and concluding session of 50 Fathoms.
Location: at port.
Several weeks had passed since the defeat of Torquemada and we had returned to a safe harbour. Now we were fully rested and our ships were in 'fighting condition'.
We knew that we soon had to face the sea hags.
Then one night I had a strange dream that I half-remembered. Speaking with the crew I would soon discover that all of us had experienced a similar event.
A yound girl appeared in the dream, perhaps eight to twelve years old.
- There was an overwhelming sense of peace when we saw her.
- There was a feeling that we were ready.
- We had to go to the Devil's Cross.
- We had to sail over where King Amemnus' castle used to be.
- The water from another world had to be poured into the sea over the castle.
- Then the sea hags had to be named.
- The fight with the enemy would not be an easy one.
Gathering what allies we had, we set sail for the centre of The Flotsam Sea, for The Devil's Cross, the heart of the vortex.
As we left harbour, we spoke with Califax and instructed him to contact our allies at Bluth's Crown and other places, to fly far and wide, to spread the word; now was the time to defeat the sea hags.
It took a month of sailing to reach the edge of The Flotsam Sea, when we arrived, we found a dozen ships waiting for us. Califax was among them.
After communicating with their captains, we learned that they too had recieved 'strange messages' telling them to come to The Flotsam Sea.
Califax admitted that he had nothing to do with any of this, the ships had already set sail before he reached any of them.
Our fleet contained representations of all the people of Ograpog, from Atani to Scurillions. This was a thing that affected everybody.
The fleet set sail for The Devil's Cross and the fate of Ograpog.
The closer we sailed, the rougher the seas became. We pushed on through the ever worsening storm and churning water until our eyes were met with a staggering sight.
Ahead, through the lashing rain and howling gale we could see that storm had intensified. It had intensified to such a degree that it had whipped up a visible tumultuous wall of wind and water. A wall so vast it stretched across the entire horizon.
This was no ordinary storm.
There was no turning back thought, so we sailed directly into this tempest.
In the moments it took to pass into this wall, it was like we had sailed into another world.
The sky had grown dim akin to the onset of twilight, the sun lost to sight behind the calamitous weather.
What had been rough going new became savage and brutal. Before we had to work to maintain our footing, now the crew was flung around like a child's toys. The only way to stay on deck was to tether yourself to the ship.
I lost sight of all the other ships as we lurched up and down on the rolling waves. We could only concentrate on navigating our way. Our ship was battered unyieldingly for three hours upon which time, the storm abruptly abated.
Behind us was the furious storm wall, we had made it through. Ahead the sea was calmer, but it was still raining and the sky was still grey.
Looking around, I saw that other ships were also making it through, however in total two ships had been lost.
We sailed on.
Soon we reached the spot that we surmised was the location of the castle and The Devil's Cross
Despite the miserable skies above, the waters below were curiously clear and gleaming. Then we saw it, the castle was there, it was bathed in an eerie, almost sinister green glow.
Without any pomp or ceremony, from aboard The Delilah we took the barrel of Earth water and poured it into The Flotsam Sea.
"Mala Mallus, Maka Mallus, Mana Mallus," we named the sea hags.
There was an echoing voice aboard The Delilah. "You have called us from the depths, my sisters come," spoke the voice.
The voice had come from a young girl who was somehow aboard The Delilah, sickly looking and dressed in tattered, worn clothes, she looked nine years old. She was the girl from our dreams - 'The Maiden'. A moment later she vanished from the deck.
Whilst we were left pondering what had just occurred, a patch of the sea to the port side of our fleet began bubbling, then bubbling appeared to the starboard side. Finally it started to bubble to the aft.
From these three spots we watched as the sea seemed to explode! Vast amounts of seawater were sent skyward to come crashing down on the fleet. Then three vast shapes, the three sea hags, the three sisters emerged from the ocean.
With slick grey, rotting and hanging skin, inky black hair and watery eyes, rising to their full height they towered above us and even the ships.
They turned to us and mocked us with rasping, gravelly voices. Then they vowed to kill us all.
The battle had begun.
Win had the archmage's heart, she took it out of its jar and squeezed as heard as she could. It exploded in energy and gore, showering Win in slick.
All the elementalists felt an endless, indescribable energy flow through them, saturate them. An energy they could tap into to power their spells for the next seventeen minutes.
Two of the sea hags attacked with lightning and one with her giant fists. They targeted the ships, smashing hulls, crushing decks and splintering masts.
We returned fire with cannons.
Aboard The Herodica my crew blasted at them with our cannons and I attacked with my pistol.
Every shot I fired hit it's mark, but none of them could harm the sea hags. At least my crew had better luck, wounding one of the sea hags.
Aboard The Delilah, Shia ordered the ship closer to the enormous sea hags.
Shia wielded L'Ollonaise's sword, it was a powerful weapon and she found within herself strength she did not believe existed.
Shia attacked furiously with all her might, most of her blows had no effect, but some struck true. Between the cannon fire and her attacks, the first of the sea hags fell.
Baxter was also aboard The Delilah, he used her cannons to great effect and killed a second sea hag.
Meanwhile, Rufus had dived into the sea and approached a sea hag from underwater. From here, he could see how vast the sea hags were, their lower torso and legs stretching down into the depths. They were large enough to actually stand on the seabed fifty fathoms below.
Rufus wielded The Sword of Amemnus, the blade gave him great advantage against giant-sized enemies, which he put to good use.
Rufus was stabbing at the legs of the final sea hag. Up above, we concentrated cannon fire on the hag and Shia manoeuvred The Delilah close and attacked as well.
In the end, the final sea hag falls to Rufus' blows.
All the sea hags were dead, their giant forms had collapsed into the sea. It was over.
The stormy weather dissipated, the sea calmed and the rain died off.
The Maiden reappeared on The Delilah, her tattered clothes replaced with prison clothes, she was Mara Mallus, the fourth and youngest daughter of King Amemnus and one of the sea hags' early victims in their grasp for power.
In the sky above, black clouds were dispersing and the sun seemed to shine down on Mara. She smiled, turning her face to the sun.
"Your quest is almost done," Mara told us. "I am sorry I had to pull you here from your own worlds, if you sail north and dream of home, you will return there. Now I must deal with my sisters," with that Mara stepped off the ship and sank into the depths.
Below us was the remains of King Amemnus' castle. We did what all good sea-folk would.. and looted the hell out of it. Sending down the Rufus and Rackham to scour the ruins for treasure before making off.
The day had been hard fought and won, we deserved a rest. Night would soon be upon us and the now gentle waves caught the last of the day's golden light. It was time to leave and we followed the setting sun.
Even though those of us from elsewhere had been given the option to return home, this was our home now, and who knew. There might be more adventures to have. Perhaps?
50 Fathoms - Session 39
23rd August 2020
It's Sunday lunch time and we're in Vicky's garden, at least we were until the weather threatened to change for the worse and we relocated indoors.
Only half the players were here today and that's okay, because we only planned half a session to finish previous sessions fight in Matt's 50 Fathoms campaign.
Location: The Perdition.
Win was surrounded by Torquemada's mercenaries.
"Bring her to me," boomed a loud voice. It appeared to be coming from a frail old man in a chair? It must have been Torquemada.
It was then that Win felt something strange come over her? She couldn't understand it, but she felt the strength drain out of her limbs.
Rufus had just challenged everyone to a duel.
"Bring him to me too," said the booming voice.
Rufus felt the voice cut deep into his head, he staggered and was sent reeling with the wind knocked out of him.
Meanwhile, Baxter, Terrence and I were rowing away and back to our ships when Rackham burst out of the sea. We asked him if he knew where Win and Rufus were? Rackham replied that they were probably still on the boat. Certainly, we had not seen Win gliding off the barge?
We had no choice but to turn around and row hard for the barge. Shia was pressing the attack, barraging The Perdition with cannon fire and it continued to take on water, it was now low in the sea and listing.
The remaining mercenaries were starting to look worried.
On the barge, Win and Rufus had been powerless to resist their capture. The mercenaries lifted them and bound their arms and necks to the rigging. They were then dropped and allowed to hang, not a quick hanging where they necks would be broken, but a hanging that would slowly choke them to death!
As we drew closer, The Perdition was so low that we could beach the jolly boat on the deck. Looking across the deck. we could see Win and Rufus struggling vainly against their bonds.
I leapt from thee jolly board to the deck. with Baxter and Terrence following a few yards behind. Just behind them was Rackham, also boarding the ship.
I let off a shot and hit one of the ropes bind Rufus, freeing one of his arms.
I fired off a second shot and managed to free one of Win's arms too!
Rackham assaulted Torquemada's inquisitors with his spells.
By now I had closed to melee range, Rufus had freed himself and dropped down to attack Torquemada. He was staggered by strange explosive attacks from Torquemada's chair.
Baxter and Terrence clashed against the mercenaries and Rackham continued his attack on the inquisitors.
Deflecting blows from the mercenaries I pressed my attacks against Torquemada ineffectively, somehow my strokes had left him barely injured.
Terrence forced his way past the mercenaries and laying into Torquemada with his fists. He landed the most fearsome blow imaginable on Torquemada's head.
The old man slumped in his chair and stopped moving. His head lolled and blood bubbled on his pale lips. He managed to say one last thing.
With his final choking breathe he said, "Evil will prevail!".
Torquemada was dead, his inquisitors defeated or hurled overboard. Realizing their paymaster was dead caused the fight to drain out the mercenaries and they ceased fighting.
We signalled Shia and she stopped her bombardment.
We parleyed with the mercenaries; they were stuck here with no way to leave and we needed all the help we could get.
In the end we reached an agreement, if we took them somewhere civilised, they would agree to work for us for several months.
Our strength had been increased by thirty mercenaries.
So it was that we now had the heart of an archmage, we were close to defeating the Sea Hags
50 Fathoms - Session 38
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.
50 Fathoms - Session 37
26th July 2020
Sunday lunchtime has rolled round again and we're in Vicky's garden. The previous day's downpour had left the lawn unsuitable for a picnic, so instead we were sat at the garden table again.
But that didn't last, as what had looked to be sunny afternoon became a rainy day. Grabbing our characters sheets and our snacks, we retreated indoors, leaving the patio doors open to maintain social distancing.
Despite this, we still played on and continued Matt's 50 Fathoms campaign.
Location: At sea.
We had defeated Blackbeard and acquired 'The Sword of Amemnus'. Now we needed 'The Heart of the Archmage' and 'That which The Kraken had lost'.
We resumed our journey to Isla Dios.
Two days later we were sailing through a blustery wind and Califax was circling above. All of a sudden the parrot started flying strangely. He swooped down to a ship and landed in a heap and collapsed on the deck.
Califax began shaking, twitching and convulsing. Then, as soon as it started, it stopped?
Califax suddenly stood up and looked at us, then with a different voice, he began speaking.
Torquemada may have won, but the sea hags have lost.
Califax shook his head violently and looked around confused. His normal voice had returned. A message had been delivered and it did not look good for Tressa!
We continued on. The journey was long but uneventful. Isla Dios was located in 'The Grey Isles'. The sea ran shallow along the coastline here and we had to keep out to sea for fear of grounding or damaging our ships.
Looking at the shore, we could see a massive barge that was moored there, her flat hull allowing her to navigate the shallows. We estimated that the barge was at least a mile away.
Studying the barge with our spyglasses revealed a grim sight. Dangling from the rigging was a body, seemingly dangling in the way only a corpse can. Details were not visible from this range save for the shock of long red hair...
Other than this, the barge appeared to be empty, we saw no movement of activity on deck.
Unquestionably, the body had been placed there as a macabre trophy by Torquemada.
There was no doubt in our minds; this was the remains of Tressa the red.
Now we had to reach her and claim her heart.
Even though the barge appeared to be empty, I suspected a trap waiting for us.
This though, did not dissuade Win, she reasoned that Tressa might still be alive and need healing and there was no time to hesitate.
From a vantage point, Win leapt to the air and began gliding over to the barge.
Quickly we jumped into a jolly boat and followed, however even with our best rowing efforts, we could never hope to keep apace with Win's gliding.
Only Shia was left behind to command the ships.
It was a long way for Win to glide and she didn't quite make it! Instead of landing on the deck, Win ended up hanging by her fingertips from the edge. Luckily being an atani meant Win was light and her grip remained firm.
Whilst Win was contemplating her next move, she heard muffled voices from within the hull. Win's landing had not been quiet and suspicions had been raised. Hastily Win pulled herself on board and sought out a hiding spot.
Meanwhile, those of us aboard the boat continued rowing.
From her hiding place, Win saw some sailors come on to the deck and spot our boat cutting through the water towards the barge. Win heard them shouting for 'The Men of God'?
As we were bearing down on the barge, we all felt a wave of strangeness washing over us, we could help but shiver. Win and Rackham felt this shiver most intensely.
Finally our boar reached the barge. We were 'granted' a reception by the crew, this included four men in red robes.
The men in red robes stepped forward and greeted us, they seemed to know our identities and were expecting us? They went on to display further knowledge of us and our activities?
We explained that we were here to claim Tressa's heart and with it, to save the world. They replied that they didn't care, they just wanted to 'deal with' mages and anyone who 'conspired' with mages.
During this conversation, the crew was distracted. Win took the opportunity to begin climbing the rigging up to Tressa; hopefully unnoticed.
Unfortunately, it wasn't to be and Win was spotted, three sailors begun climbing up after her.
On the deck, our discussion had reached an impasse. The crew refused to recognise our point of view and I demanded to see the captain - or Torquemada - or whoever was in charge!
Pushing back the pursuing sailors back down, Win got to Tressaa and she was indeed dead. There with no chance of saving her.
There was nothing else for it but to get the heart. Win grimly reached for her knife...
Meanwhile, down below. The crew were insisting that we surrender and allow them to escort us to the cells.
We obviously refused. Some of the crew came at us with manacles, but we pushed them back before we could be bound up.
In the rigging above, Win gritted her her teeth and set her jaw. She slowly plunged the tip of the knife into Tressa's sternum.
"Butcher!" Shrieked a shrill voice.
It was Califax, he had flown over and was now assaulting Win!
Califax's attacks were ineffectual and Win managed to swat at the parrot and keep him at bay whilst clinging to the rigging.
Meanwhile, sailors below were once more climbing the rigging.
Back on the deck; the crew were showing clear signs of frustration at our lack of co-operation. They then pulled firearms on us.
There was nothing we could do, we were drastically outnumbered now and had no choice but to surrender.
Up above; Win had opened Tressa's chest, reached in the cavity and completed the grisly deed.
Win now had Tressa's gore covered heart in her hand!
50 Fathoms - Session 36
19th July 2020
It's Sunday lunchtime, it had been raining and the sky is grey. Picnicking in Vicky's garden wasn't an option. Instead, we will be playing on the garden table.
Despite the uncertain weather and the late start, we managed to get some play in Matt's 50 Fathoms campaign.
Location: At sea.
Our ships were bearing down Blackbeard's ship - The Destroyer.
When my ship 'The Herodias' closes we flung hooks with lines on to The Destroyer's deck.
The Destroyer's skeletal crew hacked at the lines as we climbed, luckily they were fairly ineffective and we managed climb aboard without mishap.
This part of the deck was thick with skeletons and we fought to clear the way. It was not too long before we were joined by Shia, Baxter and Rufus who boarded from their own ships.
All of converged on the deck. Before us stood a horde of skeletons and behind them we saw Blackbeard. Draped in a dark aura was he. Orange flames licked across his titular beard. In his hand was a sword that glowed with what could only be magical light, what this The Sword of Amemnus?
It would be a hard fight getting to him.
Win had launched herself skywards and was now gliding towards The Destroyer.
As we steeled ourselves for the oncoming battle, there was then a lull in the fighting, a moment of unnatural stillness. No one seemed to be moving. The skeletons stood staring at us and we at them.
It was then that Blackbeard strode though his own ranks, smiled and issued us a challenge. "Do you want me to fight all of you at the same time, or one at a time?".
Rufus lunged forward, demanding a one on one duel.
Shia spoke no words, her only answer was at the tip of her sword. She struck at Blackbeard and the battle was joined.
Above us, Win struck Blackbeard with a stun spell, he was left staggered.
I pressed the advantage, throwing caution to the wind. I struck at Blackbeard with all my strength, paying no heed to the risk of counter attack. My blows should have felled him, but before our very eyes, we saw the wounds close up without any evidence of ever having occurred.
This did not bode well, no wonder Blackbeard seemed so confident.
Then Rufus lunged for Blackbeard. Rufus was a 'grael', naturally strong and stocky. He tackled Blackbeard.
None of this deterred Blackbeard, he shook off Win's spell and shrugged off Rufus' attack. Reaching for a pair of pistols, he unloaded at Rufus. Luckily Rufus was fairly sturdy himself and was still standing after the shots.
The fighting raged on.
From her aerial vantage point, Win hit Blackbeard with stun again, this time he dropped to one knee. We all attacked again.
Instead of simply grappling Blackbeard this time; Rufus put him into an armlock and twisted The Sword of Amemnus out of his grasp.
It was possible that the sword had some sort of magic that was keeping Blackbeard alive? Maybe we could kill him. Once again I struck him the strongest blow I could. In normal circumstances it would have nearly decapitated a man. Blackbeard however, was unaffected.
The sword was in our possession now and it was time to flee. There was one serious concern though: If we simple]y withdrew from combat, there would be nothing stopping Blackbeard from chasing us. The Destroyer was a formidable ship and could deal out a serious amount of damage to our ship.
So we came up with a simple plan.
We recalled being told a rumour that Blackbeard was cursed and could not leave The Destroyer.
What would happen if we threw Blackbeard overboard? At the very least, it would delay any pursuit until Blackbeard was rescued. It was worth a try.
With a mighty heave, Rufus lifted Blackbeard above his head and ran for the edge of the ship.
When he got there, Rufus simple jumped overboard carrying Blackbeard. Graels could hold their breath underwater for a long time, so Rufus wasn't worried.
Halfway into his downward watery plunge, Rufus gave Blackbeard a lob towards the sea. When Blackbeard hit the water, he was instantly killed!
The effect was also felt on The Destoyer', which began to dissipate. Without delay we dashed back to our ships. Picking up Rufus, we set about sailing away at our best speed. Soon The Destroyer was entirely gone.
We had defeated Blackbeard and acquired The Sword of Amemnus!
50 Fathoms - Session 35
12th July 2020
Sunday lunchtime and we're sitting on picnic blankets in Vicky's garden. The BBQ was warming up and it was time for Matt's 50 Fathom's campaign to continue.
Location: At sea.
It was less than a day's travel back to Baltimus. We let the freed prisoners off here.
The question of how to acquire 'The Sword of Amemnus' still hung in the air. Edward Teach - Blackbeard was in possession of it.
Shia went ashore, spoke with her contacts and learnt several 'facts' about Blackbeard.
- Blackbeard had struck a pact with the devil, it was said. His crew could never leave their ship.
- Blackbeard has been seen more than once around the island of 'Perck'.
- Finally, Shia was warned against trying to find Blackbeard, he was considered just too dangerous.
After Shia returned we had an extensive discussion.
As well as the sword, we needed to find 'the heart of the archmage' and 'that which the Kraken had lost'?
In our last visit to 'Bluth's Crown', we had asked the mages there to help us answer these questions if they could. They told us to return at a later date - so we did!
The trip to Bluth's Crown took three days and was uneventful. The pillars that we had helped to save were looking even better now.
The mages welcomed us back and we talked for a while.
They explained that they could not help us with the 'Kraken question'.
They did know something about the other question. The heart of the archmage could only refer to 'Tressa the Red', we agreed. The last time we went to Tressa's home, she had vanished however!
The mages explained that they had learned that Tressa had been captured by 'Torquemada'. Tressa was being held prisoner at the Inquisition base at 'Isla Dios'.
Now we were faced with two choices: Head to Perck to try and track down Blackbeard, wherever he might be. Or travel to Isla Dios, which was on the other side of Caribdus to rescue Tressa.
Blackbeard's location was closer, but unknown. We had also been told that he was a most dangerous enemy.
Tressa's location was known, but was at The Grey Isles, about as far away from us as could be. Furthermore, Tressa was most likely being held in some sort of prison. We could only speculate how difficult rescuing Tressa from the inquisition could be.
In the end we decided to go and free Tressa first. Our reasoning was that once freed, Tressa might be able to assist us when we went against Blackbeard.
Leaving Bluth's Crown behind, we set off for Isla Dios.
Bluth's Crown shrank away as we made off. Later, we were surprised to see an old 'acquaintance' suddenly make his appearance.
Califax the parrot and pet of Tressa the Red; he must have appeared from somewhere below deck on one of our ships. He was flapping above us.
Califax spoke in a strange loud voice; telling us. "You must rescue my 'pet human' Tressa. Go to Isla Dios to do this thing.".
After this, Califax's voice returned to normal, he seems confused as he looked about at his current surroundings and seems surprised to see us. Nevertheless, he joined our expedition once we explained our goal.
We sailed on: Six days had passed since we began our journey, six days that had passed uneventfully.
On the seventh day however, we caught sight of a distant ship, nothing more than a black dot against the hazy horizon. Observing it through spyglasses, we could see it was a large ship and entirely black.
It had to be Blackbeard, no one else was known for a black ship, we altered our heading and made for the ship.
We could not let this opportunity to acquire Amemnus' sword pass us by, who know when we would next encounter Blackbeard?
Besides, It seemed too much of a coincidence seeing Blackbeard here and now. Maybe he was after us?
We discussed our choices as we drew closer. After some deliberation, we decided to attack Blackbeard!
As we closed in, we saw that The Destroyer was entirely black, it seemed to extrude an aura of wrongness and evil. Win and Rackham, our mages both sensed a sort of dark and powerful energy radiating from the ship.
Still we closed in .
'The destroyer' fired at us with its array of cannons. A shot struck Baxter's ship. It was no ordinary shot or cannon. It was thick viscous black liquid that splashed on to three of the crew.
They began screaming, rolling on the floor and convulsing, the black liquid burned away their very flesh until they died. Moments later they rose as the un-dead, making trouble for Baxter and his remaining crew members
Meanwhile, I returned fire with my ship's own cannons, striking tru, but they appeared to have no little or no perceivable effect on The Destroyer.
Still we closed in.
We could see The Destroyer's crew. It appeared to be manned by un-dead skeletons.
Rackham struck the ship with a spell, it conjured up some sort of hurricane that blew about the crew on the deck, a number of them were hurled into the sea.
Still we closed in.
Finally, we had reached The Destroyer and we're preparing to board her hopefully defeat Blackbeard and his weird un-dead crew.
50 Fathoms - Session 34
5th July 2020
It's Sunday lunchtime and I'm not sitting in front of my laptop. Today the weather is fine and instead Vicky has kindly invited us round to continue Matt's 50 Fathoms campaign in her garden, which is big enough to allow us to practice social distancing.
So out with the picnic blankets to meet the up with players for the first time in around 15 weeks!
Our attempt to sneak into L'Ollonaise's bedroom had failed. He had woken up and was raising the alarm.
As L'Ollonaise got out of bed, Baxter tried to trip him by grabbing his legs from under his bed. But L'Ollonaise was too quick for that. He jumped back on the bed and rolled off the other side, coming to his feet smoothly and holding a sword. "Show yourselves." he demanded.
Baxter flipped the bed as he stood, ready for a fight.
Downstairs, Shia and Rackham rushed upstairs, whilst I ensured that the front door was locked. We could do without having to deal with extra reinforcements.
As Baxter and L'Ollonaise were squaring off, Shia and Rackham burst in. Rackham hit L'Ollonaise with spell, but he shrugged it off, then Rackham slashed at L'Ollonaise's sword arm: It was a solid blow that bit deep, forcing the pirate to drop his sword.
Baxter immediately scooped up the sword, it was incredibly light and Baxter could see it was of exceptional quality. We had the sword!
Baxter lunged for the window. He barged through the shutters and the window frame, shattering both and tumbled out of the bedroom window. As luck would have it, his fall was broken by a particularly verdant bush and he suffered the mildest of bruising.
Shia followed suit and leapt outside.
At this was going on I ran into the room, locked the door and heaved a wardrobe across it. We could hear voices and stirring in the other bedrooms.
The fighting between L'Ollonaise and Rackham continued.
Outside, Shia and Baxter encountered some pirates. Shia quickly explained to them that someone was attacking L'Ollonaise and they should go inside and provide assistance.
It was a convincing lie, they were easily fooled and set off round to the front door.
Meanwhile, upstairs I shot L'Ollonaise and hacked at him with my sword. He was one tough customer and this finally dropped him, but even so he was still breathing.
Rackham had sensed magic on L'Ollonaise and was desperate to search him, but there was no time - pirates were now beating on the door and shouting.
Rackham's solution was to throw L'Ollonaise out of the window. This was not good for the unconscious L'Ollonaise, who landed on his neck with a loud crack!
Rackham and I jumped out and Win used her gliding ability to slip into the night sky. Then Rackham checked on L'Ollonaise, he was now indeed dead.
With Win guiding us from her aerial vantage point, we hastily entered the cover of the forest before making for our ships with Rackham dragging L'Ollonaise's corpse behind us.
We were halfway back when we encountered the freed prisoners, Alain was still among their numbers.
Alain asked how we had fared. We replied that we had been successful and brandished the sword.
Alain said. "That's not my sword.".
There was a long moment of stony silence. A very long moment.
We asked Alain what was going on? Alain explained that in truth, L'Ollonaise had taken The Sword of Amemnus. But he had not kept it, instead Alain heard that L'Ollonaise had gifted the sword to someone else.
My mind when back to L'Ollonaise's log book. He had mentioned giving a gift to Edward Drummond, captain of 'The Destroyer'. That gift must have been the Sword of Amemnus.
We asked Alain why he had withheld this information from us. He shrugged and said that he had wanted us to 'deal' with L'Ollonaise and this was a way of doing it
There was only one way I could possibly think of to describe Alain Memnus at this time - and it rhymed with 'Ducking stunt!'.
Once we returned to safety, we searched the remains of L'Ollonaise. We found various 'magical' items, a book and even what appeared to be a treasure map!
But that damned sword still eluded us.
We now had to find Edward Drummond, who was known by a pair of more famous names; 'Edward Teach' or 'Blackbeard'.
50 Fathoms - Session 33
28th June 2020
Sunday lunch time in my living room and logged into Google Meetings on my laptop.
This means it's time for Matt's 50 Fathoms campaign.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of our control, the session was cut short.
We had rescued Alain Amemnus and the other prisoners from L'Ollonaise and his pirates. The sword was still missing though and we had good reason to believe that it was in the possession of L'Ollonaise himself.
Baxter and I left the makeshift prison and returned to our companions. Staying just out of the perimeter of Tulago, we circled round to the north and close to the 'manor house'. No doubt L'Ollonaise was here.
Quietly approaching, we saw that unlike the other buildings, the windows here were not broken and boarded up.
The windows consisted of many small glass panels and shutters. Luckily for us, Baxter was quite practised at breaking and entry. Pulling out a knife, he easily worked a pane of glass free and put in arm to open a window.
After quietly climbing through the window, we found ourselves in some sort of extensive private library. The room was of course empty and unlit, as would be expected for this time of night. As we moved towards the door, a sliver of light catches our attention.
Our eyes were drawn to a desk and the book on it that had a peculiar shine. It definitely wasn't reflecting moonlight, this was something else?
A closer inspection revealed that it was glowing, or at least the metal foil on the cover was. There was no discernible source for the glow. Magic?
It turned that the book was L'Ollonaise's logbook. Instinctively I flicked through to L'Ollonaise's last entry, three weeks ago.
The logbook referred to Edward Drummond. L'Ollonaise had encountered Drummond's ship, 'The Destroyer'. L'Ollonaise was familiar with The Destroyer, so he sent some men with over with a gift for Drummond. There were sounds of gunfire and screaming came from the The Destroyer before it changed heading and left Toluga.
Whilst I was reading L'Ollonaise's log, Win and Baxter had left the room, looking for the Sword of Amemnus. As they moved about, they could hear noises from upstairs, the creaking of a bed perhaps or some other typical 'night time' noise.
Their search of the ground floor revealed nothing of use. As quietly as possible, they climbed the stairs. On the landing, there were four doors. L'Ollonaise would be in one of these rooms, along with the sword.
They approached one door and listened. There was snoring on the other side. They tried sneaking in, but as they opened the door, L'Ollonaise abrubtly sat up.
Baxter dived under the bed and Win hid behind some drapes next to a window.
I heard a voice from somewhere upstairs shouted. "Intruder!". The alarm was raised.
Downstairs, I had heard the shouting and positioned myself 'behind' the door. Hopefully, when someone entered, they would be distracted by the open window and would not spot me.
50 Fathoms - Session 32
7th June 2020
Sunday lunch time, I'm sipping an energy drink in my living room and sitting in front of my laptop.
This can only mean it's time for Matt's 50 Fathoms campaign.
It's early morning and we're at the Baltimus docks.
As we're pondering our next move, two sailors walk past us and we could not help but overhear their conversation.
They were talking about infamous pirate 'Francis L'Ollonaise'. He had taken someone prisoner and was demanding a ransom for him. They intimated that he was 'Alain Amemnus', the son of the dead 'King Amemnus'. He was being held at the town of 'Tulago'.
This was significant news to us. Alain may know where his father's sword was, or may even have possession of it!
It was vital that we headed to Tulago. We checked our maps and discovered Tulago was on the far side of the 'Cunavo', the very island we were on.
The journey to Tulago took less than a day. As we drew closer, we could see seven pirate ships moored outside Tulago.
This seemed strange, as far as we knew, Tulago was not some sort of pirate stronghold or refuge?
We chose to drop anchor further out from the shoreline and observe the situation with spyglasses.
Whilst watching, we saw there was a large gathering in what passed as Tulago's town square. There were about three hundred people, they were cooking and eating, drinking, playing music, dancing and generally having a good time.
With further observation, it was noted that these did not look like normal townsfolk, nor did we spot any women amongst the revellers?
All of this made us very suspicious of events unfolding in Tulago.
Continuing to watch, we then noticed one man, sitting in a throne and not partaking in the carousing. He was being given well prepared food by the cooks and wine. Could this be the pirate L'Ollonaise?
It was necessary to explore the town, but it seemed just too dangerous to simply walk into Tulago. After some discussion, it was decided to wait until later. No doubt after too much food and drink, people would fall asleep or descend into a stupor.
This is indeed what occurred, it took until half-past midnight until events quietened down, everybody dispersed and stillness fell upon Tulago. We noted that the pirate who had sat on the throne retired to a large building in the north of the town
We moved our ships a half a mile to the east of Tulago and moored close to the coast line here. The settlement was close to the beach, but was surrounded by forest on all three other sides. Our plan was to approach Tulago from the cover of the forest. We landed some boats on the shore and told the sailors to wait on the beach and remain alert - in case we needed to make a speedy retreat.
The forest floor was uneven and it was dark, which made for slow going. It was close to an hour before we reached the perimeter of the village.
There were equal number of brick and wooden buildings in Tulago. It seemed unlikely to us that a prisoner would be kept in a wooden shack - it would be too easy for them to escape. So we decided to concentrate on the brick buildings.
Shia was concerned that Win and herself would not be able to 'blend in' if we were spotted in the town. Only Baxter and I entered Tulago. The others remained in the tree line.
We sneaked across some clear ground to the closest brick building and scouted it out.
Baxter looked inside, the interior was wrecked. The floor was littered with cutlery and broken earthenware. The place had been turned over, no doubt about it.
Quietly and carefully, Baxter climbed through a broken window into the room. Looking around, he found nothing. During his search, he did hear noise coming from upstairs.
He paused to a few moments and noises stopped, he could just about hear snoring.
This did not seem like a place to hold a prisoner, so we decided to move on. Luckily, the next potential building was just a few feet away.
Here too, the windows were broken and open. Looking in, we were not surprised to find a mess similar to the previous building and searching only confirmed this.
From here however, we could see another, larger brick building, just north. The windows were boarded up from the outside and each one also had three iron bars across the boards. This looked promising.
We reached the third building without mishap. From here, it was clear that there was a small hole in the boards of each window, perhaps to allow for air and light?
Before trying to gain entry, we cased the outside. We counted a total of eight boarded up windows, certainly the building was large enough for several rooms. More importantly, we noticed two guards at north west corner, by the only door in. Although both we slumped to the floor and propped against the wall with drooping heads, their chests rising and falling.
Choosing the window furthest from the sleeping guards, which was along the southern side of the building; we investigated. It was dark inside, but it seemed that there might be two people in the room.
Upon examining the barricaded windows, Baxter saw that the workmanship was quite shoddy. Without too much effort and noise, Baxter managed to pry one of the bars free.
This did however rouse one of the occupants. He seemed afraid and confused. We explained that we were here to help. During the conversation, he told us that there were ten prisoners here in all. Pirates had invaded Tulago and the ten of them had distracted the pirates well enough to allow their families to escape.
During this time, Baxter had been carefully removing the bars and boards until there was enough space to allow the prisoners out.
We had freed three men. They explained to us that they had been paraded in front of the pirates and tortured. And they did indeed bear the injuries of extensive torture. the pirates had wanted to know about their escaped families.
They said that the other prisoners were somewhere else in the building. We said that we would help them. We then told the three men to head east into the tree line, where they would encounter our friends, who would help them.
The three of them silently went to the trees, where they met Shia and Win, who used her Healing magic to ease their wounds.
Meanwhile we had moved to the south eastern window. Baxter once again managed to open up the window quietly.
Within the room were seven other men, they had clearly all received beatings, but did not display any signs of systematic torture.
The men explained to us that they were expecting to dragged out of the room one by one and tortured in the morning, before being slung in the other room.
We had found all ten prisoners, but none of them were Alain Memnus, so we asked if there were any more prisoners?
They told us that they had heard another prisoner in an adjacent room, but had no idea who he was and had never seen him. They heard pirates threatening him and were demanding something from him, which he quickly gave up.
We instructed them to quietly head east and into the trees to meet up with our companions.
After some deduction, we realised that the only window into this adjacent room was on the north side of the building and faced the town square. Not only would this leave us exposed, there were two guards sleeping just around the corner.
Baxter was concerned that the guards might wake up. So he went round the corner and gave each of them a gentle 'tap on the head', which sent them from a stupor into genuine unconsciousness!
Baxter then began removing the bars and wooden boards. As he was clearing them away, he saw a man sleeping soundly on the floor.
He was handsome, dark haired and extravagantly dressed. Might this be Alain Amemnus?
Once Baxter had cleared the window, he climbed in.
He then kicked the man awake, who promptly drew a breathe to shout! Baxter quickly slapped a hand over his mouth and told him to not 'panic'.
It took a minute, but Baxter convinced him that we weren't here to hurt him. Baxter removed his hand and then the prisoner immediately complained about 'being touched by a commoner'!
He was as we suspected Alain Memnus. Once Baxter told him that we were here to rescue him, he said we should leave without delay and tried climbing through the window, but tripped on the way out.
From the corner outside I saw Alain come out of the window and land squarely on his face. Baxter followed.
Now that we were all outside, Alain wanted to leave straight away. Alain seemed to be living up to his reputation.
We stopped him leaving and asked about his father's sword. There was perhaps a hint of shame on his face as he admitted that he gave up his sword to L'Ollonaise without any resistance.
We then told Alain to carefully head east and join the others in the forest. Instead of stealthy making his way there, he simply walked off. Utterly unaware of the risks.
When Alain reached the forest and met with Shia and Win, he asked what was going on. Shia explained that once Baxter and I returned with his father's sword, we would return to our ships and all escape.
Alain insisted that they make their escape now, however Shia refused and said that they would wait.
Back in Tulago, We knew that L'Ollonaise must have possessed the sword we had been searching for. We also knew where he was sleeping for the night. Unlike the others' L'Ollonaise was not drunk. Getting the sword would prove more challenging and a greater risk.
50 Fathoms - Session 31
25th May 2020
We had skipped Sunday and it was a bank holiday Monday. I was sitting in front of my laptop in my living room and today is time for Matt's 50 Fathoms campaign.
I made my excuses to go to the 'gone to the toilet'. Instead I took the opportunity to explore the upper part of the house. Unfortunately, this yielded nothing.
Before returning downstairs, I ensured that the window in the bathroom was left open a sliver, so we could use it to sneak back in later.
Upon returning to the party I saw that it was beginning to 'wind up' and the guests were beginning to leave.
Soon, other than Bruno and his entourage and us, only a few other people were were remaining. We could not help but notice that they were all good looking.
At this time, the guards retired for the night and we were all led to a different room.
And what a different room it was!
There were drugs laid out on the table like food for a banquet.
There was a copious amount of alcohol here, including a wine fountain!
There were even numerous 'ladies of the night' present.
Bruno and his friends did not hesitate at indulging themselves in the debauchery.
Bruno himself immediately consumed a large amount of narcotics.
Several people, including Baxter simply dipped their faces into the wine fountain.
I restrained myself and watched from a quiet corner.
Meanwhile; Shia began to flirt with one of Bruno's friends, 'Francisco Valorez'. Shia convinced Francisco to show her around the house.
Francisco took Shia into a side room, just off the room we were in.
It was well decorated with an expansive bed as the room's centrepiece. Shia noticed that on all four walls, there were the dark outlines of numerous weapons such as swords and pistols that once hung on the walls here against the faded wallpaper.
Shia asked about the weapons and Francisco explained that they had been auctioned off. Shia expressed an interest in buying one, but according to Francisco, they had all already been auctioned off
Shia looked carefully at the outlines and spotted one that might match the description of the sword we were looking for.
Meanwhile, in the main room, Bruno was emerging from his drug fuelled stupor. Regaining his wits somewhat, he suddenly grabbed an unaware woman, threw her over his shoulder and lurched for the same door Shia had gone through.
As I made for Bruno, I saw several of his friends turn their heads towards him with looks of contempt. I had hoped to reach him before he reached the door, but I was not quick enough, Baxter followed behind me.
Bruno opened the door, saw Shia and Francisco and shouted at them to 'Get out!'. Francisco looked taken aback, meanwhile, Shia sat on the bed suggestively.
Francisco looked around and was confused, he took his leave as Baxter and I entered. Baxter closed the door behind him
Quickly I stepped forward gripping my dagger, then with the hilt I thumped Bruno on the back of the head. He slumped to the ground, unconscious. I picked up the hapless woman and explain that it seems that Bruno had slipped and knocked his head. She was angry and distressed, but we convinced her to leave the room.
I searched Bruno and I found a key and a metallic disc. The disc was the size of a coin, one side was entirely smooth and the other has some sort of pattern inscribed into it.
When I picked up Bruno to put him on the bed, I noticed beneath the bed there was a circular indentation in the floor.
We hefted the bed to one side and could see that the indentation matched the size of the metal disc. There was also a strange pattern in the indentation, possibly similar to the disc.
I put the disc into the indentation with the patterned side down. Nothing happened? We rotated the coin and there was a 'click', a hidden compartment in the floor popped open!
Searching it revealed a stash of coin, a strange compass and a book, a cursory glance revealed it was Byron's journal!
As I was occupied with the compartment, Shia quietly poisoned Bruno, who after a few seconds convulsed violently, before becoming still...
Shia left the room and spoke to Bruno's friends, she stated that she knew about medicine and it looked like Bruno had suffered an attack or an 'aneurysm' and had tragically passed away. It was quite convincing.
Bruno's friends did not seem too unhappy or concerned, they certainly did not push the matter with Shia and thanked her for her efforts!
What remained of the party now began to disperse. No doubt, rumours would begin to fly through Baltimus soon enough.
A carriage was summoned for us and we returned to the docks and our ships for the remainder of the night.
Late as it was, I spent the next two hours reading through Byron's journal.
For the most part the journal starts of as you might expect. But over time, it becomes darker and darker. Over this time his handwriting also deteriorates significantly.
Byron talks of his regret at the killing of the three Mallus sisters; Mala, Maka and Mana. Who were sentenced to death for killing their sister Mara - for 'dark reasons'.
By this time, the handwriting had become illegible, but I managed to discern one final reference; to the island of 'Sprith'.
On the next day at the break of day, we saw Manny Morkon rowing out to our ships. The news of Bruno's demise had reached him and he had come to thank Shia.
Morkon came aboard and handed over the sword Versalis that he promised.
In return, Shia gives her share of the coin that we 'liberated' from Bruno's house to Morkon and his daughter.
It seemed to us that a weight had been lifted off the man as he rowed away in the dawn light.
We unwrapped the sword and examined it.
The detailing on the hilt and crosspiece was ornate and exquisite. It depicted a map of the world before 'the flood'. It wass also inlaid with numerous jewels and precious stones.
Byron's journal had hinted at the island of Sprith. Perhaps we were one step closer to finding the 'Sword of Amemnus'?
I play, I paint.