The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.   Posted by GM StarMaster.Group: 0
GM StarMaster
 GM, 134 posts
Sat 3 Jan 2015
at 20:07
The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
The Resolute gets under way again, going slow at first as the captain makes sure the ship hasn't sustained any serious damage.

Victory in battle usually leaves people hungry, not to mention the penchant for after-battle celebration, so a bit of celebrating and feasting occurs while the final ajustments for continuing the trip are made.

"The hull is still intact though perhaps a bit scratched," the captain addresses the crew afterwards. "I'd reinforce it for any normal voyage, just in case, but doing so out here would make us burn even more coal to stay under way."

"As it is, our calculations never took into account acquiring any kind of provisions along the way, so we have a slight dilemma. If we continue under power, we'll use up most of our reserve. That means, if we run into any more trouble, we may not have enough coal to return. There's still the sails, of course, but this isn't really a sailing ship. It could add a month or more to our return time."

"If we use just sails now, it'll conserve our coal, but add a lot more time to our trip."

"This isn't my mission, I'm just the delivery man. So the decision is up to you."



Also, as you all sat around and ate and celebrated, performed chores and other tasks, it soon becomes evident that Bosh is also an Iron Fist--he went through the same training that the rest of you did.

You all vaguely recall that there were several groups of trainees in the compound. It was never clear why there were others, how they were divided, or what the purpose of multiple groups was. Also, just as your group was sent off to save the village, apparently the other groups were sent off on separate training missions.
Rrger
 player, 112 posts
 Cygnaran Trollkin
 Bodyguard/Arcane Mechanik
Sun 4 Jan 2015
at 19:12
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
"I think we should power in. Sailing will just give our enemies a better chance of catching us and causing greater problems. If one of them does catch us we loot their coal reserves. But they shouldn't be too interested in the ship after the mission to the island is complete." Rrger steps back after stating his opinion.
Danyka Ydrasyl
 player, 99 posts
 Rhynnish/Llaelese Human
 Gun Mage/Morrow Initiate
Mon 5 Jan 2015
at 08:00
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Dany pursed her lips, then gave a curt nod to Rrger and his position.  Stepping forward, the raven-haired gun mage agreed with her trollkin companion, "Time is of the essence.  If we run into trouble, we'll have to take on their fuel - presuming we win.  If we lose..."  And she shrugged, leaving it unsaid, but implied that fuel wouldn't be their problem at that point.

After a suitable pause, she continued.  "I say we go with best possible speed.  It is only a matter of time before the backers of either ship that tried to intercept us realized their first attempt failed." she noted with a touch of resigned glumness, "There is no reason not to expect more attempts the longer we are en route."  It seemed a simple enough equation, less attempts over the shorter amount of time.  Plus, the Resolute and her crew would be out of danger faster, the sooner the team were delivered.  Danyka like the captain and his crew and saw no reason to keep them in the cross-hairs any longer than necessary.

She looked to the others to see if there were any dissenting opinions on the matter.
Bosh Ironside
 player, 20 posts
 Ogrun
 Friar & Bodger
Tue 6 Jan 2015
at 23:10
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Munching a big chunk of chicken "Hmm ? Win .. Lose, Are you in for a race of sort ?"  Listening to the both of them talking. "I say go for speed yes. And if they overhaul us, we can allways take their share of coal to replenish ours. No ?" Giving Boo his little fruits and a large carrot the little hamster stows away a large chunk in its mouth. Wich makes you think why in the first place they call these animals hamsters when they are hoarding food in their cheeks. Patting the little one.

"Certainly .. they dont know where we are right now ? Unless they all know where we are going. If so. I would wait there. get rested while we work to get there fast"
Danyka Ydrasyl
 player, 101 posts
 Rhynnish/Llaelese Human
 Gun Mage/Morrow Initiate
Thu 8 Jan 2015
at 07:39
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Danyka shrugged, "Not quite a competition.  But a race nonetheless.  Or mission is seeming reconnaissance of a land called Zu to the far south."  She paused wondering just how much Bosh needed to know for a moment, and settling on 'all' if he was really going to be able to help.

"Apparently, we are the second group to be sent." she looked to the others to see if there were any protest or addenda to her statements, "The original exploratory mission has been overdue for three months.  We were tasked with figuring out what happened to them; rumor is that Zu has something of import there.  But we weren't really told what."

She smiled faintly, "Which is why running into the Aggressor ..." both literally and figuratively, it would seem, "was unlikely to be coincidence, in my opinion."  Dany might be the brightest bulb on the tree, but she knew that her paranoia had kept her alive this long.  There was little reason to stop paying attention to those hunches...
GM StarMaster
 GM, 135 posts
Thu 8 Jan 2015
at 20:56
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
The captain listened to the discussion. His own choice would have been full steam ahead, too, but for somewhat different reasons.

"I've been reading through the documents you recovered from the Aggressor," Captain Gant says, "and if I am reading them correctly, it is the Church of Menoth that has set these foes upon you."

"It seems as if they think discovery of this land of Zu is a blasphemy against their religion. It is unclear if they thing Zu is some sort of hoax, or they think in is real but must be expunged from all records."

"You are right: they do not know where we are now, certainly not where we will be in another day or two, but that does not mean they cannot find us. It is my experience that these things come in threes, so I expect at least one more attack, though I cannot say what form it might take."

"Within three days, we will cross the point of no return. I hope we will be beyond there reach then, at least until our return."

"Another thought occurs to me, though. Perhaps agents of Menoth are responsible for the disappearance of the lost ship. Perhaps they have kept it from returning."

Rrger
 player, 115 posts
 Cygnaran Trollkin
 Bodyguard/Arcane Mechanik
Thu 8 Jan 2015
at 23:06
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
"If Menoth's agents captured the other ship on the way home then you won't necessarily be out of trouble on your return trip." Rrger thinks for a moment, "Maybe we could take on coal at the island. Then you might be able to outrun them on the way back."
"If they took the last crew for prisoners they might have a staging point on or near the island itself. Is there a good place on thier map for that? And can we check it out?"
Danyka Ydrasyl
 player, 102 posts
 Rhynnish/Llaelese Human
 Gun Mage/Morrow Initiate
Wed 14 Jan 2015
at 23:23
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Dany nodded curtly to Rrger's assessment, "It is unfortunate, but once you are rid of us, you may not yet be out of danger."  She pursed her lips and sighed slightly, "I am sorry about that, Captain.  But unless you wait in port for an indeterminate time for us to return from our mission, we will not be able to help you on the return trip."

"We will do our best to have you prepared though." the thin Rynnish gun mage offered; it was the least they could do.

"But for now," she approached the documents, "let's look over the map.  Perhaps as Rrger supposes, there is a code or indication of a waypoint that we might leverage..."

[OOC:  Perhaps.... Profession: Scout can help with the map reading?!?

  15:22, Today: Danyka Ydrasyl rolled 25 using 1d20+5. Profession (Scout)/WIS Check:  Map reading?

Heh.  Let's hope we don't waste a natural '20'...:D]

Rrger
 player, 117 posts
 Cygnaran Trollkin
 Bodyguard/Arcane Mechanik
Thu 15 Jan 2015
at 04:36
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
"I have a spell that will let me interpret the writings, but I can only find out it's literal meaning. If the code switches a word for another or uses strange referrences I won't be able to do anything with it." Rrger looks around the room before adding, "I don't have it in my head right now but I can memorize it for tomorrow.",
Bosh Ironside
 player, 22 posts
 Ogrun
 Friar & Bodger
Sun 18 Jan 2015
at 21:15
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Bosh, listening in to the conversation of the both. "Before I .. carried my trusty Maul, and had met with Boo. I travelled a great deal. Perhaps, once ashore .. I can ask around. besides that I do hardly look a militairy .." The cloths around what armor Bosh wears does indeed make him appear more monkish ".. It might allow us to get things cheaper. People trust none militairy more often quicker then otherwise. More out of fear then any other reason. Even if pointed out it is flawed"
GM StarMaster
 GM, 136 posts
Wed 21 Jan 2015
at 21:27
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Dany studies the rutters, which are kind of a coded map of the seas. It will take awhile, but she can work out most of the code. For example, the code for danger is fairly obvious, but she notices that if it's accompanied by a little dot to the side, it means it isn't really dangerous at all.

There's a symbol for safe channel, but apparently has some conditions that are applied to it; those she cant' figure out. So a channel might be marked 'safe' but the extra mark might mean 'only for Menites'.

"I have my orders," the captain replies to Dany, "but they are also subject to circumstances. If we make landfall without any sign of the ship, I'm expected to wait 30 days while you investigate. That would be at each port, if there is more than one."

"Beyond that, it's at my discretion. We might have to sail to a number of islands. How long I'll wait at each island depends on the size of the island and the size of the port, as well as what you find out."




RL has been crunching me this past week... still trying to figure out the next encounter. Pirate ship? Sea monster? Typhoon? Tax collector?
GM StarMaster
 GM, 138 posts
Thu 29 Jan 2015
at 19:19
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Over the next several days, Dany and the captain go over the charts. There's little that the captain doesn't already have on his charts, most of which comes from the Navigator's Guild.

There is nothing about the land of Zu on those maps, which makes sense since supposedly only one ship has been to Zu. In fact, it has one of those amusing map notations more-or-less where Zu should be: Here Be Monsters!

When one of the captain's marks match up with a Menite mark, it helps translate. So when a symbol =/= shows on the Menite map, the captain's mark equates to 'treacherous shoals'.

The other aspect is that the Menites have three designations: rumored, reported, and confirmed. There is also: friendly, neutral, unfriendly.

Some of the logs, once translated, further explain some of these. For instance, a place called Queery is marked Neutral on the map, but the Menite captain makes mention of it in his log indicating they can be bribed with a single gun, other mechanical devices, or possibly even gold or alchemical ingredients.


For the most part, it has to be explained to the Iron Fist members that ships may stay at see for 2-3 weeks at a time, but they never go out of sight of land. That's mainly because there's nothing Out There. The longest attempt at exploration to the west was six weeks out and six weeks back, with about half the crew dead from disease or starvation by the time they got back.

The fact that something was found to the south is a great wonder to the captain, and the main reason he agreed to this mission.


According to the captain's calculations, you reach the halfway point to Zu when the lookout spots something out in the water. From his vantage point in the crow's nest, it is more visible than on the deck. However, the call comes down:

"Serpent!"
Rrger
 player, 119 posts
 Cygnaran Trollkin
 Bodyguard/Arcane Mechanik
Fri 30 Jan 2015
at 16:45
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Rrger spent the next few days teaching his 'jacks combat commands. Devro is a labor jack but after a while he's learned some basic attack/defense routines. Jantze the maniken does a little better and he can use an arcantrik torch. Little Burke is too small to carry a drill or a torch. As a mite, he could be useful tripping opponents so that's what Rrger works to teach him. Of course none of this will help against a serpent. The tall trollkin opens up his folding bow and moves to where the creature was spotted. "Devro, Jantze, Burke...Here!" he shouts, pointing to spots behind him.
Bosh Ironside
 player, 25 posts
 Ogrun
 Friar & Bodger
Sun 1 Feb 2015
at 16:24
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
In the time Bosh didnt spend below decks chained up against the wall he makes good by either sitting outside watching the shore lines go by far .. very far away. And making casuall talk with the crew. Afterall. If they were going to be working together it was just aswell that he got to know them. And they .. him in return. Being a 'friendly' Ogrun didnt seem to stick well at first with some. Having (probably) encountered their share of not-so-friendly ogrun. Once on the deck. Bosh directs his head towards the yellings of Rrger.

"Serpent ?"

Picking up his Maul from beside him. Bosh heads towards Rrger. "What serpent ?"  Raising his hand above his eyebrow and staring towards the spot indicated
Danyka Ydrasyl
 player, 105 posts
 Rhynnish/Llaelese Human
 Gun Mage/Morrow Initiate
Mon 2 Feb 2015
at 20:25
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
The door to the captain's quarters popped open and Danyka popped out at the hew and cry from the crow's nest.  The Rynnish gun mage had made it a point of meeting with the captain daily to try and continue to decipher the pilfered map and to discuss any issue that the crew had had with any of the Iron Fist (and Bosh, whom she considered adopted Iron Fist at this point).  She might not be the leader of the group (if any such collection of free-spirited individuals might be), but the Llaelese brunette seemed to take the task reasonably seriously.

Dany spent a fair amount of time both above and below deck during the voyage.  With Argus, her mount, housed below in the hold, it wasn't surprising that she spent a number of hours with him.  But then above deck, Danyka spent as much time as necessary making sure that her fellow Iron Fisters were doing reasonably well.  Always affable, the raven-haired Morrow initiate was generally conversant on almost any topic and seemed willing to chat at almost any time, though she gently, but firmly, rebuffed any romantic advances or flirtations from any of the crew or her companions.  She practiced with her weapons regularly, both new and old.  While she conserved her ammunition, the new elven blad as well as the looted rapier saw continual use when she practiced.

"How big and far out, Mr. Finn?" she called up to the man in the crow's nest as she squinted her eyes and stared off into the distance.  Even though Dany was already running her own mental calculation, the lithe, young woman knew that the crewman in the higher vantage point had better information.

"And," perhaps more importantly, "what's her heading?  How much time do we have?"  Danyka began to fish around in her well-worn leather kit back to see if she had a spyglass handy.
GM StarMaster
 GM, 139 posts
Thu 5 Feb 2015
at 18:22
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
"It's a sea monster," the Captain says, already on deck. "What kind don't much matter, but if Mr. Finn called serpent, then it's big enough to destroy this ship!"

He had his own spyglass out and was scanning the waves off the port side.

"There it is. Sea serpent. Six coils. Two minutes out. Wait! Is that a man on its back?"

He hands the spyglass to Dany.

"My eyesight isn't so great any more. Or maybe I'm seeing things. What do you see?"
Rrger
 player, 120 posts
 Cygnaran Trollkin
 Bodyguard/Arcane Mechanik
Fri 6 Feb 2015
at 05:08
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
"Should we attack on sight or wait for him to get close enough to talk?" Rrgr has his bow out and ready just in case.
Bosh Ironside
 player, 26 posts
 Ogrun
 Friar & Bodger
Fri 6 Feb 2015
at 20:51
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Bosh with his massive beloved maul on his shoulder looks aside towards Rrger "If there is a man riding it, perhaps give it a chance to .. communicate. If there is going to be a fight there will be one. No matter how it turns out. Yet, if the intensions of this rider are peaceful .. or neutral to say the least. Then perhaps we will see another day without swinging a hammer"
Rrger
 player, 121 posts
 Cygnaran Trollkin
 Bodyguard/Arcane Mechanik
Sat 7 Feb 2015
at 23:19
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
"I am in favor of surviving." Rrger turns back to shout to the captain and Dany since they have the better view of the thing, "So do we attack on sight or will you try and talk to them?"
Danyka Ydrasyl
 player, 106 posts
 Rhynnish/Llaelese Human
 Gun Mage/Morrow Initiate
Mon 9 Feb 2015
at 03:28
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Dany took in a deep breath squinting for a moment.  She begged off on the Captain's spyglass, pulling a collapsible one of her own from her pack.  It was not quite as ornate as the captain's by still quite serviceable.  She squinted into the eyepiece to see what she could see.

As the others conjectured around her, the raven-haired Rynnish gun mage held up a hand to for a moment of quiet.  If it was indeed a man riding the beast, then there might be a chance to avoid bloodshed.  She tried to recall if Menite map had any helpful symbols.

"Captain," she noted as she continued to track the approaching serpent, "have the cannons manned.  But be explicit about waiting to fire."  Danyka wasn't really sure what they might have as negotiating chips, but they'd hail the beast once it was in hearing range.  "We'll try to talk ..." the lithe, Llaelese woman intoned, "Morrow willing they'll listen."  She swallowed hard, knowing that it was quite possible that no one spoke the right language, and then gave the assembled a slightly plaintive sigh, "... But be ready for a fight."

[OOC:  Is there really a man on there?  And if so, what's he like?  And are there any map notations that might help?

  19:26, Today: Danyka Ydrasyl rolled 22 using 1d20+7. Spot/Wis Check - as necessary.
  19:27, Today: Danyka Ydrasyl rolled 15 using 1d20+5. Profession (Scout)/Wis Check:  Map recall?
]

GM StarMaster
 GM, 140 posts
Mon 16 Feb 2015
at 00:51
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
There is definitely a humanoid on the back of the sea serpent, but it isn't a man. It appears to be some sort of fish-like humanoid, not just an aquatic one.

He seems to be observing the ship for a bit before the sea serpent turns and heads directly for the ship.

Almost at the same time, Gorren starts yelling about boarders from the opposite side!

A dozen similar creatures to the humanoid are clambing over the rails!
Danyka Ydrasyl
 player, 107 posts
 Rynnish/Llaelese Human
 Gun Mage/Morrow Initiate
Mon 16 Feb 2015
at 23:46
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Danyka is startled by Gorren's announcement.  She whirled on her heel and it took her a moment to process the situation.  Dropping her spyglass into her haversack, the young Rynnish gun mage's hands then instinctively went to her sides.  The right hands pulled the thin blade at her side, while her left reappeared with a magelock pistol in her hand.

"To arms!" she called out to her companions and the crew of the Resolute, "Prepare to repel!"  She looked to see if there were enough present to engage the boarders.  If not, Dany would move to aid them, otherwise she wanted to keep an eye on the sea serpent and its rider.

[OOC:  Gah!  I guess we fight...

  Move Action:      Stow spyglass
  Standard Action:  Draw magelock pistol (left) and elven thinblade (right)
]

Rrger
 player, 122 posts
 Cygnaran Trollkin
 Bodyguard/Arcane Mechanik
Tue 17 Feb 2015
at 00:48
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Rrger speaks a few syllables and draws his bow, ready to shoot at the humanoid in what should be the brain area. He'll shoot from as far away as he can.

OOC:
Casting true strike (+20 to hit) Next round he'll make a called shot at 110 yards (330 feet) at -6 attack roll. What is the adjustment on a called shot, if it's even possible at that range.

GM StarMaster
 GM, 141 posts
Tue 17 Feb 2015
at 05:00
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Aiming for a small area the size of a head, for instance, entails a -4 penalty. Of course, the serpent is moving though not really dodging, and is diving in and out of the water.


Everyone had taken up arms again once the call of serpent had come down from the crow's nest, so now they were doing like Dany--turnng around to the other side of the ship.

You can now see that the creatures are sea devils... not really devils but just called that because they are vicious. They are wielding tridents.
Rrger
 player, 123 posts
 Cygnaran Trollkin
 Bodyguard/Arcane Mechanik
Tue 17 Feb 2015
at 05:44
Re: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
With his bow pulled back about as far as he can, Rrger aims above the rider and times out the motion of the waves before releasing his shot.


OOC: This happens next round but I couldn't wait to roll it. nice hit...horrible damage

 +20 (spell) +5 (attack bonus) -6 (range) -4 (small target) = +15

22:38, Today: Rrger rolled 33 using 1d20+15. to hit sea devil on the serpent.
22:43, Today: Rrger rolled 7 using 1d8+6. damage on sea devil.