Game: The Currents of Caribdus
Opening: On board the ‘Celaphon’ making for Calib’s Rock
Captain Aurelianus was impressed with Jim’s handling of the ship, but took the wheel once they rounded the headland. Even after eight years, Jim could not get used to how close to his own world this one was. If fact, if it wasn’t that he was standing next to a frock-coated squid-headed humanoid wearing a captain’s hat, he could almost be at sea anywhere on Earth.
The ‘Celaphon’ had no passenger quarters; they slept in the hold along with the cargo and the guns. There were other passengers aboard; a dark-skinned Masaquani and his family, who spoke little and kept to themselves. Jim learnt he was a woodcutter seeking a new life in Calib’s Rock.
Perhaps the reason for their silence was the fifth passenger, a pale-skinned Masaquani wearing the black and silver robes of a Questor! A long sword hung at his belt; his eyes had a reddish tinge and he had waist-length braided hair.
“You are a human, a Newcomer”, the Questor said in a low voice. “I would speak with you, to learn of your world. I am Dulce Decorum and I hunt demons.”
That evening, after the meal, the passengers swapped stories. The woodcutter ventured that he had heard that The Company were starting a new venture; you paid a sum of money to journey on a large ship round the islands, seeing various sites. Jim and Dulce laughed at this; that people would pay money for such a thing?
The 14th February dawned bright and clear and the land had been left far behind. Jim looked at the compass; they were heading north-west.
“Spell you at the wheel captain?” he asked. Aurelianus stepped back and Jim took over. “Keep her on this heading, English Jim, and we should raise Calib’s Rock in two or three days”.
Jim revelled in this life, being behind the wheel of a ship. Ahead, a school of flying fish leapt out of the water, pacing the ship. Dulce went forward to look at them; then joined Jim.
“They are harmless; see, they have curved wing fins. If you ever see ones with jagged wing fins; steer away; they are deadly”. He looked at Jim with his disturbing red eyes. “Tell me something of your world. Do demons stalk the land?”
“Not demons as such”, replied Jim; then started to tell the tale of his adventures as a boy on Treasure Island. They talked long; as they did the seas began to build. The sun set in a mass of dark cloud.
“Captain!” called Jim. “We are heading into stormy weather.”
“Reef the sails”, ordered the captain. “I’ll take the wheel. Everyone else, get below and batten the hatches.”
The 15th February was a confused maelstrom of driving rain, howling wind and plunging seas. Jim had a partial reef on the mainsail to give some headway; sometime during the day the sail ripped and the ship was blown downwind.
When the storm passed, the ‘Celaphon’ was anchored off a small rocky islet; in the centre stood a low stone building with a gaping doorway. Captain Aurelianus set the woodcutter and family to repairing the storm damage and the mainsail; Jim, Gan and Dulce set off to explore the building. Gan carried a torch from the ‘Celaphon’.
A stairway led down to a series of passages running in all directions. Many of these were dead ends; at one point Jim stepped on a loose floor stone and a side passage opened up. There was some debate about whether to take it and in the end they did. It led to a large chamber. There were no other exits. They turned; to find the exit blocked by four Skeletal Warriors; wearing tattered pirate rig and carrying cutlasses.
There was no chance to avoid combat; the warriors blocked the only exit. Jim, Gan and Dulce stepped forward; weapons ready to attack; however all four Warriors attacked Dulce. The result was startling; Dulce fended most of the attacks but then one bit deep. Dulce howled something unintelligible; his eyes went blood-red and he attacked in a berserk frenzy. Two of the Warriors went down; Jim narrowly escaped a blow from Dulce. Dulce took a Wound from a Warrior; undeterred he swung back in a frenzy and took out the Warrior. Snorting for breath, heedless of the blood running down his chest; he readied his sword.
“Dulce!” screamed Jim. “It’s us, friends. Only friends left. You understand?”
Dulce dropped his sword and sank to his knees; his head in his hands. “The demons have come and possessed me again. They took my love from me and now they are coming back to take me.”
“Listen, Dulce”, said Jim, “you are wounded; as is Gan. We need to get out of here. Get up and walk.”
Jim tried to find a way out, but a wrong turn landed them in a room of Skeletal Warriors guarding two large chests. They beat a hasty retreat but Gan was Wounded twice (-3) and Jim found a small wood chest (500 silver) hidden in a room. A final encounter with a pack of Vroat led to one Vroat dead; the PC’s escaped unharmed. They returned to the ship, Jim half-supporting Gan, who was bleeding profusely and Dulce limping from a leg wound.
End of Scene 5
What is the Red Man’s secret
Rescue Bronwyn from Black Bob
Has Bronwyn gone willingly?
Remain at 6
Gan, the wounded Red Man with a secret to a great treasure
Bronwyn, Ships Surgeon
Black Bob and his crew
Aurelianus, Kraken captain of the ‘Celaphon’
Dulce Decorum, Masaquani Questor
Unknown Whip Island
“The Tarred Rope” tavern in Baltimus
- a) Dulce was created using my Mookmaker system, a NPC generation system run on an Excel spreadsheet. His name literally translates as “Sweet Right”; maybe I should put in the ‘et’ to make it “Sweet and Right”.
- b) The sea voyage was run using a bit of my stuff to generate the overall weather and the encounter tables from the CR.
- c) The ruins were done using a Quick Ruins system I devised for Beasts and Barbarians; it is handled by a series of card draws (it wasn’t until I started playing SW that I realised what a fantastically versatile Game Engine a simple pack of cards is).
- d) Dulce going Berserk – this is where I’ve modified the Edge somewhat. Berserk is fun, but very powerful, which is why you have to roll to trigger it. However, I’ve ruled that to ‘snap out of it’ needs the Smarts roll @ -2 and until this is made the character is a danger to anyone near to him. Roll Fighting die and on a ‘1’ a target has been hit, roll damage as normal). Friends may help by yelling to the character (as Jim did), using Persuasion or Spirit as a cooperative roll.
- e) The ruin has been added as an Encounter Site in my GM notes; I’ve stripped it down to: –
* A small rocky island, grey stone building. Entrance has steps down to a passage; large chamber contains 5 Skeletal Warriors guarding two large chests (2 x Pillage)*
- f) The Combat system has been refined again and is now totally map less. It is also nasty; ALL of the Skeletal Warriors attacking Dulce in that first round could have had a fatal outcome.