The New World

Session 43

Session 43 - Tuesday 20th September 2011 – by Frithhill

Elapsed time 457 days real time, 380 days game time (22nd August 1603)

Location- By the Fleuvre Noy (River Noy) in southern Montaigne

(In this session, the party found themselves separated. Bastien Chevalier went another way, (blindwitness retired after Session 42). The party now four in number, then followed the tow-path along the north bank of the river which Devennes straddles, and which drains into the Ocean Sea at Port Rennier, seeking a road which turns north. Along the way, they passed the obvious side-quest, electing not to involve themselves in an affair which had nothing to do with them. This is the sort of thing which fugitives do. They avoid becoming embroiled in additional complications, and try to keep a low profile. In this manner there are less people who will notice them. This necessitated an adjournment as GunslingerElite commenced a re-consideration of the continuing narrative. A robust game of Munchkin followed.

So what is the lay of the land, now ? We are still seeking the third piece of an artefact, the destination remains the same, though the path there may not be direct. All four characters are still sought by one or more factions, who mean them no good. All are sought by the Chasseurs Gris, because of their involvement in the escape of Melchior Browne, except Melchior himself, who nevertheless faces a fate equal to fiery death if re-captured. Thomas Rede and Vittorio Tornatore are still wanted by the Alban crown, in connection with a plot to smuggle Hugh DeBreton into Albion, and various armed clashes with servants of King Hamish I. Once in possession of information about the mandible of the Crystal Skull, another quest (or crime) will await. Assuming possession of this magical object at quest’s end, or a successful heist, a way of acting against Red Jack Stavros may present. This depends on the powers of the Jaw.

We know that the Jaguar Crown (which includes the brainpan of the Skull) is in the possession of Stavros, and has diverse powers, including the means of summoning great banks of a mist which utterly obscures the sight of everyone in it, except for those who are with the one who summoned the mist. It may allow the subjugation of will of others, though this may be a consequence of the force of Stavros’ personality (rather than the Mind Control College). A mark made on the bodies of his followers may afford them immunity from the effects of the mist. And this skull piece cause the wearers eyes to glow, with an infernal balefulness.

The un-natural prowess of the Jaguar Knights might be a benefit some kind of ritual taught within that elite martial order long before the advent of a Rus pirate, and before the existence of such a thing could be suspected. Being practically bulletproof, uncannily quick, and almost able to fly are pretty good powers though.

The second piece, made from the eyes, cheeks and upper jaw was last seen after being restored to a stone pedestal in a small chamber, beyond a great cavern behind a waterfall on the fringes of the Ixtlan Empire. It is a potent accessory to a wizard, allowing a skilled practitioner much greater power. It is a the locus of a higher level of Mana, and allows the wearer to use wild magic. Even a non-mage could become a sorceror of great power, if they could learn the spells.

As for the jaw, I suspect that it it has to do with the Communication and Empathy College, allowing the user a supernatural persuasiveness. Either that or the wearer will become very good at biting things. Maybe both. This would balance with the known powers of the Jaguar Crown, which amount to one major (possibly two) and one minor effect)

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Session 42

Session 42 - Thursday 15th September 2011 – by Frithhill and Modus

Elapsed time 452 days real time 380 days game-time (22nd August 1603)

Location – The town of Devennes, one day overland from Port Rennier in southern Montaigne.

“Ought to stop wallowing in other peoples sties. You just get muddied.” – Tho. Rede

“Yes. Yes. An accident. Perhaps it is better we blame the fickle hand of Fate for the carts placement….. rather than mine. For what are we all but mere instruments to the whims of destiny.” Melchior Browne

(In a short session, in the town of Devennes, (in Montaigne), the band which had been hoping to stay ahead of Grey Hunters (Chasseurs Gris), found themselves delayed by the obstacle of a train of barges, and were still there in the morning when a trio of men (who looked nothing like lumber merchants or bargemen) failed to find their friend (who is under a dung-heap in the inn-yard having been stabbed to death the night before by Vittorio Tornatore), but fairly quickly found someone who would tell them that the men they had just been speaking to on the river-bank were the Cadoccian, Alban and German they were also looking for.

Unseemly haste and some fine swash-buckling ensued, the German priest was knocked down and trampled twice in rapid succession by two different horses, which were then involved in a dreadful accident. Riders, fallen, injured horses, sundered parts of a large grocers barrow and smashed, squashed produce ended up in a kicking screaming heap in a narrow alley. The grocers barrow and produce were neither kicking nor screaming, the horses and riders were.)

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Session 41

Session 41Thursday 8th September 2011 – by Frithhill

Elapsed time 445 days real time, 379 days game time (21st August 1603 ?)

Location – The roads of southern Montaigne

“One step closer” – Tho. Rede

(In this session, much was accomplished, two new characters were introduced; Bastien Chevalier, by Blindwitness and Melchior Browne by Modus.

The company now consists of GunslingerElite (G.M.), LiamDunwichHorror (Vittorio Tornatore, one of two charter characters), Frithhill (Thomas Rede, the other charter character), Blindwitness (Bastien Chevalier, his second character, debuted in Session 41 after the homicide of Doctor Vincent Walker in Session 39), Crowtribe (Wilhelm Gottschalk, his third character, introduced in Session 33 after Brem O’Gellwyn was gloriously bitten in half by a dragon, and his legs interred under a cairn on top of the sea cliff of an island, near the mouth of the now empty dragon’s lair, in Session 32) and Modus (Melchior, his second character, debuted in Session 41, after Alejandro Jurez returned enthusiastically to a life in which trousers don’t play a part in Session 40).

Vittorio was, and remains a shabby cavalier, through who’s hands money flows like water.

Thomas was, and remains, a religious dissenter, in whom vengeful embers smoulder, unquenched.

Bastien is an jaunty pistolier, with whom surely Vittorio will find a true companion on the road to entire dissipation.

Wilhelm is a zealous priest, who is finding himself reminded of Old World Problems.

Melchior is an expansive tatterdemalion, who has just addressed his barefootedness problem, with a time honoured solution (dead men’s boots). The contagion of the moral turpitude of his new friends (and benefactors) spreads.

Together, they are rolling, more or less lost across the fields of Montaigne, most definitely not on the road which leads to Sainte Génevieve, their path followed a plutocratic bishop and his bloody-handed familiars. Plus ça change, plus la même, their talent for making friends and influencing people remains unaltered. All they have to do, now that the crossing has been accomplished, is find the right road, find a secretive organization, negotiate access to a library which may only exist metaphorically, and possibly read all of it. Then there may be a cryptic clue, recorded decades or centuries ago, expressing the opinion of someone as to the whereabouts (at that time) of something (which may or may not the same thing we are looking for).

I can feel a dungeon-crawl coming. It’s either that, or robbing the King of Castile, which ought be some sort of new high water mark of antisociality, but sadly won’t be.)

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Session 40

Session 40 – Tuesday 23rd August 2011 – by Frithhill

Elapsed time: 429 days real time, 327-330 days game time (30th June – 3rd July 1603 ?)

Location – Port-au-Hôpital, Hata

“I hear that someone says that there’s a berth on a ship, bound to Port Rennier. Wonder where it will land.” – Tho. Rede

(In this session the band made their way back to Port-au-Hopital, after emptying out the water casks and throwing the ship’s stores overboard. The surmise that the frog-man may have poisoned some or all of them, while aboard proved correct. A rat captured below decks died almost immediately after eating a sample from the food stores. A short trip up-river allowed the water to be replaced, a short expedition after sailing a day to the south and two days ashore hunting replaced the food-stores. Arriving in Port-au-Hopital, the company dispersed. Captain Harlan Octavius went out to find new crew, and out of the story. Thomas to find a barber and a bath. Alejandro and Vittorio to the Governors Palace.

Commander of the defending forces of Hata, Guillaume de Montfort was at first sceptical, but after accepting that the petitioners had been in a position to make observation about the activities of The Carrion Empire, and attitude of the Ixtlan Empire, under the circumstances, he recognized the opportunity. They always do. He attempted to co-opt the whole band, but Alejandro volunteered to go, while Vittorio convinced him that following the tantalizing rumour of information about the third piece of the skull was a worthwhile use of the others time and energy.

An agent of Sir Frederick Westmorough’s network rather worryingly made contact with Miss Nightshade. If people who have never met us personally know where we are and what we are doing …. In any case Miss Nightshade is going up-river (and out of the story with Alejandro. Bethbot had retired from the campaign after Session 37, and Modus took Alejandro out of play, since a return to Europa was contrary to the motivation of the character. Though of Ponce de Leons expedition, Alejandro, originally from Juarez in Iberia prefers not to wear trousers, by choice, let alone return to a life he had long since renounced).

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Session 39

Session 39 – Tuesday 16th August 2011 – by Frithhill

Elapsed time 422 days real time, 316 days game-time (19th June 1603?)

Location – A southern mouth in the delta of the Rio Hyppolyta

“Free, mebbe. I wouldn’t like to be the man that stood between me and home.” – Tho. Rede

(In this session the band, drove out across the flood-lands to the river, dealt with the half-hearted pursuit, and then turned downriver. The encamped forces at the former settlement at San Miguel were evaded by drifting down past the bonfire lit paean, the details of which were not clear but likely unpleasant, by night.

The appearance of the Mary Angelus was suspicious, not least because it was still, and unexpectedly, there some four weeks after the launching of a scouting party. And expectedly, the dispatch of a reconnaissance (in the form of Alejandro) found it riding deserted at anchor. The (new) crew had presumably been stalked and murdered one at a time, none lasting much later than the time when they would have expected the return of the boat, though this is probably not the thing which would have been most on their minds, under the circumstances. If so, it would have been looked on as a salvation, perhaps.

The mysterious Frog-man, (where did he come from, and more importantly who did he come from ?) set about his purpose again, and as good as ORKOed Alejandro. Suspecting the nature of the threat from past experiences, the whole band stormed the ship. Driven above decks by searchers below, he (it ?) made a play for escape, or was simply trying to take on all comers at once (though one would think that the way to do this was with a handful of knives, all poisoned). The outcome was more in the nature of those who live by the poisoned blade, die by the poisoned blade. If Miss Nightshade ever runs out of cyanide….)

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Session 38

Session 38 - Tuesday 2nd August 2011 – by Frithhill

Elapsed time – 408 days real time, 303 days game time (6th June 1603 ?)

Location – A cavern behind a waterfall on the Rio Esmeralda

“I shall want to see Europan shores again soon. It’ll be a long road. I don’t quite like the idea of rowing across the open water, but needs must.

I regret how things happened, but the man was set on his path." – Tho. Rede

(In this session, Doctor Vincent Walker, one of the longest running characters, and an entertaining one to play alongside, finally “went Kilminster”, in the campaigns parlance. He made a naked grab for power, and the contigency plans of others were put into effect. Thomas Rede, having long since decided that if he started justifying murder of those he judges not to be on the side of the angels, he’d probably never stop, walked away. Alejandro Juarez (assisted by Wilhelm Gottschalk) did the business. And our late, lamented necromancer was chopped up with a hatchet.)

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Session 37

Session 37 - Thursday 14th July 2011 – by Frithhill

Elapsed time – 389 days real time, 295 days game time (29th May 1603 ?)

Location – The flood-plain of the upper reaches of the Rio Esmeralda

“I got a taste of gorge in my mouth. It’s always there, I can’t savour food nor drink. I’m sick of this place, the people who abide here, even my bosom-friends. My clothes revolt me, the hair on my face maddens me, even my own limbs offend me. I ent laying my bones down here, not never” – Tho. Rede

(In this session, the principal events were 1. Possession of the field of combat following victory over a detachment of Red Jack Stavros’ forces 2. Continuation of the passage upriver to San Miguel 3. The capture of a lookout, his interrogation (and a rather awkward aftermath when the question of what to do with him arose) 4. Slipping past San Miguel by night, where a large body of the Carrion Empires soldiery were encamped 5. Making way to the flooded forest near Tatlopocl (as we now know the outpost of the Ixtlan Empire is called) 6. With a groaning foresee-ability another meeting with an enormous crocodile.)

It ought to be said the largest modern crocodile ever measured (a verified measurement, that is) was a Crocodilus nilotus (Australian Salt-Water Crocodile) which reached the length of a little over 28 feet. This is still longer than a long-boat. “The Cayman” at 10 yards exceeds the size possible for contemporary representatives of the group. Extinct palaeo-suchians apparently reached lengths of 40 feet, in the case of the true crocodile, Sarcosuchus, and pseudo-crocodilian Deinosuchus.

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Session 36

Session 36Tuesday 21st June 2011 – by Frithhill

Elapsed time: 366 days real time, 285 days game time ( 19th May 1603 ?)

Location – The delta of the Rio Hippolyta

“Our fortunes are fickle. It be like a ship of the sea in flukey winds. One moment the sails be full, then you’rn taken aback.” – Tho. Rede

(In this session the decision was taken to confront the Ixtlan raiding party, part of the forces posted at the mouth of the river at Pointe Verdaine, mounting a night attack on the remaining two dozen or so raiders, following skirmishes with part of this force. A surprise attack at night was successful. A mixed force of Europan pirates (of which Red Jack appears to have pressed more recruits, Ixtlan Jaguar Knights and Gualapari allies) was quickly dealt with by a combination of sentry removal, explosive ordnance, tactical archery and blitzing. A number of local Gualapari were thereby liberated. This may be of benefit from the viewpoint of securing an exfiltration route, by 1) Force depletion of hostile elements allowing infiltration without communication of our presence (and the reduced force may be obliged to limit the scope of their operations) and 2) Cultivation of friendly relations with the local population, who will be less inclined to inflict attrition on the crew of our transport (or seize control of it).

Some questions demand an answer. The expansion of operations by Red Jack’s forces to the mainland (given that he had previously been concentrating on pillaging islands in the Arawak Sea, and seeking to destroy the military capability of Europan powers in the region) must be significant. Posting forces to the Hippolyta (and possibly the Emerald River) must be seen as an attempt to command entrance into the interior.

Is this a bridgehead ? One construction is that he intends to return to the Ixtlan Empire. He may in fact have forces upriver already.

Are they seeking to increase forces by forcible recruiting in the Gualapari Basin?

Or going back to the well to replenish losses to the core (the Jaguar Knights) of his horde ?

Is it resource/labour based, consolidating his position through slave-taking ? If so, is it the practical aspect of labour resources, used to whatever purpose he might conceive ?(The obvious applications of which are engineering, construction or establishing the capacity to supply his military units with food). Or does he still have a way to monetize human cargo, employing the capital for logistical ends.

It may simply be giving his essential forces some leeway, since they are in the habit of doing this, it being part of their familiar way of life. The criteria by which they judge success is perhaps counted in the number of slaves and other commodities captured.

Is the detached force isolated or is part of his flotilla still in the area ?

Might he be mounting an expedition to seize another part of the Crystal Skull ?

Is he personally present ?)

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Session 35

Session 35Friday 3rd June 2011 – by Frithhill

Elapsed time 348 days real time, 284 days game time (18th May 1603 ?)

Location – The delta of the Rio Hippolyta

“Back on the god-forsaken river again. I mun start keeping some o’ me promises. Red Jacks people are all over the place. No sooner than we turned from the sea, we ran into some. And the frog which has the size and shape of a man mun have sum’at to do with him. It mun have bin dogging our footsteps since we passed through Port o’ Hoppittal the time before, maybe. Or Dareton”. – Tho. Rede

In this session we sombrely piped Mikkael off.

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Session 34

Session 34Thursday 26th May 2011 – by Frithhill

Elapsed time – 340 days real time, 281 days game time (15th May 1603 ?).

Location – Port-au-Hôpital, Hata

“So close I could almost reach out and touch it. Captain Stavros holds Port Verdan now, but there’s friendly stars above us, it seems. Somat ent right. The weathers too fair, the winds too favourable. When we was ordered to stand to, I thought we were done for. Reckon I ought to go and fish those boots out. There’s still some use in ’em.” – Tho. Rede

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