Heart of Oak

20160227
The End

We’re at the large room with the four hallways, assessing where to go

  • Max feels that the cat statue may be faced in a “protective” stance and the treasure may be down the hallway behind it
  • We search, but don’t find anything of interest
  • We decide to follow Max’s suggestion
    • Thor tries to mark the corridor we left and the one we’re planning to enter, but there is some confusion about the directions
    • We eventually agree on the hallway that we entered, but are curious if dust or gases here are causing hallucinations
  • Proceeding down the hall
    • After walking for a way, it seems like the hallway is getting brighter
    • As we get closer to the light, we think we’re hearing voices of people speaking
    • Soon, we become aware of the smell of burnt gunpowder
    • Now, we seem to smell blood
    • We approach a massive, well-lit room * so bright that it takes our eyes a moment to adjust
  • The massive room contains four entrances
    • By the entrance to our right stands a ragged band of about a dozen Spanish soldiers, with more dead or wounded on the ground
    • Near the entrance across from us stands a band of about a dozen French soldiers in similar shape, also with dead and wounded
    • Curled up on the ground near the left entrance is a person in a British naval uniform, with long, flowing, blonde hair
    • In the center of the room is a large mechanical device with levers, which seems similar to our key
      • Surrounding the machine are 4 warriors in white uniforms with capes and embroidered gold crosses
    • One of the white warriors looks at us with familiarity, greets us, and commences with a speech to us
  • Thor, Blackeye and Max head over to the machine after being requested to join the white warriors
    • Reg initially refuses and questions the sanity of the rest of the group, but follows Thor’s command to join them
  • The French call out that they have the key and they’ll destroy us
  • The Spanish call out similarly, and also appeal to any Catholics
  • Max heads over to the British navyman, presumed to be Fawlks
    • As Max is about to poke Fawlks with a sword, Fawlks jumps up, startling Max
    • Fawlks attempts to slash Max with a sword that was concealed beneath him
    • Max and Fawlks commence battle, with Fawlks getting in an initial, painful blow
    • Max hits Fawlks back with a devastating hit to his right arm, dazing Fawlks
    • Jorgan fires at Fawlks, hitting him in the right shoulder, but Fawlks still stands
    • Reg shoots Fawlks in the left knee, and Fawlks is now staggering like a drunkard
    • Max takes him down with a follow up hit to Fawlks’ shin, eventually running him through

The greater battle begins

  • The French and Spanish begin firing at our group
    • The volley hits both Blackeye and Thor
  • Thor attempts to install the key into the machine
    • One of the white warriors tells him to stop and begins moving toward Thor
    • The warrior shoots Thor and then pins Thor’s arm behind his back
    • Reg tries to attack the warrior, but the sword becomes entangled in the brawling and Reg drops his sword
    • As the warrior marches Thor away from the machine, Reg approaches and picks up the key
  • Thor breaks free from his manhandler after a reverse head-butt
  • Another white warrior pulls two pistols and shoots Blackeye in the chest with both barrels
  • Thor shoots his opponent only to have his arm again pinned after drawing his sword
  • The French and Spanish approach and start falling to the white warriors
  • One warrior slashes at Blackeye as Reginald completes the installation of the key
  • It appears that one of the French is also installing a key
  • Fighting continues as Reg drops down from atop the machine, falling onto the lever
    • The lever moves most of the way down, but seems to have stopped just a few inches from its lowest position
  • Almost all the French are down and one of the warriors removes our key and throws it down the hallway
  • Max attacks the warrior adjacent to Reg, as Reg is trying to complete the lever movement
    • Reg wrenches the lever down with all his weight
    • The room seems to grow quiet as the warriors cry out, “No!!! Why did you do that???”

The End

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20160109

We are under way in the Amazon after having spiked the cannons

  • Our new plan is to head east and try to complete our mission at the pyramid
    • We’ll skim along the coast in the shallows and be cautious about the weather
    • For food, we’ll fish and keep eyes open for any lush areas along the coast where we might find something edible
    • All hands must pitch in, but we’re able to keep things going
  • The first day and night are uneventful
    • The crew is holding up, but the journey is tiring and we’re on meager rations

The following day

  • About midday, Archibald cries out, “Oy! There’s a bloke up ahead, waving at us!”
    • Blackeye sees what appears to be a Bedouin on the shore, who oddly (for a Bedouin) appears to be suffering from sun exposure
    • The “Bedouin” calls out hoarsely, asks who the captain is, and then asks for safe passage for his knowledge
    • The man confirms that he is Fawlks and asks us for a gentleman’s agreement for safe passage
  • Thor sends a boat out to collect Fawlks, who runs off when Thor refuses to provide his word
    • Drake helps us track Fawlks, because we believe we’re too inept to follow the obvious footprints in the sand, ourselves
    • We catch sight of Fawlks and Max runs off after him, with Thor sending a couple additional marines
    • After trying to get away and realizing the futility, Fawlks stops, turns around, and waits for the marines to capture him
  • The group walks Fawlks back to the shore
  • We return with Fawlks to the Amazon, whereupon Blackeye punches Fawlks in the face
    • Fawlks accepts the light punch as if he’d been slapped by a woman
  • Fawlks discusses his disposition with Thor
    • Thor refuses to agree to anything with Fawlks
    • Fawlks is tied to the mast and gagged
    • Thaddeus insists upon tending to Fawlks, both in body and spirit

In the morning

  • Aside from Thaddeus continuing to administer to Fawlks with water and preaching, the day is uneventful

On day 4 of our trek

  • We untie Fawlks from the mast and take him to the captain’s quarters to question him
    • Fawlks again insists that we must release him in Alexandria before we reach the pyramid
    • He will only provide the information to find the treasure on his terms
  • Thor explains to the crew that only the officers are to meet with or feed Fawlks
  • Plan is to take Fawlks with us to the pyramid and assess the quality of his information at that point

The days pass relatively uneventfully

  • On Sunday, we stop for an hour so that Thaddeus can preach to us
    • We have a beautiful service under a gorgeous blue sky, and the crew enjoys some respite from the daily grind
  • Come late afternoon, we spy what appears to be a large port city in the distance
    • We’ve reached Alexandria!
  • As we approach the port, we notice a number of masts poking out of the water in the harbor
    • These appear to be smaller sunken ships, not large warships
    • We see an Egyptian port that is part of the harbor, and we see a French flag flying over it
    • We see no ships in the harbor flying French flags
  • We try to give this harbor a wide berth and we continue onward
    • As we travel farther, we see some more ship masts protruding from the water
    • At Abu Qir, we see a very large number of sunken ships
      • On the shore, we see encampments and batteries all flying French flags
      • One of the ships is sticking sufficiently far out of the water that we believe we can identify it as a French ship
      • We’re hoping that this is Nelson’s work
  • We proceed toward an entry point for the Nile

The following day, we approach the mouth of the western branch of the Nile

  • The Nile appears to be a bit lower than we’d expected, but we believe we could start into the river here
  • We begin down the Nile
    • It seems that we’re really close to our minimum draft
    • We move through the river for a couple miles, until we reach a point where the Nile appears to be blocked by a dam of dirt
    • A couple seaman and a couple marines check it out in a rowboat
      • The “dam” is actually hundreds of horses and men
      • Reginald heads out to inspect the carnage and doesn’t recognize the uniforms; perhaps they’re Egyptian
  • Drake, Thaddeus, Vico, Charles, Robert and Archibald remain behind to guard and maintain the Amazon
  • The remainder of us, including Fawlks, proceed up the river in two rowboats
    • Farther down the river, we see the remnants of another great battle
      • The archeologists claim that the dead look like Momlocks, a warrior class
    • The day is waning and we beach our boats on the east shore
  • We discuss with the archeologists our plans for obtaining the treasure and Fawlks’ claim to have “knowledge”
    • The archeologists remark that he may refer to the “fabled traps” and that they’d like any information he has
  • Later, we notice fires in the distance, but the night is uneventful

In the morning, we continue on our quest

  • After an uneventful day, we again pull over to the east side for the night
  • Thor goads Fawlks about nearing the end of our quest and that we’re within arm’s reach of the treasure
    • Fawlks replies that he fears he will only be enriched by the experience

The following day

  • We hear the cacaphony of Cairo and see the smoke of civilization
    • Unfortunately, we see French flags flying everywhere
    • The city seems to have taken some battle damage
    • We see French soldiers at the gates and patrolling the neighborhoods
  • We backtrack a bit and hide the boats in a copse of trees in the delta and wait until after noon to get started
  • After strapping our barrel of water to a couple of oars, as carrying handles, we head off through the desert
    • The farther from the Nile we get, the fewer villages we see
  • By about midnight or 2:00, we believe we’re in the general vicinity of the ziggurat
    • Thor decides that we’ll camp for a bit and find the pyramid in the morning

In the morning

  • The group is a bit grumpy and feeling unrested after only a handful of hours of sleep
  • We see our destination valley in the distance
    • There are a number of goat trails leading into the valley
    • We can finally see the ziggurat
      • Near it, we spy a handful of tents and a number of people milling about
      • Upon closer look, there are a few among the 10-15 men wearing French uniforms
  • The Plan:
    • Francis Dickens, a seaman, will guard Fawlks with the two archeologists
    • The rest of us will attack the camp by the ziggurat
  • We make it down to the bottom of the valley and believe we were successful in avoiding notice
  • The battle ensues!
    • Reg and a marine get solid hits on one of the French soldiers
    • Max takes a nasty hit from the French, but continues on like a charging bull
    • Some of our valiant crew continue to charge, while the marksmen spend ages reloading
    • The rest of the battle is pretty quick and it ends before the marines can get off a follow up shot
    • All the French soldiers are down, and the civilians surrender and lie down on the ground
  • The tents are searched, but we find no other people
  • Max heads off to collect the rest of our crew, while Reg, Thor and Blackeye bind our prisoners
    • One of the French civilians claims that 30-40 others, mostly soldiers, are inside the pyramid
  • Blackeye scours the tents for information related to the pyramid or treasure
    • Finds money, chocolate, pipes, tobacco, really good wine
    • Doc Thompson also finds wine bottles and sets out to empty them
  • Blackeye and Reg head to the top of the pyramid and find an opening, but there’s no confirmation that anyone is inside
    • Blackeye remembers that the number of cots in the tents matches the number of captured Frenchies
    • Upon confirming the lie, they return to the group
  • We proceed to the east side to open the “secret door”
    • Blackeye kicks Fawlks in the nuts… multiple times
    • The archeologists seem to find the right spot and begin manipulating the “key” device
    • After hearing an “unlocking” sound, they pull on the “key” and the door follows
      • Dust and “smoke” pour out before they finally get the door fully open
      • Inside, we see that the torches are already lit
      • There is a fairly wide corridor that heads straight ahead, numerous markings decorate the walls
    • The hieroglyphics inside tell about the unknown (to us) conqueror of Egypt buried here
    • The archeologists continue heading down the hall as the rest of us evaluate the torches
      • We notice the archeologists seem to have disappeared while we were considering the torches
      • Following the path down the hall, we don’t find them
      • Upon returning to the entrance, we discover that the door is now closed and won’t reopen
      • We start back down the hallway in the direction we originally had been heading, marking our progress along the walls
  • We come to a 4-way intersection
    • At the intersection, we hear some kind of “skittering” sound, coming from each hallway
    • Thor calls out, and from the south hallway a screaching sounds seems to answer us
    • Thor attempts to mark the direction whence we came, but every corridor we see shows the trail markings that we made
      • Reginald checks his compass, but the needle is not maintaining a direction
  • Blackeye interrogates Fawlks, who claims that we’re lost and he can find our way
    • Blackeye removes the bag from Fawlks’ head
    • Fawlks looks around at the hieroglyphics and tells us which direction to take
    • Fawlks changes our direction numeous times, often when we hear the screaching sound down the hall
    • We eventually come to an area where the hall opens up to a larger room, with multiple exits
      • In the center of the room is a 3-4 foot black, stone statue of a cat
    • Fawlks asks Max to head to the other side of the room
      • Max successfully makes his way to the other side of the room
    • Fawlks begins to lead us across the room to Max
      • A big, black claw reaches down from above the doorway, slashes into the side of Fawlks’ head, and pulls him toward the ceiling
      • Max sees only a large, shadowy creature across the room from him
    • Reg grabs some torches to hand to the crew and then leaps through the doorway to join Max and Blackeye by the statue
    • We see what appears to be a giant, black cat hanging out on a ledge that circumscribes the top of the room
      • The large feline seems to dislike light and attacks the one torch, destroying it
    • We ready firearms and Max again thrusts a torch in the air
      • The torch illuminates the wall, showing a corridor opening in the wall above the hallway whence we came
      • A similar “cat corridors” exists above each of the exits from this room
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20151212

Note from the GM:

  • We will get paid out on our prizes in about 1 year, 77 months, and 9 years for the 3 ships, respectively

In our little rowboats, watching The Ambuscade sink

  • She slowly sinks into the warm waters of the Mediterranian
  • We look around and it seems that we probably have about 120 seamen and 20 marines that survived with us
    • Survivors include: Mather Thompson, Salamander Vico, John Drake, Thaddeus Dodd, Paul Berard, the archeologists
  • Last known position: off the coast of Libya, near the east coast of Tripoli
    • There have been numerous coups in Libya, but it’s currently independent
    • Tripolitania is one part of Libya, which has great influence over the rest of Libya
    • The archeologists speak passing Arabic, which is the local language
  • The officers assist with providing first aid to the wounded
  • We begin rowing to the nearest shore, attempting to keep the group together
    • Soon, a fog begins creeping in and envelopes us almost before we noticed it
    • Jorgen and Reg work to keep the boats together before we’re lost in the fog, but we’ve already lost the others
  • After a couple hours, we hear birds and begin to make out the shoreline
  • Upon landing, we proceed to build a fire
  • We designate watch shifts for the night
    • Morale seems low, but the men get some rest during an uneventful night

The day breaks and the fog is gone

  • We scan the sea for the remainder of our crew, but find no one
  • A rowboat is set on stilts to create a shaded shelter
  • William Morton Pitt, one of our crewman, digs up some water near one of the trees
  • Thor sends most of the crew to try spear fishing, and Drake takes Jorgen and Reg hunting
    • Hunting is a bust, and fishing yields a small amount of food
  • Thor decides that we will attempt to proceed eastward (is this supposed to be westward?), via rowboat at night
    • After about an hour, we come upon what appears to be a small fishing village
    • We decided to pull into the village
  • William Smith interprets for us and speaks with the village chief, Ali Zaiden
    • Ali welcomes us and tells us we’re their guests
    • Ali offers us some food, clay water vessels and fishing nets
    • Thor offers the 1-inch musketoon and our coins
    • Ali feeds us and gives us coffee
    • As we’re about to leave, Ali asks if we were part of the ship that beached about 15 miles east of us
  • We assume this ship is The Amazon, and we decide to head back east
    • About 5 hours later, as dawn is breaking, we see the mast of a beached ship
  • We get to shore and prepare a shelter for the day

The bright part of the day is uneventful

  • Max and Drake begin doing reconnaissance at night – the moon is full
    • Head out along the desert on the other side of the scrub line
    • When they get closer, there are no fires, no smoke, no sign of people
    • The Amazon appears to have crashed and is sitting at an angle
    • Max and Drake get right up to the ship
      • There are bodies of Englishmen scattered around the ship, but none are our crew
      • Some are in British uniforms, some are wearing civilian clothes
      • There are weapon wounds: swords, knives, spears
        • The spear broken off in one body is not a spear that would be found on a British ship
      • There are tracks heading away from the ship
      • Drake assesses that it was probably a surprise attack, and survivors were dragged off to the southeast
      • Fawlks’ body is not among the dead
    • Max enters the captain’s quarters through the splintered door
      • The room is devastated: papers strewn about, furniture smashed, an axe smashed into the wall
    • Max enters the lieutenants’ quarters
      • Again, everything has been torn apart
    • Passengers’ quarters
      • 6 rooms are empty
      • 2 of the 8 rooms have been torn apart
  • Max and Drake return to camp and inform us
    • We decide to head over to the ship the next day
    • 4 guards are posted in shifts for the remainder of the night

The next day, we prepare to head east in our rowboats

  • Thor and Blackeye notice that William Pitt is missing from our crew
    • Was last seen being relieved from guard duty
  • Because we can’t find Pitt, we assume he’s already gone to The Amazon, and we begin heading off
  • We arrive at the ship
    • Jorgen estimates 6+ weeks to get the ship seaworthy with our available resources
  • Thor sends off most of us to fish or guard, while the officers search the ship
    • In addition to the battle damage, there’s the damage to the rooms and someone broke into the hold
    • In the hold, it looks like everything’s been opened and ransacked
    • In crew quarters, hammocks are cut up, foot lockers smashed, everything is ransacked
    • From the captain’s log, we determine the ship was commissioned by Mandrake with Fawlks as captain
      • The Amazon is, indeed, a Royal Navy ship, crewed by navy sailors
      • The orders appear to be dated about the time that we left on this mission
  • Decision is to repair the ship
    • Guards in the crow’s nest in shifts, a couple folks fishing and collecting water, the rest working on the ship
    • Repairs are progressing, albeit slowly

We decide to head back to Ali and try to get more supplies

  • We offer two rowboats and a cannon with powder and some balls
  • Ali likes this and agrees to providing us with food for a month and some simple tools
  • As we return to our ship
    • We see someone in a bright purple robe from head to foot, swinging an axe at the jacks supporting our ship
      • 5 musket shots destroy him
    • As we get to the beach, we see another fellow in purple robes with a spear and shield
      • Max approaches with marines and indicates that the man should drop his weapons
      • Purple Man stands without dropping his weapons
      • William Smith doesn’t understand what the man is saying, but Purple Man seems to understand some Arabic
      • Purple Man says it’s his boat, something about his people taking / capturing / trading for the boat
    • Purple Man refuses to drop his weapons, and attempts to run off
      • Max orders the marines to shoot Purple Man, who is torn apart by musket fire
      • Thaddeus is distraught, pulls the cloth from the man’s face, remarks how young he was and asks why we had to kill him
    • The marines shoot down a camel that probably belonged to them; we’ll eat well tonight

We resume ship repairs without the need to fish

  • One night, we see a figure in the distance, attempting to conceal himself
    • It’s about 1:00 AM when we notice him and he doesn’t seem to leave until about 5:30
    • In the morning, we check out the area and we find where he was hanging out, with footprints heading off to the east
  • We decide to try tracking where this mysterious fellow headed off to
    • Max, Reg and Drake head out and follow the trail east through the scrub, where it cuts southeast through the desert
    • We follow the tracks southeast maybe 2.5 – 3 miles and from the top of a dune, we see what seems to be a nomadic village
      • Tents, men / women / children dressed in robes of purple and other colors, camels and other animals
      • Max notices one tent with men standing with spears & shields, backs to the tent
      • About 20 – 30 tents, 80 – 100 people about half of which appear to be adult male, lots of camels, a well, no obvious firearms
  • We report to Thor
    • Will have Max and Drake concealed tonight, waiting for our visitor to return
    • Jorgen readies cannons, just in case

About midnight, Thor sees a head and Reg rings a bell once to inform Max and Drake

  • Max and Drake sneak around to the other dune… they’re spotted!
    • The Berber scout throws a spear at Drake and misses
    • Drake starts sprinting toward the Berber scout
    • The Berber pulls out a sword as Drake and Max arrive, nicking Drake across the abdomen
    • Max and Drake both get solid hits with the flats of their blades
    • A follow up hit by Max renders the Berber unconscious
  • The officers are all astounded that our plan actually worked!
  • We awaken the scout and William Smith begins questioning Muttasim, our captive
    • Muttasim claims that two of his people are missing and if harm comes to his people, the Berber’s English captives will die
    • Claims that they have 1 “prince” and 10 of his “subjects”
    • We describe Fawlks and Muttasim confirms that it’s the “prince”
    • We try to explain that this is our ship, stolen by Fawlks, and that we’re reclaiming it
    • Muttasim states that this is their ship, given to them by Fawlks
    • We’re told to visit the Berber chief in the morning, where we’ll be his guest and our safety will be guaranteed
  • Decision is the tow The Amazon out and move down the coast
    • We release Muttasim, telling him that we’ll meet with his leader in a day
    • Muttasim heads off, and we begin readying the ship for departure
    • We will head back to the fishing village and try to effect further repairs there
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20151107

Continuing our efforts to chase the Frenchies in reverse…

  • We stumble through the woods at our maximum speed
    • The musket fire is fairly heavy, but becomes sporadic after a short time
    • We no longer hear the French voices and can no longer see anyone chasing us
    • Jorgen takes a moment to watch for the French, it seems that they’re no longer following us
  • We come to a small hamlet with farm fields, south of Rotterdam
    • We seem to be heading west and need to get north and probably a bit east
  • We exit the woods and enter the hamlet, heading over to where Jorgen saw the horses being put away
  • We speak with a local man who has his son drive us in a cart to Rotterdam
    • The trip is uneventful
    • We arrive at the same roadside inn where we stayed last night
    • We enjoy food and drink at the inn, generally relax and enjoy the evening
    • The innkeeper’s wife cleans and mends our clothes

After an uneventful night, we inquire about hiring transportation back to Antwerp

  • We decide to stay a bit longer
  • We review the paperwork and mechanical device, taken from the house
    • Turning the protruding key turns the gears and affects the dials and such
    • There appear to be Greek letters on the device and we find what appears to be matching letters in some of the papers
    • We decide to try translating the document that relates to the device
      • We can’t find many of the words in Jorgen’s dictionary
      • The sentences that we produce are incomprehensible to us
      • Jorgen has a hunch that the Greek letters on the device relate to months
  • Thor and Reginald head into Rotterdam to find a bookstore
    • The driver waits while we shop for books
    • We find dictionaries for translating to English from Dutch, and both modern and ancient Greek
  • Back at the inn, we notice that the alphabet on the device more closely matches the ancient Greek
    • We cannot find the actual words (or letter combinations) in the dictionary
    • The words adjacent to the ancient Greek are in an unknown language
  • We hire the cab yet again and head to the university to try to find a translator for the partially Greek table in the document
    • We find the college of language and seek a translator, but it’s empty
  • We find the library and eventually find a student to help us
    • Left hand side of table is ancient Greek – Egyptian months in Greek
    • Right hand side looks “odd” and he begins researching in a book
      • Thoth, Befooy, Athur, etc., which is the months in Egyptian, and it seems to be ancient Egyptian
    • The rest of the page is translated into instructions for use of some mechanical device
      • Set specific months, and it opens some door
      • This document appears to be a segment from the middle of a larger document
    • The documentation appears to be a diary from Baron van den Verberne
      • Baron was working with French to produce a coup in England to overthrow our king and install Charlie
      • Plot involves Irish units, which would leave France and start trouble, get the Catholics behind him
      • Built a very fast ship to get Charlie in place very quickly once the insurrection started
      • Baron had support from French but also from Marquis Francois Bluche
      • Baron was assisted by Marquis in kicking off the plot by exchanging his influence for a mechanical device (the “key”)
        • Baron learned true value of the Key and double crossed the Marquis
      • Key is to be used at the white temple ziggurat at Giza
        • Instructions for how to get there, which side of the temple, how to set the dials, untold fortunes to be had
  • We decide to depart for Antwerp tonight
    • Plan is to return to Plymouth and inform our government, then take our ship to Egypt
    • Our first night is uneventful

We resume our journey

  • We arrive by evening at our ship
  • We inform John Drake that we must get under way immediately
    • We send a messenger to Bar Sinister explaining that an urgent matter requires us to depart early
  • We begin moving out
  • Thor begins documenting our mission for our government
    • Mentions that we obtained this incriminating diary and discovered the ship, still under construction
    • Jorgen begins copying the diary, leaving out any mention of the mechanical device

We arrive in Plymouth after an uneventful trip

  • Many people wonder why we’re back so early
  • Commodore John Fleming sends us a message to meet immediately at HQ
    • We decide to be truthful about the device and to hand it over
    • We want to be part of the expedition to Giza, if there is one
  • We meet with the Commodore
    • He seems cross and asks why we left Antwerp early
    • We explain the situation, answer some questions
    • Fleming tells us he’ll consider our proposal to retrieve the riches from Giza
    • We are asked to return at 10 am tomorrow
  • Monk and Chunk stop by the ship later
    • We are offered 100 pounds for the device
    • As they’re being removed from the ship, they provide a last offer to release all of our captured ships

The following morning

  • We head over to HQ
  • We meet with John Fleming again
    • Command isn’t sure that this device will actually yield the supposed treasures
    • However, someone higher up convinced the Commodore’s superiors to buy into the mission
    • A team of archeologists will join us, but first order of command is to secure Nelson’s supply lines
      • Archeologists: William Smith, Dudley Rider
  • We head over to the Royal Archeological Society with 20 marines
    • They’re bringing quite a bit of materials, many trunks of stuff
  • Upon returning to the ship, Thor sends someone out to retrieve a safe for his cabin
  • We stock up with supplies, including those for our Eqypt expedition

We arrive at Gibralter after a week on the high seas

  • We dock and speak with HQ
    • Information on Nelson: he may be en route to Italy; if Napolean not found, then to Alexandria
  • We decided to stay two days and give half the crew shore leave for each day
    • Max sends a marine guard to protect the archeologists as they hike

After an uneventful night, we’re greeted by another lovely day

  • The archeologists return in the morning, but appear to be staggering a bit
    • Max asks the marines for a report: the archeologists did some hiking followed by a lot of drinking at a pub
  • Another uneventful day

We get underway the following day

  • No news from HQ on Nelson
  • We head out on our way to Alexandria
  • Three days into our trip, the crow’s nest calls out, “Ahoy, ship to the west!”
    • Ship is flying the Union Jack
    • As the ship approaches, the crew appears to be British
    • Thor, Blackeye and Eoghan notice that something doesn’t seem right about their approach
      • It appears that their guns are manned
    • We challenge the other ship and ask their intentions
      • They respond that they are The Amazon and ask, “Intentions?”
      • We do recall a ship by this name, matching this description, in the Royal Navy
      • We ask the name of the captain and that they stand down their guns
      • They continue to chase us and the situation seems quite irregular
      • They again state, “We are The Amazon. Who are you?”
      • They turn and fire at us, causing imperceptible damage to us
  • The Ambuscade vs. The Amazon
    • We come within short range and open a full broadside
      • We get a solid hit on their hull
    • They return fire and get a decent hit on us
    • We get lighter hit on them
    • The Amazon gets within point blank range and gets a nasty hit on us
    • We return another light hit
    • We notice a man on Amazon’s deck, attempting to conceal himself: Fawlks!!!
    • Amazon gets an devastating hit on Ambuscade
      • Our wheel is disabled, and we have 15 minutes until we’re completely sunk
    • We return a massive hit to Amazon, which may be our last shot to them
      • They’ve also lost steering, but they are not yet sinking
    • Thor rallies our crew to get another shot into Amazon, but it still floats
    • Another light shot hits them; they’re barely afloat
  • We grab our necessities and climb into the boats
    • Reginald grabs his weapons, money, spyglass and a bottle of scotch – never forget the scotch!
View
20150725

We return to port after our little impromptu “exercise”

  • Thor and the gang heads off to ask Bar Sinister about upcoming events
    • No official events upcoming, but there is a going away party for us in a fortnight
    • Hasn’t heard of Baron van den Verberne throwing a party in quite some time
    • Doesn’t know of many non-official parties going on
    • Thor asks Bar Sinister’s secretary, after he leaves
      • There are parties going on all the time
      • Spanish shipping magnate is having a party tonight, and they usually have wild ones
  • We then head off to Von Kleist and are directed to the garden
    • After a few minutes, the Baroness appears
    • She provides some information
      • She’s never been to a party hosted by Van den Verberne
      • She’s heard that Charles junior is staying in the vicinity, but has never seen him
      • Suggests that we attend the party at the French embassy, that Kerry will likely be there
      • Mentions that Kerry is a good looking man, but drinks too much and gambles very poorly
      • Draws attention to the excellent exchange rate we got on Kerry’s IOU
        • It seems that someone is interested in collecting IOU’s from Kerry
      • She takes Reginald out for a horse ride, proves her riding prowess and playfully mocks Reginald’s lack of skill
    • We decide to try getting into Kerry’s room while he’s out at drinking at the French party

At the hotel Ij

  • We leave a message for Kerry, “Meet me at the restaurant tomorrow -V”
  • Most of us hang out in the bar, while Reginald reads a French newspaper in the lounge
    • There are stories in the paper about Napolean’s liberation of Egypt
  • Max heads up to scout out room 301, wherein Kerry is lodging
    • The room is locked
    • Reginald grabs Samuel the blacksmith, who can pick locks, and dresses him in Eoghan’s civilian clothes
  • Samuel easily opens the room door; Thor and Jorgen enter and being searching
    • Thor finds a leather sack with 500 gold guineas
    • Jorgen finds a bottle of wine under some towels in the bathroom
      • Looks like a French wine with an old date
      • Thor determines it’s from a region famous for wine
    • The table is a mess of papers, inks & quills
      • Much related to administering his land
      • A couple addresses for Rotterdam, which Thor copies down
    • Everything is placed back where it was and the door is locked upon departure

Preparing for our trip to Rotterdam

  • We stop off at a book seller to pick up a map of Rotterdam
    • Jorgen inquires about C of A, and the store owner believes it may be the Count of Albany
      • Count of Albany is a pseudonym used by the Young Pretender (Bonnie Prince Charlie)
  • We hire a coach to take us to Rotterdam
    • We approach the first address, the one nearest the port
      • It’s the far end of the ports where the ship building takes place: Yarl’s Ship Building
      • We head to the yard gate
      • The ship hull is built really light and there’s no way to mount and fire broadside guns
    • We approach the slip where this ship is being built and are greeted by the foreman
      • This is the “fastest ship in the world” that they’re building
    • Jorgen notices a young, well-dressed, effeminate-looking man with a sword and musket
      • Appears to be Le Chevalier, who turns around and leaves immediately upon noticing us
    • Jorgen tries to get to Le Chevalier, but the foreman forces us all to leave… “no tours”
    • A few of us hike next door and try to peer through the fence into the shipyard
      • Appears that Le Chevalier is speaking with the foreman
      • Eventually, Le Chevalier notices us and tells us to leave
  • Our driver takes us to a quaint roadside inn

The next morning, we head off to the other address

  • The house is an expensively made, beautifully maintained country-style house
  • We have the carriage move out of sight of the house as Max heads out for reconnaissance
    • The shed contains some equipment but no horses
    • The house appears to be empty and no one answers Max’s knocking on the door
    • The garden is maintained, so someone has been here recently
  • Max calls the rest of us over
    • There seems to be no way into the house without breaking a window or door
    • Max breaks down the door
    • Thor searches for evidence of who may live here
      • Finds 50 gold guineas
      • A fancy musketoon with 1-inch ball ammo, which Thor takes
      • In a wicker basket lies a geared mechanical device with a handle and multiple settings, seems to attach to something else
      • There are a number of papers and maps in Dutch
    • At about this time, our driver is totally freaked out and starts taking off with the carriage
      • Jorgen runs after, jumps on the carriage and tries to stop him
      • Jorgen notices colorful uniformed individuals walking through the nearby woods
  • We are surrounded by at least 40 French musketeers
    • They believe that we’re Baron van den Verberne and want us to surrender
    • We plan to fight our way through for our escape
    • Upon exiting the house, volleys of lead begin raining upon us
      • Max takes a couple of nasty hits, one of which tears into an artery
      • Reg is also shot, stabbed, dazed and generally looking like hell after a few minutes
    • We eventually take out the Frenchies in our immediate threat zone and retreat into the woods
    • Plan is to head through the woods to a farmhouse a couple properties down and attempt to get back to town
      • Assumption is that the French soldiers would not want to create a scene in town
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20150517

We receive orders for 10AM the following morning

  • Eoghan is so hung over that he ends up in a hospital and cannot join us
  • We proceed to HQ and, after waiting for a time, we are received by a non-uniformed man wearing a black outfit
    • We enter the commodore’s office, but it is Sir Lyndon Alton in the office
      • We learn that the man in black is Mr. Hampshire
    • Thor receives a full captainship
    • We are informed of another mission
      • Charles Edward Stuart, Count Roehenstart, is in the Netherlands
        • Son of Bonnie Prince Charlie, who has a direct line of ascent to being king
          • Full name: Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart
        • Charlie had invaded England in 1745 and was defeated at Culloden
      • Stuart has been staying with Baron van den Verberne according to Sir Reginald Bar Sinister (ambassador to Dutch)
        • Baron Charles-David-Alphonse van den Verberne… why the hell does everyone need such a long name here???
      • We will be sent to England on a warship to the Netherlands to meet with Bar Sinister
    • Hampshire leads us out, hands us some papers
      • Tells us that Alton appears to be underestimating the danger
      • The government needs us to prevent a political disaster
  • We proceed with training for the two weeks we wait for our ship to be retrofitted
  • One evening at the university, Jorgen notices Chunk & Monk, who propose some undoubtedly sinister plan
    • Blackeye attempts to refuse, but they remain insistent
    • Upon his return, they ask him to allow Fawlks to bid first on whatever he brings back from the Netherlands
  • We finally see our new ship
    • The Ambuscade is now fitted with 32 guns
      • We now have a new carpenter: John Shrimpton
      • And a new blacksmith: Samuel Hannay

We head off on our adventure to the Texel

  • We arrive and are greeted enthusiastically with surprising fanfare
  • We are greeted by our Dutch equivalents, who speak English well, but with Dutch accents
  • Over the next week or so, we seem to see every Dutch ship and sailor
    • The crews seem to be very efficient, in the opinions of everyone aside from Reginald, who knows better
    • The ships, however, appear to be in very shoddy shape, both antiquated and poorly maintained

We head to Amsterdam

  • We meet with Bar Sinister
    • Says that he read some dispatches and doesn’t believe that our presence is required
      • Tells us a bunch of stuff about how Stuart is a realist and he wouldn’t proceed down a path of destruction
      • Bar Sinister basically bores us nearly to death
    • We are greeted enthusiastically by civilians here (it was military at Texel)
      • We notice that the ship quality appears to be similar to what we saw at Texel… unimpressive
  • Someone knocks at Jorgan’s door, claims that it’s room service and that they can take care of his wig
    • Blackeye opens the door and lets the fellow in
    • Nothing out of the ordinary… we’re simply not accustomed to nice hotels
  • We get to Bar Sinister’s residence
    • Reginald Bar Sinister and his family are present, along with a few others
    • After dinner, Bar Sinister takes us to the drawing room for brandy and cigars
    • Bar Sinister critiques our clothes and wigs and wants to ensure that we’ll show well at the Countess DeWitt’s ball tomorrow

The next morning

  • We contract for a coach to take us to the ball this evening.
  • We head to The Broken Oar and are greeted by the hostess
    • We’re in Holland, which is the pro-English part of the Netherlands, which may be why they were excited to see the English ship
  • We head back to Bar Sinister for some info about van den Verberne
    • van den Verberne’s father may have been a French spy and had been banished from Netherlands during the war
    • May have helped the French win the war and take over the Netherlands
    • Many friends of high rank in French military
    • Wealthy and significant political influence in the Estates General
    • He is unelectable to office, but has power behind the scenes
  • We learn that Lord Kerry is the guest of honor at the ball this evening
    • Irish landowner who appears to have no connection to van den Verberne or Stuart

That evening at the ball

  • Very nice estate, nice party, people are wearing very nice clothes
  • Countess DeWitt introduces herself to us
  • As we’re milling about, the Baroness Margarette von Kleist introduces herself to Thor
  • We hear the Baron van den Verberne announced, followed shortly after by Le Chevalier Marie-Gilbert de la Tonne
    • A number of people gather around him, including DeWitt
    • Verberne and Chevalier seem to hang out together for a while
      • Blackeye and Reginald try to listen in, but hear mostly pleasantries and nothing important
  • Max notices Lord Kerry hurry over and quickly get down to some serious gambing, and rather high stakes
    • Kerry loses hundreds of pounds within a few minutes, almost as though he’s intentionally losing
  • The Baroness mentions to Thor that he should watch Le Chevalier, as he’s very interesting
    • van den Berne hands a message to Le Chevalier, who sticks a message to the bottom of a glass and heads to the gambling hall
  • Le Chevalier hands the drink to Kerry, who downs it quickly and pockets the message
    • Thor notices that Le Chevalier is a very attractive young man with impeccable skin, possibly androgenous in appearance
  • After losing 700+ pounds, Kerry gets up and walks away from the gambling table
    • Max follows him into a room off of the ballroom
      • Max notices in the john that Kerry isn’t stumbling drunk, despite all he’s consumed
    • Max follows Kerry and some servant down some hallway, up some stairs, etc.
    • Max knocks on the door that Kerry entered, and excuses himself when someone responds
      • He hangs out in a nearby bedroom and waits for about a half hour
      • A servant knocks on Kerry’s door, which is answered, but Max can’t really see anything
      • Max knocks again later, but again Kerry responds and Max backs off
      • Later yet, Max again knocks on the door and no one enters
      • Max stealthily enters the room to find someone passed out on the bed
        • Max attempts to stealthily remove the note from Kerry’s pocket
        • Note is an authentication for someone involved in “the plan,” signed “C of A”
      • Max takes note and leaves
  • Max returns to the gambling hall, explains the situation of the note to Thor and Jorgen
  • As the dance begins breaking up, Verberne and Le Chevalier start heading toward the door
  • Thor notices a man in a French naval uniform approaching Thor at a rapid pace
    • The officer, Robespierre, attache to the French diplomat, offers his hand for shaking
      • Congratulates Thor and states that they’ll be getting their ship back “any day now”
    • Thor taunts him somewhat and bids him a good night
  • We depart for our hotel

The next day

  • We seek out Sir Reginald Bar Sinister
    • Bar Sinister gives Thor a hard time about the 200 pound winnings
    • We are informed that Le Chevalier is a handsome man that attracts women
    • Kerry is an Irishman that drinks a lot
  • Thor and Reginald head to a money changer to cash out the IOU from Kerry
    • Thor is charged a 10% fee but receives the 90% of the remaining cash
    • Reg offers to take the cash back to the Baroness
      • Von Kleist is staying at a smaller estate nearby
      • Reg decides that there is a nearly zero probability of getting into her pants
  • Meanwhile, Jorgen checks on the Ambuscade
    • There is still a guard posted, watching our ship
    • Jorgen notices the Alcest, a 32-gunner French ship, docked a ways down from the Ambuscade
    • Thor and Blackeye check with the harbor master and learn that Kerry is travelling on a schooner, the Ij
  • Max heads over to the home of the girl with whom he danced, and joins them for tea
    • The father soons steers the conversation to politics, trying to get the English to provide greater support of the Netherlands
  • We meet up and head over to the embassy
    • After harassing Bar Sinister for a bit, we eventually obtain invitations for the ball tonight
      • The ball is hosted by the Austrian ambassador, George Augustus Selwin
    • The ambassador threatens to send a “sternly worded letter” if we get into more trouble

That night at the ball

  • We bump into the Baroness von Kleist, her lovely aunt and her bitter uncle
  • After a couple hours, the Baron van den Verberne has yet to appear
    • We decide to do some recon of the Baron’s estate
      • We get out there, there’s a company of soldiers guarding the gate
    • We head back to town

The next morning

  • We head to our ship
    • Notice that Kerry’s ship appears to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice
  • At about 11, Margarette and her aunt show up at the Ambuscade
    • Margarette mentions it’s odd that the Verberne didn’t show up at the ball
      • Perhaps he was busy with the new schooner that he’s been building in Rotterdam
    • Reginald takes them on a quick tour and gets them off the ship
  • We get the Ambuscade underway
    • We see the Ij heading NW
    • We notice a lot of people on the Ij with picnic baskets
      • The Ij heads NW up the coast a bit, stops and lets off the picnickers
  • Jorgen reads an article in a Dutch newspaper
    • Shipping company is attempting to build the fastest schooner in the world, which the baron will use to transport slaves
View
20150411

In the morning

  • Blackeye heads off to the library with Max and Reginald
    • Frederick greets us after a few minutes, carrying a load of papers and such
      • Many of the notes have to do with the cabala, a Jewish system for interpreting the Bible
      • Frederick explains a bunch of crazy stuff about destroying the plane of Netzach in the sephiroth
      • The one who destroys / resets the universe may then be able to control it after the “reset”
      • Isaac apparently had an instrument related to this resetting process, in conjunction with the philosopher’s stone
      • Egypt has a shore (“… beast did evil by the shore…”), so this may tie to our other Egyptian items from Tillman
    • Blackeye thanks Frederick, tips him a pound, and requests that he keep this research to himself
    • The 3 of us meander over to Blackeye’s apartment
      • As Max and Reg are hanging out in the front room, a man steps out of a corner in the kitchen and approaches Blackeye
        • Middle aged man, darker skin, black hair, does not provide his name and threatens death if Blackeye informs his friends
        • States that the love of Blackeye’s life will not be seen again
        • This is due to Blackeye’s lying and dealings with those who would destroy the world
        • “Don’t pull the lever”
      • Blackeye follows him out the back door to stop him, the mysterious man turns and is behind Jorgen with incredible speed
        • Warns Blackeye to just drop the discussion and leave in a peaceful manner
    • Reg hears Jorgen’s voice in the backyard, speaking with someone
      • Reg and Max head out to the back, but only see Blackeye on his knees in the garden, facing the back gate
      • Blackeye describes the man, explains what transpired, the man was unhumanly fast
      • Max checks the street on the other side of the gate, finds no one who might have witnessed the mystery man
      • There is no conclusive proof of any meeting with this man
  • We head back to The Dolphin
    • Prepare everything for departure the next day

We depart for another patrol the next morning

  • We head toward Brest
    • Uneventful day, wind out of NNE
  • It’s now going on twilight, someone cries out “Ship ahoy!”
    • At first, it’s too far to tell what it is, but seems to be heading toward us
    • The seaman notices the letters “BR” on the topsail (most likely indicates a French ship)
    • It’s a French coasting vessel: smaller than ours, could be merchant, not usually well armed
    • We are faster, we gain on them, as we approach they strike their colors with unexpected promptness
  • Max sends a large crew of marines to board and take the Maude
    • Reginald heads over to search the Maude
      • Captain’s log mentions powder, munitions, headed toward Normandy
        • Reg collects the log and numerous orders and maps
      • In crew quarters, nothing of interest
      • In the cargo hold, powder and crates of munitions are stuffed to the ceiling
    • Reg returns to The Dolphin, explains the situation
      • Decision is to tow the ship back
      • Thor determines that ship was headed toward Normandy, harbor of Aigre, to resupply the L’Embuscade
  • Decision is to tow the Maude back to Plymouth, unload, head to Aigre and take the L’Embuscade
    • We arrive by about 5:00 AM and the dock master arranges to unload the Maude
    • By 7:00, soldiers arrive to remove the prisoners
    • The Maude is completely unloaded by about 1:00 in the afternoon
  • We depart on our mission
    • Near the Jersey shore, we transfer the necessary crew to the Maude and begin our assault
    • As we approach the harbor, Sargeant Edward Morgan and some marines depart for the lighthouse mission
    • We retrieve Morgan when we realize that we need to wait until high tide to access the harbor
    • The next evening, we attempt our assault again
      • The L’Embuscade appears to be anchored near the fort
      • A number of luggers are collected in two locations deeper in the harbor, closer to the town
      • We are approached by a pilot vessel, the “pilot” fellow boards the Maude to bring us in
      • As we are towed to the Ambuscade, we notice two longboats patrolling around the L’Embuscade
      • The four of us and a couple sailors board and determine that the ship is fully crewed
      • We return to the Maude after explaining that we’d prefer to load the supplies in the morning
      • Our plan is to use cannon to blast the longboats, grapple to the L’Embuscade and get everyone over there
  • Our attack begins!
    • The blast to the longboat splinters the side and bottom of the longboat
      • A couple guys killed outright, most others incapacitated or stunned
    • We’re up against the L’Embuscade and start boarding
      • We immediately take out the 10 Frenchies that were on deck
      • Among other great feats, Max gets an incredible nut shot on his opponent, and Reginal slices a man’s waist like a side of beef
    • Battle continues as nearly all of our party is now on board
      • Another wicked nut shot brings down Max’s foe, and Reginald takes down his opponent with devastating slashes from his sword
      • French soldiers arrive on deck; both Max and Reginald are shot in the face
      • Max engages an officer, who attempts to shave Max’s testicles with a small sword
        • Max dispatches him for his rudeness
    • We continue to fight boldly until the remaining French surrender
  • Our escape…
    • We have some of the able French move their wounded to the Maude, the rest jump over to swim for shore
    • Three longboats are readied to tow us out, because the wind has died
    • Two dozen plus longboats start toward us from the privateers deeper in the harbor
    • The fort now awakens, calls out to the presumed captain of the L’Embuscade, and begins firing
      • The L’Embuscade takes a fairly minor hit
    • Our new ship begins slowly moving toward the mouth of the harbor
    • The fort continues to fire on us, splinters our center mast
    • We return with an excellent shot into the fort, followed by smoke and fire visible in the fort
    • We continue to take fairly minor damage from the fort, but continue to pound it hard in return
      • One spectular hit explodes like fireworks and we see people falling into the water
    • We eventually make it to the mouth of the harbor
      • Some of the privateers are now moving
      • There are still some longboats following us
      • Surprisingly, the fort continued firing long after we thought we’d be out of range
        • These guns appear to have a range of about 1.5 miles
    • We pick up our marines from the lighthouse
    • We make our way toward the Dolphin at our now reduced “maximum speed”
    • At Jersey we pick up the Dolphin and return to Plymouth
      • We receive accolades and a ceremony is prepared
      • All Captains and Lieutenants receive 250 pounds
      • At the ceremony, each of us receives a superb sword
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20150321

We are milling about on deck

  • A voice calls out asking for permission to board
    • Don’t recognize him; he’s dressed in a fashionable casual attire
    • Name is George Ashby; claims to be an estate agent who wants to sell our ships
    • We agree to meet with him later this afternoon
  • We discuss the items aboard the captured ships
    • Reginal recognizes one of the pyramids on the model and knows where it’s located in Egypt
    • During discussions, we realize that Napolean has just taken Malta and may be pushing toward Egypt
  • On the gangplank, a young master approaches with a message for the captain
    • Delivery of two items to the ship shortly
    • In morning, Dolphin to deliver the items to St. Mary Island in the Scilly Isles
    • Thor meets with the purser to ensure we have enough provisions for 5 days minimum
  • The rest of the officers begin moving rations and equipment from the captured ships
    • Sextant is found
    • Provisions, digging equipment
    • Model and the paperwork from beneath captain’s floorboard are moved to captain’s quarters
  • Max heads out with a sargeant to scrounge up 10 replacement marines
    • It takes them about 5 hours at multiple locations to find 10 suitable men
  • We try to vet George Ashby
    • Thor doesn’t get a lot of information from other captains, but the limited feedback he gets is not negative
    • Blackeye and Eoghan check out his office, which isn’t particularly impressive but doesn’t seem suspicious
  • Blackeye picks up a barrel of better quality whisky as a treat for the men who are losing shore leave
  • A wagon pulls up to the ship with a load of two large crates, taller and wider than a man
    • We receive these items and haul them up to the ship
    • Reginald opens the first crate
      • Pulls out a large leather oilskin pouch, containing fancy corsets
      • Pulls out another, and it’s also filled with quality clothing
    • Reginald opens the second crate
      • Three smaller crates, opens one and it contains leather goods: boots and other types of clothing he doesn’t recognize
  • The lieutenants head to Ashby’s, who enthusiastically welcomes us
    • After some discussion, we agree to the contract with Ashby
    • Max shows up a bit later, we enjoy a drink and get our receipt
  • Back at the ship
    • We discuss the crates, St. Mary Island is a tourist attraction and exporter of flowers
    • We thank the crew, announce the attempt to sell the ships, enjoy some food
    • After we leave, several of us, excluding Max, attempt to start assembling the model
      • After a number of hours, we complete the assembly of the model
    • Max notices commotion toward the bow of the ship: excited sailors with improvised weapons
      • There’s a pile of dead rats on the deck
      • It appears that rats are ascending the anchor chain and the sailors are killing them as they come to the bridge
      • Max notices a lot of rats in the water, then another begins ascending the anchor chain
      • Someone notices that the rats are leaving the collier ship docked next to us
    • Max, Eoghan and two more crew head over to the collier, the Two Brothers, and are greeted by a man smoking a pipe
      • The pipe-smoking captain, Philip Monoux, claims his ship is solid, laughs at the rats leaving the ship
      • Philip mentions that there is a Frenchie privateer in the channel
    • Reg, Thor and Eoghan go down to the hold and search the crates for any incendiary devices
      • We find numerous bustiers, corsets, leather goods, boots, gloves, but nothing seemingly dangerous
      • It seems like this may be contraband that is being smuggled via military ships

The next morning, there’s a strong wind WNW, which should make for swift sailing

  • Max heads out with the sargeant to collect the new recruits
  • Thor, Max, Reg and Eoghan accompany Blackeye to his apartment
    • Blackeye enters his apartment, no new messages, doesn’t seem like anyone’s been here
    • We head back to the ship
  • Drake announces that the ship is ready to sail
    • We get under way
      • We make good time while Max and Blackeye train their crews
    • In the evening, the wind dies and then shifts to blow out of the south
      • A fog envelopes the ship, we drop anchor
      • Reg hears two pistol shots from the south
      • Reg rouses the other lieutenants
  • We prepare to save a merchant from privateers
    • Blackeye readies the gunners, Max readies marines
    • Thor decides that it would be fruitless to attempt to find the ship using the Dolphin
    • Reginald leads two boats on a recon mission with 5 marines and 5 sailors each
      • After 30 minutes of rowing to the south, we see a small French lugger (traditional fishing boat)
      • The French ship appears to be waving goodbye to another larger ship, which disappeared into the fog southbound
      • Something small appears to be approaching the lugger, it appears to be John Drake
      • We both saw the larger ship leaving, and we return to inform the Dolphin
    • We decide to wait for the fog to clear before we approach the lugger, which takes until morning

The next morning

  • After the fog has cleared, we find the lugger and a collier, which appear to be moving together
    • Blackeye notices that both of the ships raise Dutch flags
      • The lugger has 10 long guns
    • Thor decides to engage the ships, disable the collier while we attack the lugger
  • We approach the two ships
    • The lugger, Le Moineau, appears to be loading its guns
    • Le Moineau fires first, but we receive minimal damage
    • Dolphin blasts the lugger with a full broadside, nearly splitting its hull in half
      • Le Moineau has many crew floating face down in the water, alongside chunks of their ship
      • They immediately strike their colors
    • Blackeye orders the men to load chain shot for the collier
    • Thor orders the Two Brothers to surrender and the collier sends up the white flag
    • Max and 30 marines board the Two Brothers
      • A French officer, Lt. Alain Dumas, comes to the deck and formally surrenders
      • O’Malley begins interrogating Dumas
        • Dumas claims that they were only out capturing merchant ships
      • In the officer’s cabin, Max finds a man with two gunshot wounds, isn’t doing well
      • In the crew cabin is 19 people in the hammocks, all appear to be dead
  • We send Doc Mather to check on the crew of the Two Brothers
    • Doc says the dude with the gunshots probably won’t make it
    • Down below, Doc and Max succumb to something, become weak and Max collapses
      • O’Malley hears Doc calling, goes down with several of our crew and rescue them
      • Dumas claims to not know what happened in the crew quarters
    • Reg investigates the hold and notices that a corner of the coal pile is burning
      • Max recommends that we just let it go down rather than risk our lives
  • After undocking from the Two Brothers, we head over to the lugger
    • Our boats pick up survivors from the water
    • We greet the captain of Le Moineau, Claude Chappelle
      • Claims that he’s a privateer, formerly in the French navy
    • We make some repairs to the lugger and plan to tow it behind us
    • With the French corraled by our marines, we search the ship
      • Thor finds a leather pouch with 4 French gold coins, Blackeye finds 2
      • We also find: maps, sextant, telescope, provisions, guns… seems like it was intended to be a short excursion
      • The captain’s log is representative of a privateer, with a recent reference to a coal ship he planned to take
    • Plan is to tow the damaged ship as we make our delivery and eventually back to Plymouth
    • Grenado gets to throw torches into the hold of the collier before we leave
  • Early in the afternoon, we pull into a port at St. Mary
    • A very nice place, beautiful foliage, and pleasantly warm temperatures
    • Max notices that one of the boats is missing from our prize… it appears to be heading south, a dot near the horizon
      • Max interrogates the crew to discover who is attempting to escape
      • The oars are removed from the rest of the boats
    • Some of our crew unload the two crates, which are picked up by a couple of blokes who don’t say who they’re working for
  • We set out for the rowboat, find them again still heading south
    • We pull alongside the rowboat, which contains Dumas and a few others
    • After retrieving the escapees, we head back toward Plymouth
  • Back at the dock, Thor heads off to visit the commodore
    • Thor meets with Robert Squire, because the commodore is having tea
      • Thor reports the capture of the French privateer, but doesn’t mention the Two Brothers
      • Squire requests that Thor fills out a full report to submit
    • English troops pick up our prisoners

The next day

  • Thor gives shore leave to half the crew, the other half has tomorrow
  • Reg and Blackeye head over to Ashby, inquire about our 3 ships
    • On the way back to the dock, Blackeye checks his apartment — nothing new
    • George sets relatively low expectations for the price on the damaged fishing boat
      • Blackeye haggles for a lower commission rate for George
  • We all head out to speak with our old estate agent, William Withers, who has failed to sell the Angel
    • After arguing with his secretary, the large oak doors open to reveal Withers, a middle aged, well-dressed, heavy set fellow
    • Withers claims that he has been unable to sell the ship, that there’s no demand for Spanish ships currently
    • We explain our concerns that the sale was being deliberately held up, Withers claims to know nothing of that
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Our trip back home is uneventful

  • We arrive with both of our prizes intact
  • Blackeye heads to his apartment
  • Eoghan and Max manage the ships, get the seriously injured moved to a hospital
  • A young master waits at the dock as we pull in, gives a message to Thor
    • Thor immediately heads off to HQ with Reginald
    • Eventually, we are shown into the commodore’s office
      • Thor provides a full report, excluding references to the philosopher’s stone, the robed man, and any embarrassing events
      • We are given a week to obtain provisions, recruits and whatnot
      • Thor mentions the one unusual ship design and is asked to keep the navy apprised of any developments with the odd ship
    • We begin our return to the ship
      • Notice two figures lounging against a lamppost; they seem familiar
        • One is tall, 6’ 1", slender legs
        • Other is short, squat, very muscular, no neck
      • As we near, they approach us and we recognize the short one as Cletus “Chunk” Bratcher with Mr. Monk
      • These are a couple of Fawlks’ men from the Spanish jail
      • We are told to meet them in an hour at the Bull and Mouth pub
        • This is a pub in the seedier part of Plymouth, named after a battle where the English beat the French
    • We arrive back at the ship
    • Thor sends someone for Blackeye, with orders for him to proceed directly to Bull and Mouth if he can’t first return to the ship

We head off toward the Bull & Mouth

  • We take 3 marines with us
  • When we arrive, we hear a raucus commotion from within the pub
  • We enter
    • The stench of an old pub hits us; the place is packed
    • We believe we see Captain Fawlks at one end of the bar
      • Suddenly, we notice all the men in the pub glaring at us
    • Fawlks beckons us and we approach
      • Asks us to dismiss the marine so that we can discuss the events at Cornwall
  • Fawlks mentions that there is an interested buyer for some items we liberated from the Baron
    • He offers 25, then 50, then 200 pounds for an “instrument”
    • Fawlks claims that he’s only working for a separate interested party
    • Offers us either the 200 pounds or to allow our captured Spanish ship to be sold so that we’ll finally get paid
    • Thor decides to accept the offer for release of the Angel
      • Thor plans on trying to screw Fawlks
  • Thor sends the marines back to the ship while we wait for Blackeye
    • We loiter for a half hour
    • Max scouts the area for tactical advantage if we need to engage Fawlks’ people later
  • After waiting for a while, we head back and take a path toward Blackeye’s apartment
    • En route, we notice a commotion
      • Young master Gibbon, the messenger we sent, has been struck by a cab
    • We head up to Blackeye’s flat
      • Nobody answers the door

Back at the ship

  • We find Blackeye, who was unaware of the runner and the request to meet at the pub
  • On deck, we find a gentleman pacing, who turns to us upon our approach
    • The master shipwright describes the ships
      • The sloop is about 50 years old, doesn’t know why anyone would still have one
      • On the brig, they appear to have been building some sort of crane on the fore end of the ship, crane is missing
      • Both in fine shape, a lot of work done recently
      • There’s nothing extraordinary about them, the navy will likely not purchase them from us
    • Max inquires about the agent who is selling the Angel
      • Master shipwright says he seems to be a good guy, and works for himself
  • Max visits Doc Mather
    • No knife or bullet wounds in Gibbon
    • Can’t say for certain if he was bludgeoned or hit by a horse / cab
    • Reginald writes a letter to the boy’s parents
  • We meet in the captain’s quarters for food and discussion
    • Blackeye mentions that the love of his life is alive, and she’s been requesting some of the items we’ve retrieved
    • Blackeye has basically given a number of artifacts, including the “puzzle box” thing, to the Order
    • The Order of the Golden & Rosy Cross seems to be holding Abigail hostage
    • Blackeye has been ordered to not mention this to anyone, or he’ll never see Abigail again
  • Eoghan heads off to meet with his secret solicitor, who has been paying him for intel on our activities
    • Max follows Eoghan
    • The solicitor, John Bromley, meets with Eoghan
      • John mentions that Lord Mandrake is the individual who is requesting these reports
      • John states that working with Mandrake can further O’Malley’s career
      • Eoghan claims that he did not leave the ship, John knows better and dissolves their agreement
  • We search the brig
    • We find crates with pieces of models, which include parts of pyramids and what appears to be Egyptian terrain
    • Under the captain’s floorboards we find paperwork that will provide safe passage / harbor for the Mediterranean
    • Storage holds include normal provisions and a large amount of digging equipment
  • We search the sloop
    • In the ships quarters, behind a loose board, we find a Raggedy Anne doll with a leather pouch where the mouth would be
    • More ships provisions and digging equipment
  • Max, at John Bromley’s, sees a very fancy carriage pull up
    • Max sneaks up to the carriage and climbs underneath
    • Someone in a fancy outfit climbs into the carriage, and Max holds on for dear life as the carriage moves off
    • The carriage approaches the edge of Plymouth proper and is beginning to enter the suburbs
    • Max falls from the carriage, as the carriage continues on without slowing
      • The carriage footman notices, and yells at the driver to haul ass out of there
  • Max returns to the ship
    • We discuss plans for dealing with Fawlks
    • Since the cube thing was stolen, we decide to meet at a different pub and explain the situation to Fawlks

At the House of the Laughing Windows

  • Max heads to Fawlks’ location, pays someone to inform Fawlks of the change in location
  • Chunk & Monk eventually arrive, followed shortly thereafter by Fawlks, himself
  • Thor explains that the instrument has been stolen
    • Blackeye claims it was stolen from the ship
  • Blackeye is sent away
    • Fawlks tells us that Abigail has been dead for years, her funeral attended by numerous people
    • Fawlks’ employer is aware that Blackeye has been stealing these items and selling them to the highest bidder
    • Fawlks refuses to identify his employer and threatens Thor
    • Thor agrees to meet in the morning with Fawlks
  • We confront Blackeye, who claims to know nothing about this

Back at the ship

  • We speak with John Drake, who doesn’t know the immediate whereabouts of Blackeye’s apartment guard, but provides an address
  • Blackeye starts going through the notebook from Isaac the crazy, purple-robed nutjob
    • Seems to be different languages, some astronomical notes, other symbols Blackeye doesn’t recognize
  • The rest of us go to bed
  • The next morning Reginald takes Blackeye to see the doctor
    • Mather states that Blackeye is in fine health
    • After Blackeye leaves, Mather offers that Blackeye may have a disease of the mind: paranoia
  • Blackeye, Reg and Max head to Blackeye’s apartment
    • Leave a note stating that Blackeye has something, but he would like an update regarding Abigail
    • Decides to ask a question of Abigail that only she could answer
    • Reg notices a freshly dug spot in Blackeye’s garden
      • Reg digs out a leather bag containing 10 faceless gold coins
    • Reg finds a bush behind which to observe the apartment
    • Later on
      • Max hears someone approaching him on the stone wall where Max is hiding
      • Mr. Monk calls out to Max, Max tells Monk to shove off
    • Nobody seems to be showing up at the apartment
  • Blackeye heads to the university
    • Finds his old buddy student researcher, Frederick, offers 5 pounds to research the scribblings on the slate
    • Frederick explains the slate
      • It’s Hebrew written in English characters
      • The value of each letter is added up, those number produced the phrase at the bottom
      • Netzach generally translates to “eternity” and can mean endurance
    • Blackeye inquires about translating Isaac’s journal

We head off to speak with Fawlks

  • Thor states that John Bromley is the man who has the items
  • Fawlks disagrees, asks again to interrogate Blackeye for an hour
    • Offers to get the profits from the Spanish ship to us by tomorrow
  • Fawlks clarifies that it was not Bromley who left town yesterday via the carriage that Max was under
  • We depart and head back to the apartment
    • Max and Reg walk up to the door
      • The note appears to be missing
      • We pound on the door, then enter and search the apartment but find nothing
      • An old woman begins knocking on the door, and Max and Reg exit via the back door
      • The old woman mentions that she picked up the note for Mr. Hawkins
    • Blackeye arrives and gets stuck in a long, rambling conversation with the elderly landlady
  • Afterward, at the local pub, we discuss the landlady
    • She is suspiciously inquisitive and knows a lot about the current condition of the apartment
  • We head off to speak with John Hungerford, the “guard” of Blackeye’s apartment
    • The lady knows no one of that name at the address
  • We verify with John Drake that the name and address are correct
    • John confirms and says that the lady doesn’t sound like John’s woman
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Enacting our grand plan

  • We run through our plan
    • We discuss the option of using a bow sniper
      • Blackeye recalls that Robert Clayton, one of our sailors, has mentioned that he’s a bow hunter
      • We discount this option for various reasons
    • John Drake will command the Dolphin while we’re away
    • Sargeant Edward Morgan will command the assault team on the two boats at the dock
      • 12 marines for each of the boats, the other 5 will engage the handful of people on the shore
    • 5 marines on the diversionary force will have an extra musket
      • Will retreat via a circuitous route to the landing spot 2 miles north of the fishing village
    • 16 marines will accompany the 5 lieutenants to storm the castle
      • Max will take 4 of the marines and dispatch the guards at the rear gate
      • The other 4 lieutenants will accompany the remaining marines and not engage until the initial attack begins
  • We initiate our attack
    • The land assault force heads off toward the castle
    • The diversionary force splits off from the rest of us… Max wishes them luck
    • Max and his team approach the tower and begin entering the moat for their attack

With everyone in place, the attack begins

  • Max and his team jump the half wall beside the path to the gate
    • Archie gets a fanastic hit on the first guard, who crumples to the ground in a bloody heap
    • Max follows up with a powerful attack that brings down the other guard
    • The gate is locked
      • No keys are found on the corpses
      • Archie attempts to impersonate the guard and fails
    • Max decides that climbing is required
  • Meanwhile, a double volley of musket fire is heard coming from a ridge northwest of the encamped army
    • The rest of the team begins quickly making their way to the gate
    • Several of us notice someone atop the tower looking down
      • Max’s team is asked, “Who are you? And why do you have grappling hooks?”
    • Grappling hooks are thrown up, Max’s hook catches and he begins climbing
      • The other marines soon follow
  • Fighting ensues on top of the tower
    • Everyone makes it to the top
      • Max attacks Horace, the leader of the team of tower guards
      • The other marines surround the guard who was attempting to cut one of the ropes
    • Max slices through Horace’s calf and he falls to the ground
    • The rope-cutting guard is soon dispatched, as well
  • Max assigns someone to open the gate while the rest of the team begins descending the stairs
    • As they descend, they hear someone walking up the stairs
    • The lone guard ascending the stairs is completely surprised by Max’s deadly attack
    • Max’s team hauls ass toward the front gate

The rest of the assault force reaches the now open gate

  • We notice that the tower guards have muskets ready and are training them on our group
    • Musket fire erupts around the group as they make their way up the path
  • As we pass through the gate, we see Max’s team running toward the front gate
  • Blackeye sends two marines to lock the rear gate
  • The rest of us run to support Max and his team
    • As Max approaches the gate guard, Max effectively disembowels him and entrails splatter across the gate and the ground
    • Max finds the controls for the gate and closes both the portcullis and the wooden gates
  • We divide into teams
    • Small teams to take each tower and to prevent anyone from entering the castle
    • The 5 of us attempt to get into the household apartments, which is locked
      • As the chapel is also locked, we try again for the apartments
    • Meanwhile, Blackeye assesses the tactical situation
      • There is furious activity on the bridge by the main gate
      • Half the army toward the northwest appears to be firing toward the ridge where our diversionary force was
      • The rest of the army appears to be still happily sleeping and unaware of anything going on in the castle
      • Blackeye gets shot in the face by a musket from the one tower
    • We take stairs to find another entrance to the apartments and find an unlocked door
      • Thor decides to lead the charge
      • Two men are taking cover behind an overturned table
        • One appears to be Stokes with a pistol and some Roman-styled blade
        • The other appears to be the Baron with a brace of pistols and a rapier
      • The Baron smile at Thor and states, “So, you’ve come to kill me, then.”

We engage the leaders of the evil forces

  • Thor takes the lead and tells us to open the other door while he engages the Baron
    • Thor takes a relatively minor pistol hit to the chest from the Baron; Stokes misses
    • Thor removes the wooden beam bracing the door closed
  • Several shots are exchanged and smoke begins to fill the room
  • Max breaks down the still-locked door, which now swings wide
  • The Baron shoots Thor again, hitting him in the arm
    • Thor returns fire, hitting the Baron, who clutches his arm and drops to the ground
  • Reg gets a shot into Stokes, hitting him in the thigh
  • Blackeye gets two more shots into Stokes, who collapses

The leaders are dead, so we begin looking into the papers

  • Mention of some long voyage
    • Map of Mediterranean
    • Description of an odd ship design
  • Max checks the other doors, which open into a very large, ornate bedroom
    • Bed, couch, a couple more doors
  • Thor checks the Baron’s corpse
    • 4 very nice looking pistols
    • A rapier
    • Nice clothes, a set of keys
    • 8 pence and 7 shillings
  • Thor finds several books about the Philosopher’s Stone
    • Multiple books authored by Christian Rosencruez
  • Reg finds a well-marked up book that appears to be a history of Egypt, mention of pharoahs, etc.
  • Eoghan finds a book about the weather patterns of the Mediterranean, focusing on the southern Mediterranean
  • Blackeye finds a couple valuable-looking books and takes them
  • Thor finds a bag in the bedroom with 19 shillings
  • Reg checks out the fireplace and notices a sliver of what appears to have been a journal or book
  • Thor relieves the Baron’s corpse of its head

Max heads up to the tower

  • Finds 4 corpses… it must have been a bloody fight
  • It appears that the entire army is awake now, and at least a third of the camp appears to be gone
    • Are they chasing after our diversionary force?
  • Max approaches another tower, dispatches the remaining guard; the marines are all dead
  • Reg and Blackeye head up
    • See one of our guys in the Southeast tower
    • See two guards in the Southwest tower, heading eyeballing Max as he approaches
  • Thor and Eoghan arrive
    • Thor announces to the blockade team, “Baron Tillman is dead! He’s not paying you anymore!” and tosses the head to them
  • Max takes two shots to the chest from the guards he’s approaching
    • He ducks into the west tower and heads down
    • Sees some burn marks and odd symbols, and again notices the strong smell of sulfur and other unidentifiable aromas
    • On the ground floor, there are numerous crates, a workbench full of tools, beakers, other items he can’t identify
  • Reg gets a musket shot on one of the guards that shot at Max, hitting him solidly in the chest
    • Reg hears the other guard fire back as Reg is running to catch up with Thor, Blackeye and Eoghan
    • Reg meets up with the rest, and continue on to the southwest tower
  • Max heads toward the tower via the ground level
    • Bumps into some of the non-military hired help
    • Starts climbing up into the tower
    • Upon reaching the top, he peers up and notices two guards that have just finished reloading
    • Max sneaks up behind the guards, nearly hacks the first guard’s leg off… he falls
    • Max hits the other one in the chest, which already had a bullet wound, and the second guard falls
    • One of our marines is dead, and Blackeye performs first aid on the other two
  • Max heads to the north towers to assess our situation
    • The blockade appears to be abandoned, some men are milling about the camp
  • The rest of us head down to the laboratory in the west tower
    • We see the symbols and such that Max described
      • Blackeye notices that some of the symbols are planets
    • We head to the second floor
      • We open the door and enter
      • Tables filled with all sorts of apparatus
      • A library along the one wall
      • A man with a massive bushy beard, wearing flowing purple robes who beckons Joergen
        • Blackeye doesn’t recognize the man
      • The mystery man knows all our names, calls us all in, tells us to retrieve Maxwell
        • Claims he wants to “take readings” of all of us
        • After Max and Reg arrive, he begins writing on a small slate
        • The scribblings are unintelligable to us, and then he begins speaking seemingly random numbers
        • As he’s writing, his hands begin to shake and his animated face turns to sadness or shock
          • He has decyphered, “The beast did evil by the shore to cast down the palace of Netzach”
        • After trying to splash us with the liquid in some beaker, we bind the man’s hands
      • We decide to head back to the Dolphin with the man
        • Reg grabs the slate on which the man was writing

We plan for our exit

  • Max begins collecting our dead into a wagon
  • Reg retrieves the book of Egyptian history that’s been heavily marked up
  • Eoghan heads off to the south towers
  • Blackeye and Thor are busy searching and then head off downstairs, suddenly hearing a scream from upstairs
    • The old man is slumped on the floor, facing into the corner, appears to have died a painful death
    • His body appears to have suffered numerous previous wounds and bears multiple scars
    • Blackeye shoots the old man in the forehead before he leaves, just to make sure
  • Eventually, we all meet up at the rear gate
    • We notice some small groups still milling about around the castle
    • We look down to the harbor
      • The brig doesn’t look too bloody
        • Some enemies taken
        • Some of our team shooting toward the beach
      • On the sloop, it appears to have been a fast, bloody battle
        • A few of our men seen on deck
        • Our men are also exchanging fire with the beach from the sloop
    • We negotiate with the mercenaries outside the castle to let us leave in peace
      • Negotiation seems to be successful and we begin making our way down the trail

We approach the beach

  • We see that the defenders had taken up a position on the beach, but surrender as we approach
    • Some of our men jump from the ship to the dock and cautiously move toward the beach
  • We load the dead onto the ships
  • We easily bring the brig out of the harbor and near to the Dolphin
  • The sloop has some difficulty clearing the harbor, but finally gets its act together
  • We hook things up on the towed ship and head out to pick up our diversionary force
    • Reg heads out with 20 marines to check for the men
    • There are numerous torches visible throughout the woods
    • We return to the ship and wait for the team to return
  • A few hours later, we see 3 marines taking the longboat back to the ship
  • Our mission is complete and we begin the trip back
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