Heart of Oak

Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

View
20140503

The first morning… (sometime after April in 1797)
We awaken from loud banging, hear jungle sounds, see bars in front of us

  • Where the hell are we???
  • We were in the St. George and the Dragon, a seedy pub
  • We were recruited onto the new ship brigantine Robin
    • Headed toward the New World to attack and pillage Spanish settlements
    • Captained by Lord Cecil Mandrake
      • Head of the East India Company
  • The plan was probably foiled by Spanish spies
    • Three ships: the Snow, Elizabeth’s Vengeance, the Robin
    • Diversion at Ciudad Vargas, to be executed by the Robin
      • We weren’t wild about the plan, particularly the ground-pounding aspect since we’re sailors
      • But we had our orders for a long overland march
      • Plan to meet the skeleton crew of the Robin farther down the coast
      • Heat, humidity, sweat soaking clothes, insects, vicious jungle vegetation, boot-grabbing mud
      • Three days of trudging through jungle
      • A horde of savage Spaniards attacked us with devastating results
        • Retreating Royal Navy men attacked by piranhas while re-crossing the river, in addition to musket balls
      • Indigenous indians attacked us on the far side of the river
      • Our group were survived, but were taken prisoner

We were force marched over a long trail and eventually deposited into the cellar of a building

  • Three guards
    • One particularly corpulent guard appears to be the leader
    • Second is moderate build, but appears to be a sadistic menace
    • Third is older, wizened looking, stiff leg
  • Six cells
    • Cell 1 has 4 indians, appear to be broken, dejected, freshly beaten, no warpaint
      • Max asks, in Spanish, who they are and what’s going on
      • They seem to not speak much Spanish, turn away from us
    • Cell 3 has 3 fellow seamen, friendly, who we don’t recognize; 1 more lying down, appears to be dying of fever
      • Alfred “Crackers” Tomlins, fierce brawler, gunner aboard Snow
      • Walter “What” Padget, common gunner aboard Snow
      • “Tarball” McWort, nearly comatose
      • Milo, common gunner aboard Snow
    • Cell 6 has man and boy, fellow seamen, unknown to us; boy appears to be in shock
      • “Boats” Gleeson, chief bosun mate aboard Snow
      • “Boy Tom”, cabin boy from Snow
    • Cell 5 has 5 seamen, studying us closely
      • Not a talkative bunch… ignore us and seem somewhat unfriendly
      • “Crackers” tells us that they are Mr. Monk, Cletus “Chunk” Bratcher, Capt. Hawksworth Fawkes
    • Cell 2 contains our party of 4
  • No windows, lighted by oil lamps, walls and floor are slick with sooty dew
  • Bars are very solid, seem well secured, cell door has built-in lock

Over the next few days

  • We are fed on a regular basis, morning, noon and night
    • Very little food: bucket of gruel
    • Crazy old man brings us our meals, who is watched closely by the guards
      • Billy Quid, stoop-shouldered, seems to enjoy mocking us in English
      • Guards grab a blunderbus during mealtime
  • Jorgan calls out to the guard in Spanish, asks what they want with us
    • Two grab blunderbuses, open the door, orders us out of the cell
    • The third swears in Spanish, grabs two pistols
    • We are thrown into cell 5 with Fawkes’ group
  • Lunch comes and Fawkes tells us they won’t share their food with us
    • Jorgan confronts Monk, fight ensues
      • Monk takes more damage than us before the guards break up the fight
      • Guards take to drinking and discussing the fight

The imprisonment continues

  • One day, some well-dressed men (2 civilians, 2 military) inspect the prisoners
    • Jorgan picked to provide “entertainment” for the well-dressed men

Some day later, we are led outside

  • Came from Building A, being led to Building E
  • Other buildings
    • Building appears to be the main house
    • F, unsure what it is… single story
    • C may be stables
    • D may be a storehouse
    • Billy later tells us that H is a guard house and B is a ruined building
  • There are a number of guards scattered about
    • A dozen men around the area, armed with muskets
    • We recognize one of the affluent Spanish men on the balcony as one of the visitors from the prior day
    • We also notice a number of men from the Royal Navy, including Fawkes
      • Fawkes is unbound and forced to battle a man from the Robin with swords
      • Fawkes takes down the larger opponent in a blurred display of masterful swordsmanship
    • Jorgan is paired against Brent from the Snow
      • Jorgan dispatches his arrogant foe
    • We left tied up outside in the hot sun to watch the rest of the fights
    • Jorgan overhears the guards talking
      • “most of the English being captured, battle should be over soon”
      • “not worried about security at the hacienda”
      • The soldiers here “are not trained warriors like those still scouring the hills”

Later that evening

  • Bloat is outside, while Ferret and Sally are guzzling wine
  • Billy takes down Sally and Ferret
    • Bloat arrives and is shot down by Billy
  • Billy talks with and releases the indians
  • Billy demands “terms” from us before releasing us, ignores Fawkes
    • Was a privateer, ship destroyed in storm, enslaved to Don Diego Guzman (landowner of this patch)
    • Need to head to Vargas, take a ship and sail to Port Royale
      • Jorgan believes that Billy isn’t telling us the whole truth
  • We bind Sally and interrogate him
    • Jorgan asks where our “stuff” is or weapons, whatever; Sally’s response is mostly useless
    • Reginald relieves Sally of his suffering and takes his uniform
  • Billy tells us that we’ll have to kill everyone in this camp in order to ensure our success
    • Reginald plans to mitigate the risk of the Capt. Fawkes and his mates by setting a fire in the cellar to suffocate them

We leave the cell house

  • Very windy, fast moving clouds occasionally cover a very bright moon
  • Max spies into the barracks, hears 6-8 men and probably 5 women, they sound inebriated
  • Max notices a very large dog in one of the horse stalls in the stable, along with two horses
  • We approach the barracks and take down the first Spaniard who steps out to use the latrine
  • When someone steps out to help Pedro and we take him down, the others grab weapons
  • Ultimately, we defeat the threats in the barracks
    • Reginald takes the rapier
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20140621

Picking up after taking out the guards in the barracks

  • We assess the booty
    • 10 muskets @ 1.5 encumbrance
    • 2 pistols, 12 balls
    • 8 swords @ 0.9 encumbrance
    • 8 daggers
    • 26 full powder horns @ about 15 – 40 drams per horn
    • 200 round ball ammo, .71 caliber
    • 20 cleaning kits
    • 12 crossbelts with cartridge pouches (but not cartridges)
  • We collect some clothes
    • Reginald darkens his hair with soot from the fire and puts on a private’s uniform
    • Blackeye and Max both follow suit and dress as militia
  • Blackeye hears someone talking in Spanish off in the distance
    • Believes someone is asking “Who’s there? What are you doing in there?”
    • Responds that Pedro is getting rambunctious, asks for someone to take Pedro away
    • Two guys in aprons show up to drag Pedro off, they have meat cleavers
      • Blackeye shoots one of them after convincing him to assist with Pedro
      • After missing the first time and angering the butcher, Blackeye tries shooting again
      • Reginald executes a remarkable tumble and somehow manages to still put a ball into the opponent
    • We take down the first butcher guy, as the other arrives and engages us
    • Max takes down the second man

We check out the building next to the barracks

  • Wooden walls and roof, three doors on northeast side
  • Max opens the northernmost door
    • Dark inside, odor of foodstuffs
    • Floor is stone or tile, a number of shelves inside, farther in is too dark to see
    • We see what appears to be cots stacked up
    • We’re all inside and Blackeye lights the lantern hanging on the wall
      • Militia uniforms folded on shelves, musket covers, ammo pouch belts
    • We open the door to the other room, see a number of empty shelves
    • We open the door into a third room
      • Shelves appear to be stocked with provisions: sacks of stuff, small kegs of ale, some dried vegetables
        • Reginald drinks some of the ale; mediocre but not bad… it’s ale, after all
      • Max dumps a sack of flour out and assembles a bag of provisions
    • We change into clean, unbloodied uniforms
    • We grab musket covers for the muskets we’re carrying

We head to the house

  • Brick walled, two stories, four chimneys with wisps of smoke rising
    • Glass windows on the back, a balcony
    • The torches appear to be for illuminating the second floor balcony; there is no door on the rear
  • We walk around to the front of the wall surrounding the house
    • We approach the house, hear a door opening on the second floor
      • A woman walks out and tells us that if we have more booze we can come up to the party
    • Blackeye opens the door and we enter the house
      • Stairwells going up on either side, with a few rooms on the first floor
    • Max and Blackeye enter a room
      • See glasses of brandy and some remains of food
      • Crossed swords hanging on the wall
        • Appear to be expensive, ornamental swords similar to our cutlasses except for a nice, jeweled handguard
      • Some papers strewn about
    • Blackeye begins searching
      • Notices a 4-inch sliver blade with a mother of pearl handle
      • Most of the paperwork is accounting and maintenance information
      • Notices polished wooden box on top of the desk
        • Fine pair of presentation pistols of highest quality (.65 cal, 5 durability), with 7 balls
    • Max enters the other room, sees canopy bed and a chair
      • The room is very dark, with the fire dying out
      • Blackeye brings in a lantern
      • Definitely bedroom; dressers, other expected furnishings
        • Reginald takes the polished cavalry boots
      • Max finds and opens a locked chest
        • Many personal mementos, 30 dubloons
        • Some letters
          • Most are banal correspondence
          • Blackeye stuffs the rest into his pocket
        • Reginald wraps up the military uniform in a pillowcase and sets it to the side of the front door
    • Max opens the third door
      • Appears to be the dining area, with the dining table set
      • Doors to the left and right
    • Blackeye pushes the left door (swinging door) open to find the kitchen
      • Freshly baked chicken, vegetables, bottle of wine
    • Blackeye opens the door on the right side of the dining room
      • Kegs of black powder, muskets, blunderbusses, with chain running through the trigger guards of the weapons
      • Heavy padlocks locking multiple cabinets

Blackeye decides that we’re going to ascend the stairs instead of setting fires / explosions to take care of the second floor

  • Blackeye enters the room
    • The men all appear to be occupied with women
    • A naked man confronts Blackeye, who closes the door… things are going to get hot
  • Blackeye reopens the room and Max enters
    • Blackeye and Reginald both gets solid shots into the leader
    • Max takes him out
    • The rest of the men surrender, except for one who escapes through the window
    • Reginald searches through the clothes for keys
      • Finds cutlass, dress uniform, very nice maroon boots, keyring with a dozen keys
  • We tie up the men and try to bind the women
    • We kill the women who resist
    • Blackeye searches the room, checks the bindings, locks the room as he leaves
  • We check the rest of the rooms and then head down to the armory
    • Place powder kegs near the tops of the stairs, dowse the stairs and curtains with brandy
    • Reginald waits by the house with a lantern, waiting to throw it into the house

Meanwhile Max and Blackeye check out the horse stable

  • They hear the odd, unidentifiable noise again
  • The dog begins approaching them at a walk, with no growling
  • Notice a young Spaniard and an Indian woman, who Max dispatches

Reginald sets a fire in the house

  • Reginald and Blackeye are headed toward the guard post as Max retrieves folks from the cells
    • Fawkes and his party are left behind
  • Signs of life by the guard post, a bonfire is burning down
    • The fire stinks and we identify feet sticking out of the fire

Blackeye finds a dead guard against the wall

  • Billy is curled up on the floor, a large swollen knot on his cheek
    • Billy killed one guard, was attacked by the other before killing him, too
  • Shortly after, Max shows up with the others
    • Tarball (semi-coma)
    • Boy Tom (still in shock)
    • Crackers
    • Milo
    • Boats
    • What
    • Our other feverish crewmate (Brandon’s character)
  • Billy tells us that we still need to make it to the hacienda
  • We start off on our journey and the house explodes loudly

We’re on our way

  • We stop for a bit to check wounds and perform some first aid
  • Billy tells us to try to take Guzman alive, the rest either come along as captives or die
    • If any gets out alive, they’ll sound the alarm and things won’t go well for us
  • We approach the hacienda
    • Talk with the guard, try to get him to let us in for some refreshment
    • Shortly after, we hear some commotion, several guards come out and move the prisoners off
      • The “prisoners” are bound and gagged and put in with the other prisoners
    • Foolishly, we’re placed in a barracks that has a shared wall with the powder room

We plot our attack

  • We plan to free the prisoners and arm them
    • Break into the lockers in our barracks in search of weapons
      • Find 18 doubloons
      • Find some nice tobacco
    • Reginald tries our keys in the door of the armory; none work
    • Blackeye tries to distract the guard so that we can subdue him
      • Max sneaks up behind him and whacks him from behind with his fancy cutlass
    • After taking out the two guards, we head into the storeroom and move toward the prisoner holding area
      • We enter the holding area and free 9 prisoners before the sergeant opens the door, carrying a blunderbus
      • Blackeye shoots the sergeant in the face
      • The sergeant blasts Blackeye in the groin with the blunderbus
    • After the sergeant is dispatched, we start arming the prisoners
      • We find a pistol and a cutlass, in addition to the blunderbuss

Our new freed mates:

  • Jacques “Jumper” Blevins – 11
  • Lendel Creetch – 10
  • Bosco Detwiller – 12
  • Harrick Armbruster – 16
  • Stump (missing left leg, semi-conscious) – 6
  • Kelly Green (non-walking wounded) – 7
  • Nathaniel “Spoons” Drummond – 13
  • “Foul Wind” Turbuckle – 12
  • The Parson – 15
  • William “Worm Eaten” Budge – 11
  • Horst Franks – 17 – arm with cutlass
  • Belly Boy Cotsworthy – 10
  • Homer Clark (lost a leg, non-walking wounded) – 0

The guards are on the move

  • They notice Max as he tries running to open the armory
  • They surround the storehouse and begin shooting in
    • Max takes a hit
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20140726

We resume the confrontation at the storehouse / improvised jail at the Guzman’s hacienda

  • Despite our larger numbers, we don’t get off to a good start
  • The fighting is fast and furious, and we have a surge of success
  • We take control of the storehouse and continue pushing forward
  • Max, Reginald and Blackeye receive numerous injuries while courageously leading our forces
  • Ultimately, we triumph and the Spaniards scatter

After the battle

  • Some folks decide to set out on their own
    • We persuade them to stick it out with us and proceed together
  • Max has sent 5 men off to cover the other entrance to the hacienda
  • Reginald grabs the keyring to try opening the armory
  • Max approaches the brightly illuminated entrance to the house
    • In the living room are two fireplaces and a pair of oil lamps
    • Max finds a nice ballroom, notices Billy stealing loot from the room
    • Out the backdoor, Max sees a nice garden and trees
      • It seems that the 5 guards are acting rather leisurely
  • Meanwhile, Blackeye thinks he noticed someone peek out of a door farther down
    • He and Thor head over to investigate, jerk a pair of doors open
    • Thor sees an oil lamp, a bed, chair, night table, etc.
      • An old man and women are hiding under the bed covers, looking very scared
      • A small dog that was under the covers starts barking, which Thor punts across the room
      • After striking the crying woman and knocking her out, he takes the group over to our guards
    • Blackeye, pistol drawn, notices oil lamps, work jackets, straw hats, etc.
      • Hears a dog start barking followed by a yelp and a thud
      • Opens door to the west, notices two pairs of legs moving on the bed
      • Sounds like one of the people is rummaging for something, sees him grabbing a machete
      • Tells the male Indian to drop the machete, the man complies
      • He marches the naked Indian couple out of the room and over to some of our guards
      • Opens another door and marches some other folks out to the guards, as well
  • Reginald opens the door to the armory
    • Numerous boxes of weapons and ammo
    • After arming 5 guys and sending two to watch the main gate, Reg takes the other 3 to the hacienda
    • Finds the 5 guards by the house
      • Tells 3 to keep watch of the wall and house
      • Tells 2 to keep watch immediately by the door to the house
    • Continues with his party of three to investigate tracks of someone who ran through the landscaping
  • Max continues through the house
    • Finds a large dog voraciously eating in the kitchen
    • Finds an old Indian man and his wife in bed, looking very frightened
      • Decides to leave them alone
    • Hears footsteps coming from the southeast; it’s Reggie and his guards!
  • Blackeye and Thor head over to the house, meet up with the rest of the group
  • Thor hears a girl screaming to the west
    • We split up, 3 groups heading up 3 staircases, while Blackeye heads out to check the west balcony
    • Max heads up to the den
      • Thinks he notices someone in a bed, tosses a couple logs onto the dying fire
      • Is chastised by someone for being where he doesn’t belong, pretends to retreat
    • Blackeye see a couple soldiers manhandling a little girl, tells them to stop bothering the girl
      • Checks out the balcony, but doesn’t notice anything
    • Reginald ascends the stairs, sees a couple of closed doors
      • Thinks he hears something from the one door, breaks it down
      • Door opens into a bedroom, there are two girls who hide behind the bed
    • Thor heads up the stairs
      • Listens at the doors, thinks he hears something at the one door
      • Attempts to open the door, but it is locked, so he kicks it open
        • Boy lying on the bed, and a well dressed man holding a pistol at him
      • Thor throws a chair at Guzman, who shoots Thor
      • Thor decides that a tactical retreat is in order, and shouts again that Guzman is in the northeast bedroom
      • Max hears the shot, runs through the now illuminated northwest bedroom to get to the location of the shot
      • Reg runs over, as well, and thinks he hears guns being cocked in an adjacent bedroom
      • Blackeye also runs over to the sound of the shot
        • En route, Blackeye is punched by the thin, old woman in the bedroom above the den… hard… four times
  • We plan a coordinated attack on Guzman’s room
    • Max knocks down the one door
      • Guzman turns to the newly broken door with his musket, fires and misses
      • Guzman recognizes that he’s lost, he orders his men to put down their arms
    • The soldiers begin exiting the one room, waving their arms in surrender
    • The old woman peeks out of the room, Blackeye yells “oh crap!” and shoots her
      • Upon hearing the woman scream in pain, Guzman grabs his cutlass and curses us
    • We defuse the situation and the Spaniards remain surrendered
  • Reg and Thor bind the 4 officers
  • Max takes Guzman and his son to the girls room and ties up the Guzman, the son and the girls
    • Max then ties up Guzman’s chubby wife and injured mother

We begin organizing for the trip

  • Blackeye does some searching and finds some gold, silver, a couple fine muskets, and some paperwork
  • Thor retrieves Billy before he steals everything that’s not nailed down
    • Inquires about the details of Billy’s grand plan for escaping by using Guzman, but hears the same vague plan
  • Max retrieves the rest of our soldiers, while Reginald ensures that no harm comes to our prisoners
  • Reg and Blackeye check out the snoring that was earlier ignored
    • We retrieve an old man, and Reg finds 33 eighths of silver
  • We collect and begin discussing strategy
    • Blackeye explains that he found papers stating that the Spanish knew exactly where and when to ambush us
    • We all agree that we don’t trust Billy
    • We will need to play this by ear once we get to Vargas
    • Plan is to take the shorter route to Vargas with Guzman and BS our way through any troops we meet en route
    • Max asks how loyal his officers are, Guzman says they are friends he’ll talk to them privately
      • The conversation with Guzman and officers lowers to a whisper, but we can’t tell that they are actually conspiring

We load up the various carriages and carts with people and supplies and head off

  • It’s about 10am and the weather is starting to warm up, the road is mostly dry and bumpy, the jungle gets thick just off of the road
  • After about an hour, we see a large wagon at the side of the road with people milling about
    • One of the point people says, “They’re having a bleedin’ picnic!”
    • As we get closer, some of the folks wave at us, a few of whom are armed
  • Blackeye and Reg think they heard some noise right at the edge of the jungle, seems to have been nothing
  • We experience the enjoyment of both exotic birds and exotic, biting insects as the temperatures continue to rise
  • We approach a bridge spanning a creek, as the troops are complaining more vigorously about the heat and bugs
    • We refill water, take a short rest, and continue on
  • It rains shortly after we resume, soaking everyone who is not in the covered wagon
  • A cavalry militia unit is approaching us, double file, flying colors and looking much more professional than our group
    • We are greeted by the other group’s leader, which we return
    • They generally ignore us as they pass
  • Going on 6:30, we start to see some wisps of smoke, most likely from the village
  • We reach the outskirts of the village about 7:30
    • Seems to be a farming community with a few stores
    • Billy states that there’s nothing worth looting here and we notice the villagers tend to look impoverished
    • We see what seems to be a hastily constructed stockade in the distance
      • Billy claims that it wasn’t there a week ago when Billy was here
    • As we’re passing the stockade, we see a number of militia
      • We see 4 or 6 guys, some of whom are on the walls
      • Max notices the familiar face of Archibald, one of our crew, trying to look out through the barrier
      • We decide to camp and then plan to liberate the prisoners at the stockade
        • Decision is that Guzman will write orders stating that General Adolpho Gutierrez requested prisoner transfer

We camp for the night

  • The prisoners are bound with the nice hemp rope that Thor brought back from the general store in the village
  • Around midnight, we hear faint footsteps heading toward us from the southwest
    • We begin to hear low voices, but don’t recognize the language… one may be female
    • It turns out to be a woman with a couple children, keeping a wide berth and generally keeping her eyes down
  • Later that night, Thor hears a burro neighing, approaching from the southwest
    • An old man with a burro, piled high with stuff, again keeping a distance

We head out for the stockade to collect the prisoners

  • Very foggy this morning, visibility of only about 50 feet
  • We see 6 militia men, and we realize that the stockade is actually a bit larger than we originally realized
  • The commanding officer is brought to the gate, appears to be one tough bastard with treble pistols and a sword
    • He asks where our other carts are; there are 50 prisoners, 10 of which are non-walking wounded
    • We respond that we will be back with more carts in an hour, after the prisoners are fed
  • Thor goes to the general store to get more rope, carts, horses, torches, candles and a lamp
  • We return to the stockade
    • We move the 10 non-walkers into the carts
    • We begin moving the other prisoners out, when Spoons goes to greet someone he knows
      • Thor retrieves Spoons, but not before some of the Spanish militia take notice
      • We realize that there are at least 10 militia in the stockade
    • We finish binding the prisoners and the commanding officer wishes us well as we leave
  • We head back to the camp and quietly inform the group that we’re getting everyone out
View
20140809

Continuing at about noon after liberating the prisoners

  • Humid, gusty winds, and temperature is climbing to “hot”
  • We head back to our camp
    • After travelling about an hour, we begin explaining the plan to our recently liberated comrades
    • We hear their story, which is similar to ours; some of these folks served on the Robin with us
    • We learn that the stockade was constructed specifically to hold these new prisoners
    • We identify three lieutenants:
      • Howard Edith
      • Richard Chapman
      • Robin Cavanaugh, reputed to be a crack shot with rifle
    • We distribute these 3 officers throughout the group and assign responsibility for groups of “prisoners” to them
    • We re-tie the knots holding our comrades in order to ensure that they can easily escape, if necessary

Continuing to Vargas

  • It’s nearing 2:00 when one of our point people whispers to us that he sees someone
    • Seems to be a boy, and he’s begun running to us, we begin hearing a dog
      • Boy is about 9, has small dog running in circles around him
    • Thor starts talking with the boy, who seems impressed by the soldiers
  • After leaving the boy, a light drizzle starts, which quickly turns into a torrential rain
  • We decide to proceed through the heavy rain, which begins turning the ground into mud
  • Blackeye loses control of his horse, which is getting freaked out by the storm and lightning
    • One of the soldiers manages to get control of the horse, calls out that someone is approaching
  • Blackeye now hears someone approaching, sounds like it may be religious singing
    • Thor heads out to investigate, startles an older man in a brown robe
    • The religious man chastises Thor for not attending mass, but eventually agrees to leaves us alone
  • We find that Mike Reynolds in our party is able to work leather
    • We take boots from one of Guzman’s officers and Mike produces some blinders for the horses
  • By about 4:30, the storm starts to subside, but the weather is extremely uncomfortable
    • Our group is grumbling and unhappy with their situation
    • Shortly after Reginald’s encouragement speech fails, three English-looking fellows approach us from out of the jungle
      • Edward, Joseph and Simon are crying out in English “Mercy! Mercy! Please help us! We need food!”
      • Thor interrogates them, they claim to have been in the fighting, originally with the Snow
      • Edward calls six others out of the jungle
    • Max explains our strategy and that the newcomers will need to play as prisoners
      • Bod produces a brace of pistols and a cutlass, Simon puts another cutlass in the cart
    • Thor thinks he recognizes one of the newcomers
      • Thor sees his face and recognizes one of the men who pushed him out of the raft to make room for himself
      • Thor asks for his name, and the man claims he’s “Doc”
      • Thor walks the man away from the group and interrogates him, frog marches him into the jungle
      • Doc breaks free, and Max talks Thor out of escalating this issue right now… there will be opportunities later
    • Max mentions to some of our soldiers to keep an eye on the new guys
  • By about 6:20, we see a bridge in the distance
    • We hear some noises from the jungle, might be an animal
    • Max sends some of our “prisoners” off to fetch water after we cross the bridge

Approaching 9:00, we look for a place to camp

  • Max notices hooves from behind us, sounds like very aggressive riding, and he calls out to our troops to be on alert
    • Max steps out in the road, waving arms, the rider is obviously not going to stop
    • Max calls on our militia to shoot
      • Some misfire, some just miss
    • Max slashes at the horse’s leg, but doesn’t stop him
      • Max is knocked down and stunned during his heroic attempt to become the horse eviscerator
    • Blackeye’s pistol misfires, and Reg barely misses the rider
    • Shortly after the rider disappears around a bend in the road, we hear a horse cry out
  • Max and two others double time it down to find the horse and rider
    • They find the horse lying in the middle of the road, probably tripped over a branch in the road
    • The young Spanish soldier (not militia) is trapped under the horse and reaches for his pistol, he misses his shot
    • Max begins interrogating the soldier, but the Spaniard doesn’t want to talk
      • Max ends the Spaniard by slicing his throat, and then euthanizes the horse
  • Our caravan catches up
    • Bod and Kishen volunteer to butcher the horse
      • Max watches as Kishen produces a dagger from his person, which he hands to Bod
    • It’s about 9:30 by the time the horse is butchered, the road is cleared, and we head off again

We begin making camp

  • Spoons, a.k.a, Grenado, screams from jungle
    • Complains that he’s been bitten by a snake
    • Max solicits Doc to help Spoons, who was bitten by a non-venomous snake
  • The night is uneventful

Morning breaks

  • We head off on our way
    • The day starts off hot, the men are grumbling early
  • One of the point men mentions that there’s a coach up ahead
    • It appears to be an enclosed carriage drawn by 4 horses, one of the wheels is broken
    • There appear to be 6 nuns and an old Indian man milling about
    • The nuns call out to us, speaking in Spanish
    • Blackeye volunteers our men to fix the wheel
  • One of the nuns approaches our first wagon after recognizing Don Diego
    • Thor attempts to dissuade her from speaking with Don Diego
    • It looks like things are getting sticky… will a half dozen nuns see their God later today?
    • The mother superior speaks something to Guzman in a language we don’t understand
      • We believe they’re on to us!
    • Blackeye ceases repairs to their carriage and steals the pin that they need to reassemble their wheel
  • We resume our trip
    • About 12:30, there’s another bridge
      • We camp, enjoy a nice lunch, refresh our water supply, and chat about the lovely weather
    • Moving along… by 2:30, the oppressively hot, humid weather is making our crew unhappy
    • Toward night, some of us start hearing a “rubbing” sound off in the distance
      • Almost sounds like a taut, heavy rope moving in the wind
      • Blackeye wonders if this could be some sort of trap… sends more point people to the front in a spread pattern
    • Blackeye now thinks he may hear crows in the distance, sounds like they may be agitated
      • Reg asks if it might be a gallows
    • Max moves forward with a few others, find a dozen corpses hanged from ropes and being pecked at by crows
      • He recognizes some of the bloated corpses as former shipmates
    • We decide to bury the deceased before continuing on to Vargas
    • We have Guzman draw us a map of Vargas

We plan our escape

  • We’ll send in Thor as our scout
  • Camp for several hours until the foggy, early morning hours
  • We’ll attempt to take one of the ships without bothering to mess with the forts
  • We’ll try to disable any other ships

Thor begins to set out for scouting

  • Notices that Bod is walking around with a blanket, which looks out of place
    • Thor tries to find out what Bod is up to, discovers that Bod’s couple pistols are missing from the cart
    • Thor organizes a party to investigate
    • Max ends up drawing his cutlass and suggests that Bod should be bound in ropes
      • Reg ties Bod’s hands behind his back, and ties his feet so that he can only shuffle
    • We place all the weapons in the supply wagon and place guards on it
    • Max gets intel that Bod has been getting friendly with crew, but it’s unknown what is ultimate purpose may be
  • Thor departs for his scouting mission
  • Thor reaches the outskirts of Vargas
    • Seems like the east side may be the wealthy side of town, west side the poorer side of town
    • On the west side, he sees shops, a brothel, occasionally a light leaking through shutters but no one on the streets
    • There’s a sloping hill in the distance with something atop the hill
      • There’s a well lit church at the base of the hill, with some big building toward the top of the hill
      • There appears to be a cross on top of the hilltop building, which appears to have lights burning
  • Down by the port
    • A total of 6 ships are docked
      • Battered, listing hulk of the Robin
      • Next to the Robin is an unarmed ship with some sailors milling about, no oars, gangplank in place
      • Brigantine Spanish warship, got guns, fairly fast, no oars, gangplank in place, sailors on board
      • Partially on shore, having bottom scraped, not ready for sailing now, some tools lying about
      • 50 foot sloop, sailors aboard, military ship, might be crowded for our group, no oars, gangplank in place
      • 50 foot sloop, sailors aboard, military ship, might be crowded for our group, no oars, gangplank in place
    • All ships are on separate docks, so none are blocked
      • We’d need either a couple rowboats or we’d have to tack back to get ships out
    • Guns in the forts could probably easily shoot down at the ships in port
  • Returning
    • Discovered the jail
    • Found another sloping hill on the west side
      • En route to investigate the hill, notices a bank down a street, with lights on
      • Sees a very nice looking house atop the hill, with lights on
    • Hears some Spanish voices down one of the streets
      • “Don’t have much time to get ready… figure out which street they’re coming down…”
      • Sounds like a man giving orders to a larger group of men
    • Thor gets closer
      • They’re wearing military uniforms, but not sure what they are
      • Saw at least ten men

Back at camp

  • Thor provides his intel, Billy insists that we assist him with stealing a gold cross from the church
  • We decide to go for the brigantine after passing by the church
  • We bind and gag Guzman and his people, leaving them in a cart near the road
  • We take the uniforms off of the army officers with Guzman, and Reg wears the captain’s uniform that he took earlier

We’re on our way

  • Approaching the church
    • Reg hears a number of hushed voices from people in the church
    • Max accompanies Billy, who opens the door to the church
      • Billy admits that he is after something other than the mythical diamond encrusted gold cross
      • When two parishoners attempt to stop Billy, he attacks them with his cutlass
    • Max likes the distraction that Billy’s created and he starts back toward the group

Heading to the docks

  • It seems like the fog is beginning to lift
  • Max and Blackeye hear a couple of English voices yelling and cursing, from the direction of the jail
    • We decide to save more countrymen
    • Blackeye believes he recognizes Captain Giles, the captain of the Robin
  • We tie ropes to the bars on one of the windows and try to pull them out with horses
    • The bars are pulled away along with some bricks, as the guards are yelling
  • A guard opens the sliding window in the door by Max, blasts Max in the face with a blunderbus
  • Reg and Blackeye shoot guards through the windows
    • The guards threaten to kill our captain
    • Reg tells Blackeye to inform them that they can live if they release the English, or die very slowly if they kill our captain
  • The guards release the prisoners
  • Thor calls out that we’ve been spotted by a Spanish sailor
  • Blackeye collects 2 blunderbuses, 50 shot and 2 cutlasses from the jail
  • We gather together again
    • The crew raises cheers when they see the captain
    • We head off again toward the docks

Arriving at the dock

  • Blackeye points out that there are sailors, and, possibly, an officer on deck of the brigantine
  • Blackeye also points out that if we engage the sailors in a gunfight, it would alert the forts and we may not survive the cannon fire
  • We begin marching “prisoners” to the ship
    • As we’re on the dock, we are called out by a sailor on the brigantine
    • The officer on the ship totally disbelieves our story
    • As we’re leaving, Reginald realizes that the ship is preparing cannons
  • Max notices that the brigantine appears to be sending light signals
    • We notice no response from the forts, but the other ships are responding and stating that guards will be posted

We try this again

  • Plan is to have 9 of the best climbers (and Max) ascend the anchor line and take the ship
    • Max, Reg, Thor, Phil Acton, and 5 others successfully get up to the ship
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Continuing where we left off, with 10 of us having climbed up the anchor line…

  • We’re on top of the bow of the ship
    • Reginald notices one man stripping down to the waist
  • The plan is to try to take everyone out quietly
    • Focus on taking out the signaler and the officer
    • Reg’s team is to prevent anyone from escaping to the dock
    • Unfortunately, they seem to have heard us
  • The battle ensues!
    • Phil nails his opponent in the groin, disabling him… Phil finishes him off
    • One of Reginald’s team has the top of his head sliced off by an angry Spaniard
    • Thor takes a nasty hit on the hand, but keeps fighting
    • The stripper finishes removing his clothes and dives into the water
    • The officer eventually succumbs to his wounds and collapses
    • After Reg’s team takes out another Spaniard, the remaining crew begins surrendering
    • Several of us cover the prisoners while the rest converge on the remaining Spanish combatant
      • Thor finally takes out the last fighter

We take the brigantine and plan our exit

  • We begin assigning crews to ship tasks
    • Several of us notice furious signalling from the other ships, which seems to be answered from the forts
      • They are stating that Los Condenados (our ship) is in enemy hands; fire upon it
    • Blackeye starts firing broadsides into the nearby sloop
    • After the row boats have turned us about, we fire into the listing Robin and scuttle her
  • As we’re getting underway and pulling out of port, both forts open up with cannon
    • Our brig takes some damage from the first barrage
    • She takes even more damage from the second barrage
  • We finally manage to get fully out of the harbor; once under way, we are not chased

En route to Jamaica

  • Some of us take ill
    • Reginald appears to come down with malaria, is in and out of consciousness for pretty much the entire trip
    • Blackeye falls ill and is out for a couple days

It’s now a year later

  • We’re on the Dolphin, thinking back to our Spanish adventure
  • We should each receive 300 pounds for the captured ship, plus another 50 for other stuff
  • We’re at Port Royal until we head back to London
  • We train onboard for 3 months while we head back to Plymouth, before heading to London
  • In London, we speak with the corpulent Rear Admiral Lyndon Alton
    • We are congratulated for our efforts
    • We are assigned to command of the Dolphin
      • 18 gun, British sloop
    • Our home base will be Plymouth, we will be patrolling our coastal waters
    • Blackeye inquires about the papers he recovered regarding the presumed traitor
      • The Rear Admiral states that an Englishman would never be a traitor
  • When we return to our residence, we see a note stating that our 300 pounds is available at the bank
  • Blackeye mentions that someone approached him on the beach and told him to give back the book or die
    • Did not get a good look at the fellow
    • He’s not entirely sure about which book is being demanded
  • We determine our responsibilities on the Dolphin
    • Thor is acting captain
    • Reginald is second lieutenant
    • Max is in charge of the marines
    • Blackeye is in charge of guns
  • We assess the ship
    • Based on the rigging, this appears to be slightly faster than your average sloop
    • The entire crew seems to be a bunch of undisciplined slackers; we would NOT want to go into battle with this crew
  • Blackeye reads through the astronomy book and realizes that this contains extremely advanced scientific concepts
  • Thor starts managing logistics for the ship
    • Decides to hire a chaplain for the ship
    • Purchases vitamin C and some vaccinations for the crew
  • Reginald is successful in tracking down Phil Acton and Stephen Merrills
    • Plan is to use their leadership and people skills to build up our crew
  • We discover that John Drake is a master swordsman, so he can assist us in training single weapon
  • Blackeye finds that our ship surgeon, Mather Thompson, is drunk off his ass at 11:00 am
    • He seems to really enjoy his work and is actually quite competent
    • Thompson still drinks a hell of a lot
  • We complete training of ourselves and the crew

We are patrolling off the coast of Cornwall

  • It’s been an uneventful day so far, until we spot a Spanish brig
    • It seems that they were probably about to lower boats into the water when they spotted us
      • There’s now a great deal of hurried activity… they’re probably planning to get the hell out of here
  • Our commander, Thor, decides to pursue the Spaniards and either take their ship or sink it
    • We approach quickly with the favorable wind
    • As we get closer, we open a full long gun broadside on their greasy asses
      • The crew demonstrates its anxiousness in its first battle by its extremely poor aim
    • We cross the Spaniard’s path astern of them and lay a broadside into them, although it does no damage
    • With our third shot, we finally manage to get some damage into them
    • We continue poking at the Spaniards without really causing much damage; they still haven’t returned fire… the pansies
    • We lay into them with both the long guns and the carronades
      • The cannons really tear them up this time
      • They strike their colors, reduce their sails, and appear to be waiting for us to take their ship

We board the Spanish ship

  • Captain Franco Prospero meets with Thor and asks for decent treatment of his crew
  • We move the prisoners onto our ship, put a skeleton crew onto the Spanish ship, and tow the ship back to Plymouth
  • In Prospero’s quarters, there are log books, charts, and a great deal of paperwork
    • Max catches our sailor, William Churchill, stealing some items from the quarters
    • Max finds a map of the area where we captured him, and it seems to identify their destination on the coast of Cornwall
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We continue where we left off after capturing the ship

  • We read through the captain’s log of the captured Spanish brig
    • Reg is familiar with Carderby Castle and believes the Spanish ship was very close to the castle when we caught her
    • We are fairly confident that the Spaniards were about to go after their target, but have not yet obtained it
  • Max addresses discipline for the sailor that was attempting to pilfer from the ship
    • William Churchill is transferred back to the Dolphin and given 5 lashes
  • Max’s team searches the captured Angel of El Ferrol
    • Henry Poley is waving a paper in his hands, thinks he has what we’re looking for
      • It appears to be only an inventory of rations
    • Thomas Dodson is intently reviewing a paper
      • Max determines that the map may be where they were planning to search
    • Some crosses are found
      • One appears to be a personal item, two appear to belong to an altar
      • Max’s interest is piqued by the crosses, but he finds nothing else of interest
    • Max finds a hidden cloth bag, which is filled with 10 Spanish doubloons
    • Max also finds some good food and wine, seemingly better than what the Dolphin has
    • Done with searching
      • The wind is easy, so there’s not much to do on deck
  • Blackeye and Reginald head over to interrogate Captain Prospero
    • Prospero is brought up to the captain’s quarters by a couple marines
    • We pour some drinks, introduce ourselves, and discover that Prospero is quite fluent in English, and can reproduce multiple accents
    • We get no information, Prospero steals Blackeye’s pipe and tobacco
      • When the guards are taking him back, Blackeye notices and asks for it back, and pats down Prospero but notices nothing else

We arrive in Plymouth

  • Blackeye notices that sailing master William Burke is relaying the captain’s orders, but somewhat poorly
    • We appear to be heading too fast and directly at the dock
    • He adjusts course after Blackeye’s questions
    • We may need to keep an eye on him
  • Max’s home was near here at Hoe
  • We arrive at the naval base
    • Before we hand over the documents, we copy them
      • The chaplain translates the latin and explains that it’s simply a title for the pope
  • Thor sends a messenger to the navy to explain that we’ve captured a ship and prisoners
    • Within 20 minutes, a guard unit shows up for the prisoners
    • We’re informed that a semaphore message was sent to London to inform them of the capture
  • We peruse the captain’s log and other documents
    • Only about a month of log in the captain’s log
      • Blackeye copies some high level info from the log
    • We determine that the Angel was built within the last 10 years
    • Blackeye shows up and finds a panel near the kitchen with a small, brown, corked bottle behind it
      • It seems to be a bottle of vanilla
    • In the chapel, we find several books filled with latin
    • In the priests quarters, we find a number of hand written papers in latin

We head back to the Dolphin

  • We bring Prospero’s bottles of wine
  • Blackeye heads back to his apartment
    • Informs us that his book has been stolen
  • Turn the Angel over to a prize agent and get a receipt
    • We will get 7000 pounds for her

The four of us head over to navy HQ

  • One of the commanding officer’s charges sees us, congratulates us
    • We mention the Spanish log and the reference to seeking the philosopher’s stone
    • We’re asked if this may be related to the French assisting the Irish in attempting to overthrow England
  • We are dismissed

Three of us head to the Gordon Bennett tavern to meet with some of our crew

  • Thor stays behind on the ship and takes the receipt for the Angel with him
  • We arrive at the tavern, a rather nice place
  • We meet with the warrant officers and Blackeye buys a round for our crew
    • Blackeye notices a post for a semi-annual whig meeting, with a guest speaker that Blackeye recognizes
    • Blackeye decides to head over to the meeting with Burke, who is an emphatic whig
    • Reg and Max decide to accompany Blackeye
    • Burke hails a cab and we’re off

We arrive at the council building and head in

  • Burke finds four seats together and we sit
  • Whig party pamphlet contains the usual political propaganda
  • Mr. James Philip, president of the local Whig council, is introduced
  • Philip finally finishes and introduces Mr. NIcholas Whitsen, who resumes the monotonous political speaking
    • Whitsen appears very intelligent and seems very passionate about his politics
  • Burke leaves us and Blackeye decides to approach Whitsen
    • Whitsen greets Blackeye, begins shaking his hand, and then seems to recognize him and turns away
  • Blackeye then greets Mr. Philip, who extols the virtues of Whitsen
    • Says that he hopes Whitsen does here, everything that he’s accomplished in Blackpoole

The following morning

  • Reginald and Blackeye both head back to the ship to check that everything is in order
    • Everything seems to be running well
  • Blackeye contracts with John Drake to hire someone to look after his apartment
  • Blackeye and Reginald head off to the university to research Carderby Castle and the philosopher’s stone
    • We enter the library, ask for directions to books that would help us
    • Reg confirms that the Spanish map does appear to be of Carderby
      • A student suggests that a nearby vicar’s hobby is geneology and he may know who currently owns Carderby
    • Blackeye doesn’t find a good article on philosopher’s stones, but a section sticks out with the letters VITRIOL
      • A student translates the latin: visit the interior parts of the earth, by rectification thou shalt find the hidden stone
      • We pay a student to translate a couple pages
        • One is a recipe / spell to create the stone
        • Another states the philosopher’s stone is the baseness of ourselves, prayer can translate our baseness into gold
      • The student flips a page and Blackeye notices a page with a cross with a rose on it
      • Blackeye inquires if the student is aware of a “computation engines” or the “order of the gold and rosy cross”
        • He doesn’t know about the order, but there are rooms of the people doing calculations, and they’re referred to as computers
  • Reginald heads off to the church to visit the vicar
    • The castle is hundreds of years old, been in the Tillman family for many generations
    • Mrs. Tillman died several years ago, her residence was listed as Carderby Castle
  • Reg and Blackeye head back to the Dolphin
    • Blackeye heads back onto the Angel to look for a rosy cross, gets busted by a guard, as she’s no longer our ship
  • That evening, Blackeye and Reg head back to the university
    • Max follows, because it looks like the guys are dressing for a fight
    • We arrive, and Frederick finds us
      • Order of the Golden & Rosy Cross – founded by Christian Rosen Cruez, published 3 manifestos in Germany
        • Manifestos about a secret nostic organization that seeks to bring about world peace
        • “Wicked men stop at nothing to make evil, so righteous men should stop at nothing to make peace”
        • Some folks believe he was Francis Bacon or one of a couple others
        • Some folks feel the organization is still active, others believe it was a fictional tool to make people feel good
      • A bunch of different interpretations about philosopher’s stones
      • He cites and references a bunch of books we’ve never heard of
      • References the cross, produces a detailed drawing of it that he created for explaining the cross
  • We head back “home” for the night
    • Blackeye notices that there is a guy watching his place from the shadows

The morning of our departure

  • Everyone pretty much arrives on time, with a couple stragglers
  • Burke guides us out without scraping the dock too much
  • We head off in the direction of Cornwall
    • We’re pretty sure we’re in the area where we captured the Angel
    • We see two ships in the harbor by the castle
      • This harbor is not on the maps we have of this area
      • One appears to be a sloop, the other is of an odd design that we don’t recognize, both flying union jacks
      • The castle is up some cliffs from the harbor
    • We swing past the inlet and check out the ships a little closer
      • One is definitely a sloop
      • The other is like a brig, but with castles on either end
      • Both boats have the jack and another flag: white field with variant of a rampant lion in yellow
      • There’s a path coming down to the harbor from the cliffs
      • We are hailed by someone on the sloop, who asks us to identify ourselves but refuses to identify himself
  • We continue on to the fishing village a bit down the shore
    • The three of us take a rowboat to the shore with some crew
    • We notice that the folks on the shore are scurrying off with children, and the men are glaring at us
    • The three of us approach a group of men, and one of the men calls out in a language we’ve never heard before (probably Cornish)
    • We ask him if he speaks english, but his english is very broken
      • States that they’ve given all they have to the Baron already
    • We trade a barrel of rum and some kitchen knives for their information
      • Sometimes their children go missing, but haven’t actually seen the Baron doing it
      • Started about ten years ago, seemed to be in a bad mood since Elizabeth, his wife, died
      • Another village had some animals go missing, cattle found dead in the fields, a pox recently
      • Rumors that the Baron has an army
      • 4 years ago, the Baron was supposedly responsible for drying up all the fishing in the area… totally fishless
      • There are some soldiers with a mix of uniforms
      • There is one ugly, barrel-chested man in unrecognized all-black uniform who acts like a soldier
  • We head back to the ship and continue our patrol

During the night

  • On Reginald’s watch, someone cries out “ship… no, SHIPS!”
    • We eventually recognize the two ships as British merchant ships
    • We also now notice a frigate nearby
    • We attempt to insert ourselves between the frigate and the merchants
      • We recognize the voice of the lieutenant Richard Penn, as the Frigate calls to us
  • The rest of the evening is uneventful
  • We eventually make it back to Plymouth

We dock the next day before noon

  • The 3 of us head to HQ while Thor handles the ship
    • We are brought to meet with our commanding officer, and Rear Adm. Alton is standing there, as well
    • Alton mentions that we were near Tillman recently
      • Max states that we were there today and Alton asks if we were attacked
    • Alton requests that a dossier be handed to us, which states
      • Most of what we’ve already heard from the Cornish
      • Tillman’s been working with foreign powers, working to overthrow the king
      • Attempts to purchase cannons
      • Tillman is ex-military, has had considerable influence in the past
      • Alton states that the British can’t start a war with Tillman, but that we are well suited to do so
        • Orders are to terminate his command with extreme prejudice
      • Tillman has a few hundred men at last count, from a few weeks ago
        • A core unit is ex-military and very effective, the rest are rag tag
  • We accept the mission, not that we have a choice
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Early morning

  • Max and Thor both receive messages
  • Reg hears voices from the hold, recognizes Salamander Vico
    • A few crewmen are arguing with Vico
    • They claim that Vico has been shorting them, overcharging them, and watering down the beer
    • Reg also feels that the food on ship is horrible
  • On deck, we hear William Burke cursing as he walks up to the deck, and he appears to be leaving the ship
    • It seems that Burke is being dismissed and Thor already has a replacement in the works
  • Before heading out to pick up a new sailing master, Thor stops to speak with Vico
    • As far as we non-accountant types can tell, the books appear to be in order
    • Thor states that he will provide an assistant for Vico
      • We assign Paul Berard, a young crewman who has a decent education
    • Thor also warns him that the quality of the food must improve, and that Vico will get only one warning

Thor marches off to meet with the Commodore John Fleming

  • Meanwhile, the rest of us prepare the ship and crew
  • Reginald heads out and picks up a half week of supplies, a pig, a dozen rabbits, and a barrel of good beer
  • The commodore’s attache, Robert Squire, greets Thor
  • A door opens and lieutenant Eoghan O’Malley enters
    • Robert introduces Thor to Eoghan, states that Eoghan will be the new sailing master
  • Thor asks if there is any additional intel for our mission
    • He receives a terse, condescending response
      -Thor and Eoghan begin the trek back to the Dolphin
    • Thor hears what sounds like Vico in a heated discussion
    • Vico is near a gambling shop, surrounded by 4 ruffians
      • One states, “Vico… you owe us… pay up!”
    • As Thor continues past, the leader of the group insults Thor
      • The fires and brimstone of Hell will soon rain down upon the heads of these thugs
    • Thor whacks the leader on the head, grazing him but strongly demonstrating his intent
    • The thugs waste their energies trying to hit our noble Captain and Sailing Master
    • The leader lunges at Thor and misses, allowing Thor to easily thrust his broadsword into the fellow’s chest
    • Shortly thereafter, the thugs surrender and Thor questions them
      • Vico owes 100 pounds
      • Thor orders Vico to fall in as they head out, the authority in Thor’s voice leaves the ruffians stunned

We leave port

  • We leave dock without scraping anything, and make good time
  • The crew enjoys the good meal and the extra ration of beer
  • Paul Berard reports that Vico wasn’t actually cooking the books… all illegal activity is accurately documented
  • As we pass Carberby Castle, we are close enough to verify the ships at the dock with our spy glasses
    • Same two ships, appear to have a skeleton crew aboard
  • We pass the fishing village and put the longboats in a couple miles past the village
    • The 5 lieutenants take along 5 of the best marines
    • After hiding the boat, we begin heading northeast
      • The terrain is mostly rolling hills and relatively easy going
      • We eventually pass some land that has been allocated for farming

We approach the village north of the castle

  • Mostly a farming community
  • We approach The Pig and Whistle, a local watering hole
    • Very simple tavern, big fire, but there’s a bar and that’s what’s important
    • We are greeted by the presumed owners, a middle aged man and woman behind the bar
    • We enjoy the beer and mutton
    • We inquire about the baron hiring fighting men
      • They haven’t seen the baron in 10 years, since his wife died
      • The baron’s man Stokes comes around to pick up supplies
        • Stokes is middle aged, barrel chested, bald on top
      • More complaints about poxes, missing children, poor fishing, all blamed on the baron
      • The baron is a middle aged man, wiry, carries himself like a military man
  • We enter the Overturned Apple Cart, another local tavern
    • This one’s about the same as the last tavern
    • We chat with the barmaid about the baron, asking essentially the same questions
      • We get basically the same responses
      • We find out about some paintings that were done of the Conker Festival, which may contain an image of the baron
  • We start heading back to the troops and note that the shop, wherein the paintings are located, is closed

We begin heading toward the castle

  • We get close enough to see the castle and realize that the moat doesn’t completely surround the castle
  • On the cliff side, the moat has a gap
  • There appear to be two cannons in each tower, so four would bear upon our ship in the harbor
  • In the valley a bit north of the castle, we see scores and scores of tents and campfires
  • Archie and George get us really close to the castle
    • We notice a really bad odor coming from the castle, emanating from the area on map labeled as “noxious fumes”
  • We assess the rear of the castle and determine that we will use the unlighted tower above the gate as our entry point

We head away from the castle and concoct our plan

  • 16 marines will accompany we 5 lieutenants and enter via the rear gate
    • Proposal is to have a couple guys swim in the moat and come up behind the guards
    • Ascend the dark tower using grappling hooks and pre-knotted rope
  • 5 men on a ridge northwest of the castle will fire upon the army camped north of the castle
    • They’ll retreat when the mercenaries close in
  • The other 29 will take longboats into the harbor and capture the sloop and brig in the harbor
    • Ships will be towed out into the sea via the longboats
  • We camp for the night
    • During the night, a marine awakens us because of a noise, which seems to be nothing

The next morning

  • Reg and Blackeye head over to the farm supply store to check out the paintings of the conker fest
    • Blackeye is very impressed by the primitive paintings… he buys 3
    • He does succesfully obtain a halfway decent portrait of the baron
  • Reg and Blackeye head back to the others, and we head off for the boat
  • We reach the longboat before 10 and decide to wait on the shore for the Dolphin
  • The Dolphin eventually arrives and drops anchor; we return to the ship
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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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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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