Valley of the Sun - 50 Fathoms

Captain's Log #5

With Kraken Jack’s life kept safe, the Neptune fully paid off, the crew and I were slightly beside ourselves of what to do. There were many different tasks and opportunities abound, offering their share of doubloons and an innumerable number of treasures from days long since past. However, before we could begin our quest to understand what foul magic continued to sink Caribdus under the swelling seas, we had to get our ship careened and prepare ourselves for our voyage. We set sail to Swindon, preparing to dock within its port and rid ourselves of the parasites growing along our hull. In this town, we found more hearty souls willing to join the crew and we even encountered a young Kehana that wished to join us. He offered us another coin of Redbeard’s treasure and even knew where the secret island was where his horde was supposedly found. However, the only issue was that his previous captain was the original owner of the map.

As luck would have it, Captain Abdullah and his fierce crew descended down upon us. I am certain they thought themselves of great, powerful, and in the advantage with their numbers and skill. Never doubt the power of a Grael, two mages, and a crew hardened by the nightmares that the seas of Caribdus holds. While the enemy had their own powerhouse, he was no match compared to our Gronk and he recklessly savaged his own comrades in pursuit of us. However, even though the Kehana died, we successfully broke the will of our enemies and they broke and ran. I will not be known as a captain who can be cowered though, my father was a kind man but a demon of his own right upon his ship. We hunted down Captain Abdullah and when he grievously harmed Black Anne, I ran him through and watched the life drain from his eyes. We took the map, the extra coin, and made our way back to the Neptune to escape the ire of the town guard.

With the map in hand, we set sail for Redbeard’s treasure. Little seemed to bother us until a massive storm approached unlike any I have ever seen. This was the storm my crew had seen Redbeard’s ship within, and again he appeared like a sword parting water. Undead rushed upon my ship, seeking our death, but the crew and I mustered our courage and fought back against the terrible beings. Quickly, they were cut down and we dropped their filthy corpses back into the deep. No curse would scare us off, Redbeard’s treasure will soon be ours!

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To Do List and Notes by Seratos
Just to keep everyone posted

Here are notes on the various things the intrepid crew of the Neptune may be engaged in…

Capture a live Yellowback to fight in the arena in New Madrid

Cardinal Torres’ missionary expedition led by a (deluded and doomed!) priest named Rafael Servia to Torath-Ka in hopes of establishing the worship of their god among the Ugaks. Leaving from New Madrid. Presumably shortly to be followed by a rescue of aforementioned priest and the survivors of the expedition…

Chronometer Calibration – Go to Brigandy Bay, Kiera, the northern bulge of Torath Ka and set apparatus. Return to Joshua Goldstein of Tuck.

Collect the golden triangle coins leading to the treasure of Redbeard Rufus.

Consult with Tressa the Red concerning the fate of the world and destroying the Sea Hags

Repair the magical Stones of Bluth’s Point – A gallon of water from the Visitors’ world, a quantity of lava from the Volcanic Mountain of Torath-Ka, a nugget of gold from the Kehana Flumes, and a bottle of air from the Croaker Mountains.

Revenge on Blackbeard (Darius)
Revenge on Captain Lancelot Skynner and the crew of HMS Lutine (Anne)
Revenge on Francois Lolonais (Although we did steal his treasure)
Revenge on the Sea Hags for the deaths of his parents (Kraken Jack)
Destroy the Sea Hags with the aid of Science! (Seratos)

And some campaign notes
Days on Caribdus since the campaign start – 96
Current status of the Neptune – crew paid, ship empty but we have 4500 put aside for ship expenses and cargo, she is in need of careening
1500 each saved for Gronk and Constantijn

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Captain's Log #4

Tonight I write with a weary but angry hand, the blood of foul miscreants still staining my skin. In what has been a long while, I almost lost a member of the crew. Kraken Jack’s blood was spilled tonight and it was only the blessing of the spirits that he was not taken. It seems our deeds have reached the ears of dangerous men; a sure sign that we are becoming more prominent here within Caribdus.

After Seratos and Jack successfully fought off the raiders at Tuck, we made our way to the great city of Baltimus. It is here that the famous privateer named Admiral Duckworth resides since the docks are deep enough to man his Man of War. We brought our food with a special letter from the mayor of Tuck and discovered Mo, a Masaquani Super who signed on with us. We also met another Scurillian named Kenaidos (sp), a dealer in rare relics and treasures. While his good were too expensive for us to purchase, we were able to sell the figurehead of Poseidon as well as the potion for a large enough sum that we could finally purchase the Neptune! We kept the shrunken head as well as the strange coin, one that supposedly brought the curse of Redbeard Rufus upon us. I saw the red in that demon’s eyes and it was too similar to the darkness that resides within the accursed Blackbeard.

With our business now legal and a hold full of timber, we made our way out into the sea to return to Brigandy Bay. Along the way, we happened to catch sight of the frigate known as HMS Lutine, a ship with a captain that Anne had previous misgivings with. I expect that he will eventually be a trouble to us but I do not wish to risk the ire of the Great Companies for vengeance. Soon after though, we actually came across the massive ship captained by Admiral Duckworth; the HMS Justice. He asked to board our ship and inspect our wares. It is a miracle that our chances worked out so well, as we had just finally turned legitimate and convinced the admiral of our noble intent. With a slight hint of suspicion, he released us back into the sea without any trouble.

Only a few days out from Brigandy Bay, we came across a floating wreckage of a frigate. No survivors returned my hail, so we ventured upon it and looked for something to keep. Upon it, we discovered little treasure but a host of seaweed fiends. The foul beasts were no match for my axe, while my crew swept the last of them down. The wreckage was too damaged for us to salvaged, alas, so we left it on its course.

Once we arrived at our destination, we spoke to Saricks and paid off our debt in full. He seemed surprised at our ability to meet his demands and was quick to offer us another loan for greater rewards. I loathe the idea of being underneath the crab’s thumb once more and savored the chance to enjoy the freedom to sail Caribdus. Truthfully, at long last and with the help of my friends, I’ve become the captain I hope you wanted me to be. We went to celebrate our success with the crew and then head to the town of Swindon to careen the ship and begin our next venture. Bad luck would strike first, however.

I don’t remember how it happened, the drinks I savored must have been poisoned for I awoke not in my comfortable bed but in an alley being plundered by greedy men. They seemed to have heard that we have claimed L’Olonois’s treasure and wanted it for themselves. A struggle began and the fight was vicious. We were triumphant but Jack was grievously wounded. We took him to the best surgeon we could find, a man by the name of Doctor Bones. The man was a drunkard but he treated my friend and ensured that our ship mage would recover with no serious wounds.

Rather than wait and risk any further harm, we plan to make way to Swindon and begin the next part of our plan. With a proper amount of food in our stores, I believe it is time we give Tressa the Red a visit.

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Neptunians Ho! by Seratos
Five Easy Pieces of Eight

So as the leader of the sortie lay dying before us (courtesy of some of Kraken Jack’s most excellent fire Bolts) one of his companions pleaded with us for his life. He promised to return with him to the raiding ship and that there would be no further attacks by their ships on Tuck, and to warn other ships that the town was no longer without guardians. We took him at his word, and although it was difficult, we managed to stabilize his leader’s condition and escort him back to their longboat. They departed minus their guns and swords of course; we gave those to the good people of Tuck so that they might make a show of being able to defend themselves. They thanked us profusely and put Food on our ship to thank us.

Most of the people of Tuck were given over to agrarian pursuits, with one notable exception. I had been impressed by the workmanship of the mighty clock tower in New Madrid, in this tiny hamlet dwelt another great craftsman of timepieces named Joshua Goldstein. Where the gearwork of the clock tower had been most impressive on account of its size and mass, Mr. Goldstein’s works were the tiniest of miniatures by comparisons. Chronometers that could be carried in the palm of your hand and had minute minute hands! He asked if we would do him the kindness of taking some of his gearworks with used to set precise time at several different spots for his timepieces. You can imagine how helpful this would be for navigation and sailing so we heartily agreed. He needed us to mark readings on the instruments when we were in the port of Brigandy Bay, Kiera, and the northern “bulge” of Torath Ka. The readings should be taken at sunrise, noon, and sunset. When we returned these to him, he would be able to incorporate a calibration check that would make his clocks accurate anywhere on Caribdus.

So we set off with 4 Units of Food as Cargo, and several new Quests we can look into. We also have several magic items that I am still unsure of the value of, but in any event, we can certainly make another payment to Saricks. We have as “booty”:
$7000 P.O.E.
Neptune Figurehead
Vial of indeterminate magical potion
Wooden box with a mummified head that claims to aid us against the Sea Hags
Gold Triangle coin

I am quite willing to assume the additional booty Kraken Jack and I discovered on Kuwayway was spent in Carousing for a week in New Madrid. This would also be 39 days since we left Brigandy Bay so although our time to return is not exactly up yet, we may want to return whilst we are near and settle this month’s payment against the Neptune and also retrieve our collateral items. The ship will be in need of Dry Dock repairs (Careening) within a month also so there is that expense to be thought of…

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Neptunians Ho! continued by Seratos
Who gets to be Toshiro Mifune?

After their ignominious defeat (and in spite of Bentley drawing two Jokers in a row for their leader!) to our surprise, Juan spared them and let them depart. He explained to us that the students from the competing schools sometimes undertook duels to first blood to determine the worth of their school’s training. Rafael Denoez, the leader of this latest escapade, had been expelled by Juan from his school for violent tendencies. But to thank Kraken Jack and I for our timely intervention he asked us if we would train at his school for a week, for free. We were most happy to comply. So the ship spent another week in port and the sailors got a goodly amount of shore leave to prevent any cabin fever for quite a while. Kraken Jack even bought a saber to use as his new backup weapon, should he ever need it.

One of the other sites in New Madrid we noticed before we left was an immense arena where the Visitors had planned to have some sport called “cowfighting” or something. But alas, all of their cows had perished and there were notices promising $3000 for a live Yellowback to fight. Although I don’t know how one would manage to capture and cage one and then transport it alive and well from Torath Ka to the Arena in New Madrid, it does sound more reasonable than trying to convince the Ugaks there to honor a foreign god…

Most of the larger ports in the southern Free Townes did not have cargo that would allow us to turn a profit, but I had determined that the smaller port of Tuck could provide us with cheap cargo that we could either sell further south or if need be, return to Brigandy Bay and turn a profit as we made another payment toward the Neptune. So we traveled uneventfully to Tuck. There we found difficulties in obtaining cargo. They explained that their fields were quite near the coast of the island, and since they were a small village without much weaponry or manpower there were frequent problems with raiders who would simply send men ashore to loot and pillage for supplies. Kraken Jack and I resolved to remedy this problem for them and they responded that they would happily give us some food as payment. Now all we needed to do was recruit five more Samurai…

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Neptunians Ho! Adventure Log by Seratos
Revenge is a dish best served with Cold Steel...

Instead of making landfall, we spent the night anchored near the old fort on Kuwaway. In the morning, since nobody else was available (at the game), Kraken Jack and I made a brief sortie into the ruins. Luckily, we found no spirits haunting them by the light of day. Very luckily, we happened upon the moldering remains of some of the long-dead soldiers’ payroll and returned with some booty to the ship ($500). The crew was in need of a few nights of carousing so we set sail for New Madrid. On the way there, the sky changed color as if a storm was brewing but instead we were briefly pursued by a strange red-sailed ship with a lone figure on deck guiding it. We managed to outdistance him and sailed into the mighty port of New Madrid.

Once we landed there the sailors were more than happy to spend time carousing and we went to see some sights in town. We saw an immense Clock Tower, the largest mechanism of its kind in the world, designed and built by the Visitors. We also went to visit the cathedral that they had built to honor and worship their god. The elaborate ornamentation was exquisite, and it seems that the town leader Rodrico Perez spared no expense to make this most impressive building. We had the luck to actually meet the Cardinal Torres who had to arrange for a missionary expedition led by a (deluded and doomed!) priest named Rafael Servia to Torath-Ka in hopes of establishing the worship of their god among the Ugaks. He even asked if we would help the church in this venture, but we were quite certain it was doomed to failure and cautioned against such an enterprise. He was quite confident and assured us that their god would protect them. Having seen one of the lesser Living Gods of the Ugaks up close in person, I am not quite so sure…

We also happened upon one of two swordmanship schools based in New Madrid, the one run by Juan Martinez that proudly bore his name. The other, rival school is named for the city itself. We toured Mr. Martinez’s facility with him as our guide. He told us that for an enrollment fee of $1000 and week of intense training, a character could improve their Fighting skill with the slashing blades (saber, cutlass, short- and longsword) and for another enrollment fee and further training could even unlock more potential. We were interested of course, but the fee would have been too much for us at present, and we informed Mr. Martinez of this sad fact but expressed our admiration of the school and said we would definitely keep it in mind when we could afford the training. We were interrupted by a gang of rascals from the New Madrid Fighting school, led by none other than a former student of Juan’s who had returned to seek his revenge and prove the worth of his steel by skewering him! Kraken Jack and I were determined not to just be helpless bystanders as they set upon him with flashing blades! To be continued…

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The Proposed Articles of the Neptune

This shall be the contract that all crew will sign upon joining the Neptune and they will be held towards its standards until the time that they depart from our company. There shall be two sides to the Neptune; the Company and the Crew. The Company is made of those who have survived the terrors of Torath-Ka and those that are invited into the Company. The Crew will be those who are hired by the Company. All Articles, unless duly noted, apply to all men and women aboard the Neptune.

Article 1: The Company shall hold all rights to votes in the moment and in planning. Every man and woman, however, shall have right to an equal share of food and strong liquor anytime they are seized, and shall use them at their own pleasure unless scarcity makes it necessary for the common good that a retrenchment may be voted amongst Crew and Company.

Article 2: The Company will share two shares with of any plunder or booty found with one another, splitting an additional three shares to the ship’s bank. The Crew shall receive fifty pieces of eight per month, one hundred pieces of eight towards those of unique skill or ability. Any found defrauding the Company or Crew of even a single piece of eight shall be marooned or given a suitable punishment decided by the Company and Crew. Any found robbing another shall have their nose and ears slit and shall be marooned on any island found or given another punishment deemed appropriate by the Company and Crew

Article 3: No gambling shall be had after leaving the shore, any found gambling on the ship shall be lashed forty times.

Article 4: The lights and candles will be put out at eight at night and if any wish to continue drinking they shall do so upon the deck with no light.

Article 5: Each man and woman shall keep their piece, cutlass, and pistols cleaned and ready at all times and be ready for any action.

Article 6: No man or woman who is not a member of the Crew, the Company, or a paying passenger will be brought on board and smuggled on. Any found doing so shall be marooned. None may make any push upon a prudent lady or gentleman without their consent. Any found doing so shall be put to death.

Article 7: Those that abandon the ship or their quarters in a time of battle shall be put to death or marooned.

Article 8: None shall strike another on the ship, but every man or woman’s quarrel shall be ended on shore by either sword or pistol. At the word of command by the quartermaster and in the view of at least two neutral members of the Company, those involved in the quarrel will take five steps, turn, and shoot. Any who violate this rule will be shot down by those observing. If both shall miss, they shall take to blades and the winner will be the one who draws the first blood.

((these are just ideas because I’m in a piratey mood. Let me know what you guy think! I’ll add on more when we’re actual privateers))

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Captain's Log #3

We arrived back within Brigandy Bay, selling the timber we have managed to scramble together to make a tidy profit. Unfortunately, it just never quite seems to be enough money to keep everything afloat. The crew will be wanting their pay and even the most disciplined of sailors must inevitably begin to try and unwind from the monotony of the sea.

We were able to make a deal with Saricks, offering him the collateral of Francois Lolonois’s sword and the chain-mail vest we had discovered by mere fortune. If the treasure that “Stumpy” Pete mentioned was as priceless as he said, we may have had enough to finally put a sizable hole within the debt we owe the scurillian. Unfortunately, it would seem that fate would not be kind to us these days.

We, while travelling along the coasts of the Whip Islands, were boarded by these strange octopus-like beings. A few scrambled up onto the deck, attacking us and blinding me with their terrible ink. Luckily, our crew was quite skilled in fighting them off and we continued on our way.

While we had been fortunate enough to have clear weather, one of the famous storms that Caribdus was known for stirred from the Flotsam Sea descended upon us. Father, you’d have scolded me for my foolishness but I think you’d be proud with how I navigated those treacherous waters. My crew helped save the ship, they’re fine gentlemen and ladies and I couldn’t be happier with any other crew. We sailed through the storm, using the wind to push us ahead of schedule.

We came across the island that “Stumpy” Pete had told us of, where supposedly some monstrous monkape had taken his legs. There was treasure to be had, for certain, but this beast was no ordinary creature. It smelled like death and flesh fell off of its form when I engaged with it. It was undead! By the spirits, I am ashamed to say that I ran in fear from the beast before I composed myself and returned to fight against it. It was with Gronk and Kraken Jack’s skills that we took down the monster. With it taken down, we plundered the treasure there but it was not the hoard we were promised. Barely 7,500 pieces of eight were there along with a handful of odd treasures; a figurehead with the imagery of an old god that the Visitors once worshiped called Poseidon, a strange triangular piece of gold, an elixir of some sort, as well as a shrunken head within a box that once opened said “My magic is yours to command but only against the three sisters.”. I can only assume it speaks of the Sea Hags and, if its magic is mighty, it’d be a powerful tool.

With these treasures though, we come to an impasse. We do not nearly have the treasure that “Stumpy” Pete had offered us, we are unsure of the value and power of the items we have found, and we have little extra money to show for it. With no super, proper trading is still out of our reach and our debt seems as intimidating as ever. Seratos and I believe that there may be something of value within the old Ograpog ruins of Kewayway, though stories say there is nothing there but the ghosts of dead Ugaks. While I worry of pushing my friends and crew into danger, we must pull ourselves out from under this debt if we are to survive and save Caribdus from sinking into the deep. We must take risks in order to survive!

I believe I will privately speak to “Stumpy” Pete about his “forgetfulness” and renegotiate our terms. It sickens me to do so in a threatening manner but I will protect the interests and well-being of my crew. We were promised treasures, we found no such thing. May the spirits watch over us.

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Senior Executive Assistant Quartermaster Boss Log - shark steaks

(Captain Darius Drak patiently scribes while his Grael companion dictates…)

We are sailing again on the new good ships. There is more crews for Gronk to tell jobs to do, but they cannot move anchors even after Gronk shows them how. So senior executive assistant quartermaster boss teached them to do other jobs and they learn them good, but Smiffs is still shaky shakes a lot.

(The flourishing penmanship of the captain abruptly ends, a few telltale drops of ink trailing off the last sentence. The following pages are filled with several crude drawings of stick figures and animals. Looking closely, a crew member would be able to discern the events on monkey island and the sharks on the voyage back to Brigandy Bay. The written journal begins once more after a few pages of the childlike drawings.)

It’s OK Captain Darius Drak, Gronk made some good picture stories while you went to do captain steerings. Made picture of island with the monkey face and stupid razor birds. Gronk wanted to make picture of climbing, but did not want to embarrassed skinny crew that can not to climb ropes or rocks. We finded cave with treasures box, then Gronk digged a hole and finded another treasures box.

Gronk did make picture of sharks because they are good taste and makes steaks to eat with grog. The first one was a big shark, not as big as one that bite Rebca but still big fin for lots of tasty soups. And Gronk got more sharks meat from little ones too. Oh, and we picked up shiny treasures on bottom to help pays for Neptune.

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Seratos' Notes
Current(!) Debts and Quests

Still owed on the Neptune 17K, provisions left 23 Days, monies in hand 1260 Doubloons, Cargo on board 3 units of Timber and 2 units of assorted Goods. If we sell all of these in Brigandy Bay, the Timber should fetch around 1200 and the Goods 600, bringing our available monies to 3060, but we should probably pay the crew of Equias, John Smith, and our newest member Stumpy Pete something to have a good time in the port as we intend on a long voyage next. We also should do another payment towards the Neptune but perhaps we can interest our patron in a share of Stumpy Pete’s treasure of blue diamonds to extend our loan payment. Since we have started into “unlicensed trading” (more commonly known as smuggling) our main attention has been to rely on shorter but lucrative endeavors but our next voyage will be a much longer one and signs point to even more extended ventures in our future.

One of our stops was in the very small port of Bluth’s Point, notable for the Standing Stones there and mages that study these ancient sources of magic. The mages were concerned that the Stones themselves were cracking and needed certain esoteric items to cast a spell to repair them. Since the Stones resonate to Elemental power, the items to repair them need to represent the Elements. A gallon of Water from the Flotsam Sea, a quantity of Lava from the Volcanic Mountain of Torath-Ka, a nugget of Gold from the Kehana Flumes, and a bottle of Air from the Croaker Mountains. We were promised not only reward monies (6K) but also 8 magical potions if we could secure these items. As the items are scattered far across the world, the mages agreed to partial payments whenever we could return one or more of the items to them.

We also have acquired a magical longsword (d8) of unknown history, and a vest of interlinked chains that is +2 Armor yet only weighs ten pounds when worn. Another interesting item of note is a small pouch of blue diamonds Stumpy Pete has hidden in one of his wooden legs. He has promised us a share of the main cache which is why we are undertaking our first long voyage on the Neptune.

There is an old Visitor saying I once heard that goes: “May you live in interesting times!”
Of course, it could also be considered a curse…

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