We ended the last session with the PC's having pulled an accidental Yojimbo. They were rescued from shipwreck by the Captain of the Falling Star and his crew of skeletons. At the same moment, the Falling Star was attacked by a Nudibranch-Man and his Crab-Man associates who were apparently chasing thieves.
Having survived the mutual annihilation of these groups, murdered the Captain and freed his slaves, the PC's find them selves apparent masters (mistresses really) of the Falling Star.
Jepta Crunt - Highly competent revolver-armed widow of the famed explorer Captain Crunt, who first mapped the Melstrom of the Leviathan Mind. Worshiper of Man-Pac. Played by Chris H.
Busla Rant - An old woman with Iron Eyes and a magnetic telescope, mistress, or as she would put it, 'friend' of the fearsome but mute White Ape.
The White Ape - Physically fearsome, intellectually astute, noble in character, yet voiceless and considered little but a churl. A damned Liberal and Radical, unlike his player David McGrogan.
Barlang Rift - Horribly burnt former blood whore for vampires. Ably portrayed by Dan Voyce
Jepta and the White Ape decide to heard the 12 slaves of the Vampire Captain below decks to attempt to plug the hole in the ships side. On the mid-deck they encounter the three passengers of the Falling Star:
Tranquility Zooth - A seleinain or sub-luniary woman. She is always closely veiled. Her veil is made from strings of blue amber and inside each amber gem is a silver moth frozen. A white-gold light seems to emanate from within.
Tranquility has been seeking her husband Torgos Zooth in the Veins of the Earth, but so far unsuccessful, she has decided to return home to her city of Selenium, a crowd of sliver spires perched mid way up one of the vast iron chains that bind the Imprisoned Moon.
Juglangsing Leptoblast - A likable, eccentric and alcoholic naturalist who claims to be an expert in stick-fighting. He seeks to get ‘underneath the world’, he is seeking the home of the Unglulix, a creature that no-one but him has ever seen and which he claims comes ‘from beneath things’. Because of this he will permit no gaps beneath things while he is alone.
Karvash Bloom - A dark-skinned man who claims to be a 'Fire Dervish' from the Hypogea, a distant school of magic. He seeks knowledge of the Palaces of Fire and access to them and is also travelling to distant Selinium, the city of the Sub-Luniary men. Though he says little of this to anyone.
Jepta meets Leptoblast first and her offhand remarks about the Captains 'disappearance' while idly cleaning the blood from the barrel of her perhaps still-smoking revolver, make it clear that the ship has a new Mistress now.
Entering the cabins of the passengers. Jepta and the Ape encounter Tranquility Zooth. The two women form an unlikely bond, Jepta is a widow and Tranquility is looking for her lost husband. Barlang Rift arrives from the upper decks (Dan Arrives) and Busla wakes up on her Apes back (Richie arrives.) Karvash Bloom breaks his silence to remind the PC's that the ship is still actively on fire.
In the hold, the team work quickly to put out the flames and manage to stop the fire before it reaches the ships supply of Whale Oil. All except for Barlang, who pokes around for things to steal while everyone else works, taking a reasonably effective inventory at the same time.
At this stage a political argument breaks out between Busla and her ape on one side and Barlang Rift on the other. The teams radicals regard the slaves of the Vampire Captain as poor wretches in need of assistance and yearning for freedom. Barlang Rift, the more politically conventional PC, and former Vampire addict himself, regards them with suspicion and has half a mind to assume ownership of them as booty.
Frustrated by this, Jepta decides to explore the rest of the ship.Arriving on the top deck she sees a gleam in the sky to darkwards. She visits the galley to feed herself and encounters a woman made of porcelain who is making a meal. Leaving the porcelain woman alone, Jepta eats herself and then follows it out as it leaves.
There she encounters the one remaining Skeleton and orders it in Lament to collect all the dropped objects from the dead bodies on deck. It does so, building a pile of bronze swords and Crab Claws
This takes her to the Captains cabin. Tranquility Zooth has already moved herself in and is rifling the Captains papers in search of clues. They seem to be written in some sort of code. The two commiserate again about their mutual positions, Tranquility confides that she too has been saddled with travelling with a bunch of idiots and reveals that she found a case of explosive and a caged raven in the Captains bedroom.
Jepta returns belowdecks. As she crosses the main deck she sees again the gleaming sky to darkwards, apparently bigger than before. In the hold she encounters her friends engaged in the same argument as previously. Barlang alleges that freeing the slaves will put them all in danger of chaos and revenge killings. The White Ape regards this as an argument similar to that endorsed by Thomas Jefferson, though since the Ape is mute and no-one here knows who Thomas Jefferson is anyway this opinion carries little weight.
After coming to some kind of compromise about the (former?) slaves, the team attempt to go abovedecks, only to encounter a MothStorm. Jepta is briefly incapacitated by the dust from the moths wings and Leptoblast idly discloses a rumor that pirates in the Nightmare Sea will often follow a MothStorm in order to fall upon those who the storm has already passed over.
I forget exactly who saw what first but over the next hour or so of sailing the team becomes increasingly aware of two things.
There is an island within reachable distance. An extinct volcano with steep sides faces to Moonward, on the darkwards side a long plane stretches down to the shore. The upper slopes seem to have windmills. The plain itself is a forest of fan fungi, stromatolites and land coral draped with Dream lichen. As they get closer the team see that the accessible shoreline is a tangled mangrove of white coral trees draping poisoned neamocytes into the ocean.
The approaching ship is indeed that of Pirates, and of an unusual design. Two large masts reach up directly out of the water and support a vast labyrinth of sail and rope in an ultra-complex cats-cradle.
The 'hull' of the ship exists entirely below the surface. Crewed by Crab-Men, Anemone-Men, Outcast Olm, Lamprey-Dwarves and Pale Craymen, the hull is open to the ocean and covered with bio-luminescent growths, it trails long, glowing man-o-war tendrils behind it.
The crew make every effort to put on more sail, despite the fact that none of them know how to raise or store the sails, in order to escape the pirate ship.
As they approach the island, tirbespeople come out on their Cockroach-shell canoes, though how they move past the islands poisoned mangove shore is unknown.
The two ships converge and the crew of the Falling Star have a few rounds in which to make use of their ships catapult and two ballistia. The Pirate ship, though it seems to be much better manned, has no long range weapons that can do structural damage to the Falling Star. The PC's make good use of their advantage, catapulting barrels of Whale oil into the enemy rigging with Karvash Bloom the Fire Dervish igniting them in the air.
This works well once before Bloom accidentally ignites the second barrel too close to the Falling Star, setting the ship on fire again.
Despite this, concentrated fire from the Star manages to significantly damage the above-water parts of the Pirate vessel. However, nothing the PC's have access to can do any damage to the below-water parts of the ship which still approaches under its own motive power.
At the last moment, Captain Jepta Crunt remembers the explosive in the Captains cabin. Commandeering some slaves she drags it out, sets a fuse within and they hurl it over the side as a depth charge. This does some further damage to the Falling Star but has a much worse effect on the enemy ship, splintering its submersed elements and bringing a flotsam of hull, barnacles and dead bodies to the surface while the rest sinks into the dark.
Just before the ship collapses, the Captain leaps onto the deck of the Falling Star revealing himself to be the famed Caecus Pirate Captain Nondico
Armed with his murder-glove and spider-gun, he challenges Captain Crunt to a duel. She accepts and then calmly betrays him, he is shot and hit from behind by Barlangs hatchet before Crunt blows off his longest finger, the blood loss finishes him for good.
A sad end for a famed terror of the seas.
As the Pirate ship seems to sink, the Falling Star is boarded by the Cockroach Canoe islanders, long, rangy figures with tattooed bodies and violently blue eyes who seems to be worshipers of Zoophoria. The crew are acclaimed with cries of 'Whoop Whoop' and Jepta Crunt and Busla Rant are acclaimed as 'Monster Mothers'.
Here the game ends, for now. The Falling Star is badly damaged and barely holding together. Though they know enough to make sail, no-one on the crew knows how to raise the sails, stow them, or how to stop the ship.
The Crew and Contents of the Falling Star so far amount to:
STATS – 4HP (10 total) Armour 1, BallistaX2 (d4), Catapult (d6)
12 badly aenemic (ex?) slaves.
1 Skeleton, its nature and character unknown.
10 crates of Macemaker Silk, the main cargo, somewhat burnt, damage and value unknown.
9 (now 7) barrels of whale oil – 2 days of light ship-wide per barrel
20 Small Cargoes-
A basket of Moths is rumored to be held somewhere in the ship.
Extra bedrooms currently full of cords and one Bone China Golem belonging to Tranquillity Zooth
Captains Cabin – High status clothes. No mirror. Ancient portrait, Caged Raven STR 4, D4 claws (non lethal), chest of explosives under the bed (used), case of wines (strangely un-investigated)
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