I’m going to shorten these up with just the essentials, since they take WAY too long to hammer out a play by play.
The party boards the ship and heads out, it’s quite a long trip and everything seems to be going well until Noc gets a whiff of something burning. He traces the smoke to the hold, which is barred by powerful magic, but the smoke is definitely coming from within. As he heads up to the deck to look for another way in, he signals to Elror (who has also realized something is amiss) to wake the rest of the party.
Elror wakes Gaheris and Sherman, as well as Llewellyn Dragonstaff and Alicia Thistledown. Everyone starts grabbing what they can in case they need to abandon ship.
Elror and Noc arrive topside and realize there is no crew, Elror deploys a swan boat while Noc scales down the side of the ship to a port window to the hold. Sherman arrives on scene and heads up the crow’s nest to see what he can see, spotting the crew rowing away silently some distance off.
Noc discovers many barrels of explosive powder in the hold, all with fuses lit. The port window is too small to enter, and he raises the alarm, there are only seconds left before the ship blows.
With no time to spare, the party makes it into the swan boat as the Sea Lance is ripped apart. After recovering from the explosion, they realize only Llewellyn Dragonstaff made it off the ship, Alicia Thistledown is lost. They give Dragonstaff two swan ships to get back to land, and spend a few hours diving for supplies and building a raft to tow behind the swan boat in case they are at see for a length of time. They discover that the ship had recently been renamed, it’s original name of The Wave Breaker was painted over with The Sea Lance.
When prepared, they head in the direction of the crew, reasoning that they were probably headed to land or a ship. It turns out to be land, the Isle of Tortage.
Tortage is a volcanic island approximately 100 miles long and 50 miles wide. The northern side of the island is dominated by a moderately sized volcano that is not entirely stable. The danger of eruption is low since the pressure is being constantly relieved through several vents, which results in a near constant trickle of lava from the volcano down to the sea. The increase in heat from the volcano has created a tropical jungle like environment, completely unlike the climates of the neighboring islands. With the danger from the volcano being low, and the climate being warm and humid, one would think the island would have been claimed by the empire centuries ago.
Tortage is a hot, humid, muggy jungle in every way. The heat from the island itself meets the colder air in the atmosphere and creates a climate of daily rainfall, with the highest rain accumulation in the colder typical months and the lowest in the warmest. It being summer, rainfall is @ 0.5 inches per day, but the condensation on the plants and trees give the impression of a near constant drizzle. This time of year it typically rains 26 days of the month.
Another side effect of the warmer air is the cloud of mist that hangs low over the island, obscuring anything past the shore with the exception of the faintly glowing volcano that juts up above the mist line.
Daytime temperatures can reach 94 degrees this time of year, dropping to 74 degrees at night.
Dangers of Tortage
The natives of Tortage are a tribe of cannibalistic pygmy’s. They live in rustic settlements and speak a language wholly different from anything spoken anywhere else, punctuated with grunts, clicks, and occasional screams. They are exceedingly stealthy, preferring to attack from ambush with poisoned darts and spears. They eat vegetation and fruit, but prefer meat when they can get it.
Animal life on Tortage is also unlike any other neighboring island, with large lizards and powerful feline predators. There are also non-dangerous animals such as monkeys and colorful parrots.
Many of the plants in Tortage are poisonous when eaten, it’s not recommended that anything be eaten unless you are familiar with the flora.
The party finds the crew bound on the shore and being accosted by Honest Jack the Liar. They gain Jacks trust and learn that Jack used to be called just “Honest Jack,” but while captured by a notable captain in the Royal Navy, it was discovered that he was breaking out of his cell in the brig every night and laying with the Captain’s betrothed. When interrogated about it he refused to speak, deciding instead to preserve the lady’s modesty. The Captain added the moniker of ‘the liar’ and since it sounded amusing it stuck.
Honest Jack the Liar is actually an honest man, from what you’ve heard his word is his bond. He also despise those that don’t keep their word and many a royal ship has been plundered just due to the reputation of the captain’s.
Figuring that the crew was coming here for pickup, and determining that they were under some sort of enhanced geas, the party and Jack set a trap for the rescue crew. The PC’s would dress as the last survivors of the crew and board the rescue ship, giving time for Noc to scuttle it and the pirate’s to take it over.
While Noc was scuttling the ship however, the rest of the party realized that the rescue ship wasn’t affiliated with the crew that blew up the Sea Lance/Wave Breaker. In fact, they had been pointed in this direction via an anonymous tip from a passing sail boat. This complicated matters when the pirates came around the island and proceeded with their takeover.
The party was ushered below deck when the fighting began, and it became quickly apparent that the mythically powered Captain Jack was able to command his crew in a way that made them a devastatingly cohesive unit, and the royal navy was no match.
In an attempt to stop all out warfare, Noc launched a surprise attack on the royal captain, bloodying him but not incapacitating him before leaping over the side of the ship and disappearing into the water. The rest of the party came up and through diplomacy and bit of Sherman’s bardic magic, talked the royal captain into surrendering.
As they were putting the crew of the rescue ship ashore, they realized there were blood curdling screams coming from the other crew that was tied up just within the jungle. Running in they found several of the prisoners being dragged into the dense foliage by pygmy cannibals. Dispatching the pygmy’s was easier said than done, while not tough they employed potent poisons.
When all was taken care of, Honest Captain Jack agreed to drop the party off a little down the coast from the Gorgorond port of Sthenos.
EXP Gained: 2800
Increase with Honest Captain Jack the Liar for keeping your word
Increase with Captain Lang Helton of the Royal Navy for not letting on that you were working with Captain Jack and talking sense into him before his crew was completely slaughtered.