El Pollo Diablo heading to battle

El Pollo Diablo heading to battle

The crew roster having been established, let us cast off. The officers of El Pollo Diablo found themselves in Five Fingers with a ship in need of repairs and not even enough money to pay the docking fees. Fortunately they soon made contact with a local gangster – ostensibly head of the local stevedore’s union – who needed a ship to return “stolen” goods. These goods were, apparently, “stolen” from the Golden Crucible, the monopoly producers of black powder and other alchemical wonders in Caen. Furthermore, these goods were of such crucial importance that the union organizer in question was willing to pay to refit our heroes’ boat, give them a sizable cash reward, and arrange a Letter of Marque that would offer them warranty as privateers (and thus indemnify them against claims for the goods they hijacked). All they had to do was ambush a ship called Urcean’s Call, captained by a popular and famous man called Captain Mayhorn, and steal its cargo.

The PCs, naturally being solidly pro-union, and not seeing any reason to be distrustful of a powerful man who works on the docks at Five Fingers, naturally agreed. Also they needed the money.

Alyvia and Carmichael

Alyvia and Carmichael

El Pollo Diablo was soon ready for the tide, and while they waited for the ship to be prepared our heroes investigated the Urcean’s Call‘s itinerary. It appeared this ship would be making a long journey along the ports of Khador, then heading out to the deep ocean to pass around Cryx and far south towards Mennoth. If they could get its course they could easily ambush it on the high seas, northwest of Cryx, by pretending to be a ship in distress. No one would ever be any the wiser …

They sent Carmichael the warcaster north on a fast train. He met the ship on its passage north and arranged to join it as a warcaster, most important of crew. By the time it reached the northern town of Ohk the PCs were waiting, and Carmichael had stolen its shipping plans. He had also managed to gain control of one of its two warjacks. Carmichael stayed onboard the Urcean’s Call when it put out from Ohk, knowing full well that his friends would ambush it on its long journey southward …

Battle was joined on the high seas a week’s voyage out of Ohk. El Pollo Diablo wallowed in the swell, sending off smoke signals of distress, until noticed and approached by Urcaen. When she was pulling alongside the crew of the devil chicken unleashed a broadside, and battle was joined. Carlass and Hrif the Younger leapt over the railings to the deck, while Sharajin called upon Menoth’s wrath to lay fire on her enemies, and Alyvia fired from the deck. Hrif they Younger laid about with his huge axe, slaying crewmen five at a time. As Carlass, Alyvia, Sharajin and Hrif kept the crew beaten down Captain Breaker charged into the cabin of Captain Mayhorn. He unleashed a volley from one of the ship’s cannons – which he carried under one giant arm – but somehow it hit a pillar and rebounded, smashing Breaker to the deck. A strange battle followed as Carmichael tried to join the fight with his warjack, but the four of them could not fit into the captain’s cabin. The battle ended, however, when Hrif and Carlass emerged from belowdecks dragging the last of the ship’s crew. Carlass ordered the captain to stand down or Hrif would begin eating his crew; he refused; Hrif cheerfully began munching on a gunner.

Captain Mayhorn surrendered when he heard the gunner’s screams and saw Hrif cracking the still-living man’s legs and sucking out the warm marrow. The remaining 15 crew members, though shying away from the horrific sounds and sight of Hrif’s hunger, were not so foolish as to not see what happened next: Carmichael, showing neither joy nor sorrow, coolly cut Mayhorn’s throat before anyone with conscience could intervene, and the once-loved captain expired in a pool of ignominy on the deck of his own ship.

A hush descended over the decks. This act would, no doubt, have far-reaching consequences. The captive crew’s anger was guaranteed, as was the wrath of Mayhorn’s family and allies. But the characters had the ship…

In the aftermath of the raid they checked the cargo they had been sent to steal, and found it to be many vials of treatment against a vial disease often spread by the undead of Cryx. They took enough of the cargo to supply their own needs, and then arranged to sell it to the teamster. Their mission had been a success, they now had a galleon and a lot of money, but something sat ill with them … a feeling that they had done wrong, that they had stolen the wrong cargo and killed the wrong man. What, exactly, had they started?

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