Day 203: Hangovers And HieroglyphsEdit
The crew is on their way to Beggar's Cove. It's Level Up Day as well! (HP Gains: 4,2,4)
Lily detects magic on the box and... it's Magic! (EL: Strong reading, though the type is unspecified). She then casts Knock on it. It doesn't open. Further inspection of the box reveals a sigil on the bottom and glowing characters.
Lily produces fake contracts for Frank and his friend who're sleeping things off in the hold. Frank wakes up and stumbles upstairs to meet his new...captains? After much confusion and all, Frank stumbles downstairs, finds James, and goes back up to continue the discussion. December all but threatens Frank and James' lives. They get press-ganged into service, though the free meal and rum seem to make them feel decent about their position.
Day 206: Monkey StewEdit
The ship arrives in Rockdale (EL: *cough* This trip actually took 4 days instead, because... we got confused about where we actually were.) Which is on the larger size of towns they've visited. The crew disembarks to get drunk (standard). The ladies go looking for healing potions, being out of clerics on hand. They're directed to a shaman who lives outside of town in a forest-y area.
They come across a hut in the forest, which presumably is where the shaman lives. It's very... shamany. (EL: Neal's word, not mine.) Lily calls out rather than knocking on the deer skin.
The man exits the hut. Short (4'11), portly fellow who has little hair and a bad british accent. (EL: So... it's Friar Tuck.) December leads the way, as the assassin always the most diplomatic. He invites them in.
Inside the hut, the man apparently is making dinner in a stewpot, which smells... somewhat off. He's got a lot of interesting things in jars, including a jar of eyeballs which catches Fe's attention.
The man digs around for a moment, returning with two flasks containing a blue, bubbling liquid. He claims them to be Healing potions. He doesn't however trade in gold, but in pretty things.
December offers rare mushrooms, or jewels. He eventually introduces himself as Taxtax. (EL: ....nope. No comment.) and offers the girls some dinner. Three bowls of Monkey Stew coming up! Fe is reminded of Frank (no not that one, the other one), but that doesn't stop her from eating the stew. Taxtax says he'd trade all the potions he could make for a talking monkey. So would Fe.
December shares conversation about her horse and falconry. Taxtax likes to talk about animals as noble creatures that should be free. Eventually they head back to the ship to gather trading goods, and then back to Taxtax, lantern in hand as night has now fallen.
Taxtax seems interested in the rare mushrooms, and the jewellery from the jeweller's wife. He likes it, but doesn't value the jewellery high enough to trade a potion for it. He however becomes VERY interested in the description of the statued form of Kylia. Fe immediately begins praying when the discussion of trade for their former companion. December and Lily start to warm to the idea, and begin justifying it to themselves. Taxtax is interested. He offers 2 health potions and a potion of Mist Form.
TIL: The Nealiverse contains sex slaves. (EL: And here is where the episode starts to get away from us a bit.)
The ladies depart with the agreement to return the next day with the statue.
Back at the ship, the crew reunites... minus Frank and James, who have bailed. The captains return to the bar where the crew had been drinking, but don't see Frank and James. They move on to a second bar, which features a naked woman dancing on the bar, but no Frank and James. And the third and final bar, but still no joy. the check the hotels,but still nothing. They give up on the deserters and return to the ship.
Day 207: Human (Well, Elf) TraffickingEdit
With the aid of their crew (and an extra rum ration for each), they haul the statue of Kylia down to Taxtax's hut. They make the trade for the potions, which December taste tests to identify them.
Lily takes dictation from December for a note to Ky: "Hi Ky, we're so happy that you are unpetrified. Please don't be mad at us for leaving you with this Shaman, we think he has a better chance of reviving you than we do. Also we're afraid if our ship sinks, you might end up at the bottom of the ocean, and noone wants that. We will be at Beggar's Cove, and will try to check back on you every once in a while. Just ask around for Captain Anemoi and hopefully we'll see you soon. PS: BFF's 4eva XOXO. PPS: Fe was not a part of this -Fe"
Lily casts Read Magic on the box's inscription, which reads "Protected by Jasper the Bold." they ask their mercenary friend who Jasper the Bold is, but he doesnt know. They return to their ship, and make for Beggar's Cove.
Day 218: Roll For CleavageEdit
The ship arrives at Sunken Landing. Jefferson explains that this is a pirate haven, away from the arm of the law. He advises caution; there's definitely bigger fish than them in this pond. He shoots Lily a wink, and suggests he might be interested in returning to the ship when they leave port.
Now that they're safe on land though, Jefferson lays down the gauntlet; a 1 on 1 drinking game with Fe in one of the local watering holes; in doing so he hits on her too.
The city is about what you'd expect for a pirate town; fairly torn up and unkempt. An excess amount of topless women, rum, and stolen goods will do that to a town.
Jefferson shows them around town, starting off in his favourite drinking hole - Kraken. He adds into the 'rules' that Sunken Landing is meant to be a place of peace among pirates. Then again, barfights are barfights.
The place smells of stale ale, sweat, and unwashed clothing. So basically a college dorm. There's a group of elves dancing on a table.
The Drinking Game: Jefferson orders 20 shots, setting them down on a table. Basically a challenge of CON. The two agree to put a little wager on the side - a big kiss for Jefferson if he wins, or a slave for a day for Fe if she wins. Jefferson... has a really, really poor showing, almost immediately going down to his drinks. Must be all that sea travel. Even Lily manages to out-drink him using the leftover shots. December follows Lily's lead, though she ends up more drunk than the halfling.
December has a drunken breakdown, mumbling about not knowing what to do and it being December (the month), and not wanting to kill the priest-kid with the poison. She keeps talking about "Them" coming after her and the others.
At this point, a drunk pirate shows up to try and hit on Fe. (EL: This sparks a "Roll for Cleavage" diversion that... for purely historical documentation purposes, results in Fe having a C cup and Lily having a B. Anna elects not to roll and instead specifies that December is average.)
The man is completely wasted, and very badly tries to pick them up like prostitutes. December, still rather drunk, is rather intent on killing him and taking his money. Fe decides to say she's... setup for the evening with Jefferson. He changes targets to December, who... is more likely to stab than accept. He tries Lily, but she isn't interested in being third fiddle, so he wanders off to find better targets. December still wants to murder. Fe scans around for potential crewmembers, but everyone here's drunk.
Picking up Jefferson, Fe starts to haul him out to take him back to the ship. No one seems to notice that Fe is carrying a man. Most of the way out, they remember to go pull December along with them. Lily gives December a hug.
Hammerfist is aboard when the crew returns, and asks them what they're doing here. He complains about their purses being empty while the captains are full. Lily mentions a lead from the dwarven note. Hammerfist wants a raise, he's gotta make his fortunes somehow, especially now that he can't fight. The Crew will now be cut in on takings, but Hammerfist is assigned as morale officer and dispenser of the crew cut.
Consulting the map, Fe discovers that there is a place called "Ironrock Mountain" on it. Might possibly be what the note meant by "under the iron rock". Just possibly.
Day 219: A Tyrant RisesEdit
Jefferson seeks out Fe in the morning to say that was just a warm-up, and that he'll challenge her again. They decide to go into town, using Jefferson as a guide.
When they mention that they're looking for crew, he says he can assuredly find them one... when they specify a Minotaur, he points out the gladiatorial arena 'over yonder hill'.
The stands are empty when they arrive, no shows currently going on, but the halfling behind the counter shows the group down to the workout area where the gladiators are working out.
Lily asks who the best fighter around is, and the halfling singles out a dwarf. The ladies speak to him, but he doesnt seem interested in small time pirates, which he judges the ladies to be. So they move on to the minotaurs. One says he needs to beat a man bloody once a week. December hears a whisper from the Minotaur also. He agrees to sign up for the job under the mountain. The other scoffs and elects to stay in the arena.
The new Minotaur is named Tyrant (EL: Which immediately causes Anna to call him Jaedong). Appearance 9. He mentions a minotaur island, but the ladies don't follow it up.
Heading back to town, Lily tries to seek out wizards here in Sunken Landing. The main one is apparently very scary. She instead visits some minor wizards to find level 2 and 3 spells.
Back on the ship, the ladies have a crew meeting to announce that the crew will be receiving a share of the plunder, and that Hammerfist will be responsible for distributing their share. The ship is resupplied also at this time.
December and Fe take their horses out for a ride to get them off the ship and stretch their legs. Lily hangs out with Jefferson, but her lack of showering leads to some off-put comments. Jefferson then goes to Fe when she returns, and says he'll honour their bet, entirely throwing Fe off her game into embarassment. She elects to spar with him, which he seems absolutely fine with wrestling with her. Lily and December watch. (EL: I imagine December's more interested in watching the fighting techniques. Lily, on the other hand, is more interested in Jefferson without a shirt....) Fe easily defeats him.
Fe tells the defeated Jefferson that he can bring her another beer later. He volunteers a massage with it, throwing her off again. (EL: Neal at this point invents a new word: Recruition.)
As the ship sets sail, Fe and Lily sit down with December and discuss the previous night's ramblings. She is reluctant to speak, but does so. It turns out she wasn't in the best of standing with the Nameless Ones when she left. They sent her on a final test, which was meant to be complete by the end of December. She doesn't know what will happen to her. Those that failed their tests had their lives forfeited. Those that didn't complete their tasks had their lives forfeited. No prizes for guessing what happens if someone tries to leave the order. If she disappears, they may send assassins after her, and indirectly the rest of the crew. Or they might think she is dead.
December elaborates on what their order did; namely maintain balance between good and evil. If there's too much good, good must be eliminated, likewise for bad. Currently, there's a boy-priest who is doing too much good in Charndale; the city is almost free of crime, and there's no balance there. This is why December carries the poison with her. She doesn't want to go back to the Nameless Ones. Fe suggests recruiting the kid, making him bad, which would restore balance. December mentions that the person who changed her life view was named Boris. Fe suggests they turn for Ironrock Mountain; that they can't affect the boy's fate. The ship sets sail.
Day 220: Shouldn't Have Had The FishEdit
A day out of port, the crew gets sick, except the Captains. And Hammerfist. And the orc and minotaur. (EL: The exceptions list grew quickly), forcing an emergency return to port. Suddenly, the ladies hear a bird-like sound (EL: The secret signal!)
COMBAT. SORT OF.: Three Hippogrifs are divebombing for the ship. Lily unleashes the magical power of... a stinking cloud. She drives two of them off with the cloud, and magic missiles followed by a sleep spell bring down the third into the ocean. All this before the hippogrif manages to land on the deck. (EL: And this is a big reason why we'll be switching to 2nd Edition initiative style next week.)
The BanaNARS pulls up alongside the distraught hippogrif, and Fe eventually manages to lasso it. December asks the minotaur about hippogrifs and he says they do have some on the island (EL: Second reference to the island that doesn't go questioned), but if they're not young or females laying eggs, they're pretty worthless. The crew hauls it up, which gets it's wings out of water and it attempts to take off, which is unsuccessful due to 5 people holding him down.
December tries to feed the hippogrif to calm it down, but it's not interested as it's being pinned down by ropes. After debate of Unseen Servants,and the value of their catch (or lack thereof), they agree to kill it. The orc slices it in half, and now they've got hippogrif meat for the journey.
- Recap from EtoileLion on reddit. Editorial notes are theirs.