10th Simanu, Year 506, Second Age (SA)
The player characters lay low with the children for several hours, though Koomara Hadansi (Angela) and Calfuray (Joanne) go out to scout out the lay of the land as well as get some food for themselves and the others. While they are gone, Sahauviia the Green (Kathy), Mahoo of Aquaga (Nick), Sadikar al Tarnufeh (Tom), and Orga Queld (David) discuss what their next step should be. Melucene Palleremos (Ellie) is annoyed at them, as they're not including her in the discussion, and a trite Sahauviia involves her in the discussion. Once Koomara and Calfuray return to the warehouse, the two women tell the others what they've learned: the hunt for them on the part of the dockside patrols is over, for now, but word has it that the captain of the Black Salamander has put out a bounty on the head of the "fire mage" who attacked his vessel. While the characters and the children eat some food, the rest of the characters tell Koomara and Calfuray what the group has decided to do.
Melucene, Sahauviia, and Sadikar walk to the Silver Chahut Pleasure House to learn what is really going on with Padaru, Sojun, and the rest of the children. Arriving at the brothel, Sahauviia tells one of the guards at the entrance that she has busines with his mistress. The guard is taken aback, but goes and tells the concierge, Hugo, about the matter and eventually the three player characters are told that Jinvana will see them. Jinvana Chahut is an attractive woman, and she is willing to discuss the matter when Melucene assuages any ill feelings she might have for them when they tell her that they know where Padaru, Sojun, and the others can be found. She tells Sahauviia and the others that her brother, Ptolus, was slain by the children when they escaped, Sojun specifically, and that she can't let the crime go unpunished. The others are welcome to return to their work at the brothel, however. Melucene vehemently tells her that she can't let that happen, and the brothel owner takes offense at this "child's bearing" and has the three player characters escorted out of the brothel. [She orders that several of her guards follow the characters back to see where they've got the children.]
Back at the warehouse, Mahoo and Orga debate the wisdom of the others taking on their tasks without their physical presence. The children are huddled together, seeking warmth, as the evening promises to be somewhat cold. One of the children, Hevera, comes up to the characters and says that Padaru isn't there; he left the warehouse, saying that he had to "make matters right". Cursing in Lemurian, Orga tells Mahoo to gather his weapons; they need to find the boy before he makes a terrible mistake. The two cautiously exit the warehouse, and after questioning a passerby about the location of the Silver Chahut Pleasure House, make their way in that direction. So intent are they on their task that they are oblivious to two dockside guards who spot them.
Calfuray (still suffering somewhat from her wounds in the skirmish with the guards) and Koomara travel back dockside to the Lady of Hesperia. They find the vessel still in port and that the crew are loading the ship with all manner of goods for the trip to Mestea and points somewhat to the north and east. They are in luck, as Captain Frake is present. Taken aboard the ship under escort, Koomara senses that the captain and crew are nervous about events on the dock earlier, and that there is some sort of tension aboard the ship. Captain Frake is friendly enough; when they inform him that there are several children that they would like the vessel to carry to its next port of call, Mestea, Frake wants to know if they'll work their passage. Koomara and Calfuray exchange glances, and then tell Frake that the children will do so if no other means of funding their passage can be arranged. Frake is agreeable to this arrangement, and informs the characters that the Lady of Hesperia will leave dock close to 10 o'clock that night. Once the characters and the captain shake on it, Calfuray and Koomara head back to the warehouse to let the others know a deal has been arranged. As they walk along the dock near the Lady of Hesperia, Koomara's sharp senses spot several scruffy looking types watching the dock traffic at this hour of the night. They remind her of the Amphisians who attacked Melucene on the dockside earlier in the day. They hurry back to the warehouse.
Sahauviia, Sadikar, and Melucene return to the warehouse, oblivious to the fact that they've been followed by some of Jinvana's men. They are met by the terrified children, and Hevera tells Sahauviia that Orga and Mahoo have gone in search of the missing Padaru. Sahauviia curses in Atlantean, and she tells Melucene to remain at the warehouse while she and Sadikar go after the two non-humans and the boy. Melucene protests vehemently, but Sahauviia soothes her by telling her that someone has to remain and guard the rest of the children; she is mollified by that. Sadikar and Sahauviia set off in the evening air.
Koomara and Calfuray are returning to the area of the warehouse when they spot several men, obviously checking the children's hiding spot out. When they call out the fellows, the brothel guards from the Silver Chahut Pleasure House turn on them, and the two women must fight. The struggle is short and to the point, the two women being more than a match for the guards. The guards attempt to flee, but Koomara's bow skills prove more than a match for the them, though she regrets having had to kill them, as while she doesn't know all the laws of Tartessos, she suspects that killing its citizens carries a heavy penalty. She gathers up her arrows, and then she Calfuray return to the warehouse, where they find Melucene getting frustrated with her babysitting duty.
Using the cover of night, Mahoo takes to the skies using his flight abilities, and with his keen senses spots the boy, Padaru, being forcibly taken by four of the guards from the Silver Chahut Pleasure House. He returns to inform Orga, and the Lemurian and the Ulukan hasten to catch up to them. They find themselves outnumbered, as several other brothel guards have joined them, but the odds are evened in the fight as Sadikar and Sahauviia join them. The fight goes very simply after that, with the player characters overwhelming the brothel guards, and driving them off, telling them to take a message back to Jinvana that they no longer need to concern themselves with the childrens' "welfare". Padaru, a bit worse for the wear, is grateful for their help, and after briefing each other on what has happened, the player characters start to make their way back to the warehouse with the young man. They are confronted by the dock guards on their way back, but a frustrated and angry Sahauviia puts the three guards to sleep with a spell. The characters arrive back at the warehouse to find it deserted. Sahauviia says that Melucene must have taken the children to the Lady of Hersperia, and Orga says that perhaps it is time that they joined them.
Sahauviia, Mahoo, Sadikar, and Orga arive at the docking berth of the Lady of Hesperia to find that Calfuray and Koomara are already there. The latter informs the others that Melucene is already on board with the children, helping them get settled, and she directs Padaru (who just arrived with the former three) to go aboard and join the rest of them. Padaru does so, and the player characters breathe a sigh of relief as the last of the children board the ship. Their contentment is short-lived, as several ruffians arrive on the scene, swords drawn. One of them addresses the Atlantean sorceress, saying that he has come from the Black Salamander with his men to get a measure of satisfaction for her attack on his ship. Orga, Calfuray, and Sadikar recognise him as the first mate of the Black Salamander, Helvek Cardon, and with that, the battle is joined. Mahoo and the others notice that several of the crew of the Lady of Hesperia are observing the soon-to-be fight, but are not getting involved in it.
Cardon and the other pirates charge the player characters who respond by spreading out a bit, though Orga remains relatively close to Sahauviia. Sahauviia fights her man to a relative draw, matching his sword moves with her quarterstaff. She knows that she cannot go with him too long, as she's just not a fighter. However, she's got no room or time to cast magic in such close quarters. Mahoo's speed and ability to dodge the pirate allow him to gain the upper hand, and he dispatches his opponent relatively quickly. Sadikar fights his opponent, but the scholar is no match for the pirate, and he takes several wounds. Calfuray holds her own during the fight, her dodging ability giving her a bit of an edge, but she starts to tire. Koomara is able to hold her own against her opponent, inflicting some serious damage to him, and making him a bit hesitant in the fight. Orga holds his own adequately, and dispatches his first opponent quickly, the ape-man wielding his devastating hammer to superb effect. Orga quickly goes to Sahauviia's assistance, while Mahoo goes to fight off the opponent on Sadikar. Captain Frake finally dispatches several of his men to help the characters, and the pirates are routed rapidly after that, most of them dead, the others fleeing down the docks, including Helvek Cardon.
The player characters grab up their gear, and board the Lady of Hesperia, Captain Frake's first mate, Abular, showing them to quarters aboard ship, near where the children have been quartered. Melucene is happily reunited with the injured Sahauviia and the others. She learns what happened to them, while Calfuray treats the seriously injured Sadikar and Sahauviia. When Orga asks why Frake didn't send his men until late in the skirmish, Frake replies that he wanted to see if the characters could hold their own in a fight. Once he determined they could, he sent a few of his men to help them mop up the pirates sent by Black Jack Martool, and that's the end of that. Frake says that they've made a bad and cruel enemy in Martool. Orga and Frake regard each other, and the Lemurian says they have an understanding.
Some time late that night, Koomara and several of the others stand on the deck of the Lady of Hesperia as the ship moves out into open ocean. Orga comments that he's not sure what the Gods have in store for them, but that it was Fate that brought him to Sahauviia's side. When Sadikar asks what that's about, his scholar's curiosity aroused, the Lemurian tells him that he'll find out when the time is right. Mahoo and Koomara have a chat, discussing the children and what to do with them. Neither draws a satisfactory conclusion, but perhaps the Gods will reveal their plan for Melucene and the other children when they reach Mestea. Sahauviia overhears them, and merely comments that Melucene's fate is not with the children of Tartessos. They all regard the darkness and the open sea, as the Lady of Hesperia moves through the inky deeps.
THE END... for now.
And that wrapped up the Friday night group's first adventure in the Antediluvian world. The Atlantis: The Second Age game session with the Friday group went really well, and was quite entertaining in all the right ways. The players are having a pretty good time of it, finally getting into the sword & sorcery feel of the game, but are still playing their non-stereotypical characters with a feel for the genre. This game session had a little bit of something for everyone, and there were even some moments of humourous subtext. We gamed a bit later than I would have liked, but I wanted to finish up the introductory adventure of the game that I was running, so that was good. I'll be taking a break from Atlantis with the Friday night group, since Nick is going to be running a game for the month of July as his birthday gift for me. So I get to be a player for the next little while. Yay! :)