For those who want to know more about my Friday night Airship Pirates game, read on! Arrrrrrr! :)
March 12th, 2150 AD
While Andrew Hartwell, Jeanette Storm, and Robert Bear Redwood check out various other parts of the ship with Goldeye Taylor and Pete "Hammer" McGinty, Arthur Quentin-Smythe, Emily Harrington-Boothe, and Haley Deuce check below decks, and eventually locate Calliandra Shade in the cargo area, sobbing away against several bales of goods. Calli tells the characters that she came to the cargo bay because she felt safe there, and Haley realises that the girl knows her way around a pirate ship; something else is going on with the girl, but she doesn't know what.
Once the characters return above decks with Calliandra, the Captain talks to the youngster sternly, and then disciplines the player characters. Since all six of them brought Calliandra aboard with them, all six will share the same punishment - cooking duties for the entire crew of the Bountiful! The chastened characters go about their duties preparing the meal, and are joined by Calliandra, who tells them that it's all her fault, and so she will share in their punishment.
The next morning, after an exhausting night's toil in the kitchens, the player characters are woken up by "Hammer" McGinty. Captain Stormfist wants Emily and Jeanette to accompany her to see the representative of the Trade Guild on Sanctum about the business involving their most recent transaction. Captain Stormfist orders the rest of the characters to look into the matter of Calliandra Shade, and who the characters were at the Good Spirits who wanted to take the child. Seeing as they have no choice, Emily and Jeanette accompany the Captain on her quest, despite having a desire to learn more about the mystery of Calliandra, while Peter, Andrew, Haley, and Arthur go about making preparations to head out for the Good Spirits establishment.
The trip with Captain Stormfist to the Trade Guild offices is uneventful, and the player characters get in to see Harvest Wind, the representative that they have to deal with. The Captain, Emily, and Jeanette are surprised and horrified to learn that the cargo they delivered from Isla Aether to the skyloft and their customer, Andrew Whitebreeze, never made it to its intended destination! Thus the Trade Guild of Sanctum is denying the crew of the Bountiful Queen their fees and the early delivery commission! The Captain is serious angry about the matter, and the characters return to the Bountiful Queen. On the way back to the ship, the characters are attacked by five thugs/bandits, dressed as Trade Guild fighters. The characters aare easily able to dispatch the thugs, the Captain in her rage killing two of them, but fortunately Emily is able to knock one unconscious. The player characters and the Captain drag him back to the Bountiful for...questioning.
Meanwhile, Peter, Andrew, Haley, and Arthur pay another visit to the Good Spirits establishment, and are able to learn from Marshal Dacewind, the proprietor, that the men who were ""hassling" Calliandra Shade the night before were part of "Scurvy Jack" Flanagan-Cumulus's lot. Peter knows them of old, as Captain Stormfist and the Bountiful crew have faced The Scurvy Princess and her crew several times the last few years. There's been rumours that Flanagan-Cumulus and his people run slaves, but this is the first evidence that he knows of first-hand, if what Marshal Dacewind is telling him is true - a fact that Captain Stormfist will want to be informed about! The player characters depart the Good Spirits, and head back for the docks and their ship, but are intercepted by several pirate ruffians off Scurvy Jack's ship. The fracas with the scurvy dogs takes almost no time at all, as Scurvy Jack's men have no stomach for the fight against determined opponents, and they flee as soon as they start to take some serious injuries. Picking themselves up and dusting themselves off, Peter, Andrew, Haley, and Arthur make their way back to the Bountiful.
On their return to the Bountiful, Captain Stormfist and her two comrades-in-arms, Emily and Jeanette, hand their prisoner, Corky McGee, over to Thumbscrews Whitaker-Dobbs, a former Neovictorian torturer type, whose mere presence is enough to get Corky to answer all of the Captain's questions. Before the final answers are revealed by Corky, Peter, Andrew, Haley, and Arthur arrive back at the ship. They inform Captain Stormfist of their conversation with Marshal Dacewind, and the Captain is irate when she hears of Scurvy Jack's involvement in the matter. Corky McGee reveals that he works for "Captain Flanagan-Cumulus" (and he spits at her, causing her to strike him with a hot poker), and the rest of the story comes tumbling out: How Scurvy Jack's people got wind of the arrival of the Bountiful and her cargo of foodstuffs through his agents in the Trade Guild; how he arranged to have the goods disappear with the able assistance of a pair of "look livelies" that distracted the guards hired by Henry "the Axe" James; and how they made the books come across to make the Bountiful Queen appear as if she'd swindled Andrew Whitebreeze. Corky tells the Bountiful characters that even as they speak, the Scurvy Princess is running hard to a rendezvous with a buyer for the goods, a Neobedouin with a spotty reputation by the name of Cecil Oakendale.
Before they can question Corky further, one of the crew arrives with news that a large contingent of the Righteous Ones is heading for the Bountiful's berth, with orders to arrest the player characters and the Captain herself. The Captain decides that she can't allow the Sanctum officials to impound the ship or detain her crew, and that the only way to clear themselves is to go after Scurvy Jack and the Scurvy Princess! She tells The Axe to prepare the ship to sail; since they were due to leave within a couple of hours anyway (though that was being delayed by Sanctum's personnel), all of the crew are aboard. The player characters and the rest of the crew of the Bountiful race to get her underway before the Righteous Ones can arrive at the ship.
The player characters are positioned by the Captain with a group of others, and charged with making sure the airship is undocked and the mooring cables released that hold the Bountiful down. The player characters barely make it aboard the airship before it manoeuvers away from the docks. Even as they watch, a contingent of Righteous heads over to the mooring dock of the Liberty. As the Bountiful pulls out of the docks, heading for free air, the Liberty fires her outward facing broadsides at the escaping privateer, but misses due to some skillful tactical piloting by the Captain. However, it is clear that the Sanctum authorities mean to user the slightly bigger, but slower ship to pursue the Bountiful and bring the crew to justice...
As you can see, lots of stuff going on in this session of Abney Park's Airship Pirates, with the players having to deal with all manner of stuff, from the mundane, to combat, to racing to get the ship ready for flight. One thing that isn't clear in the material above is that the two sequences, where the player characters were separated with some going to the Trade Guild offices and others going to the Good Spirits were actually run with quick shifts between the two groups, but for the purposes of writing up the events of the session, it seemed more appropriate to write them up as "whole" events, rather than little paragraphs splitting things up. I ran it this way so that the players in the group that wasn't active took on the role of the NPCs for combat purposes, and the players told me afterwards that they liked this, as it kept them involved. Even if they couldn't help but wonder as they played it out whether they'd be responsible for seriously harming some of their fellow player characters! Lovely stuff. hehe
I can tell you that brings a discrete end to the Introductory scenario that I wanted to run the players through, but that the game will continue Friday night from pretty close to where things left off. Kathy and Nick commented that some of the NPCs introduced and the development on various characters' back stories has been really fun to this point, and are wondering what Scurvy Jack and a few of the others are going to be like when they meet them. All in all, a pretty nifty game session, and a good close to the first adventure per sé. Leaving the players wanting more is always a good sign. I'm looking forward to the next session. :)