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And here's the game session report on the most recent continuing adventures of the Sunday gaming group in the Abney Park's Airship Pirates campaign. You can read about the previous game session in this journal entry. Since this post is quite long, I've put it behind a cut for those who don't want to read about the roleplaying game campaigns that I'm running.

March 21st, 2150 AD

While the crew had voted to deliver the cargo to the Cloudbear tribe, the Scarlet Lady proved not to be all that air-worthy when they got her back in the air. The trip to Isla Aether was slow and rather tedious. Captain Katharine Tempest was barely able to dock the ship at one of the mooring points. Meanwhile, Emma Whitlocke has suffered some form of stomach ailment, and is quite ill, remaining below decks in her hammock. The player characters and Black Angus McTaggert are met dockside by a Customs official, who inquires why the ship has docked at the skyloft and other basic, routine questions. He says the docking fees are He35 per day, unless they go directly into one of the repair facilities, but a tug will run them significantly more than that. Finnius Cloudbody goes to consult with the Captain, and she tells him to inform the official that she barely got the Scarlet Lady into the mooring port, and that she doesn't think the ship can make it to the repair port. He informs the Customs official, and the Captain and the player characters figure that the repairs to the ship will run at least He3,000.

The player characters decide on their priorities, once the gangplank is established, and conclude that they must make arrangements for the Cloudbear cargo to be shipped, sell Adam and Eve (see the previous scenario) to the client, get Harry drunk, and then find and recruit new crew for the ship. Finnius goes and talks to the Captain, and establishes the priorities that she has - sell Adam and Eve, get the Cloudbear shipment sent off, and deal with the repairs to the ship. She shows him her displeasure at having to sell Adam and Eve altogether, but says that she has her priorities straight - the safety and repair of the ship come first, and for that they need money. Captain Tempest tells Finnius that the buyer for the two automata/mannequins is Fadri Oakendale, one of the most untrustworthy criminals among the Neobedouins who resides in the skyloft. She tells him to try and get He2,000 for Adam and Eve, although she says he'll need a good story to get the two of them to accompany him off the ship, as they seem to think they're crew. She also tells Finnius to draw He5 each for the player characters before they go onto the skyloft.

Finnius talks to Aaron Cheetah and Green Harry about everything, and Aaron tells him what he knows of the Oakendales, and warns Finnius that they need to be cautious. Finnius goes to talk to Angus about how to get Adam and Eve off the ship, but the First Mate tells him that that's *his* job. He suggests he go talk to Victoria Falcon about the matter, and Finnius does, finding her in the cargo bay. She suggests that he try and sell some large crates of foodstuffs, and gets Adam and Eve to carry said crates into the city's marketplace for him. Finnius thanks her for the suggestion, and goes in search of Adam and Eve, finding them working with Aaron in the engine room. There is a bit of bad talking about the ship by Finnius directed at Windfall, and he is warned that this sort of talk shouldn't come back to the crew, as morale is bad enough as it is.

The player characters, along with Adam and Eve, depart the Scarlet Lady. They make inquiries as they go, passing through the airside saloons region, through housing for the poor and dockside workers, into the marketplace. It's only in the latter where they learn that the Oakendale House can be found on the far side of the marketplace. When the three characters and Adam and Eve arrive at the building, they see it appears to be an old-fashioned trade guild hall. There appear to be two large guards with weapons at the gates.

Harrry leans over and whispers for Eve to run. When she asks why, Aaron says that they are there to sell them to the Oakendales. Overhearing this, Finnius shouts to the guards that he has the cargo for delivery from the Scarlet Lady. As the guards approach them, Finnius tells Harry and Aaron that the Captain will have their heads on a stick. Finnius tells the guards when they come closer that he has the cargo they are expecting from the Captain of the Scarlet Lady. One of the guards goes back and gets the vizier. The vizier, Hamid Oakendale, comes out of the building, and talks with Finnius. When it is established that the two people, Adam and Eve, are the cargo, Finnius tells him that Aaron and Harry are trying to disrupt the sale of the goods, and Hamid Oakendale has several of his guards seize each of them. Once the two player characters are in the clutches of the vizier's guards, Finnius proceeds to close the deal with the Oakendale representative, and manages to sell the two large crates of foodstuffs in the bargain, for a total of He1,800. Aaron and Harry are both livid (but powerless to intervene) at the deal, and the simplistic approach that Finnius and the vizier use to get the two once-dolls to enter the Oakendale house.

Once the vizier returns to the house and enters it, and the Oakendale guards return to their duties, Finnius starts back for the Scarlet Lady. He is reluctantly accompanied by Aaron and Harry. When Harry asks him why he didn't sell him (a reference to how he came aboard the pirate ship in the first place), Finnius coolly and matter-of-factly replies that he wasn't worth anything. Harry loses his temper, grabs Finnius by the neck, and lifts him off the ground and slams him into the wall. He does it again, with more force, and Finnius goads and taunts him into bloodying him, but fails. Aaron calms Harry down somewhat, and the Misbegotten releases him, and he and Finnius back off from one another. Finnius starts to head back to the ship again, asking them if they're coming. Harry wants to go to a saloon and get drunk, but Aaron convinces him not to, and the two of them head back for the ship.

Finnius returns to the ship first, and finds that Black Angus is one of the folks at the gangplank. He tells Angus that all went well, and that they earned He1,800 from the two deals. Angus is quite pleased, and tells Finnius to tell the Captain and deliver the money to her before he does anything else. After doing so, Finnius goes back to his quarters area, and creates a full written account of what happened during the sale of Adam and Eve, placing it in an envelope stating that it's to be opened in the event of his death. He puts the envelope in a lockbox that he then entrusts to Captain Tempest. When she enquires as to what it is, he says it's his last will and testament.

Aaron and Harry return to the ship, and the two are surprised when Angus merely berates for going drinking while they were still working an assignment. He tells them that he should punish them, but he's too pleased with the way their job went according to Finnius.

The player characters spend the rest of the day and part of the evening engaged in ship's maintenance.

The player characters wake the next morning to learn that after breakfast, the Captain has called a ship's crew meeting. The player characters and the rest of the crew learn that selling of the two automatons and the crates of food earned the ship some He1,800, a good profit, but not really enough to pay for the repairs to the Scarlet Lady. After the meeting, Captain Tempest informs Finnius that he's to make arrangements to have the Cloudbear shipment of cargo delivered by another vessel, and to make a profit on said deal.

Finnius gathers up Green Harry (who is still pretty mad at him) and Aaron Cheetah, and they go and visit the harbourmaster of Isla Aether. One of the functionaries, Edward Cumulo-Nimbus, agrees to meet with them, and Finnius inquires about the possible merchant ships in dock that might be able to help the Scarlet Lady with a "transaction". The functionary sees a bit of profit in it for himself, and after a bit of a misunderstanding between him and Finnius is cleared up, Finnius pays him He10 for the information. There are three merchant ships - the Blackbird, the Fortune's Pride, and the Gold Standard. The three characters head back for the Scarlet Lady, but learn that Captain Tempest is not there; she has gone and taken accommodation at the Winged Fool, as with full repairs beginning to the Scarlet Lady, the crew has been required to find sleeping arrangements elsewhere, and only a skeleton crew of five (working in shifts) stands guard. However, they do manage to gain Emma Whitlocke, who has recovered from her stomach ailment.

The characters decide to check out the three merchant ships in question. They learn that the Gold Standard is a large, Barracuda-class ship, and that the Blackbird and Fortune's Pride are both merchant vessels of the Skybarge class. Finnius and the others decide not to approach the Captain of the Gold Standard, as the size of the ship would attract the Imperial Navy's attention and the fact that she's a merchant vessel with some heavy armament also says that she does a lot of hazardous work, and the cargo for the Cloudbear tribe must be delivered in a timely fashion. That, and Finnius believes the captain of the Gold Standard would up his prices for the delivery.

The player characters make their way to the Blackbird, and see that the Skybarge vessel has eighteen cannons, eight of them large. They meet one of her crew at the mooring dock, who recognises and knows Finnius when they approach him. He goes to fetch the Captain of the Blackbird, James Brisbane (think an Aussie faux pirate Johnny Depp, complete with the clothes). Before the two of them can talk, Jenny, the blond wavy-haired navigator of the Blackbird, whom Finnius met during the drunken incident at the Evil Lamprey on New Deseret, shows up and greets Finnius. She gives him a cool reception, and says that she'll see him later, then leaves so that he can get down to business with her captain. Finnius finds that Brisbane is too erratic, and much shrewder than his manner would make him seem to be, especially when he inquires about the real value of the Cloudbear cargo. Finnius decides that they'll take their business elsewhere, but the rumour has already been instigated.

This game session of the Abney Park's Airship Pirates rpg went pretty well, and had some fun moments, dealing with a lot of the ramifications of the last adventure, as well as featuring some real conflict and confrontation between Rick's Finnius, Doug's Green Harry, and to a lesser extent, spross's Aaron. Some really good roleplaying in the sequence, but it did bring to the surface one of the problems that I have with the way Rick plays the character - too stone-faced, no real emotional play. Even if the character of Finnius is meant to be calm, the situation with his character and Green Harry and Aaron Cheetah was too controlled and too emotionless. That said, the session had some really interesting stuff go down, and sets up a few potential encounters and sequences for later play.


John Kahane

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