March 22nd, 2150 AD
Finnius Cloudbody sets off for the third ship, Fortune's Pride, the other characters following in his wake. On arriving at the mooring point, the characters see that the Fortune's Pride has twelve cannons, six per broadside, and that there are Aetherian guards at her gangplank. On approaching the Aetherian guards, Finnius asks that they summon the captain of the ship, and while one of the guards goes aboard the vessel, several other Aetherian guards join the one remaining. Finnius sees some of the crew of the Fortune's Pride working on deck, all armed with steampistols.
The player characters are approached by Captain James Brady, and his First Mate, Estelle. Finnius and Brady talk for a few minutes, fencing words, but eventually they make a deal. Finnius and the crew of the Scarlet Lady will arrange to have the Cloudbear cargo delivered to the Fortune's Pride, which will deliver it within one week to the Cloudbear tribe. Brady and his crew will earn 650 Helios in the deal, and the Scarlet Lady's take will be deposited into her credit account. Finnius and Brady do a pirate shake on the deal.
After striking the deal, the player characters decide to go and tell the captain of the deal. Aaron Cheetah inquires of a passerby about the whereabouts of the Winged Fool, and pays He0.25 for his time. The player characters walk to the place, and discover that the Winged Fool is in one of the relatively posh parts of the city right near the marketplace. Aaron and Finnius go inside to talk to the captain, but llearn that Katharine Tempest is not in at the moment. Meanwhile, outside the building, Green Harry spots the captain accompanied by a group of twelve revelers, and while Emma Whitlocke goes into the Winged Fool to get the other two, Harry follows the captain and her friends so as not to lose them.
Finnius goes up to the captain to talk to her, and finds that Katharine Tempest is three sheets to the wind, as are most of the other revelers. She's not interested in ship's business, and so Finnius decides to take matters into his own hands. He and Aaron head out to find the price on a steam truck to handle their cargo (2 crates at 440 lbs. each), while Harry and Emma go back to the ship to find out where Angus McTavish is. Finnius is able to hire a decent steam truck for 3 hours at a cost of He10. Back at the Scarlet Lady, Harry and Emma see that the cargo and personal possessions of the crew have been moved off the ship into an adjacent hangar for the duration of the repairs to the vessel. They learn from the crew on duty that Angus is at one of the two hostels in the city. While they wait for Aaron and Finnius to return, the two go and check their personal possessions.
After being rejoined by Aaron and Finnius at the Scarlet Lady, the player characters eventually make their way to the hostel where Angus is staying. Finnius briefs Angus on what is going on at the bar, and then Angus lays into Aaron for drinking while still on duty as Harry refrains from indulging. Angus tells Aaron that if he catches him a third time, he'll flay him himself. Then Angus offers to pay for drinks for the player characters, now that they're off duty for a bit. Finnius has some milk!; Emma has some lemonade; and both Aaron and Harry have a sasparilla. Finnius and Emma notice that Angus keeps an eye on them to see what they're drinking. Aaron can't resist the spiked sasparilla, and has another, and becomes somewhat tipsy.
Angus tells them that they aren't off duty, and the player characters head back for the truck depot. They hire the last steam truck available for the job, and stoke the vehicle. When it's ready, Finnius drives the truck to the Scarlet Lady, and the characters have the Cloudbear cargo loaded on the truck using the dockside winch for the trip to the Fortune's Pride. They take the cargo to the other ship, where it is loaded aboard the Fortune's Pride quickly and safely. Once the job is done, they return to Angus and tell him things are finished and the payment has been made. They return to the Scarlet Lady, and check the duty roster, where they learn that the four of them are off for 2-1/2 days (it's their reward for the good work they've done). They grab up their belongings, and head to find lodging. Harry, who did not accompany them, finds some cheap lodging at a dive (literally straw mats).
Over the next two days, Finnius spends time with his family, and learns that his oldest sister, has taken an apprenticeship on the Blackbird, which will be leaving the docks the next morning. He brings some trinkets for his folks and a bottle of sasparilla for his father, and the teeth of the American lion for his brother. Aaron and Harry spend much of their time drinking. Harry wakes on the second morning at one point having drunk way too much, and finds himself naked with nothing but his money purse. He makes his way cautiously, and somewhat less than surreptitiously, back to his lodging, and new stories are born. Aaron wakes in his lodging house, fortunately no worse for the wear.
Emma spends some of her time window shopping, not really being able to afford much of what she sees. Finnius spends more time with his family, and learns that two good places to hire pirate crew are the Blue Parrot and the Wayward Gull. Harry makes his way to the ship, and learns that he's off shift for another day or so. Aaron goes window shopping for gadgetry and technology, and is baffled at much of what he sees. That night, the characters are woken by an explosion on the upper levels of Mount Whitney, where the mansions of the rich are, and watch the fireworks and the display of destruction, even as pieces of wreckage and rubble rain down on various parts of the skyloft. Emma is concerned, but sees that none of it is near the docks where the Scarlet Lady is moored.
Work on the Scarlet Lady stops in the aftermath of the explosion at the Montcloude manor, and the Aetherian government investigates the matter and possible privateer involvement. The player characters arrive at the ship to learn what's going on, and Captain Tempest explains the situation to the crew. She tells the player characters that she's booked them several days' accommodation at the rooms above the Blue Parrot Inn, as partial payment for their work the last few days. After the rest of the crew leaves, she tells Finnius and the others to keep an eye on the situation there. She also tells them that they have the late evening watch on the Scarlet Lady, so to make sure they're all sober or she'll give their bodies to Angus after she's flayed them all.
The characters grab up their belongings and go over to the Blue Parrot, Finnius knowing the way. They arrive at the inn and tavern to find the place done up in "island" colours, and there is a blue parrot in one corner over the bar in a locked cage. Finnius looks around and sees one of the other Scarlet Lady crewmembers, as well as "Scurvy Jack" Flanagan-Cumulus, whom he knows somewhat vaguely. The two engage in polite banter, and the player characters know they've got problems on their hands, as Scurvy Jack and the crew of the Scurvy Princess are rumoured to be a slaver ship. The attractive blonde wench, Bernadette, shows the characters to their rooms - two rooms side-by-side and two across the way facing them. The characters make the best of the situation at the Blue Parrot for the day, and get some rest before their late evening watch on the Scarlet Lady.
This session of the Abney Park's Airship Pirates game was actually pretty simple, relatively straightforward, but somewhat boring for both the players and myself. With a couple of exceptions, the situation in Isla Aether never got...focused on...and as a result, the play of the game just meandered and slowed to a crawl. Still, it wasn't as bad a game session as a few that I've had over the years, but I have to say that the situation between the characters (and some of the players for that matter) isn't really good. Perhaps Airship Pirates just isn't the game for the Sunday afternoon group?
Thoughts on this matter, anyone? :)