March 24th, 2150 AD
Captain Stormfist is quite willing to make the trip to this lake, with the possibility of treasure at the end of the trip. The player characters and the rest of the crew of the Bountiful Queen prepare the airship for departure. The airship sets off for the Lake Ontawa, some 400 miles east of Desolation, and the crew settles in for what amounts to around a four-day trip. Romance blossoms somewhat between Emily Harrington-Boothe and Andrew Hartwell, while Arthur Quentin-Smythe seems to have been smitten with Eliza Worthington.
As the Bountiful Queen reaches the end of her second day's voyage, the vessel encounters an area inhabited by what appear to be sharkish sirens (air-like creatures, half-human, half-shark with fin wings, and sharp teeth as well as an hypnotic siren song). Several of the men on deck of the vessel succumb to the siren song, and throw themselves overboard, to be caught by the "sirens" and seduced. It is the female members of the crew, led by Emily, who fight back against the creatures, firing guns at them when they come too close. Andrew launches himself overboard to embrace one of the shark sirens (as the players have christened them), but the quick-thinking Peter Bear Redwood, who filled his ears with some wax, manages to prevent this, managing a spectacular throw of a rope and knot to catch Andrew's leg in mid-air. A terrific shot by Jeanette Storm [she spends 3 Fate points] kills the shark siren trying to get to Andrew, as Emily, Haley, and the other female crew are occupied with firing at other shark siren trying to lure the male crew members of the Bountiful Queen off the ship. Haley Deuce managed to kill two of the shark sirens with her newly increased Firearms skill, and the other female members of the crew accounted well for themselves. In the end, Captain Stormfist and several of the other female crew were able to dissuade the other shark sirens from attacking the ship with two well-aimed cannon shots. The Bountiful sailed on, unmolested after that.
With the effects of the siren song of the shark sirens negated, the male crew members of the Bountiful Queen come around, and are teased by the female crew members for their lack of backbone and spine in the face of the horrible creatures. The player characters speculate on the nature and origin of the shark sirens, and don't seem to believe for a minute that they might be creations of the Emperor. Peter suggests that nature is at work here, but the other player characters can't believe that Nature would be so cruel. And the characters wonder why these creatures are not found in the areas closer to Desolation and Isla Aether.
The third day of the voyage starts rather uneventfully. Edmund Worthington goes to see the Captain, and asks to see the charts. When Captain Stormfist acquiesces, he pulls out a piece of charcoal, and asks for her permission. He starts to draw some lines on her maps of the area, and the Captain is troubled by the fact that he's marring her 200-year-old maps. He draws three lines in a triangulation method of charting, and at the mid-point, he says their destination lies: Lake Ontawa. Worthington tells the Captain that the area is somewhat dangerous, and that she and her crew need to be careful.
As the Bountiful alters course, Worthington's words become clear... giant, black clouds herald a massive squall. The Captain orders the crew to prepare, and the hatches are battened down. It is only the Captain's leadership, her amazing air sailing skills, and the courage and trust of her crew that the Bountiful Queen comes through the storm for the most part unscathed. Each of the player characters has a bit of an adventure during the course of the storm, but they manage to deal with their situations adequately.
In the aftermath of the squall, as the Bountiful continues on for Lake Ontawa, relationships on noard the vessel start to flounder and turn sour. Emily and Andrew part under bitter circumstances, as she catches him dallying with Taja Windflower, one of the crew of the ship, and their break-up fuels several other female crew members to spurn their male counterparts aboard ship. Meanwhile, Edmund Worthington discourages his daughter's relationship with Arthur, saying that he's a common pirate and not worthy of her, and she is slowly but surely seduced by his words in this respect, especially when Eliza sees how Arthur's best friend, Andrew, treated Emily.
On the middle of the seventh day since the Bountiful Queen sailed from Isla Aether, the airship arrives in the area of the coordinates on the map established by Edmund Worthington. Brought to their attention by Farseer Johnson in the upper crow's nest, the Captain and the player characters see ahead of them a relatively large lake with several rivers and tributaries feeding to and from it, in the centre of which is a somewhat large island with a skull-shaped mountain covered in jungle. As the airship closes on the island, it can be easily seen that the place is not uninhabited, and the natives look...savage.
This game session of Abney Park's Airship Pirates was one of the most enjoyable that I've had in some time, though I have to admit that it was made all the moreso by the players going to town during the fight with the shark sirens (not crazy about the name, but it's good for now), with the three female players just getting into the whole "save the men!" deal and the three male players having a good time throwing themselves at the creatures and watching the female characters attempt to save them! :) It's reached the interesting point in the game, and things are developing quite nicely. Looking forward to the next session of the game.