Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Island of Misfit Sailors

Along with the two Spaniards guarding the box, a third crewman was transferred to the SS Horizon: Edison Hawking, an English explorer.

Simon spotted an unmarked island; it seems volcanic, about an acre of land jutting up out of the ocean. The Captain ordered the ship to stop, and allowed the men to disembark. A handful decided to investigate - Tibby Snider, Jack Crow, Billy Bones, Jean Benoit, and Giles, Baguette, and Hawking. The island was vaguely circular, with a "bite" out of one side, where a soft sandy beach made for a good landing spot. The ship dropped anchor, and the men rowed ashore.

While Tibby, Billy, Jack Crow, and Hawking headed around a path, looking for an easier way up, Benoit, Giles, and Baguette attempted the more direct route: scaling the 20 foot cliff. Baguette brought climbing gear, and was able to scale the cliff with ease, spiking a rope at the top. Giles and Benoit followed.

Meanwhile, Hawking encountered a gap - the path continued on, and looked like it actually met up, but... that 15 foot gap was a bit of a bother. Especially when Hawking took a running jump, and hit the other side... about five feet short. He managed to hang on, but couldn't quite climb back up! Tibby thought it was hilarious, of course.

Billy Bones quickly ran back to the others; Giles tossed down his grappling hook, which Billy proceeded to chuck directly into the ocean. Oops. As Tibby rolled on the ground, alternating between shouting with mirth and gasping for breath, Billy ran back, and managed to convince Giles and Baguette to chuck down another rope Together they managed to pull poor Hawking up. Eventually, the other sailors climbed up as well, while Giles, Hawking, and Baguette went exploring.

As it turned out, the landmass was hollow inside, with soft, sandy soil, small bushes and tufts of grass, and a forest of coconut palms. There was a small trickle of water, barely a few fingers across at the widest, that washed out of the ground and eventually out a crack in the cliff - in fact, it was the reason the path Hawkins was on washed out and fell.

Hawking was very interested in looking for treasure - he and the others carefully moved through the palms, finding a rusted sword of unknown origin. After combing the area, they found a tree with some old scars in the center of the caldera; digging around beneath it, they first uncovered some bones, wrapped in a tattered uniform, and finally a magnificent sword in a bejeweled sheath! It's a STR + d6 sword, AP 1, worth 10,000 pieces of eight!

The uniform was from a Spanish sailor - Giles realized it was from the ship Trinidad Valencera, a lost treasure ship!

On the other side of the caldera, they found a few bushes, covered in berries. They carefully picked them, filling Hawkins' helmet, and took them back to the others. Jack Crow had set up a hammock, and when they returned, he noted what Giles had noticed - while the berries weren't poisonous, they were certainly not entirely ripe, and eating more than a handful would result in a case of "the runs". Billy Bones wasn't 100% sure, but politely refused just in case. Poor Tibby had no idea, and ate several handfuls. Billy Bones told some good sea stories, including some lovely stories of ghost ships, but Tibby had very little time to listen. The sailors that opted to stay on the other side pulled up a few very nice fish, and were kind enough to share, with Jean running between, taking fresh water to the ship, and hauling a few fish back over the "wall".

At daybreak, the sailors packed up and headed back to the ship. Hawkins tried to hide his new sword, but only managed to look as if he's stuffed a branch down the leg of his pants. The ship put out to sea.

The next morning, the crew awakened to a fight - Simon was hotly accusing Pete Grubbs of stealing his spyglass. As Pete scoffed as the very idea, others found items of theirs had also gone missing, including some tools of Giles' and some blueprints from Baguette. As more crew realized things had been stolen, they joined in, searching for the missing items, and trying to keep Pete from getting lynched. Among the missing items was the fancy sword, as well...

After much fighting, the crew started going through everyone's stuff, and found a "hidden" compartment in Pete's locker, with a number of things stashed inside! Just as the fight was about to get ugly, Killian Sauvage stalked in, and dumped a burlap bag of items onto the deck. He sneered, saying that he found the items in Giles' workroom, hidden in a pile of wood shavings. "And 'ow can we trust zees man, 'oo we 'ave known only a short time? Eh?"

The crew argued, eventually ending up on two sides: those who accused Pete, and those who Accused Giles. Baguette followed up on Sauvage's claim, and talked to the Spaniards, who backed up Sauvage's story, at least as far as as timing was concerned. Finally, they went to the captain. After a trial, the captain decided that since all the items had been recovered - as well as a handful of items that were not supposed to be on board - that no one would be punished... but the next thief would be met with a keel-hauling.

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