Tuesday, February 21, 2017

At Night in Pazarli

Date: 3am Sunday, April 23, 1651
Location: Ruined Village of Pazarli, Gelibolu Peninsula

Weather: a gentle breeze from the south and a clear sky. Pleasant, feels like 17 C (63 F).

Turning in, keeping watch, treating Ibrahim as though he is still here, the party finds a good structure with a single entrance.  There is no door, all the doors have been broken, and the interiors full of broken furnishings and damaged goods.  Some of the buildings do have evidence of animals having lived there, even examples of spoor left behind.

The building you find has a single floor and it is recessed back from the main road in the village.  You find it is largely untouched and has two beds in good order and one that is less so.  You settle in, eat a little cold food and set up your watches.

Then, during Kismet's watch, he will hear the sound of what's probably leather armor outside, at least 50 feet away.  Kismet should be standing in the door so he can see the courtyard outside the residence, a courtyard surrounded by two other buildings with a narrow 8 foot wide lane leading from the road.  He can't quite see anything out there, but he can hear what must be a small number of men, and a sound like voices speaking (without being clear enough to be understood).  There's reason to think that if Kismet were to move down the narrow lane, nearer the road, he could tell what they were saying.

The building where you are has access to the roof, and that access includes a ladder down to the back yard of the building, a grove that will in turn give access to the outer edge of the village, if escape is intended.  You're not trapped.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Little Hamlet

Date: 9pm Saturday, April 22, 1651
Location: Gelibolu Peninsula, Strait of Dardanelles
Weather: a light breeze from the southwest and clouds drifting from the west. Feels like 13 C (55 F).

For three hours you make good headway, climbing up the hill east of Eceabat, down  and across a small valley, then up another hill and into yet another valley.  From the heights, you can see both the Dardanelles strait on the east and occasionally the Aegean Sea on the west.

The hills are well forested, though they have been maintained and cared for; as such, they are not what you would call wild.  You've seen shepherds, you've seen an isolated house in the distance, but it is only after reaching this second valley that you come upon a small hamlet.  The sun is quite gone, by now; it has fallen behind the hill you have just crossed over.  It is late dusk, enough to see but the light will be completely gone in a few minutes (the sun falls quickly at this latitude).

There are only about a dozen huts; there are goats and sheep drifting around the green grass by the well.  There is an old man who wishes you well as you appear and asks outright if you are bandits.

Friday, February 10, 2017

From Psara to Thrace

Date: 6pm Saturday, April 22, 1651
Location: Eceabat, Strait of Dardanelles
Weather: a light air, the wind hardly moving, with cool weather and a clear sky. Feels like 10 C (51 F).

The galley starts off towards Mytilene, to return the Vizier; you're informed that you'll be transferred to another ship when you reach that town.  This takes not long; the sea is even and the galley handles the journey smoothly, due to it's size.

It is noon on the 20th when you arrive at the city upon the isle of Lesbos.  The mainland of Anatolia is very close, just four miles away, big and impressive.  Mytilene proper is a fair-sized city, but not quite large enough for a Fochlucan college.  It has about 2000 buildings.

The wind turns, however, to the north, so that the journey north by ship would have to dare the Mytilene Strait beween Lesbos and the mainland potentially at night.  As such, you're put up by the Vizier, and fed to excess, so that you can take a smaller boat the morning of the 21st.  The Vizier finds a good roundship that can manage to take Enrico's horse in comfort.

At nine the morning of the 21st, the wind turns to the east and you start off down the passage.  The wind is not in your favor but a few hours, however, before you find yourself tacking against a north wind.  This proves most difficult and your journey is lengthened and lengthened until, at last, you round the cape and reach the town of Kumkale just before midnight.  There is no proper harbour, so the Captain explains he will put you off with the light.  You sail into Kumkale at about 6:30 am.  It is not a very large place, just 20 buildings near a very large Byzantine ruin, untended for about three hundred years.

Kumkale is on the end of a point and you find yourself wading, with Enrico's horse, through the shallow water to the beach.  The horse has had to swim about fifty yards between the ship and when it could begin to stride along the stony bottom.

You clean up, dry off, eat, enjoy the fact that you haven't had to pay for this last voyage either, then start off for Canakkale, which is about 12 miles to the northeast.  Canakkale is on the Dardanelles; the road is rough and untended.  The weather is dry and somewhat less warm than it has been in the Greek isles ~ note that it has been cool all day.

You reach the town of Canakkale ~ all of 200 buildings ~ at three in the afternoon.  Wanting to get across the strait, and it being cheapest here ~ only a silver piece per leg ~ you wait two hours for passage to Eceabat, on the other side.  Eceabat is just a little larger than Kumkale was, but it has a large dock, which is in a state of continuous loading and unloading.  A fair number of caravans (in Canakkale also) have pitched tents all around the small village, so that there are at least a thousand people wandering.

It is 6 pm, as I said.  There is no where to stay in Eceabat ~ and I need the party to tell me what they want to do from here, so I will stop now.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Reaching Psara

Throughout the night, the wind remains to the southwest and the Mariam begins to make fair progress.  Then, not long after the party rises, a light breeze begins to pick up from the south.  Soon the ship is moving along as a faster clip, until the southwest cape of the Island of Chios appears ahead.  After the noon hour passes, the weather continues to be pleasant but it verges on warm, as the wind from the south gives an unmistakable muggy, subtropical odor.  The ship runs with the wind through the early afternoon, until the Captain orders that you travel west to retain the advantage of reaching with the wind.  Chios quickly disappears off the starboard stern.

By then, there is a moderate breeze blowing, about 14 knots.  It is a firm, stiff wind, and the sails are full as the ship plows on through the Aegean.  With the evening, as the sun approaches the west horizon, the slight warmth of the day gives again to a generous pleasant evening.  At eight, an island appears ahead: Psara, with the mountain of Kimiseos rising on its right-hand side.

The Captain gives orders to heave to, to sail the Mariam nearer the island.  He gives as his reason the need to collect a passenger from the island.  As the sun sets, the ship has moved into the very edge of the harbor; there is a village you can see on the shore, where a few dim, distant lanterns hang upon the exterior of the houses.

Perhaps the party attempts to speak to the Captain, but he is taciturn and unwilling to speak.

It is Wednesday, the 19th of April.  It is pleasant but a moderate breeze continues to blow from the south.

Do remember to eat two pounds of food today each, and yesterday also.  The mess is not open to the party; you are eating your own food.

First Day Out

For this post, I want to experiment a little with my ship movement system, built last summer, collecting data from the wiki.  It is the sort of thing I wouldn't have time to do with an at-table system, but I feel that with a little practice and experimentation I can build an excel doc that will automate the travel.  In any case, you're not stuck waiting while I work out these calculations.

Come the next morning, on the 18th, the party finds themselves boarding the Mariam.  The Captain has noted that while the wind remains that of a light air, barely 4 knots.  Yet it is enough to partly fill his sails and begin towards Kallipolis.  The ship is not flying along; by noon on the 18th you've done little more than travel over the horizon, though you can still see the top of the island mountain that is Naxos.

By that time, the Mariam finds itself meeting a light breeze that can be felt on the skin, coming from the northwest, but as it is striking the ship's beam, your progress is not much better.  This continues throughout the day, so that by six in the evening you have not yet crossed a single hex.

At that point, the wind drops, but as it swings around to the southwest, you actually do much better with it.  The sails fill as the sun begins to sink in the west and the ship steadily scuds towards the north, making the best use of the wind.  As the sun sets, you're told that somewhere out there in the dark there are the islands of Icaria and Mikonos on either side.  As you ready for bed, you find the weather is very pleasant, as comfortable as can be, it is quiet aboard the ship and the sea is hardly moving.  The night is clear and full of stars, without any lights to dim them.

On your first day, you're quite surprised to find that the Captain is quite harsh to his crew; as they tack to find the wind, with very little wind to find, Tueni does not hesitate to physically abuse them, threaten them, even to where he grows red in the face as he shouts.  It might seem to be the part of a Captain, but there are signs everywhere that the crew is unhappy about it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

In Hora

Date: 9pm Monday, April 17, 1651
Location: Hora, Island of Naxos
Weather: a light air, with the air so calm there is hardly any movement on the water, with no detectable breeze, yet not quite absolute calm.  The sky is clear and full of stars, the sun having set.  Feels like 17 C (63 F).

According to the diary in possession of the party, the Captain of the Petrel dropped the main party off in Amisos on March 26, promising to return on April 26 and to wait until the 14th of May.  Also according to the diary, the 14th of May is when the party returned to Amisos again.  That is 27 days off.

You have little trouble getting away from Koufonisia, having given your plans to Carlito and Tazio.  You receive a ride from Arkemis, the boy who boated you out to the island where you met the Psammodrons.  He takes you to Hora through the day of April the 17th, so that you arrive in the evening just as the sun is falling.  The wind was variable throughout the day and so it took nearly 12 hours to reach Hora.

You find here a captain who can take you to Syros, as was your wish; but you also find a captain able to take you to Kallipolis.  This is a city at the entrance of the Dardanelles Strait, and well on the way to Constantinople.  Traffic between the Dardanelles and Constantinople is near continuous, the journey across the Sea of Marmara there a brief one and among the most travelled courses in the world.

This Captain's name is Issam Tueni; he is Lebanese, from Tripoli.  He seems like a robust, friendly fellow, willing to pay for your drinks while you interview him, more than willing to make you a good berth on his 310 ton Brigantine, a big carrack, much larger than the Petrel.

The other ship's captain is a Greek schooner master, bound for Syros.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Discovery

Date: 6pm Friday, April 14, 1651
Location: Koufonisia
Weather: a gentle breeze from the southwest, with pleasant weather and light fluffy clouds in the sky. Feels like 18 C (64 F).

Having paid for the journey, the party arrives in Koufonisia in the early evening.  For the second day's journey from Hora, you have a little company on board ship, a fellow named Akydemos, who describes himself as half-Turkish, half-Greek, and on the whole the blessing of two parents who never did get along.  He is an itinerant boat-builder, bound for Koufonisia to seek a little work repairing fishing vessels, as he has been unable to find further work in Hora for some weeks now.  He has his tools with him and you find him good and friendly company.

In Koufonisia, once you dock, you send word and soon Tazio comes to meet you.  He tells you that the diggings are going quite well, that the portents he has seen the locals perform has encouraged the town to believe it will be a good year for farming and that he is pleased to be doing this sort of work. He's never had this sort of authority before and it is turning out that he quite likes it.

Unfortunately, it isn't long before you hear that the locals don't much like him.  He has an 8 charisma and he is wearing thin on the populace.  On several occasions he has lost his temper and he is most insulting of anyone who does not listen immediately to anything he says.

What with one thing or another, you conduct a little business, have your stuff moved off the boat and to your places of rest, field questions from the townspeople, hear about Tazio, get a little to eat and finally, before sunset around 7:51pm, you return to your sleeping places.

And there you will find on Kismet's bed, an open bundle of blanketing, in the middle of which is laying a broadsword.  Atop the broadsword, wrapped in a piece of twine, is a small scroll, about four inches long and a half-inch thick.  The broadsword does not look like a modern European weapon.  The lines, the shape, the bronze handle, the shaping and etching on the bronze handle, these things indicate that the weapon is very much made to look as though it were from Ancient Rome.  The blade seems very sound, however, though it has seen use, undoubtedly.  But certainly it does not look more than a thousand years old.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Enrico Alone Again ~ Round 5

I posted a map earlier, then realized Ibrahim must have been stunned by the 2 hit points Sofia had caused.  You must have had 8 hit points or less at that point, yes?  Please confirm your hit point total at this time.

I think this leaves only Enrico to act for that side.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sofia is Out of Daggers ~ Round 4

Following Sofia's move, both Enrico and Ibrahim are able to take action.  Note I have not changed Kismet's facing; stunned, he was not able to do so.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sparring ~ Round 3

Following Kismet and Sofia's move, here's the layout.  Ibrahim is stunned again, falling back to 1409.

Enrico can take a move.  Remember, there's a -1 AP penalty for leaving any hex adjacent to a combatant.

As Kismet is stunned, Sofia is the only one who can move.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sparring ~ Round 2

Ibrahim is stunned, but Enrico's armor blocked Sofia's dagger.  Enrico can take an action first.

Following Enrico's move (I presume he has 3 AP in his armor), Sofia and Kismet can go.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sparring Redux ~ Round 1

Very well, from the beginning.

This time around Enrico and Ibrahim clearly have the initiative.  If those two could please take their FULL round, doing whatever they can with their AP.  Both have 5 AP.


After Enrico and Ibrahim's move, here is the map:

Sofia and Kismet, in your good time.