Friday, October 30, 2009

Afternoon, the Acmaeon's Hold

Monday, May 12, 1650

The passengers on board are directed downstairs and into the hold of the ship.  They are separated into two groups - one, much smaller, moves into six private cabins.  Salvador takes his leave and follows this group.  The remainder move into a large, common room, nearly fifty men, women and children.

Fully two thirds of these passengers are gypsies, looking like refugees, with few possessions and homespun clothing.  They gather to one side of the room, unrolling blankets and spreading them out together on the floor, settling down to mend their clothes, play games or speak together in hushed whispers.  The children look dull-eyed and do little more than sit and stare - they are unused to travelling and seeing others, and so their eyes catch every detail.

A Catholic priest and six acolytes also move together - it can be seen that they are missionaries bound for the Holy Land.  The priest lays out a heavy leather bag which the party can guess is filled with stuffing, and begins to sleep.  The lesser fathers take out their books, make notes, or rest sitting up, eyes closed, their lips gently moving.

Three of the passengers are low-end merchants, all Egyptians.  Another passenger is a mason, a large German fellow who picks a place on the hard board and lays on it, his back to the room.  There are two singers, who begin a gentle cant that underlays the murmuring in the room without disturbing it ... they continue for twenty minutes or so before beginning to talk to each other.

Two others are hard to guess at; one is clearly a Persian, and an unpleasant looking fellow.  He seems to be familiar with one of the merchants.  The other is an old, Libyan woman, between sixty-five and eighty.  Her only companion is a white and black cat, which sits on her lap and watches the room.  It seems to the party that the cat in particular watches them.

The ship has moved into the Adriatic, but there are no portals in the hold.  The party begins to feel some of the symptoms associated with seasickness ... but whether it will cripple them for the journey will not be known for some hours yet.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mid-morning, the Road to Augsburg

Monday, May 12, 1650

Jan answers Delfig, "What question do you refer to?  Ah, here is my associate, Andrej."  Jan gestures forward to a man a hundred yards away.  He was sitting, but he has just stood up.  He's not a very tall man, only 5'4", somewhat powerful in build but looking hard and lean.  He is fairly handsome, but Delfig's sharp eye detects certain characteristics that remind him of Kazimir.  Certainly there is orc in the man's background.  "He is a friar, like myself," says Jan.  "But be careful what you say to him.  I have come to realize he is a man quick to anger ... a good man, a holy man, yes, but rash also."

The three of you continue forward, and the man walks towards you, meeting you half way.  "Andrej," says Jan.  "I trust we did not keep you waiting long."

Andrej does not answer immediately.  He looks at Delfig carefully, measuring his words.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Last time I ran the online campaign I had not too much trouble with regular posting, but I did get a great many emails from people excusing themselves from not doing it – which gets exhausting. I’m not trying to track anyone’s life towards the blog and I don’t want to insist that people sit down to post. We’re all busy, we have things we’re doing, and if we can’t post that’s just a part of life.

However, I do want to establish some kind of rhythm for the campaign, so I’m going to try the following policy.

Every three days, if I receive no message from individuals in the campaign, I am going to move the campaign along, time wise. This is not meant to get players killed, but rather just to increase the amount of information being given so as to give the player a chance to react if the player happens to be stuck. It is the sort of thing I would do offline as a DM.

The time interval will vary, from a day to an hour to a minute to a round, depending on the circumstance. If, for example, in the middle of combat I’m getting no response from a player, I will roll that player’s combat and advance the combat forward one round. Or if the players are travelling, I will have a day pass, or move from afternoon to evening, that sort of thing.

Obviously, this will be easier if players who are stumped as to what to do next simply comment, “I wait and see.” Then I will immediately move forward to what comes next.

This policy will be changed and updated as necessary.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Morning, On Board the Acmaeon

Monday, May 12, 1650

As Alonzo rejoins his companions, a tall stranger, clearly a Spaniard, approaches the group. He is quite handsome, with black hair, sharp features and a long chin; he is dressed expensively, with a velvet jacket and rich linen shirt, with four heavy, expensive rings on his fingers and a heavy silver chain about his neck, set with yellow stones. He bows deeply.

“Welcome aboard, Don Arhen, it is good that you’ve made it. And welcome, Don Serlio and Don Vezzali. I am Salvador Estados. You have each met with an agent, who has found you and paid your passage on board this vessel. These agents work for me, just as I work for another we shall me in Alexandria. During this journey, I am to be at your service. Is there anything that you require, to make your journey more comfortable or to set your minds at ease?”

Monday, October 26, 2009

Morning, Fiume Harbor

Monday, May 12, 1650

It is late morning as the Greek Ship, the Acmaeon, pulls away from the quay in Fiume.  Alonzo and Vespasiano stand next to one another on the deck, watching the mile-long man-made headland running in front of Fiume as the ship makes its way from the harbour.  The captain has allowed the passengers, nearly sixty of them, this time on the deck, but promises that everyone will be sent below soon after.  Passengers are allowed a hour a day, during good weather, to take in fresh air ... no more.

The ship is not meant to stop until Alexandria except to take on water in Corfu and then again in Ierapetra.  It expects to reach Egypt in fifteen days.

The two gentlemen share notes.  Vespasiano identifies himself as being from Venice.  Alonzo was born in Friulia, but admits to having spent virtually his whole life in Pola.  It takes little time for them to identify each other as mages, and a little more time before they are both comparing hand-bills they both received about two months ago.  The handbills read, "Seeking, knowledgeable candidates to search literary sources in Alexandria, Egypt.  Must be able to read difficult texts.  Payment, 10 g.p."

What does it mean, they both wonder.

Alonzo has heard tell that there is another mage on board, an elf, and wonders if he received the same handbill.


The image shows the view of Rijeka from Kvarner Gulf, an arm of the Adriatic Sea.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Morning, the Pig Tavern

Monday, May 12, 1650

For three days Delfig has rested, gaining back three of his hit points.  In that time Anshelm has said goodbye to his friends, until better times, while Tiberius has simply left town for the three days.  Kazimir has rested himself.  The market fair opened on Sunday after outdoor services; the market offered a rather paltry selection but some little entertainment was much appreciated by the townsfolk.

On Monday morning, Jan the Friar finds Delfig in bed at the Pig.  "I did not know you were here until just a short time ago," he says.  "I had wondered why you did not seek me out."  Apparently, he has been to see the paladin Hornung, and has already been told the story.  "I will go with you to see Serafina," he says.  "It is not a dangerous road, but it will be easier for her if I am there."

He then puts his hands upon Delfig and heals the 7 points Delfig lacks.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Late Evening, the Pig Tavern

Thursday, May 8, 1650

As the four persons settle down to sleep, Delfig expresses his wish to Tiberius for the party to relax for a week and regain hit points.  They can then find Jan, then decide if they want to take the pendant to this Serafina person or possibly hunt for ghoul's hearts.

Anshelm and Kazimir fall quickly asleep.