Tuesday, December 17, 2013

An Unexpected Encounter

To reprise:

Bowing low, Andrej make proper introductions, "Father Andrej of Cumana, at your service my friend. My companions are Maximilian Boii and his man Mareo of the Hapsburg Kingdom; Lukas Meyer of Zurich and our leader upon this expedition, Ahmet oglu Ahmet of Capadoccia. Oh yes, and Lukas's man Hichem, from Ifriqiya upon the Mediterranean Sea. Who may we thank for the assistance?"

And the answer comes from twenty yards to the right, in the trees, "I believe I should answer that," says a man about 55, bearded, dressed as a Islamic holy man, wearing a heavy black woollen robe belted with a wide swath of leather. He wears a short grey fez, askance on his head. A mace hangs from his belt, but he appears unarmored. "This is my servant Hayund; and I am -"

"Mullah Yazigi!" shouts Ahmet, before he can stop himself. Sometimes, the DM must act the inspired response of players.

It is the man who tried to teach Ahmet to be a good muslim; who also did his best to give Ahmet counsel prior to his entering prison.

I would point out that at this point the party is only about 90 miles from Melitene.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Riding Into Anatolia

Wednesday, April 14, 1651, afternoon
With overcast skies, cool temperatures, a near gale, with heavy rain and a crosswind.
Waxing crescent:

At the point where we pick up the party's travels again, they have been forced to take shelter in the vardo upon the mountain slope they are descending, having been kept awake all night by first a moderate rain, that began the evening before, turned into a violent heavy rain, where the wind shifted and began to blow bitterly out of the northeast, rousting them from their sleep to shift the vardo and the animals to better protection. It's been needful to get further off the mountain, which has meant a hard five hours of pushing, hauling, dragging and walking beside the vardo in the rain to lighten the load. Only now has the party found a flat, secluded place where they can get inside again, strip off their wet clothes, have them dried by Lukas, and rest. Three can sleep while three others can sit up where one of the sleeping shelves would be, and in the middle of the floor; it isn't restful, but it is out of the rain.

How has the party found their way here to this dreaded, unknown place?

They are on the southeast side of the Anti-Taurus mountains in central Anatolia, 17 days from Amisos. During that time they have climbed and climbed, until the highest point of the pass through the mountains they've just come through, above 6,000 feet.

The first two days, the party edged into a slot through the Pontine Mountains, following the Yeshil river, with many small towns and villages, orchards, great flocks of sheep and herders hard at work shearing them. By the third day, you were through the gap, but still climbing, upwards through a open mixed cedar, hazelnut and oak forest.

There are four days of this, the last day being the hardest, as the last climb onto the plateau at Tokat proves a trial. The weather, at least, is bearable, the sky is clear and the brisk temperature is good for travel - you walk with open coats and hats off during the day. The chilly nights, however, those you can do without. At least the days are steadily getting longer.

You reach Tokat on the 5th, a fair sized town, 500 buildings, amid tobacco, tea and coffee plantations, above the forest. The road is better here, and you roll south with gained enthusiasm. The days are cool, now, thoguh the evenings are still brisk and the nights still chilly. You pass through the bigger city of Sebaste on the 8th, more than twice the size of Tokat, and that night there is an unusual driving rain, that makes you appreciate the vardo.

Its been hardly apparent to you that you've been still climbing all this time. Tokat was 2,600 feet above sea level, Sebaste is 4,000. The plantations have yet been on both sides of the road, but now the party sees the great Anti-Taurus mountains above them, though they are 40 miles, 10,000 feet high and covered with snow. They seem impossible.

The roads have been empty much of this time, except for local traffic, and the party has noticed they've been left alone more than usual. No one seems much interested in them, or friendly, most likely because of their European appearance. At the end of two weeks, the party at last begins to make its way to the pass.

To climb the pass takes two whole days. A fresh wind brings heavy rain the morning of the second day, and another light rain that night. The party is over the pass the next day, the 13th, their feet crunching on snow and the vardo making tracks as they go. They are just beginning to descend when the sun makes it too dark to continue.

This brings us back to the beginning of the post, where the rain has made the last 18 hours intolerable to say the least. The party is hunkered down in their vardo, waiting as the afternoon wears away and there are signs the clouds are dissipating, the animals outside and everything, everywhere, slicked with wet ... when there comes a knock on the door.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Amisos in Late March

Friday, March 26, 1651
With overcast skies and brisk temperatures, a light breeze and a prevailing wind.
Full Moon

For six days you beat your way east against the wind, always coming out of the southeast, a miserable, biting wind when its cold, and dry when its cool. Frelg, the half-orc pilot, shows a tendency to rub a sort of thickened sheep's wool grease into his lips and face to keep the skin from splitting, a concoction he claims to have created himself, and has no name. He is willing to share it out, and it works quite well.

It has been damn cold every day, and at night the wet chilliness of the wind seems to permeate the rafters of the ship so that you are all shivering in your bunks by morning, and slipping into the kitchen for a few minutes to warm yourselves near the cook's iron stove. He's chased you out several times. Wednesday morning began with heavy rain, that was swept away by a clear, cool wind from the northeast that cleared the skies ... but the evening of that day saw great black clouds gathering above the mountains of the coast, and then the Petrel was struck with a heavy, drenching rain, that included even thunder, despite the early time of year. The next morning, Thursday, began with steady, driving rain, again from the land, that seemed at times to come down like sleet.

You round the point at Sinope on Wednesday the 24th, turning south and into the wind, keeping the crew busier than ever tacking straight into the wind. On the Thursday you pass by a fat merchant ship bound northwest, and the party can faintly detect through the floorboards the tense angst of the crew, and smell the salivating that goes on and is yet restrained. The Captain has a flag waved at the ship and it responds with its destination, Constantinople.

Amisos is at the bottom of a great, wide half-moon bay, a city of about 3,000 buildings stretching for three miles along a beachy coast between a hooked right point and a forested left shore. Two spits extend into the Black Sea, the one from the left hand of your view being almost two miles long, to shelter the port from eastwardly originating storms. A city rises upon a gentle slope away from the sea, sitting like a saddle between a western hump (above the hooked point) and a gentle rise to your left hand view.

The Captain brings the ship within the harbour but makes no move to bring it to a quay; she wants to limit her crew's access to the shore. The party makes their goodbyes, the Captain promises to be back here on the 26th day of April, and to remain here until the 14th of May ... whereupon she will leave word at a well-known coffee & bathhouse called The Ataturk, that Frelg knows. This house is a three story, extensive building that can almost be seen from the Petrel as its pointed out to the party.

Now the party finds themselves at the head of Bihtim Road, which negotiates the saddle between the docks and warehouses along the shore road (Fuar) and the interior market, where goods are collected from the hinterland. Up this road into the mountains is the way to Melitene.

A bit of signage for Lukas's vardo:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

En Route to Amisos

Saturday, March 20, 1651, Evening
Weather: With clear skies and brisk temperatures, a light air and a prevailing wind.

The Petrel makes its way east along the Black Sea coast for five days, early on the third day, the mountains of Anatolia can be seen distantly upon the horizon, and the prevailing wind turns to the southeast, sweeping down off the mountains and bringing with it a cold, biting wind. A thin, splatting rain that keeps up for a few hours without even wetting the deck yet makes the 18th, that first day, unpleasant and unencouraging. Thence forward, cool days turn to brisk, and the nights turn chilly, making the ropes hard to manage and work upon the open deck a bitter chore.

With not but the bow sail up, the Petrel continues to make good time, as the pilot knows well the currents in these waters, and rides one that steers the ship steady on forty miles a day.

Deven, the Norwegian, chances to be alone in the mess with Ahmet, where they have both watched the Captain enter the kitchen for a hot coffee. Madam acknowledges you both, then returns topside ... and Deven says to Ahmet, "That is twice since Constantinople that I have watched your eyes closely follow the Captain." At that moment, Maximillian comes up from below and hears Deven add, "You have a story to tell about women, that is certain. You like them and you dislike them, is that not so?"

Maximillian will remember that Deven is the crewman who tried to strike him early in the voyage, and smashed his hand against the post next to the bunk. I think I can add that if Maximillian wishes to remain just out of sight, around the corner to the mess, that's possible, or he can indicate he enters the mess to get the same hit of coffee the Captain was lately wanting.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Wrapping Up in Constantinople

I never did give the experience.

That was Ahmet, 209; Lukas, 44. Maximillian did not hit for damage, and no one took damage in the fight with the wolf, so there is no bonus to spread around. Shame about that.

I haven't touched the campaign in a month. Does anyone have any last things they'd like to do in Constantinople, and have I forgotten any questions or failed to address any pertinent issues?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Days in Constantinople

Monday, March 14, 1651, afternoon
With overcast skies, cool temperatures and a gentle breeze with a prevailing wind.

The party has been in Constantinople three more days, giving Andrej time to learn what he has of Cumana, that it is said a war will erupt between Poland and Russia in the summer of 1652 (so go the rumours).  He has also learned that Bulgarian soldiers have been marched east towards the frontier in Persia, where the Safavids are making moves against the Ottomans on the far eastern frontier.

The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, the party also learns, is a 9-year-old boy, Mehmed the 4th ... and that the real power behind the throne is in the hands of a woman called Kosem, the aged grandmother of the Sultan.  Much discussion is made of her decades of influence over the throne through her sons, but that there are factions that threaten her (but there are always factions that threaten her); or that the Vizier supports her (but when a Vizier doesn't, she manages to be rid of him); that the mother of the Sultan, Turhan Hatice, despises her mother-in-law Kosem (but this has always been so); and that the Chief Black Eunuch in the court, Tall Suleyman, is part of a plot to replace Mehmed with another of Kosem's grandchildren.  And so goes the intrigue.

Ahmet would remember Mehmed's name, but only as a boy born to the royal family ... he perhaps knew before that Mehmed had been given the throne, perhaps not. Ahmet has been away a long time.

Please buy whatever else you need, do whatever else you will. The Captain of the Petrel has suggested she would be ready to sail by the 19th.

The weather continues in the same old way, day after day. You have been living on the sea so long you hardly realize the weather does change; now and then cloudy, few clear days with sun ... and rain becoming less and less frequent now that you are far from central Europe.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Glowing Wolf

As the gnomes disappear, and as Maximillian and Enrico are suddenly there, I will remind the party that the street is still 'empty' with regards to the three of you. Your weapons seem to be accessible, but except for the ground, you're unable to interact with your environment. You suspect that you would be able to pass through doors ... however, Maximillian might caution that while you could not "see" through a door, a creature might still be able to smell you, and that therefore 'hiding' behind a wall or a door could actually be more of a detriment to you than it would be to an enemy.

The wolf, for example, that appears through the wall at 3 o'clock in the square, moving slowly, slavering from its enormous jaws, sizing up the three members of the party.

It is enormous for a wolf, easily 350 pounds, with a snout and head the size of a lion; it's paws are great spreading pads with toes slightly separate, more so than an ordinary wolf ... and the whole body is glowing a very definite green - not in the manner of a modern radiation might be portrayed by a bad film, but as the bioluminescence produced by an octopus or a lightning bug. In the light of day it is barely detectable; in the night, Maximillian (who knows such things as a druid) would guess that it would illuminate an area 10 feet in radius.

The creature paws the ground, and clearly moves its head from one to another of you, choosing its victim.

Now, I'd like to do this without having to produce a map. So read this very carefully and make NO assumptions. This should be very simple.

The square is not very large, only 40 feet across. There's no where to hide, since the wolf can move through things (evidently). Likely, the wolf could travel the whole square and attack any of you, because it is big enough and - as a wolf - probably fast enough. The most dangerous thing about a wolf is that it will go for the throat - and if it hits with a critical, it will likely tear your head right off (does 4x damage on a 20).

Please recognize that using a missile weapon will not exempt you from attack. Hiding directly behind someone else MIGHT, if that protector is willing to be hit on your behalf. So please, if you will throw a spell, pick a protector FIRST. There won't be space to hide behind someone if you're swinging a sling or loading a bow, just so you know.

Remember, how many feet you are from the wolf doesn't matter. It can attack you anywhere.

Let's assume that if you want to attack directly in hand-to-hand melee, the wolf is in so many places at once that you can probably move close enough in a given round and attack.

You should all be at full hit points. In this particular case, the first move will probably have to be made by the wolf - or by you moving towards the wolf and then the wolf springing. Either way, can we start by having Ahmet roll initiative.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lukas Alone

Lukas, one moment you are walking with your friends, and the next the square is completely empty. There are no birds, no cart, no priests or gnome or soldiers in front of the cafe. The objects and places are all the same, but there are no people in any of them. And it is unnaturally silent.

A moment later, a short figure in a cloak emerges from the cafe, and another enters the road at 1 o'clock from a doorway. Both stand less than 4 feet in height. They each move to stand ten feet from you. The one who emerged from the cafe throws off his hood and reveals himself to be a gnome. The other, with a quarterstaff in hand, turns his back on Lukas and keeps eye upon the street from which he's just come.

"So you are Lukas," says the gnome, in a friendly manner.

(It would be best if no one except Lukas commented upon this thread)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kare Satsico

Friday, March 12, 1651, morning
With clear skies and brisk temperatures, a moderate breeze and a prevailing wind.

Your travels through Istanbul to find the various things you search for have led you, as I say, through a variety of narrow streets and squares, wherein you have seen many sights.  So it is nothing unusual that to find the walking stick of your fancy you find yourself passing by several dozen beehive-looking granaries, where carts are being loaded on this somewhat brisk morning.  The next day has begun, after yesterday's wanderings after arriving by ship.  The carts carry sacks of grain, and you find yourself moving along with some carts in an upward path to the higher points of the city, naught more than 75 or 100 feet above the water. It is then that you come to the Kare Satsico, where you were instructed to go.

'Kare' is a local name for a Piazza or Plaza, and this one is quite small, perhaps 30 feet by 40. You enter it together, meaning to cross the Kare to get where you are going. I will need to describe it. The carts pass through the Kare on the right side, which we'll describe as entering at 4 o'clock on a clock face and departing at 1 o'clock. They have left a trail of grains, and as you enter the Kare you find a thousand pigeons ... literally ... feeding on this grain, poking about on the ground, breaking apart as the carts move through them, and as you move through them too, like a low tide that refuses to wet your feet.

In the center of the Kare is a fountain where as many as two dozen women seem to be washing their clothes. The woodcrafter's that sells canes is at 12 o'clock; between 11 o'clock and 7 o'clock are a series of step gardens that rise above the square, beautiful and lush, hung with lemons, pears and large, round, light golden apples, the like you cannot recall having seen. They are as large as two of Ahmet's fists held together. Even Ahmet, the Turk, cannot recall having seen these. The gardens are separated from the Kare by a high metal fence, but there are boys who have climbed the fence and are reaching through to grab the apples.

There are four Greek Orthodox priests at 8 o'clock, sitting on benches around a table, who seem to be playing a game with a hat, gold and silver coins, and a draedel that they spin on the stone floors of the Kare amid the pigeons. The pigeons seem somehow involved in the game. There is a blind gnome on a stone block set under a spreading oak tree, who seems to be listening intently to the priests. There is a cafe at 5 and 6 o'clock, with two tables out front and a long bench on one side of the door; a half-orc soldier is sleeping on the bench, while two other half-orc soldiers are sullenly smoking upon pipes from a squat hookah sitting on the left hand table.

This is the scene you take in just before you notice that Lukas is missing.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Constantinople, First Afternoon

Thursday, March 11, 1651
With clear skies and cool temperatures, a gentle breeze and a prevailing wind blowing south along the Black Sea's west coast.

It will take ten days for the party to travel the 380 nautical miles to Constantinople. As you make your way north, you find the cool temperatures worsening somewhat, as the nights steadily become more brisk and the days more cool. There's only a little rain over your journey, however; some the night after leaving Koufonisia, some off the coast of Lesbos and a good, moderate rain the afternoon you make your way through the strait at Canakkale.

The journey is fairly uninteresting. The crew seem in better spirits for some resting time in Koufonisia, which had proven to be more relaxing than their last sojourn in Fiume. The Captain seems in better spirits too, which improve still further after stopping in the small town of Eresos on Lesbos to pick up a pilot who knows the waters of the Straits and of the Black Sea. The pilot's name is Meredith, a 45-year old Turkish woman with hard, experienced eyes, a silent temperment and considerable strength, standing 6 foot one and weighing some 17 stone. She takes over the wheel with little ceremony, and apparently without spite from the previous pilot, Gerhund, who had apparently gone to pieces after the near sinking at Koufonisia.

The Dardanelles strait is quite narrow, no wider than a medium sized river (narrower than the Weser that the party crossed the day after burying the Captain's husband), but the Sea of Marmara on the other side is wide, smooth and easy sailing. The Dardanelles and the sea beyond are filled with boats, the strait being something of a friendly experience as you hail the crews of ships moving just fifteen feet off the beam, even where a bit of supply is passed back and forth between crews. Marmara has hundreds of little boats skittering this way and that, some coming quite close to be run over by the Petrel ... but it all seems to be quite normal, as no one shows the slightest bit of alarm. Meredith breaks her silence to tell the crew to settle down, that if one of these crazy small boat pilots is struck she'll work that day for free.

Constantinople is magnificent. The party comes ashore there with eyes open. They have been to Venice, and to Hamburg, so they have seen big ports before, but there's something truly elegant and Old World about Constantinople that those European cities lacked. Where Venice had a few beautiful piazzas, Constantinople seems to stretch for miles with nothing but. The huge Blue Mosque and the Great Santa Sofia rise like a mother and father from the city, seeming to embrace the teeming, odorous, shouting, passionate marketeers, peddlers, musicians, city officials and holy men that dominate the narrow city streets, the wide boulevards, the preponderous waterfront that stretches all around the point called the "Golden Horn" ... and gold indeed seems plentiful enough to sink all the hundred, perhaps two hundred ships in the harbor.

The market for Constantinople can be found here.

A map of old Constantinople:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Adding Up & Aftermath

Hopefully, then, these are the right numbers:

Enrico caused 10 taken 21
Carlito caused 14 taken 7


The man upon the rock cheers, shouts, beckons for the party to approach him. He seems genuinely pleased.

Psammodrons Round 13 - No, We're Not Done

The creatures roll a 10 for morale, grow aggressive once again and choose to return to the fight. I should point out that when they broke in the first place, it wasn't because they were actually 'losing' the fight; the dice determined a discrete retreat was in order. It would not have been terrified flight.

(E) turns around and rushes at Kismet, involving him in melee but not attacking.

(F) looks at Sofia, then at (H), and rushes to 0826.

(H) turns, signals at both the remaining creatures and rushes to 1227, grabbing the quarterstaff there.

The party's move.

Arkemis can't lift Enrico's body and carry it without stripping it first, so the Greek turns, lifts sword and steps to 0727.

Neklan, the minimum distance on your sling is 3 hexes. You may fire at (H) from your present position, but to fire at either (F) or (E) you must retreat one hex minimum (2 hexes maximum) away. You cannot retreat into a hex with an ally in it and still fire your sling.

Carlito may fire from his present position (+1 to hit), but he is likely to back up to 0729 or even 0730 to do so, even though this would avoid the point-blank to hit bonus. Roll Carlito's morale to stand fast (I believe his morale is 9, which must be equalled or beaten on 2d6).

Kismet may swing.

Sofia may take another action.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Psammodrons Round 12 - They Break

All four of the remaining snake-men break and run. (F), (C) and (E) expend a penalty AP to break from combat, while (H), who was not in combat, moves 4.

Neklan has indicated that he is loading. You will need to move 1 hex in any direction, as Arkemis (below) is entering 0728 to look at Enrico.

Kismet suggested he would be up to throwing an axe. He can do so at this time if he wishes.

Sofia moves to find his daggers, which will be scattered around and may be lost. At the moment, he has not had time to find one dagger. He cannot move to 1322, as that would put him across the path of the fleeing creature, and must therefore risk a re-encounter. Please look at the map Sofia and redirect your character; entering 0922, 0923, 1024 or 1123 would risk re-engagement. In short, it would be 1 AP to enter those hexes, but 2 AP to leave any of those hexes, and I would get the chance to swing at Sofia.

Carlito loads his bow.

Arkemis moves towards Enrico to see how he is, entering the hex with Neklan. He bends down expecting to lift Enrico in his arms.

The map as it stands is below. Has everyone caught up?

Following the Party's move:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Psammodrons Round 11 - Down to Two Fights

(F) takes a swing at Sofia, rolling a 19. It does 4 damage, which by my read drops Sofia to 4 hit points and pushes her back again into 0725. (F) continues to press forward into 0825.

(H) attacks Arkemis, but drops its weapon, which skitters into 1225 without breaking. That's like, my third drop, right?

Freaking quarterstaffs everywhere.

(C) attacks Kismet, rolls a 12 and misses.

(E) attacks Carlito, rolls a 4 and misses.

(A) rushes Neklan, knowing full well that its the spellcaster that's been making its life difficult lately. It moves 3 and doesn't have time to attack.

The party's attack.

Sofia is stunned. Arkemis takes advantage of the fact that H has dropped its weapon, expends 2 movement to get into 0925 and swings at (F) to relieve Sofia. He rolls a 17, and proceeds to do 5 damage with the broadsword. That's enough to kick (F) out of 0825 and stun it.

Kismet, Carlito and Neklan can take actions. Your call on Carlito's action, Enrico.

After the party's move:

Psammodrons Round 10 - Enrico Goes Down

(F) turns and attacks Sofia, rolling a 16 and hitting AC 3. He causes 6 damage to the monk, which stuns Sofia. (F) will expend two movement (penalty due to Arkemis) and move into the hex Sofia has been knocked back from.

(H), who considers Arkemis as much as a threat as Kismet, turns and attacks the Greek, rolling a 3. (H) holds his ground.

(B), seeing that Kismet has been ignored by (H), advances forward and engages the dwarf in combat ... though (B) does not have enough move to attack this round).

(E) smashes Enrico again, rolling a 16. It does 7 damage, dropping Enrico to -4 hit points. (E) does not follow, but retains his position beside (C).

(A) has been driven temporarily off and (C) was stunned, so it is the party's turn.

It is the party's turn.

First off, I will need Enrico to roll to see if he remains conscious. I must also mention that he loses one more hit point due to bleeding, putting him (by my calculations) at -5. He is stunned this round, and can't fight ... but if he remains conscious he still can swing a sword even at -5 hit points. His wisdom is down 50%, which makes it 4.5 (down from 9). He must make a wisdom check against that number, so he must roll a 4 or less on a d20 to remain conscious.

Secondly, I'd like to mention to Neklan that as a thief he can use a scimitar, like the one on Enrico's body. He may not be proficient in it, and therefore suffers a -4 penalty to hit, but it would mean he could at least defend Enrico long enough for the fighter to crawl away - if he's conscious. If (E) is fighting Neklan, and keeps him from 0829, then Enrico might be able to leave. He's -1 AP at the moment due to his -50% status. Obviously, if Neklan has a cantrip that can perform the same task, that's an option too.

Enrico stops bleeding as soon as binding his wounds begins ... but he must be out of a combat hex and he needs fully three rounds to bind, or else the bleeding will restart. If Enrico remains conscious, he has the strength to bind his own wounds.

Arkemis attacks (H), rolling a 3 and missing.

Sofia is stunned. Kismet and Carlito can attack. Carlito will move to 0829, and get there before Neklan would be able to. I'll let Enrico roll to see if Carlito hits.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Psammodrons Round 9 - Limbo

(F) moves and attacks Arkemis, rolling an 8 and missing.

(H) moves forward to 1125 and attacks Kismet, rolling an 18 and hitting the dwarf for 2 damage. That should stun the dwarf, driving him back yet one more hex, into 0926.

(B) hesitatingly takes two steps forward, watching the battle, to 1327.

Both (C) and (E) attack Enrico. The former rolls a 7, and the latter a 3, so that both of them miss.

And (A) is coughing, and was stunned by Sofia. These two effects do not compile, but A ends in 0529 (forgot to account for the stun movement on the last post).

That makes it the party's round.

Arkemis turns and attacks (H), hoping to free up Kismet, but rolls a 10 and does no damage.

Carlito will likely advance upon (C) to free up Enrico.

Neklan, Enrico and Sofia are free to take some action.

Following the party's move.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Psammodrons Round 8 - Ouch

(A) is going to charge at Neklan ... but because the actual contact with Neklan will require 3 of the creature's action points, it won't have enough to actually attack. As I am STILL unhappy with my charge rules (those listed on the blog nonwithstanding, we can agree for the moment I have tested them and don't like them), I will have him stop in hex 0528 and not attack. (Clearly, I need to write some new charge rules and post them on the wiki)

(E) attacks Enrico, rolling a 20, followed by a 12. It then does maximum damage, which is 14. That will crack Enrico's shoulder, causing a break of the skin and setting Enrico bleeding.

(C) will step up to Enrico and attack also, rolling an 8 and missing.

(B) that was hit by Kismet, stumbles back three hexes ... it seems to be hurt.

(D) will attack Arkemis with a clawed hand, rolling a 6 and missing.

(H) steps up to Kismet, rolls an 18, and hits for 7 damage. That also stuns Kismet this round.

(F) was stunned and takes no action.

This would make it the party's turn.

Carlito, I'm sure, will seek to throw something at (C) and rush to Enrico's aid. I'm sure you can tell me how, exactly, that's done Enrico (go on and pick a weapon to throw and roll an attack). If he has nothing to throw, he'll be sure to at least force (C) to attack him next round instead of Enrico.

Arkemis rolls a natural 20 on D, followed by a 1 (not a drop) ... and will cut down his creature with 12 damage. That will seem to kill it.

Neklan can take an action, and Sofia.

After the party's move:

Psammodrons Round 7 ... FUBAR

(A) Turns its back on Sofia and heads straight towards the remaining party.

(F) leaps into 1024, grabs its quarterstaff there and uses it to attack Carlito. It rolls a 16, hitting and causing 2 damage. Carlito is stunned again, but the creature does not have enough move to follow him.

(D) Turns, sweeps its staff over Kismet's head, and attacks Arkemis. Arkemis seems to be somehow blessed, because as D's staff strikes Arkemis' sword, D rolls a 1 and drops HIS quarterstaff. It doesn't break, but does roll into 1025, at Arkemis's feet. Arkemis hops and the quarterstaff rolls behind him.

(C, B & E) are all stunned and take no action at all this round.

(H) gets a +2 modifier to its ability to see the sinkhole since he can see Kismet has slipped into it. He rolls a 2, that is definitely under his intelligence, and pulls up short.

It is now the party's turn.

Arkemis swings and rolls a 16. He does four damage to (D), who stumbles back into 1224, stunned.

Enrico can swing, Neklan's sling is loaded. Sofia can take what action she will. Kismet, I'll tell you at the end of the round if you were able to extricate yourself.

Updated for party movement:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Psammodrons Round 6

(A) moves across to 0619, keeping Sofia in its gaze, but not moving towards her.

(D) attacks Carlito, rolling a 14 and hitting AC 5. I really don't know if this hits or not, but the damage is 3 if it does. That ought to be enough to stun Carlito and send him back into 0924. Let me know if it hits.

(F) slashes at Arkemis with a claw; it rolls a natural 20, followed by an 18, but only doing 2 damage (1d4 = 1 x2). Arkemis, miracle of miracles, isn't stunned. It only costs (F) two AP to attack, so the rest of its movement will depend on whether or not it can move into Carlito's hex and regain its quarterstaff.

(B) moves forward and, with a glance and a growl at the dead creature, attacks Kismet, rolling a 7 and missing.

(C) attacks Enrico, rolling a 6. That's a miss, too.

(E) attacks the Figure, which has the same AC as Neklan. It rolls a 12, that hits AC 7, but again, I don't know if that hits. Please let me know. Neklan's AC should be 10 minus the dex bonus, but I can't remember what the dex bonus is.

Meanwhile, (H) is rushing at Kismet, and apparently towards the sinkhole. It will have to make a wisdom check to determine whether it sees the sinkhole or not; a success would mean it needs to avoid the sink hole and the six hexes around it, or slide in, or else make a saving throw against feeling as though it is drowning. I'll have to look up to see what the duration of the sinkhole is (and this has been so disjointed, I'm not sure if its been up 1 round or 2).

The problem is, Neklan's name links to Maximillian, and NOT to Neklan. I have no idea where Neklan's character is on line. Enrico's name links to a Google plus page, that says nothing is shared with me, so I have no idea what his stats are, either.

Can we please post links for the DM?

Meanwhile, please take action.

(actions made in comments)

Following the party's move:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Psammodrons Round 5

(A) does its best to close with Sofia. (C) closes with but does not have the move to attack the Figure. (B) & (E) continue to half-run forward, covering six hexes. (D) rounds (F) and turns towards Carlito, while (F) engages Arkemis. (G) closes the distance and engages Kismet without being able to attack. As I said in the earlier post, (H) is stunned.

Comedy of errors. (F) rolls a 1 on the d20 and winds up hooking its quarterstaff into its own feet, not breaking it but hurling the staff into hex 1024.

That is the snake-men's moves and attacks. When the party comes back, they can take their actions.

The map has been updated following the players' move:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Psammodrons Round 4

Still showing the party's last moves.

The snake-men begin their approach cautiously. While C, D, E, F & G continue to approach at one-and-a-half speed, until they are within four hexes of the party (for the most part), B slows and jogs to its left, to support C. H slows down to give orders, shouting, "Don't rush them, take them slow and easy!"

A slows and shadows Sofia, moving within 2 hexes, guard up, mouth open and tongue playing about its 'lips.'

The party can move; Neklan can discharge his cast spell. Before anyone can stop him, Arkemis will leap to 1125 and swing at F. He rolls a 2, and misses.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Psammodrons Round 3

They do not attack this round either, in fact they slow up a bit, moving halfway between normal movement and running speed, as they're told to do so by the one in the back who is shouting at the others (H).

It's quite clear from their aggression and growls that they mean to attack, and perhaps to eat you.

The party may move as desired.


Psammodrons Round 2

Here Come the Psammodrons!

The psammodrons make no attack, but run forward at 1/2 AP per hex, closing the distance between themselves and the party. There's some question now whether or not fleeing at this point would be successful, if you would make it to your boat before the creatures reached you.

The party can take what action they will.

After the Party's Move

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Upgraded to 300 dpi

Big map, but I wanted to give the full size of it at the beginning.  You can just see the small man in the center, on top of the lighter gray slab.  A group of creatures emerges from hidden positions behind the undergrowth (the green patches show where the undergrowth is thickets, but there are trees scattered between the green).  The large tree is shown behind the man ... that's not a bush.  I'm somewhat limited at present by the speed of the program I'm working with.

There are eight of them altogether, and they appear to have intended to lie in wait for the party.  Right now they rush forth, still moving at normal speed.  They're not at all armored, but of course their tan-brown leather skins may be protective; they are all carrying quarterstaves; They appear to have large, reptilian heads, emerging from shoulders in a snake-like fashion, and would appear to weigh between 250 and 300 pounds.  They're about 6 and a half feet in height.

I'll rule there's no surprise, since the party did suspect a trap, and I'll also rule that initiative going forward can be for the party.  So please take action as you will.  Directly behind you, not shown on the map, is the shallow pond you've just come across to get to this point (it's not a barrier, it only gets your feet wet again).  The boat is on the other side of that ... and you have time to reach it if you run now.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bound for Iraklia

last quarter

March 4, 1651, Thursday morning
With overcast skies and cool temperatures, and a gentle prevailing wind

Yet another cool morning begins with the rising of the sun, though its cloudy and grey. The night before was no worse for temperature, and the party bore up quite well. Arkemis makes apologies to his masters for the weather being so god-forsaken cold, and spends half the night waking and attending the fires to keep the party warm and content.

Carlito wonders aloud to Enrico if the summer is as hot and unpleasant here in Greece as it is in Italy, and makes an unhappy comment about Tazio having a roof to sleep under.

You eat a hearty breakfast near the gray-blue water, no longer the brilliant turquoise it appears to be in the sun, and the water's a might chilly to dip your feet into as the boat is ready and you wash up. Soon enough you push off from Skhoinousa to make the short twenty-minute journey to the next island. There's no current in the water, Arkemis notes, as he directs the sail to catch the good wind that's blowing behind you.

Iraklia is rising big and bold before you, the large knobby rise on the right, and a low flat shield-like hill dominating the whole south half of the island. Between is a flat area of grass and sparse two-foot shrubs, most probably rose bushes and the like. You're about 400 yards away when Sofia sees something that appears to be a body floating in the water some eighty yards to the right of the boat.

It's very low in the water, its head must be down, and there's no movement at all that can be seen, but there's the humping of the shoulders and something very much like hands or legs that are bobbing with the waves rolling over the surface.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Beetle on Skhouinousa

Here is the relationship of the party to the beetle:

(OOC: sorry; this is Pub 2013, it sucks, I am fighting with the
program perameters and turning all the crap off that
comes turned on with a new computer.  Otherwise, this would
be prettier)

The beetle moves to attack Neklan's figure. It is the unluckiest beetle in the world, rolling a 7 and missing completely. Treat the beetle as though it is in 1415.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


March 3, 1651, Wednesday afternoon

The journey along the north side of Pino is somewhat disappointing, for it reveals nothing more than Arkemis suggested. The cliffs on the east end tend to be some 30 feet high, and the grottos small, the rocks light in color and without any sign that there might be a hidden entrance. There are hundreds of potholes there, which the sea has made, places where a half-circle has been carved into the rock. The waves in these places occasionally turns in on itself and makes spray, shooting out into the air.

The rocks on the west end are darker, black and grey in color, and the rear-wall of some of the potholes there are dark and difficult to see ... but the 40 to 90 foot cliffs would be very difficult to approach, for once the boat comes into the area of the pothole, it will be swept around and crashed upon the rock.

The day remains clear and cool, though there are suggestions of building clouds far upon the northeast horizon, beyond Naxos ... Arkemis tells you those clouds are nothing to worry about, they will not approach until nightfall.

The island has a spine that runs through the middle, with a rock-and-boulder slope that progresses to heights of 600 feet. Arkemis tells you this is the best anchorage on the island, a place where small stones the size of your fists make a shallow that the boat can be pulled into.

There is no breeding on Skhoinousa at this time. The island seems utterly peaceful, more rocky than Pino but covered with more vegetation. There is hardly any sign of an expanse where one might plant a garden, and there seems to be an absence of olive or natural fruit trees. The area where the birds appear to gather are two great prominences, like fingers, reaching out into the sea, cracked stones a hundred and fifty feet high and perhaps two hundred feet long. The rocks are white and grey, spattered and trailed over their surface.

A quick examination suggests a host of vermin on the stones; it is not long before Sofia spies a wolf spider two feet across, while Neklan pronounces to the party to keep clear of the crevices. He has seen both a brightly colored beetle weighing as much as a small dog, and a centipede as long as his arm.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Fair March Morning

Wednesday March 3, 1651, Morning in Koufonisia
With scattered clouds and cool temperatures, a moderate breeze and a prevailing wind.

The moon in its last quarter, it rains the night of the 2nd and into the early morning, with it clearing away as the moon starts to fade with the dawn. The next morning the wind has shifted again to the northeast, and the party can't help but note that even with the rain the temperature did not become less than cool. It's been weeks since experiencing even a chilly night and the weather is something to take pleasure in.

Arkemis tells the party that no, Karos is uninhabited, though it is well known that the 'evil birds' dwell upon the roosts on the west of that island. When asked about that, he explains in a manner that makes it clear he is speaking of a harpy's nest, which it is known has thrice defied attempts of the Naxos soldiers to clear off the place. There's also suggested that there are underwater men who live off the clam beds that can be found on the east edge of the island.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Onto Pino's Saddle

As the day stretches, clouds begin to appear to the north and drift lazily across the sky, eventually bringing some relief from the sun in the early afternoon. The party grows hungry and sits to eat; Arkemis shares some figs, unleavened bread and a clear dipping sauce made of crushed limes and fennel that's sharp to the taste, yet unusually delicious to German palates.

In time you work your way down to the saddle, and find there to be cracks in the stone along the north side of the island, most often a foot or so wide but 10 or 20 feet deep, like dried pudding that has split on the surface. The south edge of the island (where the tilt in the plateau falls towards the sea) is all gravel and sand, held together with occasional scrub.

About a hundred yards ahead, you can see the top of a big olive tree, thirty feet wide ... but it appears to be growing from inside one of the cracks, for you can't see the trunk of the thing at all. The canopy is rich and full, however, unusual for the island, so you suspect there must be a water source for it.

As you close within 70 yards of it, the entire olive tree canopy gives a terrific shake. A large bird emerges from it, and you realize as it drops towards the south end of the island that it's an ordinary-sized vulture, not remotely large enough to shake the tree, just put out by the shake. The vulture soon reaches the water, hundreds of yards from you, and disappears as it becomes too small to see.

The tree seems untouched, but you're all wary. After another minute or so, it gives another terrific shake. It appears as though it is being struck with something, but you do not hear the sound of a blow.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Tuesday, March 2, 1651
With clear skies and cool temperatures, and a gentle breeze blowing from the south.

Assuming the main party has left on the 1st, and that after that Enrico and Sofia solidify their relationship with Necklan and Kismet, together you hire the boat driven by Arkemis the night of the 1st. It is Tuesday morning, therefore, when you set forth. The recent full moon has shown the night before to be turning to one that is gibbous and waning, so at night the landscape should be well lit up if the sky is clear.

The extending eastern shore of Lesser Koufonisia, that Arkemis simply calls 'Pino,' is in fact not more than a third of a mile from Greater Koufonisia (which Arkemis calls 'Fakousa'). The water between is clear, down at least thirty feet, but Arkemis points out as he ferries you across that there are places where the current is fast and dangerous. He points out a whirlpool to Carlito that lasts just a few moments, that the hireling describes as barely a foot across.

Deftly, Arkemis maneuvers the boat around some impressive pillars rising out of the water, ten or twelve feet in diameter and twenty feet high, spaced along Pino's shoreline. Pino on this end shows a cliff that is about as high as the pillars, and along the base of this cliff are small caves, where the waves turn into and make rushing hollow sounds; the caves occasionally spray water back towards the sea, and Arkemis tells of how swimmers have drowned here, unable to free themselves from the pools around the caves.

He says that the island is indeed dangerous, that no one lives there. He has explored only part of it, near the beach and the spring where he's taking you. He says there are places where groves could be planted in the soil, but that most who have tried to settle there in the last century left behind the beginnings of their construction, but they themselves were missing.

He has seen a set of footprints on the beach that were as large as a giant, that were so heavy that they compressed the sand, so that when the tide rolled in the footprints rose up from the sand, like a foot-shaped hump. This tale strikes Neklan, as he had read the book about cyclops and that is a phenomenon that was mentioned in the book. He most likely mentions this to Arkemis, who laughs, saying the prints were not as big as that! "This couldn't have been bigger than 8 feet," he says. Still, he has not been back since seeing that, because he did not want to go alone.

You land on a wide, U-shaped beach, if the bottom of the 'U' were somewhat squared. The spring is near the water, just fifty or so feet above it, and there is a two foot stream that steadily pours through the sand. An immense tree, like a willow, with no central trunk but with hundreds of branches, rises a hundred feet in the air and is a hundred feet at its widest part, just above the spring, obviously fed by it.

Arkemis pulls the boat twenty feet up onto the shore, saying it will be safe there.

Above you rises a gentle slope, to a crest some two hundred feet high, scattered with wild olive, stunted oak and scrub.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Campaign Discussion Koufonisia

While Ahmet is trying to decide what to do, I need a few questions answered, so let's start a new thread.

1) Can we confirm that the island's labor will be directed towards irrigation. This will have some immediate influence on the food supply in the summer, but full irrigation will not happen in one season (and there's always the possibility of destruction or or maintenance to new structures.

2) The party going to the Black Sea will consist of Maximillian, Ahmet, Andrej and Lukas. Please confirm.

3) Will we leave off the main party (point 2) for the time being, adjusting time later, and participating with the party in Koufonisia, or the reverse.

4) Tazio and Carlito, I presume, are staying with Enrico. Mareo is going with Maximillian. Hichem is going with Lukas. Please confirm.

5) What is the destination of the party leaving Koufonisia.

All of these are non-events, so they shouldn't interrupt the previous thread in which time is passing. This thread is not for action-taking, but just for event planning.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

After Three Days in Koufonisia

Feb 26, 1651, Friday evening
With clear skies and cool temperatures, a calm without a wind.

On the Friday, as the wind dies to nothing and the water turns to a mirror, the Captain orders the Boatswain to take command and she comes ashore to the island. By this time, the house has been bought (Andrej's offer of gems has been accepted), the island explored, the ship replenished with water and what supplies are available, all the crew has been ashore at least once and virtually everyone left.

Andrej, Ahmet, Lukas and Maximillian are sitting on a shallow ledge between town and the shore, discussing matters of who should stay and who should go, and making over their plans, when they see the Captain climb into the launch and slowly come towards the shore.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Coming Ashore on Greater Koufonisia

It is still morning, and the weather continues to be unchanged ... clear skies, cool temperatures, moderate breeze. Altogether fairly pleasant, particularly as you are still not that far from many slashing cold days at sea in the Adriatic. It's almost as if you can smell Spring.

As you land aboard the island, with a few crewmembers - four you don't know well, Evard, Henning, Roald and Vilfred - who have been told to find fresh water for the boat and to report back. The Captain is seeing to it that the boat is secured in the harbour, and that the main balance of her crew is attending to the damage in the Petrel's side that has now been shown to be leaking. There's some five inches of water in the sub-hold, and that will need some attention. Therefore these four can be let off; Henning and Roald are sail-trimmers and mostly handle the ropes, Evard is the storebin's overseer and Vilfred is typically one of the two men in the crow's nest. Of them all, you know Evard best, since he is often around the horses.

The balance of the boat is filled with Detweiller and four of his men (Matthais, Marco, Gabriel and Konstantin). He will not take no for an answer, and assures the party that his purpose is to be on hand to ensure there's no trouble with the townspeople or the crew on the island. "I won't have you killed in a brawl," he says to Andrej. "So we will have a presence ashore."

The Magistrate Poppazoukalou has managed to return before the party, and now he greets the longboat as it makes its way upon the stony beach. There is no dock, no services of any kind that you can see; only a great deal of dusty rock, a few very white houses and a patch of greenery two hundred yards up the one low hill that's visible. The island is to the right is flat and stretches three quarters of a mile in sight, while the island on the right is a low ridge (showing a flat cliff of layered rock) pushing out into the sea, about fifty feet in height.

Poppazoukalou is sweating and mopping his brow as the party beaches.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

General Campaign Information (Aug 8, 2013)

Book mark this thread, use it for all forward going questions regarding rules, restrictions, character details and NON-REAL WORLD specifics not related to the actual course of events in the campaign. When we get to 500 comments, I'll start a new post.

Please limit personal comments off this thread; let's keep it primarily for rules comprehension and necessary data (like the weight of things), along with noted errors in existing rules or the wiki.

I should note that this need not necessarily be restricted to questions from the party - but if you're not in the party, please keep your questions as relevant as possible.

The Yawl's Tale

The Captain speaks to the crew of the yawl having secured that boat to the Petrel:

"Count your vessel, your wealth and your LIVES in my hands, for I'll kill any man who dares lift a hand against my will. I am the Lady Ramona Salvador of the Southern Netherlands, and I am the Captain of the Petrel - who here speaks for my new boat and my new crew?"

One Turk climbs up upon the small boat house in the centre of the yawl. "I am Irik al-Harim Hassan, and I am the Captain of the Hizli Kosucu."

"You were the captain," says Madam Salvador.

"We are on a mission of mercy," says Irik. "We have nothing aboard but grain and fresh water, bound for the starving island of Mikonos to the west. You can have the coin aboard, you can have our few weapons, you can seize whatever you like but this boat, it's sails and the life saving food aboard. I'll sink this boat before I give up our mission!"

"I own this boat," says the Captain. "If it pursues a mission, it'll be on my say-so. Jacobo ... Anders! Go aboard. Search the yawl, find out for sure what they're carrying. And if he wishes -" She points at Ahmet; "He can go with you."

At about this time, the rowboat with four boys and the very large, very short man, with bump against the far side of the yawl's stern, unseen at the moment by anyone except the party (it goes out of sight for a moment as it reaches the yawl, for those who have been watching).

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

As The Sun Rises Over Koufonisia, The First Day

Feb 23, 1651, Tuesday morning
With clear skies and cool temperatures, and a moderate breeze prevailing from the north east.

As the wind swings around again, it brings with it a stiff wind, though nothing to cause the ship and crew trouble.  The Captain wakes early, before the sun lifts above the horizon, and climbs on deck in the dim light of dawn; she calls the party up, for she sees that the yawl in the harbour is making preparations to get underway.

She is considering raiding it; it is not very deep in the water, says the glass, and it is in the party's backyard ... so she is interested in asking.  As the sun rises, she shares with the party a map she obtained in Zakynthos; she has used it to steer the boat in these waters, with which she is unfamiliar.

Granted, its not drawn in the medieval style, and I'm not interested in drawing passage lines on the map (which would be expected for the period, so let's just assume they're there).  Primarily, the map gives the following information (please ignore the grey hexes, this map for the game is still in development):

The party version
(the DM's version has more information)
 The Captain will abide by the party's decision ... but it does seem that the appearance of the Petrel has the Ottoman crew somewhat concerned.  The glass indicates they are shouting at one another and moving quite quickly.

What would you like to do?

Friday, August 2, 2013


Feb 22, 1651, Monday evening

With overcast skies and cool temperatures, and a gentle south wind (Sirocco from Libya).

There's a delay with setting the main mast that keeps the Petrel in Hanya harbor until the morning of the 20th, and as a cool light breeze prevails from the NE, the Captain sets sail east by southeast of it. For two days the ship close hauls to the wind, but the repairs have been done and the ship manages the turns more lively. The crew's spirits are up, particularly as its been days now since a rainfall - a sure sign the Spring is making its appearance.

Just past midnight of the 22nd, the wind swings around to the south, and blows cool and dry. The Captain lets out full sails, the first time in an age, as the Petrel breaks free. With the wind behind her, the ship lifts nimbly off the water, and by ten bells, the Island of Thera breaks into view. Three hours later, as you skid along at four and a half knots an hour, Thera passes on the right as ahead you see plainly the Island of Ios. Two hours after that, the watch in the crow's nest calls out land to the northeast, and the Captain checks her charts. Sure enough, it's Greater Koufonisia. She hauls back on the sails as the sun nears the horizon, and more carefully the Petrel picks its way towards Little Koufonisia. The island is bare, low on the horizon, empty of trees it seems as the darkness gathers.

In the small, close harbor, a little pool between a cape and a tongue of stone, you can see a 35-foot yawl, clearly an Ottoman frame - so says Ahmet. Why it's there, you can't guess. It is too dark already to see the proper harbor entrance, and the captain orders a plumb line dropped. You learn you're in 73 feet of water ... and for the next hour or so the Captain manuevers the ship to set the anchor. You end three hundred yards from shore by the time the 22nd bell sounds.

Dates indicate beginning of day.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Week of Progress

Feb 15, 1651, Monday afternoon

With overcast skies and brisk temperatures, a gentle breeze coming from the southeast (Khamsin winds from Egypt)

The morning after, the 10th, the wind again turns calm, disturbingly so, leaving the sea flat and undisturbed, the temperatures cool. There's little to do but to polish the brightwork, repair the sails, bring down the poor ropes and replace them, and do such repairs as the ship can do at sea. Maximillian finds time to speak with Maurice, who is generous if a bit touchy about food, and appreciates Maximillian who seems undisturbed by the hawk sitting upon the a perch above the pantry. The two of them begin to become friends; Mareo makes a comment about it, suggests Maximillian will get fat on too much honey and bread ... but it tastes delicious.

The 11th turns promising, with a good steady Sirocco from the south that catches the beam - the Petrel makes good time and the Captain slowly brings the ship around east by northeast, swinging past the south of Kythera (just barely visible on the horizon to the north, seen only when its pointed out to the party). The crew works in good spirits, and though Maximillian and the rest come into contact with Anders and Jacobo, the matter seems to be closed - they make no comments, no suggestions, and their smiles seem sincere and the matter closed.

On the 12, the wind swings around to the NE, and though it remains gentle, the direction requires the ship be close-hauled into the wind, tacking back and forth, and everyone is quickly exhausted. The work is doubled, it is explained to Ahmet by a fellow in the mess, because the foremast is weakened and must be handled carefully.

The Boatswain explains to Andrej and Lukas on deck the evening of the 12th that if the wind stays like this, or gives up again, the Captain will turn south to the Ottoman Port of Hanya in Crete, something like 40 miles southeast of your position. It so happens that the 13th begins with rain after midnight, quite a lot of it and steady, without much wind - just a honest continual downpour in a light wind. There's no change in the direction of it and the Captain announces with the dawn, as the rain quits, that yes, the ship will turn for Hanya.

For the rest of that day the Petrel makes good time, but on the 14th the wind seems to come from all directions at once, then reduces to almost nothing. As the sun rises, Crete can be seen in the distant west, but the desired direction is south. The Captain orders the hold cleaned out, water pumped and carried over the side, and the horses fed on yams - which the ship has 400 lbs. of - if need be. Slowly, agonizingly, the ship limps along.

The wind picks a direction on the 15th, from the southeast, the direction you seek to go, and so all through the last of the night and the morning the ship fights to get to port. Finally it comes into view around noon, at by the first bell in the afternoon the Petrel pulls into the great harbor of Crete.

Hanya is a low, flat port with buildings that extend out over the water, surrounded by docks and boardwalks that extend out into the sea.  To all appearances it is a very European looking city ... the Turks only seized it six years ago, and there is not even a mosque to be seen.  The front of the town goes on a long way, and rises up into the hills behind the frontages of three and four story apartments - there are nearly two thousand buildings that make up Hanya.

Not long after bellying up to port, however, Ahmet recognizes the call the prayers, and a hundred or so moslems in sight - among three times as many locals - draw out their prayer rugs and proceed to pray.  It's a very strange sight for Lukas and Maximillian, while Andrej has seen only four or five people do it at one time - never a hundred, and never in such a setting.

The Captain announces that she plans to be in town 4 days, and suggests the party refrain from Adventuring.  She says she has no plans to leave the ship at all, and instructs the Boatswain to procure supplies.

I will get up a market list for Hanya which I will post on the Wiki in a short while.

Hanya, looking along the west point from the
main harbour.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Moment Below Decks

Feb 8, 1651, Monday evening
Partly cloudy and cool temperatures, and a light air, with a prevailing wind

After three days of slow progress

As the wind dies, the Petrel struggles its way east.  The party is told that somewhere out there is the island of Kythera and the island of Crete, but naturally nothing can be seen but the dark blue water of the Mediterranean, lapping gently at the boat, suspended particles of detritus clear as a bell down to eight, ten feet as you stare into the sea from the rails.  There are no birds, not because there's anything wrong, but because of the season you're told, and a dozen stories of ancient battles fought with galleys come to mind.  This would be fine weather for a galley, were it not too early in the year and therefore deceptive.  It is poor weather for a sailed ship.

The captain still has not made an appearance, though it has been six days now since the events on Zante.  The party has carefully packed all their loot away now, to keep it from the prying eyes of the shipmates, but now and then Jacobo and Anders have both dropped very definite hints that they could say something if not for their "very dear friendship with fellow adventurers," such as the party.  "It's a shame others can't see how much you took from that mountain," says Jacobo to Maximillian on the Sunday morning.  "Yep.  That's a real shame."

On the evening of the 8th, the ship steadily heaving all of five feet a minute, yet in a generally southeastern course, there's a violent ruckus on the deck below, that draws some Andrej and Lukas from their cabin, and Maximillian and Ahmet from the upper deck, along with any hands who are free to go look.

The sight is the cook, Maurice, his forehead cut wide open with a broken plate, the deck outside the Captain's cabin awash with soup and stewed beef, the captain's cabin door slamming closed and the barely-heard but unquestionable railing of the captain behind the closed door, at the top of her lungs.  Those aft and on deck chance to hear the last said a bit louder.

"I only wanted her to eat," says Maurice.  The general feeling of the crew to this, and for the next hours thereafter, is the desire for the same.

Knowing Andrej or Maximillian might rush to aid, be it known that Maurice would shrug off such attention, preferring to dress the wound proudly and hope it scars well.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fighting the Euroclydon

Feb 5, 1651, Friday evening

Weather: with overcast skies and brisk temperatures, and a gentle breeze, with a prevailing wind.
You come aboard, bringing your horses with you and making yourselves ready for the continuation of the journey.  The horses are soon full-sized and eating again - the crew has collected a hundred pounds of grain for them, to be sure they're well supplied.
The Bo'sun in still in command, and remains so two days later.  There's no word of the Captain emerging from her cabin, and the word goes around that she has not eaten during that time.  The morale of the crew is generally low, though it is not because they dislike the bo'sun.  They seem to accept completely that he is in authority, even though he would not be the next in the chain of command - that would be the mates, or officers.  Still, the mates obey him, they call him 'Skipper' and he treats them well ... with kid gloves, even, as he seems to know they're all worried about the Captain and where her mood might take her.  (I could not find a name for him ... let's say he's Danish, and call him Viggo.
The prevailing wind is the Euroclydon, that blows hard from the northeast and curls dangerously around the southern capes of the Peloponnese this time of year.  Viggo chooses ultimately not to risk the ship on the shore, and pursues a frustrated, difficult easterly course, worried of a change in the weather; he has heard that a warm crosswind from the south can gain a great deal of moisture off the Mediterranean and rain enough to swamp a boat in Winter.  He wants  no part of that.

The weather does turn gentle come Friday, and the boat makes good passage in a generally southeast direction, keeping the wind on her beam.
The exact placement of the ship is unknown to me just at the moment; I'll be working it out, and wanting to add a prevailing/secondary wind element to the weather generator.  It's safe to say you're probably three to four hexes east of Zakynthos at this time, in waters that are variably the Mediterranean and the Sea of Crete.

From Moby Dick:
"It stood on a sharp bleak corner, where that tempestuous wind Euroclydon kept up a worse howling than ever it did about poor Paul's tossed craft. Euroclydon, nevertheless, is a mighty pleasant zephyr to any one in-doors, with his feet on the hob quietly toasting for bed. "In of that tempestuous wind called Euroclydon," says an old writer- of whose works I possess the only copy extant- "it maketh a marvellous difference, whether thou lookest out at it from a glass window where the frost is all on the outside, or whether thou observest it from that sashless window, where the frost is on both sides, and of which the wight Death is the only glazier." True enough, thought I, as this passage occurred to my mind- old black-letter, thou reasonest well. Yes, these eyes are windows, and this body of mine is the house. What a pity they didn't stop up the chinks and the crannies though, and thrust in a little lint here and there. But it's too late to make any improvements now. The universe is finished; the copestone is on, and the chips were carted off a million years ago. Poor Lazarus there, chattering his teeth against the curbstone for his pillow, and shaking off his tatters with his shiverings, he might plug up both ears with rags, and put a corn-cob into his mouth, and yet that would not keep out the tempestuous Euroclydon."


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