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.