Tuesday, January 31, 2017

In Hora

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Discovery

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Enrico Alone Again ~ Round 5

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

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

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sofia is Out of Daggers ~ Round 4

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

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sparring ~ Round 3

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sparring ~ Round 2

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

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sparring Redux ~ Round 1

Very well, from the beginning.

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


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

Sofia and Kismet, in your good time.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


I'm removing the content from this post because, rather than act upon it, the result was to address difficulties in the campaign and sort out the participants.  This was meant to be part of the first combat round for a sparring combat, but it did not work out that way.

I'm leaving the comment thread untouched.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Rocky Field ~ Sparring 1

Ready to Rumble

The above is the clearest part of ground you could find.  It takes 3 AP to climb up on top of one of the large boulders; they're large enough that if you're hit and stunned, you must make a dex check or you will take 1 damage from falling off.

The smaller stones will not block movement, but if you stand in a hex with a small stone in it, your armor class is reduced by 2 points due to stumbling over the stone.

I need Sofia and Nine-toes to each roll a d6 for initiative.

The monks move.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What is This?

At the moment that Ibrahim stumbles across the description of the artifact in the Baskunchak as being Jewish, there is a distant shout and cry that compels the party's attention.

Philoctetes has been steadily climbing the slope away from the party, up to the church above you, and now the he has turned about and is shouting exuberantly from several hundred feet up.  He's too far away to be heard clearly, of course, but now he comes bounding down the slope.

Ibrahim may feel the need to read a bit more ~ it says in the diary that the Jewish Artifact is from the Khazar Dynasty, that ruled the area until the 11th century, when the Kaganate was broken by the Mongols.  The artifact is not named in the diary, however.  And that brings us to the last page, the text of which was described in the next post.

By then, Philoctetes has gotten close enough that he can be heard shouting, "It's there!  It's there!  I tell you it's there!  I've seen it!"

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ramona's Diary

As Ibrahim opens the book to the front page, he reads,

January 17, 1650
I write this in dedication to you, Mother, because upon your deathbed, you swore you would read every word I wrote down if I would attend to my letters as you fought to have me do so hard as a young girl.  All this time I have resisted doing so out of resentment, but as it looks like soon I will join you in whatever dark hell you've come to occupy, I shall begin writing to warn you of my arrival.
It appears that I have plundered my last English ship.  They are looking for my ship from the Canaries to Iceland, it is only a matter of time before they find me.  As I am bound to meet English ships around the Horn of Africa, and being that I am in no good stead with the Amacuro Pirates who know me in America, I shall try to slip past Gibraltar and make my last stand in the Mediterranean.  It will be warmer there.  I have sent word to Victor a month ago that I shall come to Leer, but received nothing back. 
 Ramona Salvador

It does indeed appear to be a diary.

There are two places in the book where the binding seems to be broken ~ and upon a quick glance, about two thirds of the book, the back part, lacks any writing at all.

On the last written page it reads,

It isn't here.  We've been lied to, and undone.  It is clear that this has all been part of some plot that has nothing to do with us ~ but it has damned us to hell just the same.

The first place where the binding seems to break, the one that is earlier in the book, reads,

January 7, 1651
Of all the coincidences, I have met two of the same fellows who were mixed up with Victor and that business in Leer.  They have asked to be taken to the Black Sea and I am ameniable ~ but I wonder at coincidences.  They have a mage with them now, some fellow named Lukas.  I do not trust him; he watches everything.
I wonder, too, about the one called Ahmet.  What does it mean that he has the same name as my first mate, who gave me up five years ago.  And what does it mean that his voice goes through me like a razor.

The second place where the binding is broken reads,

May 15th, 1651
They are back, and I find that he has brought the little bitch with him.  She stares at him with love in her eyes but I can see there is something less in his.  Well, I hope they will be happy together.  After not much longer I will be rid of the pair of them and be about a better business, I think.  I have been promised transport in Constantinople, so long as I perform some service.  The Gnomes have not yet let me know what that will be . . .