I guess the Captain had been keeping a log of our travels. Since he has fallen ill, it has fallen to me to keep this record.
We had gotten all the cannon off the El Diablo and were debating what to do with them. Migel was convinced the cannons were cursed, and I thought he might just jump off the ship and try to swim for it. It was hard to argue with him, with all the dead bodies hanging on the El Diablo. I thought we might be able to turn them into Admiral Duckworth, either for gold or possibly even a Letter of Marque. Regardless, this was the second job we had done for the Great Hok and both of them had left a sour taste in my mouth. Sure, the first one was profitable. But the Hok had flat out lied to us about the nature of that wreck.
Captain Thunder initially seemed conflicted, but then made up his mind. He gave us a speech:
“No man but one of a foul and twisted heart could create cannon such as these. We swear allegiance to no flag or no king. We are free beings of Caribdus. We may be pirates some day, but not today and not because our souls were damned by these hunks of brass. And I’m damn well not going to be sent to my watery grave because our treacherous patron turns them on us as soon as they are given up. Or from his buyers. The Zephyr sails a new course today. We’ll fly fast as we can for Baltimus and turn these cannon over to the Admiral. He may have a stick up his arse but there is no man I would trust more to turn these abominations to slag.”
“This may not be the course every one chose when they became crew of this tiny ship. If any wish to leave, I’ll give you the cutter and your full share of what little we’ve accumulated. You’ll reach Brigandy Bay in a day but we’ll be out of reach of the Hok’s wrath. We’ll never set eyes on that pirate nest again but the world will be open to us. It is only reasonable that the Admiral reward us with a Letter of Marque. When we’ve earned enough gold and have a proper war ship, we can help bring justice to the seas.”
“I’ve been in Caribdus three years and it took these cannon to show me the path I was on. It is my path no longer…”
And that is when he just fell down. At first I thought he was dead, but Aneila checked him over and said he would probably live. Migel started going again at that point. He said that the Captain had touched one of the cannons during his speech and that it has tried to kill him. We eventually got Migel calmed down and got the Captain to his cabin.
Aneila did what she could for the Captain, but couldn’t really tell us anything. She started examining the medicine chest we took from the El Diablo. She thought it would be helpful going forward, with general medicine and poison antidotes. In particular, she seemed quite taken by a set of surgical knives in the chest.
With the Captain down, I took charge. In this case, that meant putting Featherstone on the wheel and Roki in the crow’s nest. We might need to reconsider putting Roki up there. He is the natural choice, as he loves climbing up there. But I’m a bit worried about him after what he saw on the El Diablo.
As we were heading to Baltimus, Pecos Sam and The Roadhouse appeared behind us. Roki didn’t see him until he was practically on top of us. He fired a warning shot at us, and it was pretty clear he was after the cannons. We exchanged fire for a few minutes, with Aneiala trying to blast them with water and Iranthis throwing lightning to counter their cannon. Nigel managed to get the crew to put the Sloth cannon into a mount, but it was never fired.
As the ships got closer, it was apparent that we were going to be boarded. Roqi took the initiative and swung over to the Roadhouse. Unfortunately, some of their crew was waiting for him and he had to dive into the sea to avoid their pistol fire. He just managed to grab a rope as he went over the side of the ship and was able to pull himself back up. He might have regretted the decision to climb back up as he got beat up pretty badly.
The Roadhouse managed to get attached to us and we were boarded. The deck, still covered with the cannons, was a chaotic whirl. Featherstone and Iranthis provided support from the wheel, while Nigel, Aneila, and Brak tried to hold the main deck. Nigel was quickly surrounded, though he held them off easily enough. At least, he was holding his own until Aneila accidentally shot him. (Given how she acted later, I’m now not sure it was an accident.)
The fight finally ended when Iranthis fried Pecos with a lightning blast. The rest of the crew surrendered at that point, and we suddenly had a second ship. We searched the sloop and found 148 pieces of eight and a letter from the Great Hok about the cannons. He had offered Pecos the same deal as we got. We split the two crews and continued to Baltimus.
During the trip, Aneila continue to check out the Captain’s arm. It had turned black and was starting to look like a claw. At one point, she accidentally cut it open and instead of blood there was a black ichor. She called upon her magic to try and use the sea water to flush out the ichor. For some reason that she never explained, she thought the new knives might be the key to solving the problem. She started experimenting with them on the dead bodies of the Roadhouse crew.
After several days we finally made it to the sprawling city of Baltimus. None of us really knew much about the city, other than what everyone knew. It was founded by an advisor to old King Amemnus before the flood and it is currently the home of the British East India Company. I was pleased to see Duckworth’s Man of War was in port.
We headed to a bar called The Crow’s Nest. There, Featherstone saw an old marine buddy from his time before hearing The Maiden. He briefly explained the situation about the cannons, and ended up with an offer to meet with the Admiral.
Aneila continued to experiment with the knives, even going so far as to capture an alley cat and killing it. She said it was very satisfying, but honestly that just scared me.
I was still feeling rattled as Iranthis and I headed off to meet Duckworth. We had briefly talked about blaming the whole thing in Pecos, since we had the letter from the Hok to him. However, between Aneila acting crazy and the intimidating Man of War I completely forgot about that plan. I told him the truth, with the main desire being that the cannons didn’t end up with the Hok.
Duckworth didn’t seem to be too impressed at first. But after hearing the entire tale and getting a suggestion from his First Mate, we came to an agreement. We would give him the cannons and check into the disappearance of some farmers on Lanos. In exchange, after completely the job successfully, he would grant us a Letter of Marque.
The First Mate gave us some basic info on Lanos. It is a swamp town that gets by using farming techniques from the Chinese visitors. There aren’t any Chinese actually there though. He suggested we talk to the harbormaster and the sheriff.
I was feeling pretty pleased with myself when we got back to the ship. But while I was gone, Aneila had cut off the Captain’s hand. She explained it was the only option, and besides it was his off hand. She has it stored in a pickle jar filled with her water magic.
Jo gets an extra bennie for cutting off the hand
Salty Seamen – Jo after thinking for a few seconds trying to come up with something that didn’t sound dirty
Maybe there is some good in you – Nick to Jeff after he was allowed to spend two bennies to counteract rolling two double 1s during the Roadhouse combat