Jacob as the GM
Charlie as Effy Varrow, an Avalon soon-to-be famous explorer
Lee as Finn Hopkins, the vengeful son of an Avalon privateer
Vinnie as Vanya Steiglig, a grizzled Eisen monster hunter
Josh as Janina “Nina” Kohrs, a Samartian union leader who makes pacts with honestly-not-devils
Amy as Galina Rurick Olgovna V’novgorov, an Ussuran noble searching for technology
Ash as a player who couldn’t make it that week.
Session One: Vestenmannavnjar
Session Two: Montaigne
Session Three: The High Seas!
The heroes have been questing across Theah, looking for etchings on artifacts and getting into scrapes. Their next destination is Aldana in the religious nation of Castille who generally hate magic-users. Vanya and Janina both use magic… what could go wrong?
The homework from last week was to make the cheap crew members for Finn’s ship, The Dawn Star. The call went up on the Google Space for the In-Fighters and the following was established:
Vinnie – They waste food making votive offerings as part of their religious sect.
Amy – They lose the anchor
Josh – In a gambling match with the crew of a merchant vessel. In an attempt to regain it, they staked the whole ship and its cargo in an ill-advised pig race. Now we are all, technically, the property of a Vodacce nobleman. No one’s told Finn yet, and since he doesn’t speak Castillian OR Vodacce, he has no idea. We keep having to spin more and more outrageous lies to explain the presence of the Vodacce, and mistranslating their frequent demands for payment (this one was dialled back some, afterwards).
Me – They take baths on deck and have no qualms about nudity.
Lee clarified the details of the crew themselves:
Finn was the captain, of course.
The First Mate, an old man, well-built and sea-worn (as an aside, ‘old man’ was written in the name section of the sheet by mistake and no one could remember his real name. Sorry old man)
Josephina, a master of sail who was just a child and lived up on the crow’s nest
Bort, a boatswain in his 40’s
Sergio, the legless master gunner
Barbara, an ancient ship’s doctor who demanded up front payment for everything
It was decided pretty informally that they were probably Castillian holidaymakers looking for transport and not technically actually able to sail. Also the nudity was pretty much just Barbara. Lee was handed a character sheet where he defined it as a brig from Avalon which had been at several prominent battles.
Anyway, on to Castille!
Food was running low and Galina took to fishing in order to provide for most of the crew. Effy’s family background meant that she was able to help. Nina wasn’t eating to to one of her pacts, instead she helped with the division of rations. Galina managed to use her impressive Ussuran food-gathering abilities to find and catch a small whale. Galina asked whether a whale was a fish, causing Jacob and Josh to corpse, apparently from similar in-character arguments persisting through different 7th Sea campaigns. There was also talk of making whale cheese or whatever else we could do with the body.
Three ships belonging to the Inquisition were blocking the way through Los Grandes Bay, towards Aldana. The heroes attempted to parlay and were told that the Inquisition were searching for El Vagabundo, a masked vigilante who was said to be in town. They’d blockaded everywhere while their leader, Josephina, hunted him down. She would burn and kill everything in the town if she had to. Nina tried to explain that we were part of a noble peacekeeping mission which they accepted, but did thoroughly search the ship. Effy helped Remy stow away as his nation of Montaigne and Castille had been on unfriendly terms for some time now, but lost the key to the secret cupboard, providing a reason for him not to join us in this week’s game.
Aldana was locked down and tempers were flaring. We all added an aspect:
Vinnie: This is a dry town, the Inquisition have been out smashing caskets of alcohol
Lee: There’s a shantytown outside where traders are stuck
Me: There’s a pyre, where witch burnings have taken place (the group pointed out to Vanya that harvesting the dead for parts was wrong, his response was, “I’m not having this, I’m going to poke holes in The Veil!” which was very mature)
Josh: The port is FULL of vessels looking to get out
Amy: And angry about their booze being taken away
Lee: Some are the crew of the Dawn Star who quit
Amy: There’s rumour of a vile storm heading this way
Vinnie: The Inquisition have persuaded some sailors to help them
Jacob: Grande Aldana was arrested and is being held in the fort, accused of everything from consorting with witches to helping El Vagabundo. He is due to be executed tomorrow morning!
That last entry sounded like something important which we needed to help with. Finn weighed anchor using the whale carcass and the group prepared to disembark. A Vodacce started yelling insults at us for the lousy arrival, Nina recognised their flag and tried to warn Finn about them a moment too late as he shouted a challenge to a duel. This was Vodacce nobility, a people well known for duels and for gloriously underhanded tactics.
While wandering the docks, the group started chatting with folks, providing entertainment and in Effy’s case, slipping away to Assassin’s Creed a few buildings. Vanya spoke with the local police and Finn started scouted the prison.
So the scouting led to the following knowledge:
Vinnie: Grande Aldana was having an affair with a fate witch (Vodacce fortune teller but magic and sinister)
Josh: He is held in the highest room of the tallest tower with guards on rotation
Me: Effy sees the pattern the guard patrols go in
Lee: There are blind spots that can be used
Josh: The Fate Witch is willing to help with the rescue but wants assurance he’ll be taken away
Vinnie: The next in line for role of Grande is a tool of the Inquisition
Me: The brother of the Fate Witch is the man who Finn challenged to a duel
Me: Holy and magic items have been rounded up into a temple
Amy: People are also being rounded up, not all being burnt
Lee: Some of the Grande’s men managed to steal Inquisition clothing and infiltrate the fortress
Josh: A storm will hit tomorrow evening
Amy: Remy’s musicians have returned, possibly providing a good use for theatrical distraction
Me: The storm is said to bring a winged beast
Amy: There are interesting statues in a shrine, guarded by the Inquisition
Vinnie: The Vodacce Finn challenged has a dishonourable bastard of a second, even for a Vodacce
Amy: Some of the sailors are brewing a volatile moonshine
Amy: The shrine also had weird stones in the walls
Josh: Weapons are being confiscated—
Jacob: —If you don’t join the Inquisition’s militia
Lee: There’s a ship with a nice figurehead, which Finn has noticed.
The group wanted to take their weapons into the town despite the crackdown which had been established by the players. They decided to use Vanya’s authority as a monster hunter, claiming he was bringing in a witch. Galina hid most of the group’s weapons in some long, flouncy skirts and overacted being possessed to keep people away. She used some of their stores of whale blood as a prop to seem like she was vomiting it everywhere. Vanya and Effy stormed down to speak to the guards about where to put the witch. After some babble about relics and the possession by Effy, the guards agreed that the witch should be stored with the holy relics.
The group made their way past the guards and into a large shrine with a statue of a kracken in the centre. It had a pair of gems as eyes which were familiar to us, specifically Galina as they looked like the ones in her Inquisition-branded box. Effy found the spot with the rubbing:
It led to Eisen, specifically Wische. Galina was stressing about not wanting to take the gems, which Effy wasn’t helping with. She offered her ‘gem-prying knife’ to Galina and used her hands as puppets, pretending to be the gems asking to be taken. One of Nina’s dievai whispered to her that Galina should take the gems, so she joined in the juvenile method of convincing Galina. She gave in, pried loose the gems and immediately the statue came to life. The guards outside realised that the people inside were a bunch of liars messing up the place and ran up to attack.
Vayna called out that the demon inside Galina had possessed the statue, then attacked it with the harpoon. Finn shot the tentacles and Effy managed to grapple out of the way. Nina tried to convince the guards to help out. Effy’s grappling up to the ceiling caused it to collapse around them and she gripped onto a wall.
Nina called the guard in for help, where they faced a hail of gunfire from Finn. Galina rolled away from one tendril, checked the gems were safe and was struck by another. While this happened, the walls were lighting up with strange runes in a dead language. Effy had managed to flip out of the shrine and saw the glowing symbols. She called out that she could read it, so Nina summoned ice over them to take a cast, levitated it up to Effy and she took a rubbing of the runes before they melted. It’s probably best not to overthink the practicality of such an action, it happened, get over it.
Effy fled over the rooftops while the others used grates to get out of the collapsed shrine. All apart from Vanya who was captured by guards and taken away for questioning.
On the boat, the strands of fate started to pull at Finn. He drank something he’d not seen before, which turned out to be a sleeping draught. The rest of the group announced loudly how they’d seen Vanya get away and assumed he had this.
Cutting to Vanya being dragged into the prison tower, he thought to himself, “I have no idea what I’m doing.”
In the morning the Vodacce noble, Philippe, showed up for the duel. He saw Effy looking at the town through a spyglass.
“You here for the duel?”
“Yes,” he said.
“Cool, go on in.”
Philippe woke up Finn and asked him which swordsman school to use. Finn said pistols, which was laughed off as not official. A Castillian official was with Philippe, trying to officiate and make sure the duel was handled correctly.
Finn displayed all the composure of his player by saying, “I don’t recognise your law on this boat.”
The official asked if Finn even had a license to duel and in return was offered a bribe. Jacob explained that if Finn did this then he would be blacklisted for illicit duelling and gain ‘hunted’ as an issue to deal with.
Nina said that she thought this behaviour was terrible. Jacob pointed out that this was a moment where there was ‘danger’. This is something specific in John Wick’s games. ‘Danger’ means ‘player beware’. ‘Danger’ means you could die. It means life is not fair and it is not even, if you make certain decisions then death may come for you. It is to be rarely employed but there, with Philippe and his official, Finn was told ‘danger’.
He realised these men were armed and he had been drugged the previous night. Finn retracted his challenge, apologised and the men went on their way.
“Daaaaamn,” Effy said, watching them go.
Next session… Castillian Prison Break!