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
Ash as Remy, a drunken ex-musketeer with a lot of fancy hats
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
For this session we were missing Vinnie as Vanya Steiglig, a grizzled Eisen monster hunter
Session One: Vestenmannavnjar
Session Two: Montaigne
Previously, the group have been following maps found on strange artifacts. So far they’re two for two in weird plots which have in some way revolved around them. Finn’s boat, The Dawn Star, was going to be hunting down the same statues we were and we needed to hunt it town. It was also Finn’s dad’s boat which was stolen when he was murdered, so there were a few reasons we wanted to fight it.
Effy had sabotaged the statue the crew of the Dawn Star would use to find where to go next and because of that, we had a headstart. Finn got us passage on a Castille boat and we prepared to ambush the Dawn Star as they made their way through the Montaigne/Avalon Straight. A few things about the boat first.
The boat was named El Fuego Adentro, or “The Fire Within”. Yeah, the GM was a first edition 7th Sea [LINK>>>http://7th-sea.wikia.com/wiki/El_Fuego_Adentro] fan, along with a few of the group. The captain was called Juan D’Aldana Zepeda and used to smuggling odd people around. We had a little peace while waiting in a cove off the coast of Muguet for the Dawn Star to pass. Nina was asked by one of her dievae if she remembered her pact from last session; she would need to sacrifice the figurehead of The Dawn Star to it.
After a while, we saw the familiar sight of The Dawn Star and prepared to battle!
Finn prepared the boarding part, as did Remy. Effy sat in the crow’s nest with her telescope and grappling hook to hand. Nina went to the guns and ordered people to make demoralising shots. Galina went below decks to review the weird things which El Fuego Adentro was carrying. We wondered what it would be. Fire mages? Refugees from first edition? A Stargate? No, especially not that last one; the Stargate veto was still in force.
As soon as the ships were close enough, Effy grappled over to the other side, Nina ordered a ‘demoralising’ cannon strike at the figurehead. Finn and Remy were pretty excited about showing off their duelling schools as they awaited the Dawn Star’s boarding. Yes, our guys were going to counterboard.
Effy landed on the Dawn Star and knifed down the sail. It had to be done, I know it was the boat we were looking for, but this was a swashbuckling game and had to happen. Effy yelled out an apology to Finn as she went, then kicked a brute as she landed and ran along the side of the boat shouting, “I’m a pirate!” as she went.
Nina’s cannon fire knocked off the figurehead and shot one of the opposing cannons. Remy bashed a ton of the brutes attempting to board and pushed forward, creating an opening. Galina realised we were in a fight and started to get the crew to patch up our boat, she also crept into the cargo hold while all of this was going on, finding a box marked with an Inquisition seal. Finn grappled his way through the air, drew his gun and opened fire. He saw Albert and his massive hat amongst the enemy and challenged him to a duel.
The dour-looking folk amongst the Dawn Star’s crew revealed their panzerhands (big-arse metal gloves), so they were ready to fight. Given everything going on, the heroes needed to work out what they were doing in this fight.
The group rolled their actions and in order…
Finn led the way, advancing across the boarding plank, firing at several pirates, but Lee forgot to spend a raise to not be left with one bullet. He finished, realising he had one shot left as he was about to fire on Albert, who ran below deck.
Effy parried pirates using a grappling hook, then swung across the deck of the Dawn Star, kicking a bunch of brutes in the water. She landed on a cannon and pointed it away from the boat.
Remy continued to push forward without Finn, having made a cutting critique which gave us bonuses to our weakest rolls.
Galina hid the Inquisition box she’d found, jumped and grabbed the ropes of swinging pirates, knocking them into the sea. She sliced the ropes of several others, but took a stab to the side from the last of them.
Nina closed her eyes and drew the sword she’d been gifted in the Montaigne sewers, then thrashed around with it wildly, missing everything. She looked down at the enemies in the sea between the two boats and started throwing floaty things down to help them out.
Galina flung her performance sword to a brute sneaking up on Effy.
The deck of the Dawn Star had been conquered! Then the screeching started from below decks. Sirens. The group worked out what to do.
Effy and Nina yelled at the people in the sea while lowering ropes.
Finn chased Albert, ignoring the cries from the sea. He managed to shoot Albert in the shoulder, but that didn’t slow him down. He charged through a hatch, slammed it behind him and after a screaming noise and smell of blood, all was silent. Finn opened the door to find that Albert had been teleported out, probably thanks to Monmart.
Remy swung across to the Dawn Star to use one of the cannons.
Galina decided to try and use her knowledge to remember what she could about the sirens. She was able to make three statements and would gain or lose drama dice if they were harmful or helpful to us, respectively. Amy had a think, then said:
Their bite has a sleep toxin, so people fall asleep and are dragged underwater when bitten. (Josh gave a sarcastic, “Thanks”)
They are drawn away by music, which was handy given the band who followed Remy everywhere.
When they’re really hungry, they’re known to climb up through port holes and onto decks. (Josh shouted, “Fuck off!” while Amy accepted a couple of Drama Dice)
Vanya swung over to the Dawn Star, almost hitting the figurehead. Finn tried getting a bunch of the pirates we’d rescued to help him out, with some help from Remy. Galina saw one of the Vaticine people in the water, about to be attacked by a mermaid, she cursed under her breath and rescued him, regardless of her issues with them. Nina used Remy’s backing band to lure the mermaids away from where the people in the water were, then used her powers to freeze the Dawn Star’s figurehead and making it drop into the sea. It was around now the group remembered she’d made a pact to sacrifice the figurehead of the Dawn Star in return for more power. This was Josh being offered power, so he’d accepted without thinking about it and now had the opportunity to follow through.
Effy helped sailors up, congratulating them on the good fight. One attempted to punch her but was blocked by his friends.
There was a shout of “Reefs ahead!” signalling even more danger. Finn spent all of his raises in one round to get as many people on his side as possible, steering the ship away from the reefs which could have ripped it to pieces. Remy got them to drop anchor and attempt basically a handbrake turn. I don’t know if it’s possible with a ship, none of us are boat people, but it sounded cool so it worked. Nina tried freezing enough of the Dawn Star to make it ‘impervious’ and Finn was beginning to see that his ship may not survive the group. The El Fuego Adendro scraped by the side of the Dawn Star but the pair avoided the reefs, crashing into each other or getting damaged any further.
Now everything had calmed down and Captain Juan was insisting his ship part ways with the group in order to go to nearby Muguet for repairs. The group started moving their things over to the Dawn Star and collided with the Panzerhand-wielding men from Eisen. They were on their way back to their homeland to turn in a bounty. The group saw something was breathing under a large sack and pulled it open to reveal Vanya. He’d been enchanted with something to keep him knocked out. The bounty hunters revealed that they’d been sent after Vanya because he’d been using body parts of other Hexenwork practitioners to make his potions.
Everyone started talking about taking down the bounty hunters or maybe letting them take Vanya in for his crimes as they were pretty sketchy if they were true. While this was going on, Finn offered to cut them in on a share of the crown when they find it. Effy immediately broke off from the rest of the group’s debate about not honouring Eisen law while in international waters. She insisted the crown belonged in a museum, not partially in the hands of Eisen bounty hunters! What were they going to do, pull a Mean Girls and snap it into pieces? It was too late, there were promises of money and a share in a crown.
The session was nearly over, so Jacob pulled out a deck of Once Upon a Time cards for the next leg of our journey. We were travelling to Avalon, the homeland of Finn and Effy, also of mischievous Fair Folk and story-based reality. While Effy was pretty much, “whimsical magic, whatever,” a lot of people still found Avalon a strange place. We were all handed a few Once Upon a Time cards and had to work out a fairytale together. These are the excerpts I was able to piece together:
Once upon a time there were seven dwarves who had been turned to stone and placed in a park in Carleon.
Josh: There are hundreds of dwarf statues, to hide the real ones
Jacob: There was a witch…
Josh: Deep in a swamp
Ash: Far away
Amy: from the sea and only existing at certain times
Charlie: The swamp was poisonous
Ash: There was a dungeon
Lee: hidden inside a tree
Charlie: The dwarves were statues while they were placed in a magical sleep
Josh: It was a spell to save them
Ash: From a giant wolf
Charlie: They were gifted to Queen Elaine
Josh: She recognised their value and hid them amongst many others. Every full moon, more are added to a park
Charlie: It was heavily guarded
Amy: Against monsters
Lee: The originals have been taken and replaced with fakes (WHAT? – I have written next to that) The Explorer’s Guild were switching some out to test for the proper ones
Amy: It’s said when all seven have been kissed by seven princesses they’ll wake
Josh: Or just one
Jacob: Or if the wolf is slain
Charlie: Or maybe a kiss from the seven poorest people
Josh: If the wolf if slain, the dwarves will reappear and join the Fair Folk
Charlie: There are rumours of the wolf, appearing at night throughout Avalon, worrying people. The swamp reappears on a full moon and the wolf will be seen then.
Finally, as we were starting to pack up, Jacob ran a quick scene with Lee. Finn tried to persuade the crew to stay on, but they couldn’t stand his father who apparently, “drank a bit too much salt water” and started believing fairy stories. They believed that Albert was right to get rid of Finn’s father and go back to serving Queen Elaine as privateers. Finn exploded in rage at them, cementing their abandonment and meaning that he needed to hire a new crew once we hit Avalon.
To a land of fairytales and horrendously deadly animals! To be continued!