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 Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides

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S.E.A.M.U.S
Valian
Valian
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Male Number of posts : 356
Age : 41
Location : Now with half the bladders and none of the taste!

PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:55 am

Corwin is a lousy shot, (as everyone probably knows) he'll duck behind some cover and wait til they get closer (i'll have his memorised spells soon enough)

Remaining stooped behind the gunwale, Corwin waited for the distance between the two ships to draw narrow, his trident readied in his constricting clutches. Leaving her hatch, Tamera offered Corwin a crossbow but he refused it with a brush of his hand. The gesture did not go unnoticed by Logor.

"Fie! Come now, Corwin. You'll never hit anything if you never try!" His mild reprimand voiced, Logor returned his attentions to the Devil's Hangman as the first volley of bolts and arrows took to the winds.


(The gunwale offers Corwin 9/10 cover if he is crouching and ready to attack. By lying down he could extend this to full cover, but the usual penalties for lying prone would apply if the pirates were to suddenly board.)

(Pirate - crossbow attack on Corwin (AC 28): [color:c9c1="Red"]Miss (11))
(A whole bunch of crossbow, shortbow and ballista shots. Dice, dice, dice....)



The gunwale's planks shuddered briefly near Corwin's head as a dovetailed bolt struck the wood but failed to penetrate, tumbling uselessly into the sea. The sharp "thunk-thunk-thunk" reports pealed from either ship as the barrage was exchanged; even the crow's nests struck their blows as high above, Sailor Blithe and the vigilant pirate in the opposite crow's nest knelt within their structures, aimed and loosed their weapons, yet so great was the swaying of the masts that neither came to harm and their bolts pierced only the heavens.

Below, a lean and grizzled pirate fell to the deck, struggling to keep his life despite the two telling bolts transfixing his ribs. The ballista atop the forecastle rocked against its securements as the barbed harpoon screamed across the expanse and slammed into the pirate ship's hull, trailing its hemp tether behind it. Reacting quickly, Sailor Callet pinned the anchor's chain and began to wind the harpoon tether around the capstan. Soon, the Devil's Hangman would be dragged to the Saint Alarice and captured...assuming that the pirates did not triumph over their esteemed foes, perhaps.

"Three-quarter sails!" Captain Stillwell howled over the din. "Mariners, prepare to repel boarders!"

Peeking over the gunwale, Corwin saw the captain's concern: already the pirates had begun to climb the rigging of the Devil's Hangman with a choir of silent blades swaying from belts or clenched between teeth. Ropes were unknotted from limp sails and released from their belaying pins, rendering them ideal modes of conveyance for those who would leap from masts or gunwales and swing across the separation, over the lapping ocean to the whitewashed decks of the Saint Alarice.


Spoiler:
 

corwin will set to receive a charge.


(spells for the day are

0 level

mending
read magic
detect magic

1 level

Magic weapon
Cause fear
Command


[color:c9c1="Cyan"](Thank you. And clever move there! Before I forget....)


[color:c9c1="Red"]The Battle is Joined!

[/center]


Shadows fell across the deck of the Saint Alarice as her ballista drew the Devil's Hangman near. Bravely and cunningly, Corwin rose from behind the gunwale and slammed the butt of his cruel trident firmly against the woodwork between his armored boots as the first such shadow descended on him with a madman's ire.


(Corwin - set against Pirate 2 (AC 11): Hit (12))
(Pirate 2 takes 15 Damage. Pirate 2 is dying.)


(Pirate 6: Charging unarmed attack on Corwin...)
(Corwin - Attack of Opportunity on Pirate 6 (AC 11): Critical Hit (Nat 20); Threat check: 24)
(Pirate 6 takes 9 Damage.)
(Pirate 6: Charging unarmed attack on Corwin (AC 18): Miss (Cool)



Slung by its own momentum, a shortsword clattered loudly across the deck behind Corwin, released from the teeth of the filth-cloaked pirate who gasped for a breath which would not come. With a smug grin, Corwin hefted the trident skyward--its skewered prey still writhing and impaled across its tines--and brutally slammed the pirate down behind him, releasing the sea raider's body from the trident's bite and granting him some small comfort as the pirate waited fearfully for Death's approach.

Wheeling about on one heel, Corwin greeted another swinging pirate's footfirst descent with a flesh-ripping cross slash. His weapon's tines bit deeply into the pirate's calf muscle and tore a bloody furrow through the meat of his thigh. His strike so weakened, the buccaneer's heels stamped loudly into Corwin's iron-plated breast. But he may as well have been kicking a titan, for his enemy's stalwart form did not yield in the least. His swing abruptly halted by the well-armored privateer, the pirate kicked off from Corwin's body and released his rope to alight onto the adjacent stair, yelping in pain as his badly torn leg was forced to bear his weight again.

"Obad-Hai's breath, Corwin!" Logor gasped beside him. "So young you are, yet you fight like a devil! I truly misjudged...."

The mariner chief's apology was cut short, interrupted as the war cries swarmed around them. Cutlasses shed their skins and sang in the salty breeze a brief moment before eight more intruding soles--whether the soles of light leather shoes or of sea-grimed unshod feet--thundered down aboard the Saint Alarice.

Her mariners ground their boot heels into her deck and steeled their nerve. More pirates had landed, and more were yet to come.


(Here, Corwin comes to a dilemna. Though he is a pirate and a despotic predator in his heart of hearts--and he may feel the longing to side with the villainous likes of Captain Sharper in pursuit of his dark destiny--he may also have something to gain from remaining with Captain Stillwell; Captain Sharper's head on the tines of Corwin's trident would surely grant Corwin a generous bounty and some prestige among the Empire's seafolk, just as Captain Stillwell's head would fetch a goodly price among the ocean's criminals. Does he defend the Saint Alarice or does he betray her?)

(The latter, of course, may require some crucial fast-talking on Corwin's part, seeing as he just impaled one of the pirates' swabbies and badly injured another. Fortunately, his Charisma is high.)



Spoiler:
 

(Neither Captain Stillwell nor Captain Sharper has yet been drawn into the fray.)



Chief Logor (Init 14) > Heavy crossbow attack on Pirate 7 in hopes of killing her and disabling the pirate ship's rudder
Mariners and Sailors (Init 10) > Mariners: shortsword attacks on nearby pirates. Sailors: manning the sails, rudder and capstan.
Pirates (Init Cool > Shortsword or light crossbow attacks on any handy target. Some may be manning the Devil's Hangman.
Corwin (Init 4) > Flee dog! or you'll get the same as your friend!

Corwin will stab at the pirate next to him, attempting to stick him against the railing


(Chief Logor: heavy crossbow attack on Pirate 7 (flatfooted AC 10): Critical Hit (Nat 20); Threat check: 23))
(Pirate 7 takes 19 Damage*. Pirate 7 is dying.)
(*Yes, a 10 and a 9 for the crit hit's damage. Honest. The dice are hot for Logor tonight! :look: )



With expert aim honed from years at sea spent sniping pirates across the rocking waves, Logor released the windlass of his great brass crossbow and leveled its nose across the aftdeck of the Devil's Hangman. His fingers squeezed the trigger against the belly of the crossbow, releasing its lethal messenger with a metallic "crack". Immediately, the pirate lass at the rudder twisted from the blow without so much as a pained moan, releasing the rudder wheel and flopping forward across the filthy deck, which was soon slicked with dribbles of blood rolling from the punctures where the razor-tipped crossbow bolt had entered and exited her neck.

"Avast, ye wretched sea-pigs!" Captain Sharper howled through the wailing breeze as the wheel wound hard to starboard under the dying rudderwoman's falling body. Before Sharper could reach the rudder wheel and reclaim control, the horrific thunder of two gigantic wooden masses coming violently together threatened to hurl all from their footing with the tremor of impact.


(Corwin - Reflex save (DC 5): Passed (14))
(Logor - Reflex save (DC 5): Failed (4); Logor is knocked prone.)
(Captain Sharper - Reflex save (DC 5): Passed (15))
(Captain Stillwell - Reflex save (DC 5): Passed (Nat 20))
(Pirate saves: Pirates 1 and 5 are knocked prone.)
(Mariner saves: Mariners 1, 3 and 7 are knocked prone.)
(Sailor saves: Sailor 3 is knocked prone.)



Seafarers on either colliding vessel tumbled and sprawled across finished deckboards and against unyielding gunwales. Among those who maintained their footing, the steel continued to bark and sing, and bolts screamed with their racing stings.


(Pirate 6 - shortsword attack on Corwin (AC 18): Missed (10))
(Mariner 4 - shortsword attack on Pirate 6 (AC 11): Hit (18))
(Pirate 6 takes 7 Damage. Pirate 6 is dying.)
(Corwin - trident attack on Pirate 6 (AC 10): Hit (22))
(Pirate 6 takes 7 damage. Pirate 6 is dead.)
(More attack and damage rolls between the two sides...Pirates 1 and 5, and Mariner 7 are dying.)



"Die, tin-skin!" the gap-toothed pirate up the stairs from Corwin spit as his blade arched downward, catching the edge of Corwin's shield and scraping off with no harm. With smug eyes, Corwin readied his trident to strike, but Maxine struck first. Lunging at the pirate's back, she struck deeply with a blow so telling that the tip of her cutlass emerged from his belly, coated with blood. Conveniently, the pirate howled hoarsely as he slid from her blade and pitched forward, and the trident which pierced his lungs as he fell across Corwin's shoulder eliminated what little chance of survival he may have had.

"Never! NEVERRRRR...."

With a trembling, volcanic voice which could have pealed from Hell's throat, eyes turned to the Captain's deck of the Devil's Hangman. The steel gauntlet which once masqueraded as Captain Sharper's left hand skipped away as the Devil's Hangman bucked and rolled, grinding hulls with the Saint Alarice. Rising from his knee, the studded iron cap which sealed the stump of his amputated hand then sported a wicked scimitar blade locked into the cap's lugs. Raising the scimitar-hand skyward, Sharper thrust the blade across the expanse to Captain Stillwell, then swept the blade in a gesture running the length of the deck as if to cut every privateer low from afar.

"The Barons o' the Hells should claim the bounty on me head a thousand times ere ye timber-cutters should ever claim it once!" spilled Captain Sharper's defiant challenge across the crashing waves. "If 'tis a fight ye wish, 'tis a fight ye shall get!"

With that, he raised his hand-blade with a mighty howl born of desperate wrath and stormed forth to assail the Saint Alarice.


Last edited by S.E.A.M.U.S on Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:23 am

Spoiler:
 


Captain Stillwell (Init 20) > draws twin rapiers and moves forward to the stairs, engaging Pirate 10
Corwin (Init 13) > casts Command on Sharper, ordering him to come to Corwin
Chief Logor (Init 12) > Heavy crossbow on Captain Sharper
Captain Sharper (Init 12) > Leaping down to the Saint Alarice and attacking Sailor 3 and Mariner 5
Mariners (Init 10) > Getting up or attacking the nearest pirates
Pirates (Init 4) > Getting up or attacking the nearest privateers[/QUOTE]

CASTING "COMMAND" "Come to heel you mangy dog, lest you feel my lords Wrath!" (((even if the command spell doesn't work, the words will probably **** him off))))

[color:2749="Cyan"](It sounds good to me! Also, I finally fixed that blasted Prone symbol. Very Happy )



"All mariners, ready yourselves!" Captain Stillwell crisply ordered from the aftcastle, calmly drawing his rapiers from his belt and leaping into the fray. "Their leader comes to us! Let us receive him with our steel!"

"Receive me with your deaths!" the ireful Captain Sharper snapped as he stormed forward. But the bold words of an audacious new challenger drew his ear.

"Come to heel, you mangy dog, lest you feel my Lord's wrath!"


(Captain Sharper: Will save (DC 15): Failure (9))



"Oh, what be this?" the pirate captain sneered with a clenched jaw, penetrating Corwin's defiant figure with wild eyes. "Mayhaps ye're keen to feel my wrath instead, upstart!"

So accepting the young Bardosylvanian's challenge, Captain Sharper turned madly, bounded from the upper deck and raced down the gunwales to where Corwin stood, failing to notice a large crossbow bearing on him as he stormed past the resolute mariner chief.


(Chief Logor - heavy crossbow attack on Captain Sharper (AC 16): Missed (7))



"Blast!" Chief Logor cursed loudly as his bolt streaked past Captain Sharper's back without drawing blood, embedding itself deeply in the far gunwale of the Devil's Hangman.


(Captain Sharper - scimitar-hand attack on Corwin (AC 18): Missed (17))



"Now ye lose yer head, boy!" hollered Hethakan Sharper as his curved, wicked blade chimed from a glancing slash, a slash frustrated by Corwin's unyielding pauldron. No one engaged was spared from the battle's fury; flashing blades continued licking the salty air and the saltier blood of their mortal foes. To the stern, one of Sharper's bolder pirates stormed up the stairs with his cutlass leading the way, only to be blocked by the metallic whispers of Captain Stillwell's crossed blades.

"Five-hundred gilders to the one who brings me the head of that miserable one-handed urchin!" Captain Stillwell called forth across the Saint Alarice, declaring his bounty. Undaunted, Captain Sharper grinned wickedly through his bristling beard as his blade hand thrust and kissed the intercepting shaft of Corwin's trident.

"Make it ten-thousand gilders for what I care, puppet! And let the bounty's hunters rot among tritons, one and all!"

Spoiler:
 

Captain Stillwell (Init 20) > twin rapier attacks on Pirate 10
Corwin (Init 13) > Smite attack on Captain Sharper
Chief Logor (Init 12) > draws his longsword, longsword attack on Captain Sharper
Captain Sharper (Init 12) > Scimitar attacks on Corwin and Logor
Mariners (Init 10) > Attacking the nearest pirates; Mariner 3 attacks Sharper as well.
Sailors (Init 10) > Manning the rudder and sails; Sailor 1: dagger attack on Pirate 10.
Pirates (Init 4) > Attacking the nearest privateers. Pirate 9: light crossbow on Mariner 6. Pirate 10: shortsword on Captain Stillwell.[/QUOTE]

(Captain Stillwell - two rapier attacks on Pirate 10 (AC 11): [color:2749="Lime"]Hit (14), Hit (15))
(Pirate 10 takes 7 Damage. Pirate 10 is dying.)



"Onward, me mates, onward!" cried the filthy, thick-bearded pirate over the clamor of battle between the ships. "I've their captain right hrrrrkh!"

With a flourish, Captain Stillwell twirled his twin blades by their basket hills, following his crossed slashes through with a solid kick to his enemy's midsection. With horrified eyes the pirate pinched at his eviscerating wounds, still trying to hold his belly together as he pitched backwards and careened headfirst down the stairs.

"Cut the pirates down, one and all!" bellowed the privateer captain as he stormed down the stairs, trampling his fallen foe's quivering form as he waded deeper into the fight, rapiers flashing and singing all the way. "Do what you will with the others, but keep their captain's head for me!"

Sparks fell as Captain Sharper's scimitar blade screeched against Logor's longsword from points to quillons. So incensed did he grow from his rival captain's threats that he only noticed at the last possible moment an unearthly energy rippling around the tines of Corwin's trident, an energy which defied the notions of space as the young privateer raised his weapon aloft. And against his plated legs the veiled symbol of the Devourer grew uncomfortably warm as the trident's barbs sped downward.


(Corwin - Smite attack on Captain Sharper (AC 16): Hit (21))
(Corwin Smites Captain Sharper for 7 Damage.)



The pirate leader screamed sharply as the central tine punched cleanly through his defensively raised hand. Blood coursed through Sharper's fingers and fell from his right hand, pattering the deck in a string of crimson rivulets. Corwin wrenched the tine free, scratching the carpals and evoking a howl of visceral torment.

"You...craven landlubber!" Captain Sharper growled at Corwin. "You are not fit to stand in my presence!"


(Logor - longsword attack on Captain Sharper (AC 16): Hit (19))
(Captain Sharper takes 8 Damage.)
(Captain Sharper - scimitar attack on Logor (AC 15): Hit (22))
(Logor takes 5 Damage. 19/24 Hit Points remain.)
(Captain Sharper - scimitar attack on Corwin (AC 18): Missed (9))
(Mariner 3 - short sword attack on Captain Sharper (AC 16): Missed (12))



Distracted as he was with Corwin's divinely guided strike, he was not prepared when Chief Logor's blade came from below and ripped though his hamstrings with expert force.

"Enough!" the old pirate barked, laying into his assailants with furious retaliation. Logor backed away with fire in his narrow eyes, peering down at the fresh shallow slash which crossed his breast. Corwin was more on his guard and ducked Sharper's vehement hand-blade as it swiped past.

Gaere the mariner pressed the attack alongside his chief and his Bardosylvanian comrade. But a vigorous push from the captain's heel kept Gaere from landing a telling thrust. Even faced as he was with a cutlass, a longsword and a trident jockeying to strike him down, the pirate captain's seasoned fighting spirit did not submit. [SIZE="3"]"Come ye one or come ye all!"[/SIZE] Sharper challenged from his wit's end. "I'll send ye all home in coffins an' cuckelshells! It makes no odds to me, aye!"


Captain Stillwell (Init 20) > twin rapier attacks on Pirate 11
Corwin (Init 13) >
Chief Logor (Init 12) > longsword attack on Captain Sharper
Captain Sharper (Init 12) > Scimitar attacks on Corwin and Logor
Mariners (Init 10) > Attacking the nearest pirates; Mariner 3 attacks Sharper as well.
Sailors (Init 10) > Manning the rudder and sails; Sailor 1: dagger attack on Pirate 10.
Pirates (Init 4) > Attacking the nearest privateers. Pirate 9: light crossbow on Mariner 6.[/QUOTE]

"You'll what??? that made absolutely no sense at all" Corwin laughed at Captain Sharper.



(yes, Corwin is taunting him and attacking Captain Sharper again)


(Corwin - Charisma check (DC 10): Success (19))



"Laugh at me while ye can, cur!" lashed Sharper's tongue vindictively. If Corwin's aim was to draw all of the pirate captain's fury onto himself, he succeeded.

But such fury would not storm forth without opposition.


(Corwin - trident attack on Captain Sharper (AC 16): Missed (12))
(Chief Logor - longsword attack on Captain Sharper (AC 16): Hit (20))
(Captain Sharper takes 6 Damage.)
(Captain Stillwell - dual rapier attacks on Pirate 11 (AC 11): Hit (20), Hit (11))
(Pirate 11 takes 14 total Damage. Pirate 11 is now dying.)



Corwin's thrust would have struck true were it not for Sharper's keen reflexes and a sturdy hand-blade, which caught the trident between the tines. But Corwin's impotent strike was not in vain, for the blocking scimitar blade had left Sharper's ribs vulnerable to a swift slash from Logor's long blade. Though cursing loudly in pain, Sharper did not falter or yield even slightly, and he brushed Logor's sword aside with an ireful hand.

"Press the attack, mariners!" Captain Stillwell harped over the throng, marching forth as a battle-scarred pirate wench gingerly pulled his bloody sabre blade from her bodice and crumpled at his feet. "The battle shall soon be ours!"

"...Not soon enough to spare yer best lads, Stillwell." Captain Sharper muttered under his breath as he struck Corwin's trident aside and came at him low.


(Captain Sharper - two scimitar attacks on Corwin (AC 18): Missed (14), Missed (14))
(Mariner 3 - short sword attack on Captain Sharper (AC 16): Missed (12))



One, two! One, two! Across whipped Sharper's blade, sending sparks from Corwin's joined cuirass as the scimitar failed to bite through. Back again came the blade--again too swiftly for Corwin to dodge--but the young privateer's vambrace turned the blow away with a bone-jarring clang.

"Fall, damn you!" roared Sharper, spittle falling into his beard as he lost his composure. "Fall and rot betwixt the Devourer's black teeth forever!"

Gaere leveled his cutlass for a low lunge as he faded, then advanced again. But a thundering grumble of wood against wood coursed through the bones of pirate and privateer alike. Folding himself over the gunwale, Gaere spared himself a plunge into the cold, menacing ocean which yawned below him as the two ships began to drift apart once more.


Spoiler:
 


Captain Stillwell (Init 20) >
Corwin (Init 13) >
Chief Logor (Init 12) > leaping aboard the Devil's Hangman, longsword attack on Captain Sharper
Captain Sharper (Init 12) > Stands there, ready to attack if any enemy comes near him
Mariners (Init 10) > Readying crossbows or repelling pirates aboard the Saint Alarice
Sailors (Init 10) > Manning the rudder and sails
Pirates (Init 4) > Repelling mariners aboard the Devil's Hangman

not to be outdone by the chief, corwin will attempt a leap across as well, after all, as a fellow follower of the devourer, he owes it to sharper to prove the doctrine of the weak being hunted down by the strong.


leaping trident attack

"You'll not run and hide that easily dog!"


(Just a brief warning, though: Corwin is wearing heavy armor, so any broad jump he attempts will be treated as a standing jump, regardless of whether or not he takes a running start. Though Corwin was wise enough to take 4 ranks in the Jump skill and enjoys a +3 Strength bonus, his half-plate armor carries an Armor Check Penalty of -7 in addition to reducing his Move to 20 feet. Therefore, he receives neither a bonus nor a penalty to his Jump check and his jump would range between 2 feet and 9 feet (accounting for his reduced Move) depending on the roll; with a base roll of 14 or higher needed for success, the odds are against Corwin making the leap successfully. Unless Corwin's check comes up a critical failure (Natural 1, allowed in these circumstances...tripping over the Saint Alarice's gunwale, someone else's leg or his own trident as he jumps, etc), I can allow a Reflex save if he falls a foot or two short so that he has a chance to grab the far gunwale and hang on. But if he fails that save--or doesn't get the save at all--then into the ocean he goes. And with all the weight he's carrying, he probably won't be coming back up, 4 ranks in Swim notwithstanding.)

(Corwin should fully recognize the risk of leaping across the gap. Would Corwin still want to take that risk?)



(((true.... that is an issue... i need to get some armor of ease for him... dumb clumsy bastard.

isn't there a rope to swing from pirate style? cause it'd be awful funny to swing over there, wrasp a rope around sharpers neck, them kick him overboard. it'll be a laugh riot... trust me


if there is no rope then i'll cast scare on Sharper instead to try to panic the crew))))


The two ships were drifting apart and the divide between them threated to grow broader and broader. Thinking quickly, Corwin seized a dangling rigging line from the pirate ship's foremast, left draped over the gunwale by an intruding pirate earlier. Metal and leather rubbed soundly against each other as Corwin drew back from his stand, then bolted and leaped the gunwale with his mighty legs launching him forward and upward. And so Corwin bounded across with a predatory snarl escaping his teeth as the ocean passed beneath him.


(Corwin - Jump check: Nat 20. With the rope swing maneuver, Corwin may leap up to 20 feet; Corwin may also take a free unarmed strike on Captain Sharper or any one other enemy whom Corwin passes or lands beside. Where would you like Corwin to land?)


corwin would like to swing past captain sharper, and on the backswing boot him in the face/chest (trying to kick him overboard)


(Corwin - Jump check: Nat 20/27)



The pirates had been sloppy in their boarding attempt. Rigging lines from the sails of the Devil's Hangman still danced along the gunwales as the Saint Alarice rolled and bobbed with the ocean waves...rigging lines which could be used against them in turn.

Fearing that an unaided leap could well plunge him to his doom, Corwin snatched one such rigging line. Stepping back, he kicked off the nearest gunwale and propelled himself away, swinging back to cross the gap between the ships. Passing over the Saint Alarice's white-stained gunwale again, Corwin slammed his heel against the gunwale again, propelling himself past Captain Sharper with great force.


(Captain Sharper - Attack of Opportunity on Corwin (AC 18): Missed (6))
(Chief Logor - longsword attack on Captain Sharper (AC 16): Hit (22))
(Captain Sharper takes 5 Damage.)
(Captain Sharper - scimitar attack on Chief Logor (AC 15): Hit (17))
(Chief Logor takes 3 Damage.)



Sharper was already occupied with the daunting slashes and thrusts of Logor the mariner chief; his scimitar-hand's strike against Corwin was half-hearted at best, not even passing within half an arm's length of his swinging foe.

More blood was laid across the filthy deck of the Devil's Hangman as neither Logor nor Sharper gave quarter of each other. Steel tore leather, clipped linen and nicked skin. The mortal duel kept their eyes for only each other, neither noticing as a dark shadow descended across them feetfirst.


(Corwin - bonus unarmed strike with knockdown attempt on Captain Sharper (Flatfooted AC 15)): Missed (11))
(Corwin - trident attack on Captain Sharper (AC 16)): Hit (22))
(Captain Sharper takes 6 Damage.)



(Corwin has attempted and succeeded at a heroic maneuver. Experience will be awarded later.)



The thick soles of Corwin's boots collided violently against the pirate chief's ribs, staggering his stance. But the old pirate's studded cuirboulli held fast, capably dispersing the shock of Corwin's double kick.

Releasing the rope without the least hesitation, Corwin fell to Sharper's side, bearing his weight onto the trident's head as he alighted. This strike wounded more truly; more liquid scarlet dribbled and pooled beneath Captain Sharper as the Bardosylvanian yanked his tines free from the deep muscles of Sharper's thigh.

"Hrrrrrhhh!!!" Sharper growled a bestial growl of anguish. "What devil are you, boy, too daft to quit with your life?"

The pirate had seen many seasons asea, fighting and plundering at a whim. Only as two stalwart privateers flanked him--slashing and stabbing at him from either side--did Sharper come to fear that the Devil's Hangman had seen its last voyage.


Corwin (Init 17) > Trip attack on Sharper
Captain Sharper (Init 16) > Disarm attack on Corwin
Chief Logor (Init 10) > Power Attack on Sharper (-3 to hit, +3 to damage)[/QUOTE]


Last edited by S.E.A.M.U.S on Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Male Number of posts : 356
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Location : Now with half the bladders and none of the taste!

PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:59 am

(Corwin - trip attack on Captain Sharper (Touch AC 12): Hit (23))
(Captain Sharper: contested Strength check: 20)
(Corwin: contested Strength check: 20)
(Captain Sharper: contested Strength check (reroll): 15)
(Corwin: contested Strength check (reroll): 21)
(Captain Sharper is prone.)



Setting his own leg resolutely behind the knee of the old sea dog, Corwin smashed the heel of his left hand into Sharper's clavicle with all the force he could muster. Stumbling backwards over the insolently brazen lad's leg, Sharper thundered onto the deck planks of the Devil's Hangman, easier prey for Logor's follow-through strike.


(Captain Sharper - Disarm strike on Corwin (AC 18): Miss (5))
(Chief Logor - Power longsword attack on Captain Sharper (AC 12): Hit (15))
(Captain Sharper takes 12 Damage. Captain Sharper is dead.)



To his merit, Sharper offered a desperate resistance from where he lay. A lashing and twisting of his blade-hand attempted to part Corwin from his formidable weapon, but the trident danced out of reach behind its keeper's looming form, as if to taunt him.

Never one to surrender, the old pirate curled his frame to rise. But his defiance was cut short none too soon. With one steely hand on the hilt and the other clutching the quillons, the mariner chief bellowed a bellow articulate only in its exertion. The steel point of the longsword punched violently through Sharper's light leather waistcoat and the breastbone beneath...and again through the waistcoat as the sword exited the other side of the sea devil's mass. Striking the deck with a slick thump, the sword punctuated the end of Captain Hethakan Sharper, whose injured lungs gasped for a breath which would not come.

With burning, accusing eyes boring Corwin's visage, Captain Sharper opened his mouth as if to spell curses against the young man for laying him low so indignantly. Lips and tongue moved as if to speak, but no words came. Defeated, the pirate captain slumped back down the blade, resting on the deck in time to greet eternity.


Spoiler:
 

(Corwin and the privateers have defeated Captain Sharper and the crew of the Devil's Hangman. Corwin receives 367 Experience for besting the eleven pirates defeat and 600 Experience for Captain Sharper's death.)



"Enough!" wailed a young pirate maid, her salt-caked raven tresses crossing her face in the sea wind as she retreated from the two mariners crowding her. "We throw ourselves on the mercy of the Empire!"

"Then throw down your arms first!" Captain Stillwell commanded.

Compliantly, cutlasses fell and clattered across both swaying decks. On the Devil's Hangman, Corwin and Logor marched from pirate to pirate, ensuring that their surrender was honored by both sides.


(Four pirates have been taken alive.)



"Under Imperial law, the sentence for piracy is death," Captain Stillwell glowered, emphasizing the last word as he met a captive pirate eye for trembling eye. "but if you cooperate with us on our return to port, I will argue for your repentance and attempt to have the magistrates reduce your sentences. Be that as it may, your days as pirates have come to an end."

Mooring lines swung from ship to ship and from hand to hand, binding the Devil's Hangman to the Saint Alarice as goods were moved from one hold to the other. Chief Logor, Mariner Corwin and Mariner Strauph marched below the pirate vessel's deck, moving their torches from side to side and taking account of what they beheld. Casks filled with stolen coin and treasures stood chained against the bulkheads, casks which still bore their trader's marks and would make the task of reuniting the treasures with their owners--the ones who yet lived--a far easier task.

"Set the water in the rear hold," Stillwell ordered of the two sailors who crossed the gunwales, lugging a heavy water cask between them. Logor, Corwin and Strauph emerged, bearing a casket of gold coin. The coffer was stamped with the seal of Konegheim and the mark of the Copper Flagon, a merchant vessel which had been lost at sea three months past. Corwin's other hand held a bundle of pineapples, also taken from the hold.

"Exotic fruit from the tropics...and the fate of the Copper Flagon discovered," Captain Stillwell surmised. "Very good. Leave the gold and the treasures aboard the Devil's Hangman, but bring the pineapples and all other trade wares aboard our ship. The Copper Flagon's company will surely pardon us once we bring them information on the destroyers of the Copper Flagon...and the destroyers themselves. Remove the notorious Captain Sharper's head and pack it in salt below, then cast his body and the slain pirates overboard for the sharks."

"And for our own dead?"

"We will arrange a burial at sea tonight, Logor. A pity it is that we do not have a priest aboard, or anyone who can provide a respectable service to those who lost their lives in the endless struggle against piracy."

Captain Stillwell looked again to the living and fearful pirate captives, chained to the masts where they sat.

"As for you, young Corwin Ainsley, I appreciate your courage in aiding Chief Logor against Captain Sharper. Sharper has a large price on his head which should grow larger once we reveal to the Three Griffins Trading Company that Captain Sharper and his crew were the ones who plundered and sank the Copper Flagon. And, of course, there are smaller standing bounties for every pirate brought in alive to face justice for their crimes.

"But I need a quartermaster, someone who will oversee the crew, their quarters, their supplies and their weapons. Chief Logor has been managing such tasks for me, but he is far too busy as my bosun to truly devote his time to both employments. I will also need a first mate, one with a commanding presence to carry my orders to the crew and command in my stead when I am not present; Logor would make an ideal first mate, but I would then need someone to replace him as my bosun. So how shall you be promoted for today's valor: my quartermaster, or my bosun? To which profession are you more roundly suited?"

"To be honest Captain, I never was too good with numbers, so you d probably be better off with someone else as your quartermaster." Corwin said apologetically. "I'd probably be better as a Bosun than that. A hard taskmaster the crew will find me, but fair."

Looking over to the other ship corwin will raise an eyebrow to the captian. "What are your plans with the Hangman? Are you just planning on towing her in to port, or putting a prize crew aboard to sail her? And what about after we get her to port, I'm not all that familiar with the property rights for a pirates vessel brought in under a prize crew. I was thinking that if the law allows it, keeping her would be a better option than just turning her over. After all, two ships moving together seems to me to be a better deterrant to piracy than one sailing alone."


"Your suggestion has merit, young Ainsley," Captain Stillwell conceded, looking again to the dark, barnacle-ridden prow of the Devil's Hangman. "Regretably, my privateer contract with the Imperial Navy states that all pirate vessels captured or salvaged by our crew become the property of the Empire. Therefore, as always, we are to bring the Devil's Hangman to the nearest Imperial port--Port Jahalio, in this instance--along with any captured pirates and any pirated property which can be identified and returned to its previous owners. The Empire will pay our crew respectable bounties for all of these, including the ship and the head of Captain Sharper; we can even include his blade-hand as proof that we are due the criminal bounty placed on his head. And now that you mention it, this bounty may provide enough coin for the purchase of a second vessel, but I would need to hire a suitable lieutenant and a crew for that ship as well. An undermanned ship can be a greater impediment to us than no ship at all."

Logor passed the two, looking to Corwin with a previously unfamiliar glint of acceptance in his eye as he lugged a plundered earthenware statue of a nymph downstairs into the cargo hold.

"Ah, yes," Stillwell grasped a memory, momentarily retreating into the captain's quarters as Logor worked his way past them, then returning to Corwin with a burlap sack heavy with coin. "The bounty of 500 Gilders which I declared on the notorious Captain Sharper! You and Logor together struck the jackal down, and so the reward shall be split between you. Here is your share, then."


(Corwin receives 250 Gold from Captain Stillwell.)



Captain Stillwell released the drawstrings, opening the sack as he handed it over to Corwin. Corwin carefully examined the coins and counted their number as the captain continued.

"I shall inform Chief Logor of my decision once we are finished capturing and lashing the Devil's Hangman. Logor will see to it that you are learned in your duties as our bosun before we continue to Port Jahalio. And though Logor will be my first mate and you my bosun, we yet lack a quartermaster. So I will need for both you and Logor to devote some spare time to the absent quartermaster's tasks as well; he and you shall receive an additional fraction of a quartermaster's pay for this, of course...four more silvers a day should suffice, I hope. Do you find these conditions and terms agreeable, Corwin?"

"That is well with me Sir" Corwin said as he looked again into the bag. then with a thoughtful look on his face, he'll turn back to the captain and return the bag. "If you could just hold onto this Captain, you can consider it an investment in the future"


Taking the sack from Corwin, Captain Stillwell nodded. "As you wish, then. Come. We shall speak with Logor about these arrangements, then we must decide on how to divide the crew between the Saint Alarice and the Devil's Hangman. We need only do so long enough to reach Port Jahalio, and I shall be depending on your initiative and your judgement to manage the divided crew until that time. Shall we?"


• • •


Port Jahalio, at the southern reach of Jahalio Island.
May 14, 1318 SE




Spoiler:
 



"Land ho!" the shout sang from the crow's nest, though Sailor Blithe's voice was notably softer since she sustained crossbow wounds in the battle four days past. "Port Jahalio, from the looks of it!"

Corwin had learned well during those days. Though young at bosun's work, his force of personality and keen judgement had already made him a valued asset in that role. "Moss and Creeney, at the foresails! Be ready to put your backs into it! Kaeliss, unpin the anchor but keep it raised and locked...."

He had anticipated the captain's orders truly, and the sailors were ready when those orders came. "All hands, prepare to make port!" Captain Stillwell barked from the stern. "Sails, bear to twenty degrees portside!"

Sailors Moss and Creeney weighed on the rigging lines, swinging the yardarm to the left side of the vessel and drawing the sails fully. The linen sails bloomed with a stiff sea breeze, and the Saint Alarice began her turn towards Port Jahalio.

Aboard the Devil's Hangman, First Mate Logor mirrored the orders loudly to his own fraction of the crew. "Sails to twenty degrees port! Prepare to follow the Saint Alarice into the port, crew!"

The bay was thick with trader vessels and Imperial warships sailing into port and away again. The lineship Gorgon's Revenge rowed slowly against the wind, her Amazonian captain standing tall over the prow. Captain Stillwell raised one of his sabers in salute as the Gorgon's Revenge passed the Saint Alarice starboard to starboard, a salute which First Mate Logor followed. The Navy captain raised her rapier to return the salutes, smiling wryly as she eyed the inverted pirate flag soaring from the foremast of the Devil's Hangman.

"Many more captures to you, privateer!" she shouted across the waves, regarding Captain Stillwell with an approving nod before the Gorgon's Revenge continued on her way.

Finding a suitably open stretch of beach near the shipwright yards on Mare's Island, the Saint Alarice and the Devil's Hangman slowed into port.

"Drop anchor!" came the command shouted by Captain Stillwell, Bosun Ainsley and First Mate Logor, shouted almost in unison, an unspoken testimony to the unity and efficiency which the crew and their leadership had reached even in so short a time together.


• • •



"She is a fine ship, I assure you," Captain Stillwell attested, trying to convince the two shipwrights and the Imperial provost that the Devil's Hangman was worth considerably more than the 3,500 Gilders they had offered as its bounty.

One of the shipwrights was vocal with his reluctance. "I have reservations about the impact scrapes along the starboard hull...."

"The pirates engaged my ballista crew directly, which caused the mooring line to slacken and allowed the two ships to scrape against each other and drift apart! I and my crew can hardly be blamed for defending ourselves against the acts of such pirating savages...a moment, gentlemen."

Removing his own presence from the shipwrights and the provost, Captain Stillwell turned to Corwin and the first mate, casting a glance to their crew aboard the Saint Alarice as well as their captives. "Logor, Ainsley...I will be detained here for a short while before I can speak with the port's magistrates on our captives' behalf and hire new seafarers to replace the ones we lost, and I have two needs which either of you can handle. The crew need to be taken into town for a brief furlough; take one of the ferries from Mare's Island to Greater Port Jahalio and direct our men and women to any taverns, cardhouses, eateries or reputable brothels you may find, then keep an eye on them and ensure that they enjoy themselves without growing too rowdy or straying into the untamed wilderness with all its monsters and savages. I will also need one of you to get a few mariners and take the four pirates and the remains of Captain Sharper to the governor's manor, then summon the port authority aboard the Saint Alarice and have them look over the belongings we salvaged from the Devil's Hangman to see if any can be returned to their proper owners; try to haggle for greater bounties if you can, as Port Jahalio is remarkably stingy with their coin...as you may observe here. Excuse me."

Stillwell returned to his barterings over the Devil's Hangman, meeting the impatient provost gaze for gaze and gesturing wildly at the captured vessel, extolling its merits determinedly. First Mate Logor looked to Bosun Ainsley with a weary roll of his eyes. "These people...it's a wonder that Port Jahalio's folk do as much business as they do. Well, then...you're the new bosun. Furlough or bounties. What's your pleasure?"


I'm thinking that babysitting the crew through leave doesn't appeal too much to me. I'll take the bounties in, with... (someone who doesn't deserve leave, either because of disciplinary problems or something like that) and (a crew memeber who isn't the wenching and drinking type) I think between the threee of us we can keep an eye on the prisoners.... especially after I have a word with them about what will happen if they cause trouble."

"One moment please Mr Logor" Corwin will slip on his signet ring and walk over to where the captain and the port authorities are talking and place both hands heavily on the table, leaning forward and looking the provost in the eye and will say in a low dark voice. "Some of my men died to bring that ship in for you, and you insult their sacrifice with a mere 3500?"

Pointing at one of the shipwrights (trying to be intimidating, without being threatening) "You, how much would it cost your yards to make the hangman from scratch?!"


(Corwin - untrained Appraise check (DC 10): Success (13))
(Corwin - Intimidate check (DC 12): Success (15))
[/CENTER]


The shipwright's resolve began to wither as Corwin looked him in the eye. "Eh...a two-masted sailing ship of that size? Eighty-seven hundred gilders."

"Rubbish. I have seen single-masted coast runners sell for that much. Ten-thousand gilders is more like it, I think."

The shipwright stammered as Corwin demanded a reassessment of the ship's value. "But you see...the damages reduce the ship's value considerably! The ballista puncture, the crossbow bolts, the impact scrapes...."

"...are all exactly why you do not offer the full value of the ship in the first place. Were this ship sparkling new from another port, eighty-five hundred would be reasonable. With these slight damages and the uncleanliness suffered under the pirates' care, six-thousand gilders would be much more reasonable. The ship is far from sinking, you see?"

"I will not have my shipwrights spoken to in such a manner!" the provost barked, stepping forward to the makeshift table to confront Corwin personally. "I know your ring, sir, and I can only speculate how closely related to nobility you are. But you are far from that devil Borogon Ainsley's domain, and we will not be cowed under your greed-ridden tongue here!"

"Correct me if I am wrong, but Port Jahalio is a small seaport. The population here is certainly not enough to support a vast shipwrighting trade, yet your port seems well-kept and not at all impoverished. How do you collect such profits? By tightening your purse strings, paying people less than a respectable value for their goods--or laying excessive costs on your own wares--simply because you are confident that most people would rather not make the extra journey to Windwater, a larger port with commerce and a population which dwarf those of Port Jahalio. We, however, are heading to Windwater after we leave this port, and we will gladly bring the Devil's Hangman with us if you continue to insult us with your meager offers."

Subtly, the provost's confrontational stance softened. Corwin continued.

"I know Windwater well. And I daresay that Port Jahalio and other ports in the region have lost so much business to Windwater. How much longer do you hope to line your pockets so thickly once word gets around that Windwater will gladly pay seafarers what their goods are worth, while Port Jahalio will not? Bad reputation aside, the House of Ainsley has many friends in the upper class...friends who did not grow to great wealth and power by settling for pittances from skinflints. Friends who will take to heart my testimony that Windwater's commerce is certainly worth the extra four-hundred miles...."

"Enough!" snapped the provost. "Five-thousand and five-hundred gilders, and not a pence more...."

"Six-thousand...or Windwater shall make a profit of three- or four-thousand gilders on the Devil's Hangman by next week. What about you?"

"Fine! Six-thousand!" Provost Raine fumed. "And you will come to Port Jahalio with all your future seafaring needs, agreed? Agreed! Take your gold and leave the ship with us, Ainsley and crew. We'll profit from the Devil's Hangman yet, despite this cost...."

The provost turned and burrowed through his carted coffers, nudging his guards aside as Captain Stillwell turned to Corwin with a content grin. "Well, young Master Ainsley, it seems that you have more talents than I had guessed. Keep at it and you may put me out of my job, eh?"


• • •



The pirates did not struggle as Bosun Ainsley and his mariners led them towards the governor's manor. Mariner Rankin had scarcely slept off his drunken stupor--the result of drinking far more than his share of the Saint Alarice's ale reserves--before Corwin dragged him from the brig to make atonement for his previous behavior. And faithful Mariner Gaere had proven his mettle against Captain Sharper; with a spear in hand he goaded the pirates from the rear, reminding them constantly that death would not be swift and merciful if they attempted to escape.

Two chainmail-clad halberdiers flanked the manor's great double doors, keeping close watch on the short, shuffling line of commoners waiting to lay their grievances at the feet of Governor Helmsworth and his court. To the left of the door stood the stocks; of three, only one held any penitents, and its beer-fattened captive looked once to the line with a weary sigh as he faced another short-lived shower of jeers from the fishers. To the right, beneath a boiled leather canopy loomed the board for bounties and public notices, the posts numbering no fewer than eighteen in number.

"Keep an eye on these bastards for a moment Mr Gaere" Corwin said as he goes over to the bounty board and looks over the sheets.

"Yes, sir," Gaere responded as Corwin shouldered through the throng of commoners and seafarers, joining two other likely privateers at the bounty board. Perusing the posted bounties, he committed as much of his reading to memory as he could.


[color:0916="LemonChiffon"]
Wanted
for crimes of high piracy
Captain Jayden O'Karn
of the Murderer's Blade
4,000 Gilders
Dead or Alive


Wanted
for crimes of piracy and treason against Konegheim
Captain Brant Wulfsen
of the Teufelhammer
3,000 Gilders dead
6,000 Gilders alive



Wanted
for crimes of piracy, kidnapping and arson
Captain Herkel Cargenord
of the Elegant Fox
4,000 Gilders
Dead or Alive


Wanted
for crimes of high piracy and murder of an Imperial officer
Captain Hethakan Sharper
of the Devil's Hangman
5,500 Gilders
Dead or Alive


Wanted
for crimes of high piracy, mass murder, defilement, torture, demonic summoning
and other ghastly crimes too numerous to mention here
Inglarothail the Half-Demon
20,000 Gilders
Dead

And be certain that he is well and truly dead.
Claim your bounty directly from the Majestic Court of the Faceless and Eternal Emperor in Fioriallia


Wanted
for crimes of high piracy and sabotage against the Imperial Navy
Captain Nethener "The Artist" Gindley
of the Brass Cauldron
7,000 Gilders
Dead or Alive


Wanted
for crimes of highway robbery and burglary in Port Jahalio
Lieuel MacHorann
and the Dandy Lads
2,000 Gilders for MacHorann's death
4,000 Gilders for MacHorann's life
500 Gilders for each of the Dandy Lads, dead or alive


Wanted
for crimes of piracy and kidnapping of a noblewoman
Captain "Sunrise" Ruella of Beckonwood
of the Kind Lady Valorysse
7,000 Gilders
Dead or Alive


Wanted
for crimes of piracy, arson and gross discourtesy towards the Sultan of Lebeq Prime
Captain Shariq Al'Ganazein
of the Jade-Fisted Djinn
4,000 Gilders
Dead or Alive


Wanted
for crimes of burglary and espionage
Kjord "Silverthumb" Lockburner
3,000 Gilders alive
No bounty will be awarded for Lockburner's death


Wanted
for crimes of high piracy, theft of Imperial vessels and kidnapping for ransom
Captain Tielath Sharr the Swift
of the Blackfire
8,000 Gilders
Dead or Alive


Wanted
for crimes of burglary, pickpocketting and kidnapping of nobility for ransom
"The White Gentleman"
12,000 Gilders alive
6,000 Gilders dead

Claim your bounty directly from the Majestic Court of the Faceless and Eternal Emperor in Fioriallia


Wanted
for crimes of armed robbery and burglary
Kurfer "Nine-Toes" MacShaffin
1,500 Gilders


Wanted
for crimes of pickpocketting in Port Jahalio
Bing "Fat Rat" Numbler
500 Gilders alive


Wanted
for crimes of piracy and theft of an Imperial marine vessel
Captain Rarnarl Dusksailor
of the plundered IS Radiant Jewel
5,000 Gilders
Dead or Alive



"Oy, down in front, you!" a voice barked rudely from behind Corwin. "O'er folks wanna read the bounties too, you know...."


corwin will pull down the bounty sheet for captain sharper and head over to the guards.

"I need to lay claim to a bounty"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:44 am

The halberdiers looked across the door to each other before the taller one tightened his bearded jaw and gestured for the line of commoners to stay back.

"Governor Helmsworth and his treasurers will want to deal with you personally. Enter the lobby, then enter the hallway to your left and declare your purpose to the clerks. They should admit you shortly after."


• • •



"Ah, yes," the heavyset governor leered, holding Captain Sharper's hand blade against the lantern light and gauging the sharpness of the edge. "The infamous Captain Hethakan Sharper, finally brought to the justice of the seas. Another devil of the tides has met his fate, hmm? And I understand that these are four of his crew...."

"...and the Devil's Hangman is anchored in your port. We hope to receive a fair bounty for the ship as well as fair bounties for Captain Sharper's remains and the lives of these four pirates."

One of the pirates, struggling against the bindings, lost her resolve. "I am innocent, good sir! I have been impugned unjustly by these brutes and savages!"

"Oh?" Governor Helmsworth sneered, setting Sharper's weapon on his broad redwood desk before he approached and seized a fistful of the raven-haired pirate's sleeve, yanking it to her shoulder and baring her upper arm...and, with it, a sepia tattoo, its leering skull superimposed over a pair of crossed cutlasses. "You will find that I am quite familiar with pirates and their customs, my dear. You would not have been accepted onto Captain Sharper's crew without first submitting to receive such a tattoo, a lasting and unspoken oath of your fellowship with such scoundrels."

The male among the pirates sported a similar tattoo on one unclad arm, and the governor gestured to it as he circled around the four criminals, the tails of his burgundy waistcoat swaying rhythmically across his thighs as he went. "But there is a standing bounty of 250 Gilders for each pirate brought live before us to face Imperial justice. It is customary for the captors to plead mercy on the pirates' behalf if the pirates were repentant enough to surrender--especially if they surrendered before blood could be shed--but that custom depends on the tastes of the privateer captain responsible for the captures."

Slowly taking the bounty poster from Corwin's hand, Governor Helmsworth stroked his bald, fattened chin and considered the rewards. Returning to stand behind his desk, he briefly removed the dessicated head of Captain Sharper from its burlap sack, brushing the pebbles of pure salt away and examining the scarred and twisted features of that unsightly countenance before stowing the head away and tying the sack closed once more. "To the privateer crew of the Saint Alarice, the Governance of Port Jahalio awards a bounty of 5,500 Gilders for the remains of Captain Sharper, with an additional bounty of 1,000 Gilders for the arrest of these four pirates; the Port Authority will award the bounty for the Devil's Hangman by their own judgement. Does the sum of 6,500 Gilders meet your approval, bosun?"

As he composed a suitable answer, Corwin also considered Captain Stillwell's wish to speak on behalf of the captive pirates. And there also remained pressing business with the Three Griffins Trading Company, if indeed they had any office in Port Jahalio.

"Captain Stilwell did wish to speak on behalf of these..." Corwin said, gesturing to the pirates. "I understand that normally the penalty for Piracy is death, but these four did surrender, and have been model prisoners since their surrender. Would it be possible for their sentance to be mitigated by this to a sentance of hard labour instead of their lives?"


"You know our laws well, sir," the governor replied. "As customs dictate, these four will be held at trial tomorrow, along with every other pirate and cutpurse brought before us today. Your captain may speak on their behalf then, as may anyone else who wishes to speak for the accused or against them. The magistrate may postpone the trial if any witnesses cannot be present immediately, but otherwise your captain should be in the courtroom below by eight bells after sunrise. And if the sentence is reduced, they might look forward to hard labor, imprisonment, branding or fines, fates dependent on the degree of their determined guilt. And fates which could all be considered gentler than execution by hanging."

Gesturing to the clerks behind him, Helmsworth commanded a sizeable coffer to be brought forth before Corwin and filled from a goodly number of durable leather sacks branded with the Imperial seal, filling the maplewood coffer to the amount of 6,500 Gilders...and not one coin over or under.

"But the Governance of Port Jahalio--and the Empire as a whole--thank you for bringing these criminals before the forces of the law. Might there be any other concerns you wish to leave with me this evening?"

(corwin makes no move to take the chest)

"Yes, we also bring word of the fate of the Copper Flagon, to be added to the crimes of Captain Sharper. When we boarded the Hangman, we were able to recover goods that bore the stamp of the Flagon. due to the additional crime, and the losses taken in bringing him to justice, I'd think between him and his crew an even 8000 would be more in order. after all, imagine the preferential treatment you would get from the Three Griffons Trading Company, being the Governor of the port who put this rogues head on a pike and under who's watch their goods were retreived."


"Unfortunately," the governor explained, "we do not have the authority to handle the affairs of private businesses, nor to offer rewards on their behalf. However, the Three Griffons Trading Company does maintain a branch on the northern shore of Port Jahalio, taking advantage of Jahalio Island's exotic plantain crops. If you have any items or materials which may earn your crew such a reward, bring those to the Three Griffons traders."

Taking a sip from the yellow glass of brandy standing at the edge of his desk, Helmsworth continued.

"Their rewards are typically in the form of coin or goods, though privateer contracts with the company are not unknown for circumstances such as these. Be advised that, while trading companies tend to offer some very lucrative contracts, they offer less stability of employment terms, less authority or merit in nations where the trading company is not present and less support or security of assets than those contracts offered by the Empire."

"Thank you governor for the bounty, and also for the information. I will let Captain Stillwell know about the time to appear for the trial tomorrow."


Corwin will assign Gaere to escort the funds back to the St Alarice, letting him know that once he arrives there, he is to turn the funds over to the watch and then go enjoy what remains of his liberty.

Corwin is heading to the Three Griffons trading company and taking Rankin with him


Rankin followed meekly, knowing that the bosun had no trust for such a scandalous dog as himself and would not permit the penitent mariner to leave his sight. Corwin made his way northward along the docks until his quarry was found.

Many of the surrounding businesses and buildings along the docks were crafted crudely from palmwood--a wood not known for its durability or its fitness for construction--and readily betrayed their ages. It was not so with Port Jahalio's branch of the Three Griffons Trading Company. Sturdy oaken supports--most likely imported--stood blue-stained and precisely cut and shaved among the bone-colored plaster of the exterior walls. The windows which permitted sunlight yet defied intruding eyes were sculpted from colored quartz glass, the company's three-headed emblem boasted openly in each pane. Two of the company's laborers entered ahead of Corwin and Rankin, who stood rigid with surprise as the warm, frankincense-heavy air inside spilled forth from the doorway and washed over them, a brief interruption of the crisp, cool sea breeze which the two knew well.

The brass hinges creaked softly as Corwin drew the stout door open and stepped inside. Tables to the fore of the office buckled under mounds of imported fruits, ironworks and clayware; merchants and seamen haggled over prices and weighed coins upon scales, too occupied with their business to notice anyone walking inside. To the shop's rear resided the desks, ledgers and boxes of the clerks and merchants in the trading company's employ, furiously jotting invoices, contracts, freight permits and more as their concerned customers looked on. Lanterns flickered from the roof beams which stretched overhead, and a great copper censer as large as an ogre's head spilled its tawny frankincense smoke throughout the tradehouse's atmosphere. More dusky, half-lit offices lay beyond the wide, open doorway behind the great censer, and the Three Griffons warehouse lay further beyond them.

"Excuse me!" a short, inquisitive clerk addressed the well-armored bosun. The clerk stood clad in fine and brightly colored blue cotton garb--a silent symbol of his higher Middle Class status--and the sheen of the black silk vest beneath his open waistcoat sported the red-stitched, emblazoned mark of the Three Griffons company.

Straightening his styled horsehair wig, the clerk placed himself directly before Corwin, his stance confrontational even as his words were courteous and gracious. "I do not believe that the Three Griffons Trading Company considers you an established business partner yet. Might I know what has brought you to visit us this day?"

"The fate of the copper Flagon brings me here" Corwin replied, crossing his arms

"The Copper Flagon...one of our merchant vessels, I assume," the clerk sniffed as he gestured for Corwin and Rankin to follow him through the large doorway to the merchant offices. "There is the matter of salvage or merchandise recovered from any vessels in the employ of the Three Griffons Trading Company; a customary finder's fee of 20 percent of the estimated value of any such item is offered upon the item's return to our company, though rarer or more valuable items may command a higher reward, as may items lost under special circumstances determined by our trademaster...."

"Would the rout of a pirate vessel which had plundered a merchant ship--and which was found to have several crates of goods from the Three Griffons vessel in its hold--be considered one such circumstance?"

The clerk paused momentarily in his steps. "Privateers. I thought you had the look of fighting seamen about you. But yes, the company has been known to offer private rewards for pirated or missing vessels and their goods. We must remain profitable with our monetary awards, understand, but alternate or additional rewards may include commissions, territorial privileges and special contracts for those seafarers inclined to do business with us. Ah, here we are."

The secluded office featured a great window of dark green glass, and somewhere within the office burned a single vigilant candle flame. The calligraphy gracefully burned into the door declared this place to be the office of the trademaster. A dark wooden lectern stood just beside the elegantly crafted maplewood door, and upon the lectern lay spread a weighty tome of aging paper and many inked entries on a continuing list.

Pushing the clamor of the adjoining warehouse from his thoughts, the clerk leafed backward through the goodly sized book until he found what he sought. "The Copper Flagon...lost at sea October of last year after sailing out of the port of Weijarandr...captained by Nerris O'Coul with twelve hands aboard. Eight-hundred pounds of copper pots and kitchenwares, two tons of pineapples, twenty bolts of satin and coin in the amount of 2,200 gilders and 800 pfennigs on the manifest when leaving Weijarandr. So the vessel was lost to pirates, then."

"Yes. To Hethakan Sharper and the crew of the Devil's Hangman."

"I see. Well, then, as privateers you would first bring any captured or slain pirates and any captured pirate vessels to either the governor or other Imperial representative of Port Jahalio or--if employed by a private company--to your own company's office to claim any rewards for the pirates. That would be the most legal way to proceed, of course. Afterwards, you would simply bring to us the written marque of receipt for the reward as well as the recovered goods themselves, so that we might reward you properly as well. The trademaster would seem to be busy at the moment, but he might prefer to take audience with you privately when you come to claim your reward."

Inside the dark office, a shadowed figure crept across the gloaming of the candleflame, casting an oddly sinister caricature of the person's appearance against the green glass.

"That said," the clerk concluded, "shall we dispatch our shoremen to remove our goods from your vessel or would you prefer to bring the goods to us yourselves?"

"It would probably be best for us to arrange transport to you, that way we have time to seperate your goods from the rest of what we recovered. We would be wanting to discuss any further rewards or trading concerns at that time. If I can get a copy of that (pointing to the entry in the book) to aid us in seperating out the goods that are yours, I will bid you good day."

Corwin will wait for the scrip, and then head back to the docks. on the way, he'll turn to Rankin with a stern look. "Go find Lorgar and those goat born bastards of the crew that are on leave and get their asses back to the boat. I don't are if you have to scream, curse, kick, bite, or what have you, but get them back and quickly.

If you don't hurry about it, (he grabs rankin and hauls him close) I'll cut you up for fishbait myself... Now GO!"

I don't like the thoughts of the ship with a skeleton crew aboard. [[[[pun intended]]]] That merchant made my "bump of trouble" act up, and I wouldn't put it past them to try something."

When he gets back to the ship, he'll dismiss the watch in the bow and give homage to his lord and master.

(I'm guessing that the wandering around looking for the trading post for the three griffons ate up a large chunk of the day, and I'm hoping it's nighttime)


"We shall await your return, then," the clerk agreed with a bow before leading Corwin and Rankin back to the entrance, "and the copy of the Copper Flagon's cargo manifest shall wait with us. Good evening."


• • •



"If you don't hurry about it," Corwin threatened as he drew Rankin close menacingly, "I'll cut you up for fishbait myself... Now GO!"

Without a word, Rankin picked himself up off the dock and bolted across the docks in search of every tavern, every brothel and every crewmate he could find. Dusk had begun to slip away across the horizon, and for vast yards shone the countless glimmers of lanternlights flickering across the undulating water of the bay.

Leaning over the gunwales before the prow, Corwin cast his contemplative gaze to the baywater below, counting its slaps against the hull. And for minutes, nothing more was to be seen.

But then the rolling surface of the waves was broken by the head and dorsal region of a young sea bass, a deep-dwelling fish on an uncommon visit to the wind-graced world above. Opening and closing its mouth in silent breath, the fish seemed to look directly at Corwin in its stance, if not its gaze.

The sea bass idled there for a minute before roaming away towards the open sea, never departing the surface as it swam...never departing the surface until beset by an unwelcome surprise from below. The barracuda's thrashing was brief in subduing its prey, and a flick of the predator's tail was the last thing Corwin observed before the barracuda dragged its quivering meal to the dark depths below.


(Corwin may change or replenish his cleric spells at this time...though replenishing them isn't really necessary, as Corwin hasn't cast any spells since his last spell preparation.)



His focus abruptly shifted to the gangplank and the docks below, where a dozen feet marched and swaggered in approach. Logor ascended to the deck and met Corwin eye for eye.

"Mariner Rankin informs me that you wanted us all back aboard the Saint Alarice, and he said that the matter was urgent. What seems to be the problem here, Corwin?"

"What I actually told him was to get the crew aboard quickly or I'd cut him up for fishbait" Corwin will say with a deadpan expression and a slow wink.

"After speaking with that merchant with the three griffons trading company this afternoon, I thought that it may be in our best interests to have more crew members than just the watch aboard, Just to be on the safe side. If nothing happens, then we just let it be known that the the Bosun was running an emergency board call drill."

Also, I think that we'd best be moving the cargo that we know is the three griffons companies up on deck." Corwin will look around quickly. "Where's the Captain?" he'll take a quick look for Rankin.


"I am here," Captain Stillwell called to Corwin as he emerged from the captain's quarters. "Your concerns about the Three Griffons Trading Company...you suspect them of duplicity or deceit, I presume. And I understand your concerns; trading companies near and far have earned their reputations for placing commerce above benevolence or virtue, I assure you."

Drawing nearer, Stillwell looked over the assembled crew. "Well? Why are you lot standing about? You heard your bosun! Go below, find anything stamped as property of the Three Griffons Trading Company and bring it above deck! Hop to it, ladies and gents...except for you, Rankin."

Rankin gulped beneath the accusing weight of the captain's figure.

"I have not forgotten your drunken escapade. Back to the brig with you. The rest of you, set to your tasks."


• • •



"It is a pity that some of the Copper Flagon's goods have been lost...mostly the foodstuffs and other consumables, no doubt eaten or put to their intended purposes by the pirates themselves."

The nightwatch had come and passed without incident, and the clerk of the Three Griffons company pored over the gathered crates and barrels, checking their quantities against the Copper Flagon's manifest. Six of the company's hands leaned and sat about the decks and gunwales of the Saint Alarice, awaiting the clerk's every command.

"Very good, Captain Stillwell," the clerk nodded in affirmation, sliding his copper-tipped quill into an available breast pocket. "Your bounty for these recovered goods amounts to one-thousand, two-hundred and eighty-six gilders. Please come with me to our tradehouse to collect your payment."

"I must remain with the ship," Captain Stillwell stated, taking Corwin and Logor aside as the Three Griffons laborers set to relieving the Saint Alarice of the stolen cargo. "Logor, we set sail this afternoon; ensure that our ship is made ready for the run to Windwater. Ainsley, I want you to take three of our strongest mariners and collect our bounty from the Three Griffons company. Be certain to count the money as soon as you receive it...in their sight, lest they accuse us of deception. And do not let them shy us a pence less than our due. They may be quite willing to deal with us fairly, but do not give them the benefit of our utmost confidence. Go to your tasks now, gentlemen."


• • •



"...three-hundred ninety-eight, three-hundred ninety-nine...four-hundred," Gaere smiled, content to finish taking count of his coffer.

"...which, with this sack of eighty-six gilders, comes to 1,286 gilders exactly," Corwin affirmed.

Clerk Ergis clapped his hands with an air of finality. "And with that settled, my good privateers, our business is concluded. The Three Griffons Trading Company once more extends their fondest gratitude for your charitable services. May all pirates fall beneath your scourge."

Astride his coffer of 400 gilders, Gaere bent at the knees and bore the chest from the floor, and the other two mariners did in kind. Corwin leaned against the desk before him, tying a leather thong around the mouth of the coin sack when he felt Clerk Ergis at his side.

"If you would hear our offer," the portly clerk began, "there may be further reward for such a strong and authoritative seaman as yourself. Our trademaster wishes to have a word with you before you leave us."

Turning from Clerk Ergis and slinging the coin sack over his shoulder, Corwin peered through the dusty and incense-laden air to the dark window of the trademaster's office. A tall and lean silhouette flickered and trembled against that green glass, its arms crossing the figure's breast expectantly.

I would be most interested in hearing whatever offer your trademaster would have.

"Very good," Ergis smiled pleasantly with a slight bow of his head. "Please, come with me."

Corwin dismissed his mariners, bidding them to return to the Saint Alarice post haste. "Assure our captain that I shall not be long here. I do have the last 86 coins of our bounty, after all."

As his men hefted their coffers and departed, Corwin fell in behind the clerk. Striding and bobbing past rows of traders and wares, the two made their way to the trademaster's office. With a firm hand, Clerk Ergis opened the door for the young privateer to pass.

"What business passes herein is between you and the trademaster. I shall leave you with him and return to my duties now."

So taking his leave, Ergis sauntered away into the great warehouse. Frankincense washed over Corwin in a heady sepia cloud as the door whispered shut behind him.

The tall and wiry trademaster turned from the window and came to the great ashwood desk between the two, extending a hand in greeting. "Salutations, privateer," the aged trademaster spoke with a tenor tone and a thin-lipped smile framed between tightly drawn cheeks. "My clerks inform me of your victory over the pirates who plundered the Copper Flagon, and the Three Griffons Trading Company is very grateful. I am Trademaster MacCaelris, the trademaster representing the Three Griffons company in Port Jahalio. And you are...?"


(MacCaelris - opposed Disguise check: 17)
(Corwin - opposed Spot check (DC 17): Success (19))



"I am Corwin Ainsley, madame."

The two hands hung suspended in the air without meeting as both took measure of what Corwin had just said. The trademaster spoke to break the silence after that brief pause.

"You...recognize me for what I am, then," MacCaelris admitted with chagrin.

"I suppose that I do. But your clerks and laborers referred to you as being male...."

"...some men of whom hail from cultures where I would not be respected as a competent trade officer otherwise. So this more masculine appearance which I assume is quite necessary, I assure you."

Bardosylvania was one such culture, Corwin considered. But those wretched years beneath his mother's roof had demonstrated quite clearly to him how sharp-witted, commanding and authoritative an older woman could truly be. Hence, he realized, had he and the trademaster immediately come to an understanding.

Throwing the tails of her copper-toned waistcoat out from beneath her, the trademaster's white-gloved hands reached below the desk as both took to their seats. A map of the Southern Imperial Coast was spread across the desk between Corwin and MacCaelris. "That said, then, I shall come directly to my proposal, Mister Ainsley. I assure you that it is a promising and potentially lucrative offer, just as I assure you that I and the Three Griffons Trading Company will be nothing but fair and gracious with you in this proposal. You do have me at a disadvantage, after all."

Her finger danced across the map, tracing routes among fourteen coastal cities...Port Jahalio, Windwater, Talon's Reach and more. "Many of our ships have languished in port for months on end; with so many pirate attacks on our vessels as of late, we find more and more of our captains turning spineless and leaving our payrolls. And these trade ships cannot sail themselves."

Skipping across the landmass of Fioriallia, her finger came to rest on Port Jahalio, their current port. "Now, in our experience, the bosuns and first mates of other larger sailing ships may readily become captains of smaller ships, with but a scant minimum of training. And at this time we have a fresh unmanned sloop in this port, a small coastal runner ideal for making swift runs among the coastal settlements. Its cargo capacity is small but, with their speed, maneuverability and small crews, such sloops continue to prove themselves profitable enough for our company's fleet. Were you to agree to enter contract with us and captain this vessel, you would name the sloop as you saw fit, and we would give you a crew of eight men...enough to sail the vessel without being overcrewed. Are you interested so far?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:52 am

So far, I am... Intrigued, by the offer, as far as being interested, what besides naming the ship is the captains prerogative? as far as hiring the crew and so forth?


(Though he's not the most seasoned seaman out there, I would say so...especially for a sloop, a lugger, a caravel or some other small sailing ship. Most people wouldn't be able to use a skill like Profession: Sailor untrained, but Corwin can. And Corwin can always take ranks in that Profession later; if he's taking a Leadership or Undead Leadership Feat at Level 6, he's a shoo-in for captain. Smile )

(Would Corwin ever get any practical use out of Profession: Sailor? Absolutely. If Darrovan ever takes territories or expands Bardosylvania's borders overseas, Corwin and any undead crews under him will be crucial to the success of such lordly ambitions...and Darrovan would do well to realize this. And the sea is not without its horrors and dangers, either; enemy ships prowl the coasts and throughfares, storms can dash a ship to flinders without a knowledgeable captain at the helm, and clashes between ships and sea monsters are epic affairs; only a skilled captain will see the ship and her crew to survival, let alone victory over the beast.)
[/CENTER]

((((that's weird, i had thought i had taken that skill for him... must have dropped it for some intimidation or something... oh well.. looks like i know what skill i'll be picking up if/when i DING lvl 6)))

"Besides the naming privilege," the trademaster explained with measured cadence, "you would receive a base salary of 100 gilders per month in addition to fifteen percent of all the profits from any trades and sales along your trade route; from the remainder of the profits, you would be responsible for all trade purchases, operating costs, crew wages and other such expenses, as well as the accurate accountings of such. After six months of profitable service, you would become entrusted as a charter, planning your own trade routes and buying or selling goods as you saw fit; there is risk of market failure and lost profits with this privilege--and the Three Griffons Trading Company will not compensate you for losses stemming from your own mistakes, of course--but some great charters have risen to become greater traders after discovering new and very lucrative trade routes. The gold-pottery-amethyst route among Lebeq Prime, Omikoros and the Amethyst Coast was established by one of our most enterprising traders; you might follow in his footsteps one day."

"In addition, our company offers the option of contributing up to half of your pay towards the vessel's cost. Sloops and keelboats cost around 3,000 gilders apiece, and after paying that cost to the company you would become the full owner of the vessel. From there, you might split away from the company and become a free trader--and our company has helped many free traders found their own enterprises--or you may renew your contract with us and continue to rise within the ranks of our company, perhaps eventually becoming a fleet captain or the trademaster for any available port town."

The ink pot and quill were pushed across the desk towards Corwin, and MacCaelris rummaged through her basket of scrolls, searching for the right one for the need.

"You would have ample chance to inform your captain of your decision to leave his crew and sign on with our fleet, of course. And if he has any objections, ask him to come here and speak with me. So...will there be anything else, or do you wish to join our grand and profitable team today?"

do i have any say in the crew of the vessel? there's afew of my mates form the St Alarice that may be interested

"I suppose that you could bring along as many of eight of your most worthy shipmates," MacCaelris conceded, her fingers steepled in consideration. "Though the Three Griffons Trading Company cannot vouch for their suitability, you as their bosun can. That is enough to satisfy me; there are plenty of other ships to be manned with our company's own tenant sailors. But remember that you, of course, will be responsible for their wages. Pay them too much and you cannot remain profitable. Pay them too little and you will invite a mutiny."

With slow, regal steps the trademaster drew near to the open rowanwood liquor cabinet in the corner of her office. The row of small pewter goblets stood at attention along the lower shelf as MacCaelris fetched a crystalline bottle of brandy from among the cabinet's assembly of bottles and stoppers. "I do, however, concern myself with your own captain...Stillwell, was it? He may not wish to lose nine members of his crew in one swoop, including his bosun. How do you plan on confronting him with your intentions?"

Well, it just so happens that the Captain is following pretty much the same route as you had pointed out earlier. Doubtless, he would be interested in forming up with another additional ship for at least part of the Voyage, and even a small fleet would be less likely to attract Pirate attention. If pirates did attack, they'd be more interested in the St Alarice and what's in it's holds than a smaller Vessels.

"A sound proposal for the Saint Alarice and her crew, then," the trademaster appraised of Corwin's reasoning, spreading the retainer's contract across the desk before him. "If you have any other questions of how you and the Three Griffons Trading Company may serve each other, then this would be the time to ask. Otherwise, all you must do is sign on the line and speak with your captain of the matter. Return here and come to Three Griffons' Dock Five with your sailors; we shall be making your sloop ready for your voyage there."

The ruddy brown ink dribbled from the tip of the quill as Trademaster MacCaelris checked its viscosity, then returned the quill to the ink pot and offered both to Corwin.

and as far as pirate bounties and prizes, how would such things be handled? Captain Stillwell has his charter through the Empire itself, would similar documents be provided for myself and my crew? and in the event that a prize ship was brought in, would it be handed by the port governor, or would I be dealing directly with Three Griffons personell?


"Those are good questions," MacCaelris considered. "Your trade sloop is not at all ideal for pirate hunting, I admit, as it is swift and lightly weighted. But were you to clash with the pirates and somehow best them rather than simply escaping them, you would hand over any captive pirates or pirate ships and claim the bounties for such at any Imperial governance. Having a privateer contract with the Empire, our trade company or any other company or body of authority would grant you periodic stipends and salaries for the tasks of hunting pirates or other enemies of the Empire--as well as other benefits such as legal counsel, were you to somehow grate against the law in the course of your duties--but anyone can turn in captured pirates--or their remains--and claim any standing bounties for them. But you would usually do so through Imperial offices; after all, the Empire is arbiter over the laws against piracy, not the Three Griffons Trading Company."

A pewter goblet filled with brandy was slid to Corwin's edge of the desk, and the trademaster took up its mate in her slight yet weathered hand. "So is there anything else I can help you with, then?"

of course, I was just thinking that with the Piracy problems you've been having lateley, there would be a further bounty paid by the company. It would be a great morale boost for your other traders to have one of their own taking down the scum.

taking the brandy, shall we drink to the Woodwitch then?


(An interesting name. Do I detect a subtle Gwenlyn reference? Very Happy )



"To the Woodwitch, then," MacCaelris agreed with a congenial smile, lifting the goblet to her lips. "And do not fear the pirates, Master Ainsley; only the most desperate of their lot would stoop to attacking a mere sloop when there are so many larger wares-laden sailing ships roving the seas. Shall we see to the naming and christening of this vessel, then?"


• • •



"Correct. The sloop is to be named the Woodwitch. And be sure to nail the letters up on both sides of the prow this time."

"Right away, Sir."

The two roustabouts then left their trademaster and trotted back to the Three Griffons tradehouse to procure their letters and nails for the task at hand. Trademaster MacCaelris returned to the end of the dock, to her company with Captain Stillwell, First Mate Logor and the newly commissioned Captain Ainsley.

"I do thank you for your discretion regarding my station, good Ainsley," MacCaelris nodded. "And for you, Captain Stillwell, I and the Three Griffons Trading Company extend our gratitude for allowing your bosun and eight of your crew to pilot our newest tradeship. We are prepared to compensate you for the deficit, if you would hear our offer."

Stillwell dismissed the notion with a brush of his hand. "Think nothing of it. Our coffers have grown heavy enough with the bounties for Captain Sharper, his ship and his crew...not to mention your company's reward for returning the Copper Flagon's wares. My first mate has proven himself a very capable bosun in our history together, and I am confident that he shall capably serve that role again."

"You have my word on that, Captain," the half-elf concurred.

"But, Mister Ainsley, I am pleased to report that the magistrate has found a fitting sentence for our four captive pirates: twenty years of indentured servitude as laborers and roustabouts on the docks of Port Jahalio, answering to the office of the governor. Even the three women of the lot should be quite strong of body after two decades of such labor, eh?"

MacCaelris shrugged silently at Stillwell's opinion, then drew a mapcase from her belt. Removing one end of the case, she drew forth a map and offered both to Corwin.

"Here you have the charter for your trade route, Captain Ainsley. Allow me to explain it to you.

"Presently aboard the Woodwitch are forty large barrels of bananas, twenty barrels of oranges and 1,000 gilders of our company's coin to aid with your vessel's expenses; be sure to record all transactions on the ledger in your quarters. Now, our objective with this three-port trade route is to import both iron and meats from the Brustaggen coastal town of Felsenstadt to Port Jahalio. With so many ships coming into this port everyday, iron for nails, ship fittings and weapons is in constant demand here, and our taverns routinely exhaust their supplies of salted meats. And Jahalio Island has very little grazing land for livestock and no iron-heavy mountains, so we cannot satisfy our own needs; hence, trade with Brustagg is necessary. But our chief export is tropical fruits, and Brustagg--a nation whose meat-eating culture takes pride in their meats and their cooking--has little need for Jahalio Island's oranges and bananas. But Nellowswann is a largely agricultural nation, yet their topsoil will not support the growth of oranges or bananas. So they welcome our fruits gladly.

"You will also find that Windwater--Nellowswann's river port--is abundant in river clay and hence has a very strong pottery industry. And Brustagg, with her love of rich meaty dishes and dark drinks heavy in alcohol, has a very strong demand for pottery: clay mugs for drinking their lagers and ales, clay bowls and platters for cooking and eating, and clay jars for storing salt, spices and dried meats. But Brustagg's grassy topsoil and rocky, mountainous expanses make for poor clay and a very weak pottery industry...."

"...so you want me to take the fruits from Port Jahalio to Windwater, sell the fruits, buy pottery, sell the pottery in Felsenstadt, buy meats and iron and bring the meats and iron back to Port Jahalio."

"Exactly!" MacCaelris affirmed with an approving smile. "As always, keep any invoices and receipts from your trades and bring them back to me. You shall receive your fifteen percent of the total profit upon your return, though this may increase to twenty percent if you arrive ahead of schedule; we will be expecting your return in ten days, but you are welcome to make port with the meats and the iron before then. Just take care not to work your crew to death in any rush to come back here; they do tend to grumble so. And the fruits will surely spoil in a week or so, so do not tarry on your way to Windwater."


(The Woodwitch currently has 1,000 Gold, 30 tons of fresh tropical fruits and enough food and water to nourish nine people for eighteen days. The Woodwitch can carry up to fifty tons of cargo without difficulty. And yes, Jahalian oranges--both dried and fresh--are included in the crew's rations, so scurvy won't be a problem. Wink )



Brief words were exchanged between Corwin and MacCaelris before the former took the charter map and bade his farewell. MacCaelris began to pace the dock with two of her hands, looking over her ledger and gesturing to the roustabouts with her commands.

"I fear that we must part company amid the coming voyage, young Ainsley," Captain Stillwell nodded with a clap on Corwin's shoulder as they left the trademaster and took to their ships. "Meerheim is our port after Windwater, while Felsenstadt is yours. Both ports lie on Brustagg's shores, but Felsenstadt is a trade port, while Meerheim is a more military one. We can sail with you as far as Brustagg's coastal waters, but beyond that you shall be on your own. Now we shall see how much you have learned about sailing ships under my wing, eh?"


Spoiler:
 
(One time offer: Just this once, you may take Skill points from any skills which Corwin hasn't used yet and invest them in Profession: Sailor instead. The usual point limits and class/cross-class conversions still stand. Thanks to his Cleric class, Profession is considered a class skill. For Corwin's leve, the maximum would be five ranks, but even one or two ranks in Sailor should be enough to sail the ship in a straight line under a good wind and should do for now. You may have to wait a while before Corwin is a sailing devil with 20 ranks in Profession: Sailor, but the long-term investment could be worthwhile. "That's the ghost pirate, Corwin Ainsley! I heard he once escaped an Imperial fleet by sailing into a hurricane...and he came out the other side in one piece." :yoy: )
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:54 am

((((I'll take two ranks from intimidate two from climb and one rank from handle animal for a total of 5 in profesion: Sailor. i've updated his character sheet as well.))


Also, I'll need crew member names and dispositions (and for some godforsaken reason i think i'd like rankin Rankin...))))

"Of course Captain Stillwell, we'll be waiting for you when you reach Windwater Then!" (what sort of speed difference are we talking about between the Woodwitch and the St alarice?)

((((oh, and i added the woodwitch to his character sheet too.))))

Once we're clear of the harbor Corwin will start with the more serious orders. "Make all sail for Windwater! Mr Stevens, I need a First mate, you've got the job until I find someone better. Keep us on course, I need to look over the books (Stevens is whoever Corwin had noted was a good sailor on the St Alarice)

With that, corwin will go below and look over the stores and look over the logbooks


(If you like, you can assign names and identities to all eight of Corwin's sailors, though I can certainly do it if you would prefer not to. Assume that two of Corwin's sailors are 2nd-Level experts and the rest are 1st-Level, each with a corresponding smattering of Profession: Sailor (4 for the greater sailors, 2 or 3 for the lessers) and minor levels (1 or 2 ranks or so) in various other skills; there's no need to jot these down unless something major comes up and actually calls on those skills. Six of the sailors are men and two are women, and by race they number as seven humans and one wood elf (who might serve well in the crow's nest, if Corwin decides to put someone up there). Mr. Stevens should be one of the 2nd-Level sailors; as you suggested, Corwin handpicked him for his First Mate after noticing Stevens' preferable capabilities while serving with him and over him as the bosun of the Saint Alarice.)

(The Woodwitch, being a sloop, travels roughly twice as fast as the heavier two-masted Saint Alarice. Under a strong cross wind or if sailing with a light wind, the Woodwitch will move about 2 miles per hour and will cover 48 miles in a day (as opposed to the Saint Alarice's 24). Sailing with a strong wind will yield even greater speeds, softer winds will yield less speed and--contrary to what the video games will tell you--sailing against the wind isn't possible at all; all you can do is collapse the sails and break out the oars. Remember: Unlike walking people, rowing people, horses or mules, a ship riding the wind doesn't stop to rest. Just make sure the supplies don't run out. Wink )



"I must admit, Master Ainsley, that you have learned the esteemed art of sailing at an astonishing rate throughout your weeks aboard my ship," Captain Stillwell called to Corwin from gunwale to gunwale. "Very, very few boarders ever earn their sea legs as swiftly and as proficiently as you have; one might say that you were born to play the seafarer's role. I hope that you will come to serve the Navies of the Imperial League one day; they would find great service in an officer of your mettle. And the pirates would find yet another good name to fear, eh?"

Four strong hands wound the Saint Alarice's capstan in a slow, grinding circle, raising her massive anchor from Port Jahalio's waters as, across the brief expanse, a half-score of mooring lines were yanked from the docks below and thrown aboard the Woodwitch.

"I shall see you in Windwater, then. Good winds to us all, Captain Ainsley!"


• • •



"Make all sail for Windwater! Mister Stevens, I need a first mate. You've got the job until I find someone better. Keep us on course, I need to look over the books."

"Aye, Captain." So saying, Stevens marched to the mast, weighing a belaying pin in his hand before slipping it in place and directing two deck hands to weigh on the yardarm and bring the sail to bear portside.

Below deck, Corwin hunched under the low ceiling and stalked end-to-end through the cramped cargo hold, checking his manifest and examining the woodburned labels on the great thousand-pound casks and five-hundred-pound barrels which lay stacked, roped and pinned in place. The sharp odor of burning lamp oil mingled with the chokingly sweet, pervasive aroma of fresh fruit, the strong scent of freshly planed cedarwood and the bitter reek of brown tar pressed and fired between the innumerable beams and planks.

"...forty-eight, forty-nine, fifty casks of bananas. That matches this last-moment note about replacing several of the half-ton casks with paired quarter-ton casks to ease the loading. Efficient sorts, those Three Griffons people, in spite of their tarnished reputation."

Thirty tons of fruit to be turned into gold. How successful could Corwin be in such an endeavor?


• • •


(Corwin - Profession: Sailor check (DC 15): Success (23))



The Woodwitch reached the port of Windwater four hours ahead of schedule. Along that stretch of coastline he was passingly familiar with every current, every riptide and which directions the breeze tended to favor. Casting his eyes portward as he approached, Corwin beheld the dark, swampy shores of Bardosylvania, his cruel homeland, mocking him and bidding him to abandon his foolhardy venture and return home.

Seventeen larger sailships, their drafts too deep for the river's shallow beds, had weighed anchor near the bayous of coastal Nellowswann, favoring the serene shallows over the swift waters which perpetually spilled forth from the delta to vigorously strain the chains and ropes of any ship foolish enough to moor there.

At Corwin's command, the sails were struck and any slumbering sailors below were roused from their bunks. Eight oars bit through the waves, rowed, raised and bit again, prodding the Woodwitch slowly into the delta and up the Black Earth River. The smooth spokes of the wheel protested in Corwin's hands as the river's shifting currents bore against the rudder time and time again, but soon the welcoming sight of city spires rose to greet him, and a line of lively windmills along the eastern shore ground corn and oats in their bellies, driven to their task by the passing eastward gusts.

But the light of midday was being swallowed by the evening, and First Mate Stevens dared to look from his oar onto Bardosylvanian soil, alerted to the reek of decaying meat. Among the reeds and the twisted trees, mouldering feet and decrepit footwear plodded upon the sopping earth of the shore. Sixteen dead eyes watched the Woodwitch from the western shore, and unsightly humanoid forms shuffled and loped through the swamp's undergrowth, following the living morsels as the seaborne vessel continued northeast along the river. Before long, the Woodwitch and her shorebound pursuers drew up to Windwater's shoals, and the walking dead abandoned the chase, turning slowly from the river in unison and slouching back into the rising verdant shadows of Bardosylvania.

Through his fearful and wavering gaze, Stevens finished a breathless prayer to any merciful god who would listen. Corwin thrust a commanding finger to the waters, and the hefty bronze anchor was then unceremoniously dumped overboard as a gaggle of roustabouts milled forth to greet the Woodwitch.


• • •


(The Woodwitch currently has enough rations to sustain her crew for 17 days.)

(Corwin - untrained Appraise check (DC 7): Success (19))



Back on solid ground, Corwin saw neither hide nor hair of Captain Stillwell nor the Saint Alarice, and he realized a dilemna which would need to be solved entirely by Corwin's discretion alone. The trading companies of Windwater would surely offer the most convenient way to offload his cargo and receive his coin, and through them he would face no hindrance in selling everything he had to sell. But trading companies were typically commanded by the vice of greed and often prospered though unfair deals with traders; Corwin understood that he would receive less coin for his goods were he to deal with the trading companies...the price of easier effort and greater surety.

The smaller independent merchants in the bazaars and the marketplaces of Windwater were usually staffed with commoners who were content to eke out their livings and were hence more inclined to deal fairly with traders. But the independent merchants were unorganized and unreliable by nature; Corwin could hardly expect any one such merchant to purchase his entire hold's worth of tropical fruits for resale, so he would likely spend hours soliciting prospects, leading them back to the Woodwitch, striking bargains with the merchants and offloading his casks...and there lay the likelihood that he would not at all be able to sell all of his fruits with the independents.

So where would he go first, Corwin wondered? To the trading companies, or to the bazaars?

First, corwin will establish a watch on board (just cause it's fruit doesn't mean that someone won't steal it or try to stow aboard)

then it's off to the bazaars, if only to get an idea on a fair price to charge for the fruit when dealing with the trading companies. (also, Corwin will be keeping an eye out for opportunities. (you did say that windwater was a pretty lax town as far as law enforcement, and My master commanded me to go to Windwater.


Spoiler:
 


"We will mind the ship in your absence, Captain Ainsley," First Mate Stevens assured him. The gangplank bowed beneath his plated boots as Corwin stepped off the Woodwitch and alit to the dock below, searching out the city's many bazaars and private produce stores.

Dusk was coming, and no sign of Captain Stillwell was to be found. If nothing else, sloops were considerably swift, even if their cargo capacity and durability left something to be desired.

Windwater was the height of Nellowswann's commerce, bristling with opportunity...and with opportunists. Passing along the great dockworks, Corwin spied a hawker and his riverboat crew, calling the masses from across his laid gangplank and the reed-bearing shore. "...two pence for a ride! Come and see the shores of dread Bardosylvania from the safety of this boat! Mayhaps ye'll see the walking dead! Mayhaps ye'll spot a werewolf or a vampire! Come join the adventure into darkness for only two coppers...."

Corwin scoffed. So easy it was for the boatman to make sport of the monsters, surely having never lived among them himself. Mayhaps a werebat would swoop down on his vessel one fateful night later....

A bazaar sprawled along the western docks of Windwater, and it was there that Corwin began his inquiries.


(Corwin - untrained Gather Information check (DC 10): Success (20))



"Oranges and bananas? Sure, lad...I'll pay 320 gilders for eight tons so long as they're fresh...."

"Oi, Burnsen's only payin' yeh 40 gilders a ton-crate? I'll pay yeh 55, but I can only buy six tons...."

"...the last trader palmed off his blasted two-week-old bananas at my tent. If yours're fresher'n that, I'll pay you 460 gilders for ten tons."

"...not sayin' that I'm the type who goes there, but the temple of Hextor is readyin' for some religious revival or somesuch, an' they need plenty of food an' wine. See what gold they have to offer, but I'd have a good priest check the gold for devil-taint afterwards...."

"Oranges? No, I've no use for oranges. But bananas're good. 200 gilders for four tons. That's my offer."

"...my cart's a mite short on bananas, aye. How 'boot I pay you 70 gilders for a ton? One ton. 'Tis all I need, truly...."

"Sure, sure! Seven tons I need, seven tons of bananas, oranges, cherries, whatever you have. How does 245 goldies grab ya?"

"...oh, lad, I just wandered back from the Sassy Cat brothel...purely of curiosity, mind you. The girls there are always lookin' for fruit an' wine. I've no idea what they need with all that rot, but you should smell the fellas who come shamblin' outta there. What? No, no...I just got finished eatin' a bushel o' strawberries, that's all...."

"See Murdock the fruit peddler. He'll pay yeh 350 for 10 tons, surely...."

"No, I have no need for fruit of any sort. But come an' see me when you're ready to buy pottery, eh?"

"Oranges? Why, my ship is preparin' for a voyage to the Amethyst Coast, an' we need oranges to prevent another spat wid scurvy. I'll pay ye 150 gilders for 5 tons. Good offer there, wouldn't yeh say?"

"...Right, then. Ye drive a hard bargain, friend, but I cannae take them oranges for more'n 60 gilders a ton. And I need fourteen tons afore I can sail for Fioriallia. What say you, then?"

Corwin stood in the shadow of the eastern barbican, having taken in his inquiries of all the merchants he could find. And he considered where to go with what he had learned.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:03 am

hmmm.. that temple of Hextor idea has merit... temples have gold, (or so i'm told) so it might not be a bad idea.. To the temple of Hextor!


what's hextor the god of again?

also, it looks like the price i should be going for is around 50gp

(and i'm thinking unless the hextor guys buy it i'll be going to that guy who wanted to buy for 60


(Hextor is basically a war god and a tyrant god--might makes right, the strong should rule the weak, et cetera--with the Domains of Destruction, War, Law and Evil. Hextor (Lawful Evil) and Heironeous (Lawful Good) are half-brothers, and the clashes between the two deities and their followers are common and often legendary. However unsavory Hextor's faithful may be in the eyes of the nobler folk, they do have something to contribute to society and hence find more acceptance from civilization than the followers of other evil deities do. Hextor's followers can often be found among a city's administrators and law enforcement bodies as well as among the military and militias of practically any given civilized nation.)

(Some cities allow temples to be built for certain evil deities; this offers the benefits of placating the less benevolent religious types while also allowing any concerned citizens or authorities to identify any potential naughties in their midst. Some militant Good types still don't like what they see as the city openly admitting vipers into the nest, but even the evil types can serve society if they have the inclination...which is why deities like Hextor get temples in cities and the Chaotic, discord-sowing, kill-crazy deities like Erythnul and Nerull do not. Gruumsh gets a few temples, true, but that's just to help convince society's orcs and half-orcs to shut up and behave themselves. )


The gray cobblestone road passing beneath Corwin's heels turned to black as he left yet another crowded bazaar behind him. The black iron of the torch mounts standing rigidly at attention along the path seemed to hum in hushed tones as he passed. And before him, the dark edifice of black granite and dark redwood loomed, chanting in a firm monotone of many voices as he approached. The Hextorites were gathered for one of their weekly ceremonies, an hour of worship, reverence and self-aggrandizement.

Were he any benevolent and selfless man, Corwin would have felt pangs of timidity and hesitation as he approached. But Corwin was no such man, and he approached the great brass-riveted doors freely.

A gray-maned Hextorite cleric, one well along in years, attended the door and drew forward to greet his temple's visitor. Though physically lean and frail in stature, he bore himself with a height and a purposeful stride which underscored his strength of will. The black vestment which swatted at his iron-shod ankles was a curious amalgam--half of robe and half of armor--and the sharp, pyramidal spikes which lined the cusps of his pauldrons joined with the deep scar which crossed his sinister jaw to hint at the inner fire which had driven him through a tempestuous and bloody youth.

"Welcome, my good guest, to the Temple of Hextor!" his voice thundered, as if the simple act of receiving a visitor was in some way a victory. "I am Deacon Lamordra, and we welcome you to our house of worship. But might I first ask what has brought you before our mighty house and lord this night?"

"I was informed that your temple is soon to host a religious revival, and that fruit would be among the goods you need in plenty...."

"And you have some, I assume?" the deacon assessed, his eyes boring into the head of the trident which crossed Corwin's back. "You seem to be a seafaring man, yet you are unusually well-armored for one...no matter. You have come to the right place, for the wretched and fawning Heironeans caught wind of our coming revival and are to host one of their own, hoping to steal our thunder...come to that, we should go inside and discuss the matter privately, hmm?"

The deacon ushered Corwin into the temple and closed the great doors firmly behind them. The nave was arranged in a triangular fashion, with the pews and worshippers at the broad end and the priests at the tapering point...an obvious suggestion of the parish's pecking order, one founded on unyielding priniciples of dominance. Marble faces of anger bedecked every hissing sconce on every pillar, and the thick haze of burnt bitterweed blanketed the aisles and pews, enough to obscure the feet of those who might pass.

"Given our competition with the Heironeans," Deacon Lamordra continued, "it behooves us to offer generous payment for your wares, if only to ensure that our revival eclipses theirs in popularity. And with so many of our society's citizenry grown dissatisfied with being led by weaklings and fools, we expect our attendance to be quite large."

The Hextorite chanting rose as the three priests gathered at the large, black iron brazier centered in the sanctuary. The two who flanked the brass cauldron before the brazier grunted and groaned as they lifted the cauldron, then poured its deep scarlet contents into the seething brazier. And the flames lashed and leaped violently, igniting what red fluid dribbled within the cauldron and threatening to singe the hands of those who held it.

"But tell me, my friend," Lamordra asked aside, observing the ceremony, "what of your faith? Has Great Hextor yet shown you the way to reach out and grasp with both hands the fullest of your potential?"

Corwin knew the devout types well, being a religious sort himself. This was no innocent question, and it surely had very few right answers and countless wrong ones. And a right answer would certainly make the trade even sweeter.

And the wrong answers would be best left unexplored.

"While I can appreciate many of the Edicts of the Tyrant, Might makes right, and the Strong ruling the Weak, I serve another Lord, Deacon. One whose goals may not be incompatible with your own lords." Corwin will reply with a thoughtful look on his face.

"Oh?" Lamordra asked, his interest suddenly stoked. "And which lord might this be, if I may ask?"

"I serve The Seawolf of the deeps." Corwin replied reverently. "In hunting, there is always the predator and the prey, and the Great Wolf's teachings bring this to ALL things, Battle, Love, Commerce." Gesturing to the Deacon. "In your temple, I see kindred spirits, which is why I came here to Hextor's temple with my wares, instead of those sanctimonious hairyoneites" (((((and yes, i deliberately misspelt heironious's followers names... just like Corwin deliberately mispronounced it as "hairy one knights")))))


(Deacon Lamordra - Religion Knowledge check (DC 25): Success (33))[/CENTER]


The deacon considered Corwin's words for a long moment. And then, the pause was broken with a deep, resonant cackle rising from Lamordra's breast, a cackle which drew deeper into him and blossomed into full laughter.

"Heh...you mock our enemies so pleasantly. I like that. And though I have not heard of your god in many years, I believe that your predator-god is the Devourer. We do share a number of ideals, yes...the prevalence of the strong over the weak foremost among them. It seems that our tenets primarily differ in what to do with the weak; the Devourer seems to prefer the harvesting, culling and destruction of the weak, while great Hextor prefers that the weak be dominated and forced into servitude for the strong. And a shame, it is, that the weak are permitted to be our governors and nobles, when they should be our slaves...our 'omega wolves,' if you will."

"But sheep cannot pretend to be wolves of any sort."

"Hmm. Yes, I suppose that you speak truly enough. I fear that we must continue to disagree on that point, perhaps. But we share much in common on so many aspects of our faiths...come. Let us continue our discussion in the priest quarters."

Corwin and the deacon slowly strode the length through the nave, observing the priests and faithful of Hextor conduct their ceremony of worship with all due dedication. The liquid fires of the cauldron continued to rise, even spilling out of the cauldron and onto the floor as the chanting persisted among a score of arms raised in supplication to their dark lord.

"Ah, here we are," the deacon surmised. The maplewood cabinets which stood at rigid attention around the small chamber reeked of strong incenses and reagents, and the four beds arranged in a perfect line along the far wall were proper and meticulously made, their bedsheets clean and crisply folded, their pillows stuffed neither too thickly nor too thinly. And a great tome lay spread on a thick and sturdy iron lectern in the center of the room. Corwin's gaze roved across the unholy book's pages as Deacon Lamordra unbuckled his brass-headed morningstar and set it aside on the waiting table, liberating himself to crouch and access a broad, flat trunk between the nearest bookshelves.


(Corwin - Religion Knowledge check (DC 15): Success (20))



"...And the Prophet Zesephal spake to the Red Disciples of Berengia, 'If a man strikes you without justice, let you strike him five times in retribution. If a man steals from you one ox, draw your axe and claim five oxen from him. For those who violate the law and honor of Great Hextor should invite ruin unto themselves, and the charge to deliver this ruin is handed unto us.' Is this the First Book of the Iron Song? This printing doesn't seem like a direct translation of the original Low Brustaggan...."

"It is not," the deacon affirmed, rising with two bottles and a brass-ringed torch in his hand. "This version of the Third Book of the Iron Song was uncovered by Omikoroan explorers excavating an old bunker among the mountains of East Brustagg; they translated the book into their native dialect, and the religious scholars of various other nations translated the book from Omikoroan into their own native tongues and dialects. This book, as you may expect, was later translated into the unifying Imperial tongue well after the ascension and crowning of the Faceless and Eternal Emperor in Fioriallia, over nine centuries ago. I hope to venture to Brustagg one day; perhaps I may succeed in finding original copies of the Books of the Iron Song, and then I can gift the world with a purer translation.

"But here we are. It gives me hope to receive visits from kindred hearts as enlightened as yours, even if they must stray from Hextor's path to walk parallel roads. And this revival must be grand, it must be great and it must be fruitful. Therefore, I am prepared to pay 85 gilders for as many as twenty tons of fruit or whatever other food or drink you may have for us. And, to sweeten the bargain further, take these: two vials of water drawn from Hextor's Basin of Ire, and a witchfire torch. As it illuminates your path, so shall it illuminate what is lost to you."


(Corwin receives two vials of unholy water and a witchfire torch.)

(Though it burns with a sparking green flame which is clearly unnatural, the witchfire torch functions like any other torch. While the torch burns, items which would normally be hidden or concealed in shadow glow with a faint green luminescence, adding a +2 bonus to any Search checks within the torchlight's 20' radius. The torch will burn for up to one hour.)



"You will find that service to Hextor has great rewards, even if you stand outside the Hextorite cabals. Do we have a deal, then?"

"And here is where I put on my merchant hat, but it's a very odd one. I'm actually going to say a different number than the one that you gave me, which is normal, but here's where things change, I'll be saying a lower price than the one you just mentioned. but... I'm also throwing in some advice as well with the fruit.

would 80 guilders a ton strain your treasury, as the book says, if your enemy steals an ox, take your axe and take 5 of his... what would you say to a plan that will thin the amount of people who can be fed at the Heronieus (damn i can't spell his name right) festival, as well as showing them up for the weak spined fools that they are?"


Though his body remained unmoved at the suggestion, a dark smile crept across Deacon Lamordra's lips. A sinister smile which could only be underscored by his stillness.

"I would say 'Tell me more, friend, and spare no details'."

Well, I just happen to know a concoction that destroys plant life, be it herb, grain, or fruit. It would be a shame for some of that to get into the Heronites storerooms the day before their festival.... If they had no food (or less food) to supply, they'd HAVE to cancel their festival. If you timed it right, the crowd would be outside of their temple and be turned away, Meanwhile, I will sell you 20 tons of fruit, and you just let the word be spread around the town that you have fresh fuit in from the tropics.

In exchange for the recipie, Id like you to think of doing your future shipping with the Three Griffons Trading Company. for that, i'd give you the price of 80 guilders per ton and the additional items you provided.


"Very good, very good," the deacon replied. "I do find your plan to be most ideal. The paired revivals will occur three nights from now, and would it not be such a shame for the Heironeans' revival to fail so soundly from tainted fruit? Surely they will blame us for the mishap, but we can simply illustrate how the good names of the Hextorite clergy have been so maliciously slandered by Heironean bigotry before. Perhaps they should have done business with the Three Griffins Trading Company as well, rather than whichever unreliable merchant they employed to supply their feast....

"But as soon as you are able, bring your 20 tons of fruit and the formula for your vegetation killer to the rear entrance of the temple where the priests' quarters can be found. There we can pay you directly from our temple's coffers for your generosity, and our own alchemical apparatus is there so that we can verify the effectiveness of your herbicide; the better it works, the more we may offer for it. We can also send along six acolytes of Hextor to aid you in unloading your ship, though with so many Heironeans snooping about the streets and the docks they might come to suspect our collaboration in advance. The choice I leave to you."

all in all, I'd rather keep my involvement in this as circumspect as possible. There would already be a bit of suspicion just as the party that is providing the fruit for your festival

"I understand," the deacon conceded. "We shall withhold our own clergy and await your return with the fruit shipment. Remember, come to the rear of the temple. I shall be waiting for you. And if you are docked at Windwater's western docks, you may consider bringing your ship further up the river and back down to the eastern shore of Windwater, which is closer."


(Did Corwin also wish to pursue the lead on the brothel, or has he already decided how he should offload his shipment and receive the most pay for it?)


"Very well Deacon, I can definately arrange the transport of the goods."

Corwin will go back to the ship, and arrange the offloading of the fruit as well as arranging for some "Ruprechts Retort" gotta keep the mold and mildew out of the ships hold after all


For hours into the night did the Witchfire's crew labor, bringing casks of fruit down from the deck and rolling them through the streets of Hextor's sanctum, where Deacon Lamordra and Priest Gorss welcomed the crewmen warmly. The casks were swiftly and furtively rolled into the temple's crypt below, and Captain Ainsley was promptly rewarded; three large leather satchels brimming with coins weighed from Corwin's shoulders as he shared his recollection of Ruprecht's exfoliant with the deacon, the priest and the assembled acolytes, all eager to test the potion's effectiveness.


(The Witchfire has sold 20 tons of tropical fruit to the Temple of Hextor; 10 tons of fruit remain aboard. 1,600 Gold is added to the Witchfire's coffer, for 2,600 Gold total.)

(Corwin - untrained Alchemy check (DC 15): Success (15))



Ruprecht had not seen fit to dictate the specific terms under which the plant-killer's ingredients were prepared and brewed, but Corwin had observed enough of the process. His bottle of Ruprecht's Stinking Herbicide was much weaker than Ruprecht himself would have made it, but after several long minutes the orange subjected to a light fogging of the poison began to slowly brown and wither, leaking its fetid juice from the peel's many pores and dry ruptures.

"It will suffice," Priest Gorss confided to his nodding deacon. "We thank you for your business, Captain. Our methods of handling the Heironeans are normally more honorable than this, but if they would stoop to mimicking our revival, then we must stoop to sabotaging their efforts to undermine us. Again, we thank you."


(Corwin's Neutral and Evil actions have supported his Alignment. 100 Experience is awarded.)



With two-thirds of his cargo profitably sold, Corwin did not have much left of that task. Then, once he procured enough iron cookware for the journey to Brustagg, Windwater would be behind him. "Unfortunate, it is," he considered, "that I will not be here to witness the fruits of what Ruprecht's formula has sewn here...unless I were to tarry well behind the company's schedule, perhaps."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:22 am

It just so happens deacon that I remembered your earlier wish to travel to Brustagg... It just happens that my crew and I are headed towards Felsenstadt on the next leg of our journey. If you like, once we've sold the rest of our cargo and pick up a new one, I'd be more than happy to have someone worth talking to on the voyage.

Lamordra drummed the tip of his chin with a contemplative finger, weighing the merits and liabilities of accepting such an offer. "Hmmm...A most provocative opportunity, I must admit. For as much necessity binds me to my duties here, I wonder if the abbot and the priests of this temple would permit me leave. They might resent my abrupt departure--or forbid it outright--and other clerics would surely seek to maneuver and claim my position in my absence. But if this expedition were fruitful, and if I were to return to this temple with so little as one unearthed volume of the original Books of the Iron Song in my hands....

"I cannot commit myself to any such errand now, but I shall speak with the abbot and the priests in the morning. If your ship can wait until noontime before leaving port, I should have an answer for you then. Is this agreeable?"

I can wait that long at least Deacon, it will take a little time yet to finish our business here in Windwater, but surely after dealing such a blow to the Heironians, the abbot would not decline your request.


"We shall see," Lamordra nodded. "We shall see tomorrow afternoon. Be well until then."

In the dead of night, Corwin knew, there would be very few merchants about to purchase his fruits or to sell ironware in turn. He would either have to hasten his steps or wait until the bazaars opened for business in the morning, the latter of which would leave far less time for the Woodwitch's crew to settle their business before Corwin returned for Deacon Lamordra...and, perhaps, a favorable decision from his superiors.


"And you also, Deacon." Corwin will look up the guy who offered 60 a ton and try to sell the rest of the cargo.

Returning to Wexel's Splendid Produce, Corwin slid up behind the thick figure of Wexel as the fruit merchant rolled three verdant watermelons into a large burlap sack, thanking the elderly woman before him for her purchase.

"Oh! Yeh've returned!" Wexel blurted with a start, facing his unexpected guest. "I wadn't sure if yeh might come back...."

"I've considered your offer of 60 gilders per ton. I regret that I only have ten tons of fruit--not the fourteen you needed--and there are some casks of bananas among the oranges. But if this is acceptable...."

"Oh, aye, aye, 'tis good an' well," Wexel nodded nervously, his voice betraying a tone of desperation. "Ten tons'll put me much closer to me goal than nothin' will, an' I may be able to trade the bananas for more oranges as soon as I reach Fioriallia, if not afore then. Me partners should be understandin' of this, given the season and whatnot...."

"So we have a deal, then."

"That we do, aye," the fruit vendor affirmed, reaching for the key to his bolted coin chest. "600 gilders for ten o' yer tonnage. Have yer men unload and bring the cargo to me now, if yeh nae mind. I've much to do afore sunrise, aye."


(The Woodwitch has sold 10 tons of tropical fruit to Wexel's Splendid Produce, leaving her cargo hold empty. 600 Gold is added to the Woodwitch's coffer, for 3,200 Gold total.)



At this hour, fewer and fewer merchants kept their tents and booths open for business, and his hard-working crew would need their rest for the morning. Leading Mr. Stevens and his sailors back to the docks, Corwin considered the task of procuring the load of pottery for the leg to Felsenstadt come first light.


• • •



The river rolled beneath the ship, and the ship rolled beneath the captain's bunk. And dark dreams rolled within the captain's head.

"Now, Mommy dearest...I find it highly appropriate that you'll spend the remainder of your days in the fate you set for me, powerless, locked in the filthy life you chose for me."

"Let me out, ungrateful whelp!" the voice spat from the other side, in the darkness of Corwin's cellar room. "Let me out! Let me out now!"

"I, for one, look forward to seeing more of this world. Maybe I'll even stop by and see how my dear Uncle Borogon is doing, just to let him know how his sister fares."

The hateful thunder of fists against the inside of the cellar door rose in intensity, jarring Corwin's teeth even through the still gray air. Heedlessly, Corwin turned to leave.

"I'm sure that after living down in that stinking cellar for a few years you'll realize that you should have obeyed my lord's demand."

"Listen to me!" Gwenlyn implored from her dark prison below. "The Devourer will betray you! Do not continue with this! Corwinnnnnn!"

But not all was as it had been before. The thick planks of the cellar door vibrated violently with the tremor of her screams, grinding against each other with loudening groans. With more of instinct than reason, Corwin turned again to the door, backing away slowly. And backing away more swiftly when the iron bolts which held the door together sheared from their braces and bounced across the forest floor behind him.

"CORRRWINNNNNNNNNN!!!"

He had already taken to a blind sprint well away from the hovel before the cellar door shattered outward, spraying the looming trees with a thousand torn wooden flinders. The heavy footfalls of something towering and monstrous crashed and crashed against the damp, winding earth somewhere behind Corwin, screaming with the wailing wrath of a choir of banshees. And the low-passing limbs of twisted trees tore the trident from his grasp, leaving him defenseless against the nightmarish thing that Gwenlyn had become.

"Bastard...bastard...unwanted, rancid, bastard fruit of my womb! Lock your mother away to die, will you?"

The giant, stampeding feet slowly closed the distance, casting a long moonlit form through the lattice of shadows cast from the trees. Cold breath washed across Corwin's back in venomous rhythm as Mother crumpled the undergrowth in her furious chase.

Ahead, he saw the forest yield to a clearing. The half-light of the trail's yawning mouth offered no promise of escape, merely the promise of a flight unimpeded by rising roots, hanging boughs and other wild growth.

"Never shall you escape me, Corwin Ainsley! [SIZE="5"]Never!"[/SIZE]

He burst from the woodlands in long, panicked strides as Mother's long claws, with scythe blades for fingernails, raked across his shoulder, rending his leathers and scratching the skin beneath. But Gwenlyn's deafening footfalls fell to silence as Corwin sprinted into the clearing, stopping soon after she had stopped as his senses shifted from one state of alarm to another.

He stood not on the road to Boughbog, as he had expected, but in the courtyard of a sprawling manor, its dark walls of gray flagstone infusing the very air with a twinge of bleakness and despair. The courtyard's outer walls rose to surround the scene, and from each tower and each parapet hung the twitching, unclad bodies of those who had displeased the manor's lord, whether writhing on great hooks, moaning within the tangled clutches of crude iron chains or weeping inside suspended cages, their spike-lined bars stained brown with old blood. And from the blackening mists of the courtyard came forth three black figures, one obese form flanked with two younger and stronger ones, rising to tower against the full moon. Three malignant gazes descended on Corwin as the silhouettes spoke first in unison, then in succession.

"Welcome, Corwin, to the House of Ainsley."

"At long last we meet. Welcome, my grandchild."

"My nephew."

"My son."


"No..." Gwenlyn sobbed, her haggish form falling to her knees and shrinking to her human stature once again. "Father...brothers...leave him! Leave him be! Do not touch him, I beg of you!"

"And why not, Sister?" the gentler voice of the three retorted softly, yet no less grimly. "We are his birthright, his blood. We are kin."


• • •



Corwin bolted to wakefulness in his bunk, recovering his breath as he cast his eyes to the shuttered window. The first rays of sunrise played against the slats of the shutter blinds, reminding him of the time. Beneath his feet, the Woodwitch bobbed in the waves of the Black Earth River as he recovered his boots and went below to wake his crew.


• • •



Though he willed himself to his work, the terrible dream still pressed against the walls of his mind as he milled from courtyard to courtyard, speaking with every pottery trader he laid eyes on and inquiring of both the quality of their wares and what coin was demanded in trade for them.


(Corwin - untrained Gather Information check (DC Cool: Success (10))



"Yes, lad, I am indeed selling bowls and mugs by the crate! Twenty-two tons' worth and 30 gilders for each...not too much to ask, is it?"

"Yeh caught me just in time, methinks. I'm rollin' up my tent this morning and headin' home. But I still have three tons of bowls an' cups an' crates unsold...tell ya what. I'll only charge ya 18 gilders a ton, just to get 'em off my hands. Whatdya say?"

"Our potters have been working all week to bring our wares to you! Oh...a trader, are you? With the Three Griffins Company? Ah, surely you'll be pleased with our offer, then: 35 gilders a ton, and all the pottery you want! Yes, we do indeed have more than enough pottery to fill your fifty-ton cargo hold. Have we a deal, Captain?"

"If only you had come sooner, sir. I'm down to twelve ton-crates of pottery, but my ale mugs are of pressed terra cotta...superb quality. I suppose that I can part with them for 20 gilders a crate. Interested?"

"Mugs, cups, plates, saucers, bowls, pitchers, pots and wash basins! I have them all! Mere coppers for each item, and 26 gilders for a ton of them! Buy the whole lot of ten crates for 260 gilders! Buy them now, before they're all gone!"

"No, no...you misunderstand. I only have five ton-crates left, and I can't part with them for less than 42 gilders each. But look at this platter! Etched by hand and inlaid with white quartz! Observe the quality of the tempering and kiln-firing here...."

"...But surely my cups and plates are excellent wares, sir! One-hundred gilders for my last four tons is truly a pittance for what quality you...oh. I am truly sorry, sir! Please, mind the shards. No, no, I'll sweep it up. Oh...yes, yes, very well. 80 gilders for four tons, with my apologies. I barely brushed it, too...."


Though he found a number of pottery merchants on his own and more through hearsay, his search for pottery wholesalers was not nearly as fruitful as had been his search for purchasers the night before. That morning, Windwater's reputation as an elysium of earthenware had come to something of a disappointment.

damn... well, one possible check is to see what iron and glassware are going for... if the pottery is down, then it's possible that someone else had the same idea as the 3 griffons

(D'oh! I did accidentally mention ironware instead of earthenware back there, didn't I? My mistake. Well, the marks of a good trader--as with any other profession--are initiative and resourcefulness when the chips are down, and if the market for pottery is down, then Corwin could indeed resort to checking the market for ironware, brassware and glassware, suitable alternates for pottery. Nellowswann does have some iron to offer (though not nearly as much as mountainous Brustagg does), copper and lead even more so and--with so many beaches nearby--glass should be plentiful indeed. Go ahead and check for these three types of wares, then?)


(((of course, if I can at least price them here, i may be able to save some time. (I also could get an idea with the price may be for these items in Brustagg.))))

The pottery search had led to minimal success. "Perhaps," reasoned Corwin, "the people of Brustagg do not care of what materials comprise their dining wares. And if clay is not handy, then mugs and platters of iron, brass, wood or glass would serve Brustaggan appetites equally well."

Retracing his footsteps, Corwin rounded the bazaars of Windwater again, this time with a different set of questions.


(Corwin - untrained Gather Information check (DC 13): Failure (5))


"Ironware? You mean like pots and skillets and drinking steins? Nah, I'm afraid I've none, my friend. Haven't had any for three months now."

"Well, I would 'ave 'ad three wagons of iron pots and kettles come out of Karkov, but bandits waylaid the entire caravan in southern Konegheim. You would think 'ighwaymen wouldn't even exist in that country of hard-nosers...."

"Nah, I haven't dealt in iron cooking goods for years. Too heavy. Not worth the effort for what returns I was getting. So can I interest you in a copper censer or not?"

"Ye don' want no iron cookwares anyway. Things stand up ta th' hottest fires, bu' leave dem out inna rain once an' that's that. Ye'll ne'er get the taste o' rust out've ya food forevamore, no sir. E'en dem iron-heavy nations lak Karkov and Brustagg use iron cookware as a las' resort. Brass is th' way to go, believe ye me..."


(Corwin - untrained Gather Information check (DC 11): Success (17))


"...why, A'm glad ye ask! Look 'round ya. Brass, brass an' more brass in mah tent! Mugs, cups, plates, skillets an' pots...each has its own price, bu' ton-crates are a steal for a trader lak ye. Let's say...24 gilders a ton-crate. When's I start loadin' th' ship, eh? I got thirteen tons of miscellany ta spare!"

"I swear, that rumor got started that eatin' off brass makes women's wombs go barren, and suddenly I'm sittin' on a mountain of brass cookware an' drink ware that I can't sell! I'll lose my house if I don't bring home some gold soon! So...220 gilders for 10 tons of plates, bowls an' cups. Fair enough?"

"Secondhand brassware, by the piece or by the ton-cask! Buy my last five tons cheap for 15 gilders each! Everything must go! Oh...yes, captain. You've heard the rumor too, I see. Nobody's buying brassware now...and between you and me, this is a pretty shoddy lot of used brassware anyway. But you get what you pay for, right?"

"I am only selling one brass tankard, and a fine tankard it is. It is magical, you see. It hails from Lebeq Prime, a land of famine and sorcery. Thrice per day, you may call forth brown beer from nowhere, filling the tankard to the brim every time! Behold! Asazra huru mandi! And so the tankard fills! So, friend...may I ask 300 gilders for this enchanted brass tankard? Please? No, I cannot seem to sell it here; Nellowswann, I have found, is awash in enough beer and ale as it is. I was thinking of journeying to Brustagg or Caed Fainne. Now those peoples can appreciate good beer. Pelor's eyes, I could use a stout drink now. Ah, here we are."

"Brass cookware here, high-grade and heavy on the copper, crafted by the master smiths of Konegheim! Our warehouse is loaded with such quality wares! At 40 gilders per ton, you'll be buying unmatched quality! Oh, very well, Captain. But keep us in mind, will you? You'll be back!"

"Well, I mostly deal in brass censers, aspergills and other religious implements, but I do have goblets and platters, also religious in purpose. I suppose that they could be used for mundane feasting, however. May I ask 25 gilders a ton-crate? I have fifteen tons at hand, if you have the need."


(Corwin - untrained Gather Information check (DC 10): Success (10))


"Wooden cups! Get your wooden cups here! Wooden ale casks, wooden meat plates, wooden cutting boards! Oak, maple or yew, take your pick! Oh...you buy by the ton, then? Yes, well, they are a bit of a diminished market, and I lost eight tons of wood ware when the warehouse flooded. Water damage is terrible with wood, yes. I have only six tons left, and I have to sell them for 28 gilders for a ton if I'm to see any profit. If you want wood ware, you're better off buying in Bardosylvania. They're just across the river, but I wouldn't go there at night if I were you."

"Ja, I just god a shipmendt off vooden dining vares from Bardosylvahnia, und I'm trying to sell zem off so I can hire a coach bock to Brustagg. Papa has fallen very sick, and I vish to see him again before he leaves zis vurld. Seven tons left, priced at zer very affortable price off 20 gilders per ton. Haff ve a deal, friend?"

"Are ya kidding? Dere may be a glut of wood across deh river, but in Nellowswann it's all hills and grasslands and rivers! And ya want me to go below 35 gilders for a ton-cask of wooden mugs and bowls? Are ya out of yar mind? These tings are gold here in Nellowswann, boyo!"


(Corwin - untrained Gather Information check (DC Cool: Success (15))



"Gods preserve me, I have competition from one side of Windwater to the other! Look at this. Tempered copper glass, very durable and attractive! And I'm selling twenty-one tons of glassware for only 24 gilders a ton! But can I sell it? No. And why not, you ask? Because just two blocks east of here, Cranweisser is selling the same glassware for 17 gilders a ton...umm...perhaps I shouldn't have said that...."

"Welcome to Cranweisser's House of Glass! If it's made of glass, we sell it! Say again, Captain? Why, indeed we do sell glass drinkware and cookware for only 17 gilders per ton! How did you know? Oh, never mind. But I hope that you'll decide to do business with us soon. We only have four tons of glassware’s left. Yes, when you sell them for only 17 gilders per ton, word gets around...."

"...da, I know, 32 gilders for a ton of glassware is high in price, considerin' that we still have twenty tons to sell. But we dwarves make superb glassware, stronger than stone! Observe! This glass plate will not so much as crack or chip when I strike it against this hardwood...oh. Blast it! Damn the rot...that was a good table, too! Ah, Fafsurr? Where did we put the broom? Oh, Dwarf Father's bowels...it cracked the tilework too. Why must I drop so many things? You could kill an ox with such a plate, da?"

"Hmmm. Yes, sahib, we have glass in Lebeq Prime as well...more glass than Nellowswann, yes. So why did I stop here? Because the wagon broke an axle, yes. And now I need money for a new axle and a new camel. No, he ran away while we were trying to repair the wagon. And then the wolves got him after he crossed the bridge into Bardosylvania, yes. It was then that my sons and I decided to turn around and drag our broken wagon here. Please do an old nomad a favor and buy my last three tons of glassware. Yes, I only ask 45 gilders for all three ton-casks. Surely such a well-dressed trader as yourself can afford such a pittance, yes?"

"Glazing is hard work, sir. We only produced sixteen tons of glass cups and bowls for this month, and there's such a glut that I can sell them for no more than 20 gilders per ton-cask. Oh, that? The red tint is caused by iron particles in the sand which was melted and poured to make the glass. It's quite a lovely hue, isn't it?"

"Yes, I know. I only have five tons to sell because these mugs take time to make. But look at them! They're shaped like skulls! Look at all of these leering orange and red skulls! Yes, they are indeed iron glass. Clearly you know glass. And these mugs should be very popular with the warlike people of Brustagg, mark my words! 30 gilders for a ton-crate is reasonable...don't you think so?"


Things were looking up for Corwin. A little resourcefulness, he found, can be a very useful thing.

ok, i'm definitely buying the magic beer mug. (might make a good bribe in Brustagg)


"Ja, I just god a shipmendt off vooden dining vares from Bardosylvahnia, und I'm trying to sell zem off so I can hire a coach bock to Brustagg. Papa has fallen very sick, and I vish to see him again before he leaves zis vurld. Seven tons left, priced at zer very affortable price off 20 gilders per ton. Haff ve a deal, friend?"

Corwin will ask if he can lower the price if we threw in passage closer to Brustagg

dwarven indestructible plates would be an advantage in the bars at Brustagg....

in short, detect magic on magic mug and buy (300) negotiate down the 7 tons of wooden wares (140gp before negotiating), 16 tons of the iron infused glass bowls and cups (320gp), 10 tons indestructible dwarf plates (320gp) 5 tons skull souvenir mugs (150) 4 tons Cranweisser’s glass cookware (68)


(See? You're a trader and you don't even know it. Laughing )[/CENTER]


And so Corwin went about his end of the bargaining....


• • •


(Corwin casts Detect Magic on the tankard.)



Corwin's eyes widened as he finished his subtle invocation to the Devourer's wisdom. In his eyes, the ever filling tankard was indeed sorcerous in nature; no sleight of hand had played a role in filling the mug to the brim. He had only to remember the activation words...or to write them down so there would be no need to remember.

"A quill and ink...yes, you may borrow mine," the merchant Shahobb offered, sliding a sharpened white plume and a squat bottle of sepia ink across the coin table to him. Corwin counted out 300 golden coins from his travelling coffer, stacking them before Shahobb's waiting hand before sopping the quill in the inkpot and readying it over a small scrap of parchment at hand.

"If you would, Shahobb, repeat those magic words one more time."


• • •


(Corwin - Diplomacy check (DC 8 ): Success (13))



"You are in luck," Corwin assured the desperate Brustaggan wood ware merchant. "The next leg of my trade route leads to Felsenstadt. If this is near enough to your destination, then perhaps you could secure with passage with me...."

"Felsenstadt is much closer to Braun Tal zen Vindvater is. Name your price for zer steerage, Captain."

"I was thinking that we could help each other in this bargain. I wish to buy all of your wares, and my coin is limited. So perhaps if you were to lower your prices for me...."

"Ja, it is done! For steerage to Felsenstadt I vill part with my voodvares for only 10 gilders per ton. Cutting my price in half means zat I sell zem at a great loss, but I simply must return to Brustagg immediately, for Papa's sake. Hanswold Gaersen at your service, Captain. I zhall help your sailors load your ship now, if you vish."


• • •



At last Corwin's business with the bazaars was concluded. The dwarven merchant Jaerkausen's glass plates were impressive indeed; thrice-tempered glass had made the plates and dishes almost as durable as iron, and they held a long, resonant ting when rapped with a trident's tines. Cranweisser's wares were priced to sell, and sell they did. The red glass was ordinary in most aspects, save for its color; surely they would find buyers in Felsenstadt, as would the casks of glazed skull mugs packed into the cargo hold beside them. All told, Corwin's business in Windwater had come to a rather successful end.


(Assuming that Corwin finds Hanswold's offer agreeable, he has laden the Woodwitch’s hold with the following: )

A Tankard of Endless Beer (to be kept in Corwin's quarters, where only he may lay his hands on it): 300 Gold
7 tons of wood ware, average quality: 70 Gold
16 tons of red glassware, good quality: 320 Gold
10 tons of dwarven glassware, superb quality: 320 Gold
5 tons of glass skull mugs, superb quality: 150 Gold
4 tons of glass cookware, average quality: 68 Gold
Total Cost: 1,228 Gold. 1,972 Gold remains in the Woodwitch’s coffers.
Total Tonnage: 42 Tons. 8 Tons of space remain in the Woodwitch’s hold.

(The Woodwitch currently has enough provisions to sustain her crew for 16 days.)



"Ah, there you are, Captain Ainsley!"

Glancing down from the Woodwitch’s deck, Corwin answered Deacon Lamordra's approach to the gangplank. A large sack weighed down on the Hextorite deacon's shoulders as he marched forth, listing to the opposite side in an effort to balance his burden. His dark robe, trimmed with a violent scarlet, drew the narrow-eyed concerns of several commoners as the priest strode arrogantly through their ranks.

"Your temple has granted you permission to travel to Brustagg, I assume?"

"Indeed, you assume truly! I have gathered my research journals, my maps of Brustagg and enough changes of clothing to last for several days. Let the neophytes squabble for my position in my absence; when I return with one of the Books of the Iron Song in my hands, none of those underlings will have any standing to challenge my authority!"

"Then come aboard, deacon. We leave for Felsenstadt shortly."

And as he took Lamordra by the hand to aid his ascent up the gangplank, another sharp, familiar voice spilled forth from the distance beyond the Woodwitch’s stern.

"Ho there, Captain Ainsley! You leave Windwater's port so soon? Moor the boat, gents!"

The Saint Alarice had too large a draft to travel up the Black Earth River, but the dinghy in which Captain Stillwell had come to Windwater did not. His crew's oars dug into the water rhythmically, conveying them slowly against the river's course.

Turning to face the gunwale Corwin will respond with an equally hearty bellow "Aye Captain Stillwell, after all, we've got a schedule to keep, if we want to earn those bonuses. You'll pardon my haste, but my passengers wish for a speedy voyage to Felsenstadt!

"I understand your haste entirely," Captain Stillwell replied. "I have transported many a passenger over the years too. And it does my heart good to see that you have done so very well for yourself in so short a time. Why, if you had begun your seafaring as a cabin boy of 12 years--as I had--imagine where you could be this day, eh?"

Stillwell tipped his broad-brimmed hat in farewell to his once-apprentice.

"Perhaps we may one day meet again. With what bounty we claimed from Captain Sharper's head I plan on purchasing another three-masted vessel. When next we meet, we may be leading some rather grand fleets. May the sea always favor you, Captain Ainsley."


• • •


(Corwin - Profession: Sailor check (DC 10): Success (24))



And favor Captain Ainsley the sea did, for the wind swept fiercely and constantly northeast along the coast, and the riptides were fewer and weak as the ocean waters ebbed and flowed. Drawing the sails full and angling the rudder to keep the Woodwitch's hull from the continent's shoals, the efforts of Corwin and his crew were proven to be practically flawless, for a journey which should have consumed most of a day--even in a sloop--was completed in a mere nine hours.

From the shoreline rose the many towers and steeples of Felsenstadt, her streets busy with commoners scurrying among her quaint townhouses and sprawling grand bazaar. Bells rang among the docks as foreign trade ships and Brustaggan warships moored and departed, and the deck of a charming redwood cruiser rang with chains and irons as her uniformed crew dragged a gaggle of shackled ruffians--likely pirates--from her hold. The great mayoral palace stood tall from the highest hill in Felsenstadt, flanked with a towering gibbet at each corner. Some of the nooses swung with the weight of hanged criminals bound hand and foot, mute testimony to the wages of violating the law in Brustagg.

From the prow, Mister Stevens intently eyed a vacant dock two-hundred yards from the Woodwitch. "Your orders, Captain?"




Arrange a watch schedule Mr. Stevens!, we'll most likely be in port for a few days, and I’d like to arrange some shore leave, the men have been working hard, and deserve a short break
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:28 pm

"As you command, Captain," Stevens sharply complied, then conferred with the crew as the Woodwitch rounded to the docks. The two watchers aboard would best be rotated at intervals no longer than six hours, Stevens decided; too much longer and alertness would surely suffer, a most unwelcome liability in such a grand, bustling port.

In the harbor waters, the Great Anchor of Felsenstadt--far larger than any practical anchor would ever be--rose from its massive granite pedestal, its shadow broad and its hard-forged bronze streaked with jade tarnish, and towered to greet all ships entering the harbor. Waving frantically from the shore, the dock's foreman waved the Woodwitch towards a humble stone slab of a dock protruding scarcely twenty feet into the water. Even with the steep grade of the coarse, sandy bottom under the shallows, only a small vessel could meet such a dock without running aground. The foreman's seasoned eye seemed quite astute in gauging the harbor's many visiting vessels and their traits at a glance, including--it would seem--a fair appraisal of the Woodwitch's weight and draft.

Curling along the coarse beach sprawled innumerable huts, shacks, kiosks and merchant wagons. The entire beach of Felsenstadt seemed to serve as one great bazaar; so swift and remarkable was the volume of its trade that merchants could scarcely move their wares far from the docks before crowds converged and haggling and buying commenced. And these were the humbler merchants and buyers alone; the two consecutive cliffs looming over the beach bristled with countless more buildings, and some of these tiers were reserved for the wealthier classes and trading companies. The faint yet heavy aroma of seared boar meat wafted down from the middle tier of the city, though with so many inns and taverns in this city it would be difficult to track down the place which served such a hearty repast.

"Brooms, kind sir, brooms!" a lean and hawk-nosed Brustaggan maid boomed at Corwin from a nearby booth. "I've brooms aplenty, as well as flaxen throw rugs and wooden spoons, good complements for your kitchen!" And her barking voice was but one among thousands, voices enough to rival the pealing bells of a temple not far up the cliffs. Throngs of people shuffled through the sands and milled up and down the great stone staircases which connected each city tier to its neighbors.

"So fortunate that we reached Felsenstadt so swiftly, is it not, Captain?" Stevens called to Corwin as he and the other crewmen lashed the vessel to three sturdy mooring posts. "I wager this search for buyers will be no brief affair. Once we finish here, I'll attend to the crew's merriment and rest. Or have you further orders, Captain?"

But the exchange was interrupted by the thundering of heavy feet across the deck and over the gunwales. The woodware merchant Hanswold Gaersen had arrived in Felsenstadt, and Corwin's end of their bargain was complete.

"Papa! I haf come for you! You vill not pass from der vurld! I svear it! Vith my airnings der healers in Braun Tal...oh! Senk you, Captain Ahnsley, senk you so very moch! Vhere is my bag...ah! Vish me luck! Farevell, und may prosperity forever be yours!"

The lessened price of the woodwares was worth the weepy display, Corwin briefly assured himself. But then, somewhere in the ship behind him, Corwin heard Deacon Lamordra striding near.

"Let Hextor's shield be yours to bear."

A hearty clap came down on his armored shoulder, and a scroll case was promptly thrust into Corwin's hand.

"History has much to teach us," Lamordra assured him with a wise, smouldering stare, "and if wealth is what you seek, then perhaps this fragment of history will interest you. I found it in the course of my studies, yet my duties to Great Hextor forbid me to travel leagues in search of gold. You see, Captain Hjorsfar, the man who penned the map now in your hand, was a renowned Hrothjurgandr pirate lord from the Ninth Century. He hid his plunderings for later, as any cautious pirate would, but Hjorsfar never held confidence in any mere hole in the earth. He was a cunning craftsman...mason, smith, carpenter and trapmaker, all in one man. His treasures were always hidden in caves, abandoned forts...one account of an underwater passage exists, and all of his treasures were guarded by wicked traps...many common in design, yet some were quite elaborate; one account tells of a marble staircase which collapsed into a smooth slide, and the collapse triggered both a spiked pit trap at the bottom of the stairs and a rather large iron ball which fell to the top of the slide trap and came rolling down after...oh, but those are so many details. If you ever have a chance to learn more about the life of Captain Hjorsfar, I advise you to seek the knowledge out. In some way it shall benefit you, even as an occasional flight of fancy."


(Corwin has now acquired the treasure map from his character creation.)


The deacon stepped over the gunwales and onto the dock, then paused without turning around.

"I have no more reward to offer than that, I fear. Truthfully, I cannot even claim if this map's treasure is still where Hjorsfar left it before he went to the gallows two years later. But then, we speak of Captain Hjorsfar; not only may it still be there, but you may also need to clamber over the cold remains of many failed treasure hunters to reach it."

Drawing his dark priestly robe tight around him, Deacon Lamordra draped his unholy symbol over his neck again and regarded Corwin with a knowing leer.

"And through your aid have I come one step nearer to completing the Iron Song, in its original wording, at long last! I thank you most sincerely, Master Ainsley. For now, we must part ways. But if you ever have need of the Lord of War, call to him. He may just come to your aid. This port can be harsh to the unwary, I imagine."

It was then that Corwin glanced down to his breastplate and noticed a thin red sheen which moved across the steel as water...the deacon's magic, quite likely. And whatever spell it was, it did not seem in any way harmful....


(Corwin - Spellcraft check (DC 13): Critical Success (24/Natural 20))

(Deacon Lamordra has cast Magic Vestment on Corwin's armor. For the next seven hours, Corwin will enjoy a +2 Enhancement bonus to his Armor Class, as long as he wears his half-plate.)


(The port city of Felsenstadt is quite large and surely contains every standard variety of shop or service, and perhaps a few exotic shops or services as well. Consider this when choosing Corwin's actions in Felsenstadt.)



Corwin >
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:34 am

Well, first things first... to the (not marketplace) ships hold!!!

corwin will take (basically one of each type of glassware and woodwares) specifically one skull souveneer mug, one dwarven indestructable plate, one red glassware, and one standard glass cookware. also some wooden spoons.

(i wish i had thought of checking to see if Object d' art or any glass scalpels or knives were available, if only that a non clerical healer may find some superb instruments useful, or a chef or fisherman who wants an extremely fine edge on his filet knife...)


Once I've collected these things it's time to go look for a tavern. Why go through all of the trouble of getting good deals on this stuff and then allow some other merchant to gt rich off of it? My first stop would be for the better quality inns to try and sell them... emphasizing the strength and spartan beauty of the dwarven glassware. 'simple excellence in the craftsmanship will create an appropriate palate for their chefs to paint upon' or something like that. For this journey Corwin will not be wearing his armor. (i know, wasteful of the deacons buff, but it's not really appropriate, i'd look less like a ships captain and more like an adventurer trying to fence some liberated treasure.


for the Dwarven glassware i'm looking for about 80 a ton (you had said that glassware and clay isn't Feldenstats strong point)

skull souveneer mugs will probably not go well at the higher priced inns, so i'll bring one as an example, but they will probably go at the marketplace better.

the copper glass from cranweissers i'll ask 34, but will go as low as 24

Iron glass i'll try for 40

In addition i wish to stop by the mayors/headman ect to pay my respects (and maybe get a good deal for the higher quality goods like the dwarven stoneware)

(that should be enough to keep you busy for now)
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:17 am

(Good thinking about going directly to the customers. The retail-type merchants might have more established customer bases, but with Corwin's Charisma and force of personality he should be able to find some buyers--and tidier profits--easily enough.)

Taking care to sort the samples as he wrapped them in sackcloth and slipped them into pouches and travelling packs, Corwin ascended from the shallow hold and returned to the deck. Thinking idly, he removed Captain Hjorsfar's well-aged treasure map from its protective case once more, pondering how he could profit from the deacon's gift as well.




"Captain," Mister Stevens addressed him from behind, "the Woodwitch is moored and the gangplank is secured. Miss Covery and I will be taking the first watch. The best of luck to you, sir."

The remaining crew busied themselves with games of chance or tucked themselves into their cots and bedrolls as Corwin debarked. With any luck he would not be long in finding a goodly pile of gold beneath his unladen wares.


(Corwin - untrained Gather Information check (DC 12): Critical Failure (3 / Natural 1))

(Mystery Check: 9)
(Corwin's Opposed Mystery Check: 6)

"Welcome to the Skulking Knave, sea dog! How can I help ya? Oh, don't step in the blood there...."

Hoping to find a buyer for his woodwares, Corwin reached for the small pouch containing his sample of wooden spoons...and his hand returned with naught more than severed pouch strings. Felsenstadt was not without her skulking little pickpockets, it seems. A brief check of his person assured him that the anonymous thief had stolen nothing besides the woodware sample, but the blow was dealt: Corwin would not be able to sell his woodwares until he returned to the Woodwitch for another sample.

Cursing his fell luck, Corwin idly regarded a drop-glazed goblet of common glass among his ware samples and continued with his rounds.


(Corwin - untrained Gather Information check (DC 12): Failure (10))

"Oh, no no no...I haven't any need for common glass cookware! All of my cookware is good, hearty Brustaggan iron! Cold iron, yes. You'll not find better cookpots than the ones I already have. Try the Black Hound Inn down on Hershing's Way; they may need some glass cookware."

"Who sent you here? No, I've no need for glass pots and platters. Surely they would break under the stress of cooking anyway. Oh...please, do be careful not to burn yourself there! Well...even if the glass is tempered for cooking heat, I still can't say that I'm interested. Sorry."

"Glass cookware, you say? Haw! My uncle brought glass cookware to his tavern four years back, and ten or twelve people got food poisoning! Three of them even died from it. Glass cookware is simply inferior. Everyone should know that!"


(Corwin - untrained Gather Information check (DC 12): Success (13))
(Corwin - untrained Diplomacy check (DC 10): Failure (5))

"I see, sir. Well, these are some clever little skull mugs, but my inn has patrons who could simply not appreciate the virtues of washing down their Three Mountains cabernet in a glass mug shaped like some fellow's headbone! You should ask the barkeep at the Lucky Troll and Dagger tavern; surely their crowd would be more inclined to drink from such things."

"Welcome to the Lucky Troll and Dagger, freund! Ohhh...ah, I see that you are selling...glass skull mugs? How wonderful! These would be quite popular here. I might even keep a few for my home...oh, how many tons are you selling? Splendid! I'll take every mug you have. Regretably, I cannot pay you more than 225 Groschen for all five tons; business has been poor with the recent storms driving the ships from port, and with that deplorable Skulking Knave tavern opening across the plaza. Oh...I see. Well, do hurry back, sir."

"Welcome to the Skulking Knave, sea dog! How can I help ya? Oh, don't step in the blood there! Or the broken glass. Not till we've had a chance to clean up after this morning's brawl. Hmm...glass skull mugs? Their quality seems to be nice. Yes, yes, I'll pay 150 Groschen for two tons! Why, of course I'm sure! Look...we just opened a few months ago, and the bar fights are costing me a wagon of gold every month. 150 gold, and no higher. That's my final offer. Yes, I'm sure! No no no, don't slam the...ugggh! I knew I should have opened my tavern in a better part of town...."

"Welcome to Friendly Frodd's Mercantile, home of the delightful deal! I am Friendly Frodd. How may I help you? Ah, you are selling these fancy little skull mugs! Why yes, I have a number of regular customers who would be quite eager to buy such drinkwares. I tell you what...I'll buy three tons of them for 200 Groschen. Oh...very well...210 Groschen a ton. Fine, fine...215! I'm afraid I must stand there if I'm to be profitable, sir. Very well, very well. But if you haven't any better luck, do come back to me. Take care, sir."


(Corwin - untrained Gather Information check (DC 12): Success (19))
(Corwin - untrained Diplomacy check (DC 10): Success (16))

"Ah, a seafaring merchant! We cater to many such travellers here at the Smiling Raven's Alehouse. Why...red copper glass! I have not seen any copper glass of such quality in many years. Ja, of course. I'm a dwarf, am I not? Dwarves have an eye for such things, you should know. Very good, then. I'm afraid that I can offer no more than 200 Groschen for five tons. But your wares will be very much appreciated by my regular crowd, I can promise you that."

"This copper glassware looks exquisite! The Five Pillars Inn could certainly use these glasses and dishes. Look at the red hue! Remarkable. I'll pay 370 Groschen for ten tons! Hmmm...a good point. 390 Groschen it is. No? Oh, very well...400 Groschen for ten tons. That is my final offer."

"Welcome to the King in Silver Tavern, sir. Oh...red glassware? My, this is quite lovely...very respectable quality, I see. Very well, I can offer you 40 Groschen a ton. Hmm...is that so? Well, I can surely best the Five Pillars offer, then...43 Groschen per ton. But I can only buy three tons. Is that acceptable?"

"Welcome to the Blue Cup! I am Handkel, the innkeeper. Hmmm...you don't say? Very good glassware, yes. Copper glass is very easy to temper. I can buy eight tons at 36 Groschen a ton. Hmm...as you like. 38 Groschen per ton. I can go no higher, I'm afraid. Very well, sir."

"I beseech you, sir, pray help me! I have a very prestigious knight coming to my inn as a guest...yes, the Sword and the Cauldron Inn. And I must have your goblets and plates! I want this dinner to be nothing less than perfect. Yes, yes...I will buy one ton at 50 Groschen. Oh...fine, fine! 55 Groschen it is. Pray do not wring me for any more gold; I'm in dire enough straits as I am."


(Corwin - untrained Gather Information check (DC 12): Success (21))
(Corwin - untrained Diplomacy check (DC 10): Critical Success (22 / Natural 20))

"Ah, welcome back to the Smiling Raven's Alehouse! I knew that you could not stay away for long. Oh...I must have missed these before. Why...why these dwarven ironglass plates are just like my dear aunt used to glaze back in Mornheim! Ja, you could split a giant's skull with these. By Moradin's bones, I will be quite happy to buy these for a good price. 65 Groschen for each of ten tons sounds like a fair price, ja?"

"Welcome to the Hall of Queens Hostel, sir. I am your hostess, Merrenhild. Ah...dwarven ironglass? I see. Well, we are a bit short of serving wares...I understand completely. Might we offer 600 Groschen for ten tons? Oh, I fear that our coffers allow us to offer no better than that. Very well, sir. Do take care."

"This is true, sir. My father has finally returned to Moradin's golden home after such good centuries of life, and I must depart for Mornheim at once. I trust that my tavern help will keep the Stone Angel from burnin' to the bedrock in my absence. My clan will want to throw a grand banquet in his honor, and these dwarven plates and bowls will satisfy the lot. I can buy but two tons of ye wares, ja, but at 70 Groschen for each ton. Think it over, will ye?"

"Please, sir, we are but poor fellows here. Surely you understand. Now, what if I were to buy six tons of these plates and dishes...let us say, for 300 Groschen and nine tons of preserved meats? Why, we of the Fair Tradewind Inn and Butchery offer salted pork, venison jerky, beef jerky, peeled and salted beef tongue, smoked pork sausage, smoked blood sausage, smoked lamb shanks...all suited for journeys of hundreds and hundreds of miles, I promise you that. We offer a vast selection of fresh meat cuts as well. All of our meat is of very good quality, too. We leave the tripe and the chitterlings for the local dogs...the brains as well. Who wants to eat those? Yes, salted deer kidney is very popular in Brustagg. And the huntsmen brought me these pickled and peppered stag hearts; slice them properly and simmer them over a low fire for a very hearty meal. I just seared a pan of deer heart that I marinaded in an imported sherry and breaded in sesame batter about half an hour ago. Would you like to try some?"

"Welcome to the Gray Magus and Hart Tavern! We pride ourselves on a refined and intellectual...hmm? Ah, dwarven ironglass! Splendid! We have an incredible demand for such cookware and dinnerware. You see, when I was at the university studying to become a wizard, I did most of my own cooking and, I daresay, I became rather talented at it. Brustagg's native humanodwarven culture is a culture with a largely carnocentric diet, so I've perfected a spiced aqua regia marinade for all of my tavern's plentiful meat dishes. The meat comes cleanly off the bone and melts in your mouth! Simply savory, it is. But aqua regia is a bit dangerous to handle, and I would trust the task to nothing less than the best quality of glassware available...such as your dwarven ironglass. In that regard, might I offer 68 Groschen for one ton? Oh...with most of them bowls and plates, if you could. Hmm...no, alas, I am a far better chef than I am a wizard. I was...well, I was expelled from the university over...something which I would rather not discuss, no. But we all must continue onward with our lives. Yes, I wholly understand. The offer will still stand when you return. No, the pleasure is all mine, sir."

"Hmm...dwarves are good glazers, yes. Why? Just because I happen to be a wood elf, I am somehow unable to appreciate the quality of dwarven goods? Yes, certainly. The Elderwood Spire Inn will buy four tons of these dwarven glasswares for 55 of your gold coins. 58 coins, then. No, no matter. I am patient. Please return soon."

"No, no, I have little coin to offer. But I do have so many meats and Brustaggan cheeses...how about this offer? Four tons of your dwarven glasswares for six tons of smoked ox cuts, two tons of smoked herring, three tons of smoked salt pork and one ton of...are you ready for this? Wyvern meat, all cut, smoked and salted. Wyvern has a very hearty flavor and a flaky, filling texture. Imagine the rich meat of a blood ox with the texture of a wild turkey...only better. That is what wyvern meat is like! It should keep for a long journey, and it fetches high prices in most Imperial provinces...not just because wyverns are dangerous beasts to hunt, either. Their meat is worthy of any king's feast, I assure you. Well, do think it over. Thank you for happening by."


As he made his way about Felsenstadt's tiers and streets of expertly cut cobblestone, Corwin found the burgomaster's manor. The people gathered outside the manor's great doors were almost uniformly prestigious...a naval officer, aristocrats and their bodyguards and other servants, gilded merchant-princes and more. Corwin began to wonder how great or shabby his odds at impressing the chamberlain enough to find an audience with the burgomaster were that day....


(The chamberlain is Indifferent to Corwin.)
(Corwin - untrained Diplomacy check (DC 20): Success (21))

Adjusting his silver-rimmed crystal monocle to a functional angle, the burgomaster's long-chinned chamberlain closely examined Corwin's trade manifest from top to bottom, scouring each crimson-writ line with a hawkish, penetrating gaze.

"I see. The Three Griffins Trading company has sent you to discuss matters of business with Burgomaster Ionelhoff? Hmmm. I may be able to convince Lord Borsenzimmer to delay his inspection of the City Watch stables, citing conflicting concerns...and Madame Ap'Halil is not a very rigid sort in keeping her appointments...will six bells past noontide be a suitable time for your visit, Captain Ainsley? The burgomaster is not expecting anyone more important than a band of the local provosts, and we can bring you directly into the antechamber to wait for him, if you please."

Six o'clock in the evening might be rather late in the day, Corwin reasoned, but later was better than never....


Corwin >
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:19 am

The House of Ainsley wrote:

"Glass cookware, you say? Haw! My uncle brought glass cookware to his tavern four years back, and ten or twelve people got food poisoning! Three of them even died from it. Glass cookware is simply inferior. Everyone should know that!"

((((Maybe it was his cooking)))

The House of Ainsley wrote:

"I see, sir. Well, these are some clever little skull mugs, but my inn has patrons who could simply not appreciate the virtues of washing down their Three Mountains cabernet in a glass mug shaped like some fellow's headbone! You should ask the barkeep at the Lucky Troll and Dagger tavern; surely their crowd would be more inclined to drink from such things."

I'll show him the red glass


The House of Ainsley wrote:

"Welcome to the Skulking Knave, sea dog! How can I help ya? Oh, don't step in the blood there! Or the broken glass. Not till we've had a chance to clean up after this morning's brawl. Hmm...glass skull mugs? Their quality seems to be nice. Yes, yes, I'll pay 150 Groschen for two tons! Why, of course I'm sure! Look...we just opened a few months ago, and the bar fights are costing me a wagon of gold every month. 150 gold, and no higher. That's my final offer. Yes, I'm sure! No no no, don't slam the...ugggh! I knew I should have opened my tavern in a better part of town...."

SOLD

The House of Ainsley wrote:

"Welcome to Friendly Frodd's Mercantile, home of the delightful deal! I am Friendly Frodd. How may I help you? Ah, you are selling these fancy little skull mugs! Why yes, I have a number of regular customers who would be quite eager to buy such drinkwares. I tell you what...I'll buy three tons of them for 200 Groschen. Oh...very well...210 Groschen a ton. Fine, fine...215! I'm afraid I must stand there if I'm to be profitable, sir. Very well, very well. But if you haven't any better luck, do come back to me. Take care, sir."

Sold!

The House of Ainsley wrote:

"Welcome to the King in Silver Tavern, sir. Oh...red glassware? My, this is quite lovely...very respectable quality, I see. Very well, I can offer you 40 Groschen a ton. Hmm...is that so? Well, I can surely best the Five Pillars offer, then...43 Groschen per ton. But I can only buy three tons. Is that acceptable?"

sold!!!!
The House of Ainsley wrote:

"I beseech you, sir, pray help me! I have a very prestigious knight coming to my inn as a guest...yes, the Sword and the Cauldron Inn. And I must have your goblets and plates! I want this dinner to be nothing less than perfect. Yes, yes...I will buy one ton at 50 Groschen. Oh...fine, fine! 55 Groschen it is. Pray do not wring me for any more gold; I'm in dire enough straits as I am."

SOLD!

"Ah, welcome back to the Smiling Raven's Alehouse! I knew that you could not stay away for long. Oh...I must have missed these before. Why...why these dwarven ironglass plates are just like my dear aunt used to glaze back in Mornheim! Ja, you could split a giant's skull with these. By Moradin's bones, I will be quite happy to buy these for a good price. 65 Groschen for each of ten tons sounds like a fair price, ja?"

The House of Ainsley wrote:

"This is true, sir. My father has finally returned to Moradin's golden home after such good centuries of life, and I must depart for Mornheim at once. I trust that my tavern help will keep the Stone Angel from burnin' to the bedrock in my absence. My clan will want to throw a grand banquet in his honor, and these dwarven plates and bowls will satisfy the lot. I can buy but two tons of ye wares, ja, but at 70 Groschen for each ton. Think it over, will ye?"

SOLD!
The House of Ainsley wrote:

"Please, sir, we are but poor fellows here. Surely you understand. Now, what if I were to buy six tons of these plates and dishes...let us say, for 300 Groschen and nine tons of preserved meats? Why, we of the Fair Tradewind Inn and Butchery offer salted pork, venison jerky, beef jerky, peeled and salted beef tongue, smoked pork sausage, smoked blood sausage, smoked lamb shanks...all suited for journeys of hundreds and hundreds of miles, I promise you that. We offer a vast selection of fresh meat cuts as well. All of our meat is of very good quality, too. We leave the tripe and the chitterlings for the local dogs...the brains as well. Who wants to eat those? Yes, salted deer kidney is very popular in Brustagg. And the huntsmen brought me these pickled and peppered stag hearts; slice them properly and simmer them over a low fire for a very hearty meal. I just seared a pan of deer heart that I marinaded in an imported sherry and breaded in sesame batter about half an hour ago. Would you like to try some?"

Yes i will ty the yummy sounding food, especially since I think that preserved meats was part of what they wanted in nellowswann

The House of Ainsley wrote:

"Welcome to the Gray Magus and Hart Tavern! We pride ourselves on a refined and intellectual...hmm? Ah, dwarven ironglass! Splendid! We have an incredible demand for such cookware and dinnerware. You see, when I was at the university studying to become a wizard, I did most of my own cooking and, I daresay, I became rather talented at it. Brustagg's native humanodwarven culture is a culture with a largely carnocentric diet, so I've perfected a spiced aqua regia marinade for all of my tavern's plentiful meat dishes. The meat comes cleanly off the bone and melts in your mouth! Simply savory, it is. But aqua regia is a bit dangerous to handle, and I would trust the task to nothing less than the best quality of glassware available...such as your dwarven ironglass. In that regard, might I offer 68 Groschen for one ton? Oh...with most of them bowls and plates, if you could. Hmm...no, alas, I am a far better chef than I am a wizard. I was...well, I was expelled from the university over...something which I would rather not discuss, no. But we all must continue onward with our lives. Yes, I wholly understand. The offer will still stand when you return. No, the pleasure is all mine, sir."

"Hmm...dwarves are good glazers, yes. Why? Just because I happen to be a wood elf, I am somehow unable to appreciate the quality of dwarven goods? Yes, certainly. The Elderwood Spire Inn will buy four tons of these dwarven glasswares for 55 of your gold coins. 58 coins, then. No, no matter. I am patient. Please return soon."

The House of Ainsley wrote:

"No, no, I have little coin to offer. But I do have so many meats and Brustaggan cheeses...how about this offer? Four tons of your dwarven glasswares for six tons of smoked ox cuts, two tons of smoked herring, three tons of smoked salt pork and one ton of...are you ready for this? Wyvern meat, all cut, smoked and salted. Wyvern has a very hearty flavor and a flaky, filling texture. Imagine the rich meat of a blood ox with the texture of a wild turkey...only better. That is what wyvern meat is like! It should keep for a long journey, and it fetches high prices in most Imperial provinces...not just because wyverns are dangerous beasts to hunt, either. Their meat is worthy of any king's feast, I assure you. Well, do think it over. Thank you for happening by."

hmmm, i'll have to think on this one

The House of Ainsley wrote:

As he made his way about Felsenstadt's tiers and streets of expertly cut cobblestone, Corwin found the burgomaster's manor. The people gathered outside the manor's great doors were almost uniformly prestigious...a naval officer, aristocrats and their bodyguards and other servants, gilded merchant-princes and more. Corwin began to wonder how great or shabby his odds at impressing the chamberlain enough to find an audience with the burgomaster were that day....

Adjusting his silver-rimmed crystal monocle to a functional angle, the burgomaster's long-chinned chamberlain closely examined Corwin's trade manifest from top to bottom, scouring each crimson-writ line with a hawkish, penetrating gaze.

"I see. The Three Griffins Trading company has sent you to discuss matters of business with Burgomaster Ionelhoff? Hmmm. I may be able to convince Lord Borsenzimmer to delay his inspection of the City Watch stables, citing conflicting concerns...and Madame Ap'Halil is not a very rigid sort in keeping her appointments...will six bells past noontide be a suitable time for your visit, Captain Ainsley? The burgomaster is not expecting anyone more important than a band of the local provosts, and we can bring you directly into the antechamber to wait for him, if you please."

Six o'clock in the evening might be rather late in the day, Corwin reasoned, but later was better than never....


Corwin >

It was less a Captain Corwin Ainsley of the Three Griffons company, and more as Captain Corwin Ainsley Nephew of Lord Borogon Ainsley, offering his respect to the governor as he is on his way through Feldenstadt

EDIT: yes, i am interested in the Wyvern Meat deal, but i'll try to see if i can get some more in the way of other meats as well
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:07 pm

S.E.A.M.U.S wrote:
The House of Ainsley wrote:

"I see, sir. Well, these are some clever little skull mugs, but my inn has patrons who could simply not appreciate the virtues of washing down their Three Mountains cabernet in a glass mug shaped like some fellow's headbone! You should ask the barkeep at the Lucky Troll and Dagger tavern; surely their crowd would be more inclined to drink from such things."

I'll show him the red glass
(Actually, you already did. And he made an offer, which you accepted: )
Quote :
"This copper glassware looks exquisite! The Five Pillars Inn could certainly use these glasses and dishes. Look at the red hue! Remarkable. I'll pay 370 Groschen for ten tons! Hmmm...a good point. 390 Groschen it is. No? Oh, very well...400 Groschen for ten tons. That is my final offer."

( Wink )

S.E.A.M.U.S wrote:
Yes i will ty the yummy sounding food, especially since I think that preserved meats was part of what they wanted in nellowswann
(Actually, it was Jahalio Island (which is Corwin's origin and last destination for this route), not Nellowswann. But yes, the Three Griffins branch in Port Jahalio does indeed want Brustaggan meats, and these nine tons of preserved meat would certainly fit the bill. Good call.)

(The only concern here is that the Woodwitch only had 10 tons of the Dwarven ironglass, and these three accepted offers for it would bring the total amount of Dwarven glassware sold to 12 tons: )

Quote :
"This is true, sir. My father has finally returned to Moradin's golden home after such good centuries of life, and I must depart for Mornheim at once. I trust that my tavern help will keep the Stone Angel from burnin' to the bedrock in my absence. My clan will want to throw a grand banquet in his honor, and these dwarven plates and bowls will satisfy the lot. I can buy but two tons of ye wares, ja, but at 70 Groschen for each ton. Think it over, will ye?"

Quote :
"Please, sir, we are but poor fellows here. Surely you understand. Now, what if I were to buy six tons of these plates and dishes...let us say, for 300 Groschen and nine tons of preserved meats? Why, we of the Fair Tradewind Inn and Butchery offer salted pork, venison jerky, beef jerky, peeled and salted beef tongue, smoked pork sausage, smoked blood sausage, smoked lamb shanks...all suited for journeys of hundreds and hundreds of miles, I promise you that. We offer a vast selection of fresh meat cuts as well. All of our meat is of very good quality, too. We leave the tripe and the chitterlings for the local dogs...the brains as well. Who wants to eat those? Yes, salted deer kidney is very popular in Brustagg. And the huntsmen brought me these pickled and peppered stag hearts; slice them properly and simmer them over a low fire for a very hearty meal. I just seared a pan of deer heart that I marinaded in an imported sherry and breaded in sesame batter about half an hour ago. Would you like to try some?"

Quote :
"No, no, I have little coin to offer. But I do have so many meats and Brustaggan cheeses...how about this offer? Four tons of your dwarven glasswares for six tons of smoked ox cuts, two tons of smoked herring, three tons of smoked salt pork and one ton of...are you ready for this? Wyvern meat, all cut, smoked and salted. Wyvern has a very hearty flavor and a flaky, filling texture. Imagine the rich meat of a blood ox with the texture of a wild turkey...only better. That is what wyvern meat is like! It should keep for a long journey, and it fetches high prices in most Imperial provinces...not just because wyverns are dangerous beasts to hunt, either. Their meat is worthy of any king's feast, I assure you. Well, do think it over. Thank you for happening by."
(Since the two Dwarven-glassware-for-meat offers are pretty much as-is deals, and they would both add up to ten tons exactly and save Corwin some time trolling the marketplace in search of meats for Jahalio Island, should I assume that Corwin disregards the Stone Angel's proprietor's offer and accepts the latter two offers?)

(Corwin - untrained Appraise check (DC 5): Failure (3))
(Corwin - untrained Appraise check (DC 10): Success (14))

The 9 tons of huntman's cuts and choice cuts from the second offer are of Undiscerned quality and value.

The 6 tons of ox meat from the third offer are of Good quality, worth roughly 30 Gold/ton.

The 2 tons of smoked herring are of Poor quality, worth roughly 10 Gold/ton.

The 3 tons of smoked salt pork are of Average quality, worth roughly 20 Gold/ton.

The 1 ton of wyvern meat is a Rare trade item of Exquisite quality, worth roughly 400 Gold/ton. A critical success while trolling the markets and haggling with the merchants can sometimes get you something like this.... Wink

(While you consider that one, we'll continue with Corwin's arrival at the burgomaster's manor....)



(Chamberlain - Nobility and Royalty Knowledge check (DC 15): Failure (9))

The chamberlain regarded Corwin's proffered signet ring with rekindled interest. "Ah, I see...yes, I believe I have heard of your House, sir. They have fought bravely and remarkably well in taking the land of Bardosylvania from the barbarians, as I recall. Very well. I shall convey this information to the burgomaster without delay. And if you come one hour earlier...5 bells this evening, you may have an early audience with him. I shall see what can be done for you, Sir Ainsley. Be well."

To Corwin's relief, either the chamberlain alone or the entirety of Felsenstadt had remained ignorant of the alleged atrocities and excesses perpetrated by Lord Borogon. Such ignorance could only work in Corwin's favor, he reasoned, and perhaps he even stood to receive some manner of grace or tribute from the burgomaster himself. Mother's ring could certainly open more doors to him than he could have ever opened alone...a fitting compensation for so many bleak years of sharing her exile, living in her hovel, toiling under the lash of her bitter and unsatisfiable tongue and sleeping in her crude, cold cellar.

Brewing the potion in which her downfall took root was the best thing she could have ever done for him.

Corwin brushed the past from his thoughts as he and Mister Stevens hefted a crate of salted stag kidney over the Woodwitch's gunwales and dragged it down to the hold. The skull mugs had been sold away to the last crate, and his ship's coffers had come away with a tidy profit of 215 Gold for the lot.

Glass skull mugs (original cost: 150 Gold for 5 tons, or 30 Gold/ton):
+150 Gold for 2 tons
+215 Gold for 3 tons
Profit: 215

Red glassware (original cost: 320 Gold for 16 tons, or 20 Gold/ton):
+400 Gold for 10 tons
+129 Gold for 3 tons
+55 Gold for 1 ton

Present cargo:

A Tankard of Endless Beer (to be kept in Corwin's quarters, where only he may lay his hands on it): 300 Gold
7 tons of woodware, Average quality
4 tons of common glass cookware, Average quality
2 tons of red glassware, Good quality
10 tons of dwarven glassware, Superb quality (transactions pending)
Total Payment for the above trades: 949 Gold. The Woodwitch’s coffers now hold 2,921 Gold.
Total Tonnage: 23 Tons. 27 Tons of vacant capacity remain in the Woodwitch’s hold.

The Woodwitch currently has enough provisions to sustain her crew for 16 days.

(Remember, more offers for the red glassware have already been made. Corwin may yet have the opportunity to sell the last two tons of red glassware before he leaves port.)


The hours marched on as Corwin bought and sold and traded and moved wares about. Three hours remained until his appointment with the burgomaster; perhaps in that time, more could yet be done to sell away what wares he had brought to Felsenstadt and gather more offers for Brustagg's many meats.


(Corwin - untrained Gather Information check (DC 5): Success (18))
(Corwin - untrained Appraise check (DC 10): Success (19))

"Ox meat! Come buy ox meat here! Sir, I have a special offer for today, an offer which you as a seafarer may surely find agreeable: ten tons of ox ribs, cut from the finest and strongest oxen in Southern Brustagg! My people savor these very same ribs for their evening meals. Might I ask...55 Groschen for each ton, and 550 for all ten?"
(The ox ribs are of Superb quality. The meat is rich, flavorful and tender enough to peel right off the bone. The merchant's offer is Unfair; Corwin's approach has already loosened the butcher's larder a tad, but surely his price can come down just a little bit more.)

"Come to Sigrid's Sausage Shack, home of Sigrid's pepper sausage! Ja, sir, I am Sigrid. Oh...you wish to see my pepper sausage? Here we are. I pack my sausage myself, ja, and I have had a very prosperous month. So I do not think it unfair to ask for more than 10 Groschen--or any Imperial gold coin, true--for each ton of my peppered pork sausage. And I am selling four tons of sausage this week. Are you interested?"
(The peppered pork sausage is of Poor quality. It is unpreserved and will spoil in one week, and the pepper is a cheap local variety which does not grow well in Brustaggan soil. The merchant's offer is Fair.)

"Good day! I am Henrich of Grundmir, and I have come to Felsenstadt to sell my wonderful cuts of tender beef! Ja, observe their quality, their mouthwatering softness and leanness! Though my meat is incredibly desirable, I am only asking 3 Groschen for each ton, and I have fifteen tons to sell. Why? Because the cattle move through Brustagg even more freely than the rivers! Surely everyone knows that...."
(The tender beef cuts are of Terrible quality. The meat's tenderness comes not from the quality of its cattle but from its state of decay; already the meat has begun to spoil and will not be edible in three more days. The stink of decay has been carefully concealed with lemon juice, but years of witnessing his mother's herbalisms and alchemies have made Corwin savvy to such deceitful practices. The merchant's offer is Fair.)

"Ah, welcome. I am Brunigan the deer hunter, and today I am selling cutlets of amber-tailed deer, fresh from the hunt! If you buy in bulk, I only ask for 26 Groschen for one ton. And I have four tons to sell. Does this seem fair so far?"
(The venison cutlets are of Average quality. The merchant's offer is Fair.)

"I am Winnelda the shepherdess, and my many sheep have provided meat and wool enough for many! For instance, you ask for meat? I have these mutton strips to offer, freshly cut today, yesterday and the day prior, and packed in salt for twelve hours to preserve their freshness. I have nine tons of such mutton to sell, and I only ask for 6 Groschen per ton. Can I count on your business today, good sir?"
(The mutton strips are of Poor quality; the sheep from which they were harvested were likely underfed, and the meat is tough and stringy. The merchant's offer is Very Generous; is there some reason she's trying to get rid of the mutton, or is she simply hoping to secure future business?)

"Hmmm, yes, sir. I am glad that you asked! My husband and I have spend many years rearing cattle at the base of the Crown Diamond Mountains, and we have come to Felsenstadt to share them with many traders and customers. We have recently broken away from my father-in-law's business, and we are eager to show people that our meat still bears the quality of the Grisstein name. We have brought several tons of beef steaks...T-bone steaks, eye of round steaks, rump steak and more, ten tons' worth of steaks. And all for 35 Groschen for each ton. Have I wetted your appetite so far, sir?"
(The beef steaks are of Superb quality. Gauging the meat's texture and coloration, the cattle were likely nourished with quality oats and very clean water. The merchant's offer is Very Generous; her butchery is young and small, and she is obviously trying to convince Corwin to return in the future.)

"I have salt-pickled pork chops, pork strips, ham hocks and more! Come, come! You sell meat overseas? Good, good! I have five tons of these pork cuts, all salted, smoked, pickled, seared...preserved however you like, with no loss of flavor or texture. Eight tons, 27 Gold for a ton. Take it or leave it."
(The salt-pickled pork cuts are of Good quality; they are well-preserved and may last for well over two months before starting to spoil. The merchant's offer is Generous; perhaps he bought his pigs cheaply or knows how to raise them at less expense.)

"...and that is why my family believes in raising cattle and oxen together. You chop the meat, you pack it into the completely natural lining and tie it off into sausages...ja, the flavor of cattle beef and ox beef mingled is unlike any other! Try some. I just toasted it minutes ago, and it is still hot. So...I do not see many men like yourself...Mister Ainsley, was it? I normally demand a higher cost, but perhaps you will find these seven tons of sausage agreeable for...shall we say, 26 Goldies apiece? Or buy all seven tons for only 180 Goldies. What say you, friend?"
(The beef and ox sausage is of Good quality, ground finely and evenly with almost no bone slivers, large veins or fatty clumps. The merchant's offer is Generous; she seems to enjoy Corwin's company.)

"Hrrrmph. Cod? Ja, I sell cod. There. No, there! Behind you. You have something to say about my decor, do you? Right, then. 5 Groschen for a large ton crate of cod, and I have fourteen tons of cod on my boat. Buy it or stop wasting my time."
(The salted cod is of Terrible quality; the fish cuts have not been boned, and many of the bones seem to be broken from poor handling and sloppy cutting, making them even more difficult to remove. The merchant's offer is Fair.)

"Please, sir, my mother will be very angry if I cannot sell all of these chicken cuts! Wings, thighs, breasts, entire carcasses...ja, have a look! I tried to pluck their feathers as well as I could...oh, I know. I cannot ask for more than two Groschen for each of my six tons. Please, do consider my offer."
(The chicken cuts are of Terrible quality. The meat appears to be very dry and thin, and splotchy coloration suggests that some of the chickens may have been diseased right up till their slaughter. The merchant's offer is Very Generous; she's selling an inferior product of questionable quality--or questionably safe edibility--and she knows it.)

"Ha ha ha! I caught many, many sharks in the sea yesterday! Five old ones and twelve little ones, ja. Look, look! Thresher sharks, and large ones at that! The casks of saltwater keep them from spoiling until they can be sold, so I promise that they are of wonderful quality! I have been catching and cutting up sharks for over 30 years, sir. I know my trade well, and I can share my good fortune with you. Eleven tons of shark steaks, and each ton only costs 35 Groschen. Ask anyone how good these steaks are. I hope to hear from you soon!"
(The thresher shark steaks are of Superb quality. The steaks are thin and cleanly sliced--obviously cut with a very steady hand and a very keen knife--and should be rather easy to cook properly. And with their saltwater marinade, the steaks shouldn't spoil for well over a month, perhaps two. The merchant's offer is Very Generous; his last shark hunt was very bountiful, and he can afford to sell for less.)

"Ah, this? In me native land of Caed Fainne, we call this morsel a haggis. Ye see, it is a sheep's stomach, cleaned, emptied and stuffed with...let me think...wild oats, chopped onions and various other chopped-up pieces o' the sheep...muscles, kidneys, liver, entrails cleaned in salty brine, e'en the ewe's womb and the ram's stones go into a haggis, aye. In Caed Fainne, we believe in lettin' no part o' the sheep go to waste, and the Brustaggans agree with our philosophy. So I came to Brustagg to make an' sell haggis, an' I've enjoyed a right spot o' success for it. Surely selling these six tons of haggis for 18 Gold apiece is fair, aye?"
(The haggises are of Poor quality, and a peculiar odor like that of urine or weak vinegar wafts from each of them. Perhaps the odor is normal, perhaps it is not. And perhaps the people of Caed Fainne are mad to create such a dish in the first place. The merchant's offer is Unfair, and he seems to be counting on the novelty of haggises in Brustagg to make his high price seem reasonable.)

"I have hunted wild turkeys for these twenty years and more. I know their habits, I know their tricks, I know which are worth the hunt and which should be permitted their lives. But...look at these carcasses! Have I truly failed myself so gravely? This skin is too...too brown! And this breast looks as if I carved it with a battle axe! I can ask for no more than 36 Groschen for each ton of smoked turkey, sir. I hope that my turkeys are better next time...."
(The smoked wild turkey carcasses are of Superb quality. They have been expertly smoked with hickory and northern maple woods, and are meaty and flavorful without being tough and overly dry. The merchant's offer is Generous; for all his work and his skill, the huntsman is a perfectionist and this meat has somehow fallen short of his own standards.)

"You will be pleased with what I sell! Pork cutlets! Wild pork cutlets! I tracked these boars through miles of wilderness, through mountain and moor and woodland, and I braved many dangers to kill them, prepare them and bring them to you! A king...no, the Eternal Emperor himself would leap at the chance to purchase my cutlets! Observe their quality...ja, they're supposed to look like that! Who are you to question the work of a master like me? Insult me not. You should be thrilled that I offer such refined meats--meats for which I have sacrificed so much life and safety--for 32 Groschen a ton! I only have eight tons, and I expect them to be sold away by sunset. So I need you to make an offer now, sir; they will not be here for long, I assure you."
(The wild pork cutlets are of Poor quality, with uneven cut quality, some impurities and inedible cartilage mixed in and an overall unsavory appearance to the meat. The merchant's offer is Very Unfair; obviously he is an inexperienced merchant who thinks that he can command a very high price for his meat with empty boasts, bald-faced lies and a showman's bluster alone.)

"I am the butcher and pig farmer Vult Zimmfelder, and I have six tons of salted and oiled bacon for your eyes today. Now, feel this strip of bacon. It is a very meaty cut of bacon, thickly sliced. The black pepper is the key; just press the bacon into a bed of peppercorns as you sprinkle the finely ground pepper on it, then drown the whole thing in flaxseed oil. You will find that the taste is very sharp and nourishing, whether you fire-broil it, skillet-fry it or smoke it. My bacon comes from Vuldhabben Hairhoof pigs, a very strong and healthy breed. So surely 20 Groschen for each ton is indeed fair, would you agree?"
(The salted Brustaggan bacon is of Excellent quality. Sliced thickly for bacon, the black pepper was sprinkled before the bacon was marinaded in flax oil for over a day, and the meat's savory taste benefits from this. The merchant's offer is Fair.)

So many merchants, so many meats. Corwin weighed his decisions carefully.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:40 am

"Good day! I am Henrich of Grundmir, and I have come to Felsenstadt to sell my wonderful cuts of tender beef! Ja, observe their quality, their mouthwatering softness and leanness! Though my meat is incredibly desirable, I am only asking 3 Groschen for each ton, and I have fifteen tons to sell. Why? Because the cattle move through Brustagg even more freely than the rivers! Surely everyone knows that...."
(The tender beef cuts are of Terrible quality. The meat's tenderness comes not from the quality of its cattle but from its state of decay; already the meat has begun to spoil and will not be edible in three more days. The stink of decay has been carefully concealed with lemon juice, but years of witnessing his mother's herbalisms and alchemies have made Corwin savvy to such deceitful practices. The merchant's offer is Fair.)

trying to sell tainted meat is usually against the law. I'll politely suggest that he try to find another mark for his poor meat. Lemon may make a fine marinade, but I know tainted meat when i see it.

"Ah, welcome. I am Brunigan the deer hunter, and today I am selling cutlets of amber-tailed deer, fresh from the hunt! If you buy in bulk, I only ask for 26 Groschen for one ton. And I have four tons to sell. Does this seem fair so far?"
(The venison cutlets are of Average quality. The merchant's offer is Fair.)


"Hmmm, yes, sir. I am glad that you asked! My husband and I have spend many years rearing cattle at the base of the Crown Diamond Mountains, and we have come to Felsenstadt to share them with many traders and customers. We have recently broken away from my father-in-law's business, and we are eager to show people that our meat still bears the quality of the Grisstein name. We have brought several tons of beef steaks...T-bone steaks, eye of round steaks, rump steak and more, ten tons' worth of steaks. And all for 35 Groschen for each ton. Have I wetted your appetite so far, sir?"
(The beef steaks are of Superb quality. Gauging the meat's texture and coloration, the cattle were likely nourished with quality oats and very clean water. The merchant's offer is Very Generous; her butchery is young and small, and she is obviously trying to convince Corwin to return in the future.)

I'm intrigued, but need to ask you about storage and issues with spoilage, as i'm looking at taking a shipment to Jahalio island and cannot afford spoilage.

"I have salt-pickled pork chops, pork strips, ham hocks and more! Come, come! You sell meat overseas? Good, good! I have five tons of these pork cuts, all salted, smoked, pickled, seared...preserved however you like, with no loss of flavor or texture. Eight tons, 27 Gold for a ton. Take it or leave it."
(The salt-pickled pork cuts are of Good quality; they are well-preserved and may last for well over two months before starting to spoil. The merchant's offer is Generous; perhaps he bought his pigs cheaply or knows how to raise them at less expense.)

definitely interested in all 5 tons. (135gold)

"...and that is why my family believes in raising cattle and oxen together. You chop the meat, you pack it into the completely natural lining and tie it off into sausages...ja, the flavor of cattle beef and ox beef mingled is unlike any other! Try some. I just toasted it minutes ago, and it is still hot. So...I do not see many men like yourself...Mister Ainsley, was it? I normally demand a higher cost, but perhaps you will find these seven tons of sausage agreeable for...shall we say, 26 Goldies apiece? Or buy all seven tons for only 180 Goldies. What say you, friend?"
(The beef and ox sausage is of Good quality, ground finely and evenly with almost no bone slivers, large veins or fatty clumps. The merchant's offer is Generous; she seems to enjoy Corwin's company.)

I'll purchase all seven (180 is good)

"Ha ha ha! I caught many, many sharks in the sea yesterday! Five old ones and twelve little ones, ja. Look, look! Thresher sharks, and large ones at that! The casks of saltwater keep them from spoiling until they can be sold, so I promise that they are of wonderful quality! I have been catching and cutting up sharks for over 30 years, sir. I know my trade well, and I can share my good fortune with you. Eleven tons of shark steaks, and each ton only costs 35 Groschen. Ask anyone how good these steaks are. I hope to hear from you soon!"
(The thresher shark steaks are of Superb quality. The steaks are thin and cleanly sliced--obviously cut with a very steady hand and a very keen knife--and should be rather easy to cook properly. And with their saltwater marinade, the steaks shouldn't spoil for well over a month, perhaps two. The merchant's offer is Very Generous; his last shark hunt was very bountiful, and he can afford to sell for less.)

Shark hunter eh? If only more time was available... Have you ever given any thoughts of cooking? I must be honest with you, My ship is in dire need of a decent cook who knows how to handle himself aboard a ship, we damn near were poisoned when our current "cook" got ahold of things in the galley. (a man useful in the kitchen, on board ship, and with a knife is a good thing) If not, I'll definitely take a few tons of these fine steaks.

(11 tons of preserved shark steaks for 385 gold total), guarenteed to put a strong fighting spirit into your marines or soldiers)

"I have hunted wild turkeys for these twenty years and more. I know their habits, I know their tricks, I know which are worth the hunt and which should be permitted their lives. But...look at these carcasses! Have I truly failed myself so gravely? This skin is too...too brown! And this breast looks as if I carved it with a battle axe! I can ask for no more than 36 Groschen for each ton of smoked turkey, sir. I hope that my turkeys are better next time...."
(The smoked wild turkey carcasses are of Superb quality. They have been expertly smoked with hickory and northern maple woods, and are meaty and flavorful without being tough and overly dry. The merchant's offer is Generous; for all his work and his skill, the huntsman is a perfectionist and this meat has somehow fallen short of his own standards.)

good ideas... smoking also preserves a meat somewhat... he's on the list for four tons

"You will be pleased with what I sell! Pork cutlets! Wild pork cutlets! I tracked these boars through miles of wilderness, through mountain and moor and woodland, and I braved many dangers to kill them, prepare them and bring them to you! A king...no, the Eternal Emperor himself would leap at the chance to purchase my cutlets! Observe their quality...ja, they're supposed to look like that! Who are you to question the work of a master like me? Insult me not. You should be thrilled that I offer such refined meats--meats for which I have sacrificed so much life and safety--for 32 Groschen a ton! I only have eight tons, and I expect them to be sold away by sunset. So I need you to make an offer now, sir; they will not be here for long, I assure you."
(The wild pork cutlets are of Poor quality, with uneven cut quality, some impurities and inedible cartilage mixed in and an overall unsavory appearance to the meat. The merchant's offer is Very Unfair; obviously he is an inexperienced merchant who thinks that he can command a very high price for his meat with empty boasts, bald-faced lies and a showman's bluster alone.)

I find that there is little to no difference between the taste of wild bores like yourself and a good farm raised pig, often the farm raised tastes better and takes lefss effort as well. Perhaps you should find prey that is less likely to cause your stomach discomfort, as your long winded boasts fume like they are coming from the opposite end as your mouth.

Present cargo:

A Tankard of Endless Beer (to be kept in Corwin's quarters, where only he may lay his hands on it): 300 Gold
7 tons of woodware, Average quality
4 tons of common glass cookware, Average quality
2 tons of red glassware, Good quality
10 tons of dwarven glassware, Superb quality (transactions pending)
Total Payment for the above trades: 949 Gold. The Woodwitch’s coffers now hold 2,921 Gold.
Total Tonnage: 23 Tons. 27 Tons of vacant capacity remain in the Woodwitch’s hold.

The Woodwitch currently has enough provisions to sustain her crew for 16 days.


The dwarven glassware for meat deals are accepted. wyvern meat.... mmmmmm
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:20 am

The barters and trades had been carried out...some smoothly, some not. An embarrassed Henrich of Grundmir, quietly ushering Corwin out of his shop and following two other shoppers who had overheard Corwin's biting appraisal, pleading for their business as they hurried away. The boastful boar hunter, barking retaliatory curses and almost coming to blows before he took a moment to size his challenger up and decided that taking a swing at Corwin might not have been a wise course of action.

The Grisstein Cattle Ranch's saleswoman was perfectly cordial with Corwin's questions and concerns. If the Woodwitch was swift--and, being a sloop, she was, if the ocean currents and the wind were fair, and if the fresh beef steaks were laid low in the hold nearest the cold ocean deep, the beef steaks could very well survive a journey to Jahalio Island without spoiling. Corwin only needed to ensure that no rats could intrude in the Woodwitch's hold until she could debark.

But between the salt-pickled pork cuts, the cattle-and-ox beef sausage, the thresher shark steaks and the smoked wild turkey carcasses--along with all the remaining cutlery and kitchenware--there was no more room to be had in the cargo hold. The meaty wyvern carcass, wrapped in waxed sheepskin and thick burlap, could find no room below, either; it then hung lashed to the Woodwitch's foremast so it couldnt be trampled underfoot or washed overboard. The four half-ton casks of herring which had come with the wyvern carcass were lashed to the gunwales, though the ropes certainly wouldn't stop the casks from going overboard if a storm tossed the Woodwitch around strongly enough....


2,921 Gold in the Woodwitch's coffers
+ 68 (1 ton of dwarven glasswares sold)
+232 (4 tons of dwarven glasswares sold)
(4 more tons of dwarven glasswares traded for 6 tons of smoked ox cuts, 2 tons of smoked herring, 3 tons of smoked salt pork and that 1-ton wyvern carcass)
------
3,221 Gold in the Woodwitch's coffers
- 135 (5 tons of pickled pork cuts bought)
- 180 (7 tons of cattle-ox beef sausage bought)
- 385 (11 tons of thresher shark steaks bought)
- 144 (4 tons of smoked wild turkey bought)
------
2,377 Gold remains in the Woodwitch's coffers


Present cargo:

A Tankard of Endless Beer (to be kept in Corwin's quarters, where only he may lay his hands on it): 300 Gold
7 tons of woodware, Average quality
4 tons of common glass cookware, Average quality
2 tons of red glassware, Good quality
1 ton of dwarven glassware, Superb quality
6 tons of smoked ox cuts, Good quality
3 tons of smoked salt pork, Average quality
5 tons of salt-pickled pork cuts, Good quality
7 tons of cattle-ox beef sausage, Good quality
11 tons of salt-marinaded thresher shark steaks, Superb quality
4 tons of smoked wild turkey, Superb quality
2 tons of smoked herring, Poor quality (overflow, on deck)
1 ton of smoked and salted wyvern meat, Rare and Exquisite quality (overflow, on deck)


The Woodwitch’s coffers now hold 2,377 Gold.
Total Tonnage: 53 tons out of 50. Three tons of cargo are on deck and are likely to become lost at sea if a storm strikes.

The Woodwitch currently has enough provisions to sustain her crew for 16 days (not counting those 39 tons of meat and 14 tons of diningware to eat it on, if worse comes to worst...).



"Captain Ainsley," Mister Stevens approached him as he commanded the loading of the Woodwitch, "the hour draws late. I have already spoken with the harbormaster, and he assures me that the Woodwitch can remain anchored here overnight. Will you need us to attend to anything during your appointment with the burgomaster?"

Corwin checked the rising of the moon. He had conducted his trades just in time for his meeting with Burgomaster Ionelhoff, but he had little time to get to the manor. Fortunately, it seemed that he had been just as wise in choosing his crew as he had proven to be in matters of trade and commerce.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:27 pm

Mr Stevens, take a few samples of the wood and glasswares with you when you take the crew out for a little shore leave. If the opportunity presents itself to unload at profit take it. I trust in your judgement on this. I wish to keep one ton of the dwarven glassware, as I have plans for it, but all of the other cookware and woodware must go.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:34 pm

"Very good, Captain," Stevens nodded crisply, then gathered four of his wakeful crewmates to see Corwin's command carried out. A pity it was, Corwin considered, that the shark hunter had declined to leave his family and his work to serve the Woodwitch as a cook, but perhaps his crew would have their cook yet, if opportunity but presented itself....


• • •


Carpet of Omikoron weave shifted beneath Corwin's boots as the manor's tall doors closed behind him, sealed by the hands of the watchful halberdiers. Sconces flickered with the intruding breeze only to calm themselves again as the wind died, and the lamplight danced across generations of tapestries and family portraits in that dark evening entrance hall.

"Excellent punctuality, Captain Ainsley, very good," the castellan boomed, approaching him with a greeting of open arms. "Our burgomaster has anticipated your arrival and he will see you now. Why, he even ordered six more halberdiers into his conference chamber when I confirmed your appointment with him three hours ago, so truly your safety and security are foremost in his mind. Shall we go to him now?"


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:21 am

Certainly



more to come after tha baby is here@@@
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:02 am

(Daggit, stop making me laugh in the IC threads! Laughing )

"Excellent, sir!" Castellan Herstang beamed with a slight bow. "All should be ready for your audience. Please, follow me."

The charming carpet yielded to a somber floor of polished redwood as the castellan led his guest to the burgomaster's conference chamber. Two stern halberdiers flanking the stout double doors welcomed the two with dutiful nods, then clapped the butts of their halberds to the floor and crisply slid aside, permitting Herstang and the visitor to easily pass. The large redwood doors set in sturdy brass frames reduced the voices within to soft murmurs, and their well-oiled hinges parted slowly under the castellan's goading fingers.

He led Corwin in along a plush azure carpet laid heavy on a white mosaic floor, and he bowed his head to the figure in the bleached oaken throne. That figure--the burgomaster, surely--dismissed the gesture of respect with a gruff wave of his hand, scarcely lifting his eyes from Corwin all the while.

The burgomaster's departing guests, their business concluded, shuffled parchments, thumbed through a logbook, chatted in low tones and conducted themselves civilly, save for a drow elf's pointed stares which crossed the room and bore into the wood elf lass who discussed shipping law with the austere humanfolk who shared her table.

But something in the chamber's air seemed ill at ease, Corwin noticed. The halberdiers who stood at attention around the chamber stiffened their stances and regarded Corwin and the castellan with tense eyes as the two strode in. The guard captain, called away from his duties at the manor wall, turned away from the throne to follow the burgomaster's gaze, and beneath his emblazoned shield his left hand none too subtly came to rest atop the frog from which his war axe was suspended. And across the throne from him, the burgomaster's trusted scribe and advisor ceased from jotting her conference notes and turned to greet the whispering doors. And Corwin could swear that the blood drained from her intimidated countenance in the split-second it took for her to turn away.

But if the castellan noticed anything changed in his lord's behavior, he betrayed it not and continued as he had long done over the years. "Burgomaster Ionelhoff, our esteemed visitor has arrived!" Herstang announced formally. "I give you Captain Corwin Ainsley of the House...."

"I know what you have brought before me," Ionelhoff retorted, gracelessly shattering the castellan's refined introduction. "And I must express my disappointment in that you do not. You have served well as a learned man for years, and only now do you shame me with your ignorance of the House of Ainsley."

Herstang's tongue faltered. His leader's rebuke had come entirely unexpected. "...Sir?"

But by then Ionelhoff's attentions had found new focus. "I know not your name or your personage well at all, O son of Ainsley House, but I know your kith and kin quite well. I hear so many tales, so many accounts...and so much of your Lord Borogon, the Beast of Bardosylvania. I have heard tales...horrific tales of suckling babes torn from their mothers' breasts and thrown to the wolves...or to worse. I hear of Lord Borogon's bloody hunts...men and women stripped to their skins, dragged naked into the dark forests...hunted by hounds and horsemen as if they were naught more than animals! I hear of those who speak against the lordship, their bellies cut...lashed to trees by their own quivering entrails, left for the teeth of the werewolves! I hear of...noblemen defiling lone peasant girls...even young boys, with neither restraint nor consequence, of Ainsley women lying down with demons and birthing twice-damned tieflings and nephallim, of your ancestors in bygone years casting lotteries to see which commoner would be cut to pieces that year, to sow the Lady Ainsley's gardens...to sow her demonic flowers and venomous plants with blood and sinew! I hear of homes burned...temples sacked...altars toppled and broken with hammers...children cut down with swords for daring to cross the path before their lord's carriage...my shipwright's niece, who even now starves and suffers in the shadowed corners of Lord Borogon's oubliettes and torture houses...if indeed she yet lives!"

Consternation blossomed into ire. The burgomaster seemed to throw himself from his throne, thundering to his feet and glaring at Corwin, eye for eye, with a frozen and baleful stare. There were no more voices in the chamber save for Ionelhoff's own. All eyes had fallen mutely and appalledly on him, clenching his teeth and quaking his ire-wracked fists at his hips.

"Never before has an Ainsley presumed to cross into grand Brustagg so brazenly. Never before has this court been tainted with the breath of a Bardosylvanian. And now, this! Devil! Monster! Why have you come to my court this day? Speak your business and be done with it!"




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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:40 am

With a display of calm civility on his face, Corwin replied to the Burgomaster "Why, I come to speak to you of an opportunity good Burgomeister, an opportunity to strike back against (sarcasm) 'Dear Uncle Borogon' and his Lackeys."

Shifting his feet slightly.
My mother was Gwendolyn Ainsley, exiled some 20 years ago, so while I do carry the Ainsley Blood through my mother, I bear no love for my family. Difficulties with Lord Borogon and the rest of his family are found throughout the land.

Corwin pauses to see the burgomeisters reaction.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:46 am

(Corwin - untrained Diplomacy check (DC 15): Success (16))

Ionelhoff's stance settled, and his eyes regarded Corwin with a less penetrating stare. Though his heart was still steeled, perhaps he would at least give his visitor the benefit of an ear....

"My first responsibility is to the port city Felsenstadt and to the land of sovereign Brustagg; I have no wish to take my grievance to Bardosylvanian shores or to strike against your House, no matter how monstrous their hearts. I only demand that none of your House's cruelties should find their way here. But, if indeed your words are true and you bear no love or allegiance for the Ainsley House...what is your business here, in my domain?"


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:02 am

I can understand your concern Burgomeister. What brings me here to your domain is trade. Currently I am under contract with the Three Griffons trading company seeking Brustaggian meats and Iron. At our last port of call I came across some goods that I thought your household may be interested in so I sought out your chamberlain to make an appointment... While I may not care for my more infamous relatives, I have found that doors that would otherwise be shut are unlocked and opened by the name Ainsley. As a merchant and ships captain I must needs use every effortr to ensure a profit.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:29 pm

Ionelhoff's dark eyes seemed to glimmer as Corwin's prospect of special goods graced his ears. "Your approach is understandable, though you should know that some among the Empire will repay the mention of the House of Ainsley with scorn or dismay, not with praise. But your purpose for coming here intrigues me. I am a mere burgomaster, neither king nor nobleman. If you have come to offer me a dragon's egg or the greatest of the sea's treasures, then I fear that I haven't the coin for such purchases. What are these uncommon goods of which you speak, then?"


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Valian
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:43 am

(nor if he had the treasures of the deep would he try to sell it to a mayor, i'd go to a king or something)

Well Burgomeister, If I may, I have some very high quality glassware that your household may be interested in.
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides   Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:53 am

"Glassware, have you?" Ionelus shifted in his seat, settling into a more relaxed state. "What manner of glassware is this? Red glass or brown glass, or perhaps crystal? No, no...no crystal. Our last assortment of crystal goblets and plates were quite splendid and exquisite, but they shattered at all but the slightest breeze. Yes, something more durable than that, I should think. What have you to offer, then?"


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Chapter Zero: The Devils of Tides
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