Base Raid / Fragging Slag

Into the FogHaving dealt with Lucas’s treachery and obtained Slag’s base coordinates, you now make your way south to Aruba. The day is clear and bright as you navigate the Caribbean, enjoying the tangy salt air mixed with scent of various trees and flowers from the islands you pass. The eager rise and dip of your ship, the billowing sails, and the cool ocean spray on the back of your neck fill you with joy, reminding you of why you became a pirate in the first place.

Masamune

And in that line of thinking, you imagine all the booty you could sail away with from this excursion. Gold, rare spices, silk. Jewels the like of which none have seen. And if you can manage to remove Slag, you can claim the Masamune as your own, along with his ship, the Grim Drudgeon, and its Mystic Propeller!

Grim Drudgeon

Caught up in daydreams, you almost miss the change in mood of your crew. As you approach the island of Aruba, you see a thick mist surrounding it. That’s highly unusual for the desert island so well known for its white sand beaches and dry climate. You order the sails be reefed as you approach with caution. Something’s not right here. Slowly, your vessel enters the mists…and within seconds comes right back out of them, facing away from the island. Several attempts produce the same result. It seems some kind of curse is keeping you from reaching the island. Well, you know who to see about curses…

Mystic Propeller

Time to head to Sint Eustatius and talk to Grandmother!


Arena Leaderboard

 

Blowing Away the Competition / Keelhauling Lucas

 

keelhaulSordis somehow evaded your grasp, and is still on the run. Anticipating that he’ll head to Lucas, you make for Cockburn Town on Grand Turk. According to what Admiral Sunderson says, it seems that he has been here already and fled with Lucas. Thinking that reinforcements could be handy, you decide to come clean to the Vice Admiral. He’s not far behind you, and when he arrives and hears your tale, Guimomar Cabral is not very pleased with you.

Cabral growls, “So. This entire time you have been an agent of Slag? Well played. But are you a member of the Ivory Order?”

You reply, “What? You mean those loonies obsessed with the kasu artifacts? I don’t believe I was ever officially inducted. By the way, what does kasu mean?”

Wampum Headband

Cabral says, “Kasu is a Tamil word, used by people from India, which is the center of the Johns’ power. Kasu is like coin, or money, or in this case, treasure. The kasu artifacts are items with real power in the world that are capable of generating and finding great wealth. Up to now, the Ivory Order is the only group that has known about them, and was organized to track them down. But now the Knockers are catching up.”

You ask, “Wait, aren’t you a John? And who are the Knockers?”

Guiomar says, “I’m not actually part of the East India Company, no. But I work for them. I’m the Field Director of the Kasu Navy of Crusading Knights, or KNOCK. Admiral Sunderson here is Chief Director.”

Sunderson, a burly, sandy-haired man of few words, says, “I mostly deal with paperwork and legal issues. It’s not often things go so far sideways I get pulled into the field, like what happened here in the Caribbean. Big damn mess, is what it is.”

The explanation leaves you feeling even more confused, but you ignore it. You’re starting to think that these fancy organizations are starting to ruin your seas. It would be nice to be rid of them. Maybe you can keep playing them one against another until they wipe themselves out.

You state, “I think it’s time to end Slag’s activities here. I’d appreciate whatever support you can give me.”

Slag’s Base Coordinates

The two leaders of a clandestine order look at one another, then back at you. Cabral says, “Well, you’ve been a boon to me and my efforts. We can discuss how to sort things out later. Why don’t we get ready for a final push against Slag? His agents can’t be far. Take what you need, and hunt them down. The owner of The Toothless Grin claims to know where Slag is. Talk to him before you leave. Then train your men like there’s no tomorrow! Because hopefully there won’t be for Slag!”

You nod. “I’m on board. But before I get to Slag, I need to deal with Lucas. That treacherous bilge-slurper will be sucking seawater soon when I keelhaul him!”


Main Leaderboard

 

Holey Boats, Batman! / Blow Me to Bermuda!

night shipsYour first mate, Morena, steps into the room looking rather green. You are currently eating a lunch consisting of boiled octopus and canned spinach. You inquire about the interrogation, and offer her some lunch. Taking one look at your meal, Morena rushes to the window and lets loose the contents of her stomach.

“It’s really not that bad,” you say.

After composing herself, she returns to the table and sits, keeping her eyes averted from the food.

Morena says, “I just came from Wakecirin. He…”

She looks nauseous again. “He found out what we want to know. Sordis was part of a group hand-picked by Lucas. Lucas had them in place to steal whatever you found during your time with Cabral, and deliver it to him. That way he can take it to Slag instead of you and keep all the glory for himself.”

“The bastard!” you exclaim. “And after I spared him, too!”

Well, now you know his game, and have a chance to spoil it, thanks to your Indian friend, Wakecirin, and his unsavory talents.

You begin discussing methods of pursuit. For the last several days, you’ve simply been flying south-by-southwest, the wind filling your sails, since you know Sordis must be heading more or less this way. Last you heard, Slag may have been using Aruba as his base of operations since the battle at St. Vincent.

Morena proposes, “We could use my dowsing rod. Even if I can’t locate Sordis, he’ll be needing fresh water soon, since he offloaded so many supplies to make room for the treasure he stole. There aren’t many choices. Either he’ll have headed west to the Colonial coast, or he’ll have to stop at Bermuda.”

You give permission, and soon your vessels are taking a new course, toward Bermuda.


As you approach Bermuda, you can see numerous ships ahead. It looks like you’ve run into Sordis’s rendezvous! Time to steal back the kasu artifacts he plundered…and then send him to the bottom of the ocean!

Arena Leaderboard

Main Leaderboard

Present for the Poisoner / Season’s Beatings

lady-pirateMorena, your first mate, enters the room. “It’s about time you’re coherent again. I have some ill news. It seems that while you were struggling to stay alive, Sordis, one of your recruits, offloaded all the kasu artifacts and took off on a ship. Apparently, his loyalties were hidden from more than just Cabral. He’s probably the one who poisoned you.”

You swear to do nasty things when you get your hands on Sordis.

The old Algonquin Indian, Wakecirin, comes in, as well. He decided to stay with you and try out life at sea.

“If you allow me, I’m sure I can extract some information from some of Sordis’s companions.”

Morena asks him, “What will you do? Hang them? Keel haul them? Dangle them over sharks?”

Wakecirin fixes her with a flat gaze. He says, “Trust me. You’d rather not know.”

You’re still not certain what’s going on, but now that you’re back on your feet, you are eager to find out! Knock some heads around to discover what Sordis is up to, then track him down and deliver a special gift! The kind that would make Saint Nickolas cringe.

Arena Leaderboard

 

Some Good Sh*t / Dead Beat

hardcore-trainingLike a maddening drug, the poison beats through your system. You struggle for air and pain shoots through your limbs as your heart stutters erratically. A scarecrow approaches you and demands your token of payment to pass into the Farmer Underworld. Yes, you confess that you are a man of sin…No, wait. Medicine? Oh. You misunderstood again and your addled brain drew you into another fiction. That’s the doctor!

He’s saying something important, but you can’t quite grasp it. It’s this damn poison! You try to focus. Heart? Yes. He says your heart needs to beat faster to keep you alive.

river-styxLike a drum, heralding your approach to the Halls of Death. A shadowy figure in the corner rises…a woman. She gently rests her arms around you. Her lips touch your forehead. Cold lips. She draws you to your feet and through the rusted doorway. You hear moaning all around you. She thrusts you to the floor and climbs atop you…this is getting interesting. Then she presses something cold and metallic against your throat. A…barbell?

“Strain!” She orders you. You’re not sure what she has in mind.

She slaps your face, and you recognize her as your first mate.

“Train!” she commands. “Train as if your life depended on it…’cause it does!”

3140

Gibbeted Yardarm

“What?” you cry. “Where am I?” The moaning of the timbers of your ship answer your question.

She hits you in the face. Ouch. That wasn’t very pleasant.

She says, “I don’t care where you think you are! Just listen! If you want to survive, you have to keep your heart rate up. There’s a chance you could burn off the poison and survive. So get lifting!”

Well, who are you to argue with the Angel of Death?


3138

Stygian Boots

Just beyond the veil of death, a figure beckons. He offers you a bet. If you survive, you can have his boots!

 

 

 

 

 

Arena Leaderboard

Main Leaderboard

 

Freshwater Warfare / Great Lakes Navies

potawatomi-villageHaving been made an honorary Buffalo Warrior, you now spend some time recovering from your wounds. Your Indian companions are accommodating, but you are looking forward to leaving the plains. It will be a relief to hurl yourself into the sea and wash off all this dust!

Guiomar Cabral has already made plans to leave. He sent messages days earlier, ordering his ships to be sailed into the Great Lakes. Informants from the Potawatomi tribe had revealed secret routes by which the passage could be made, and now you are only awaiting their arrival. You and your recruits travel to the southwest bank of Lake Michigan. A pleasant fishing village of the Potawatomi is situated here. There is an abundance of garlic growing in the area, and the village is named for it. The locals call the place Chicagou. You enjoy gambling and mingling with the natives until the navy finally arrives, a little worse for wear.

Unfortunately, the timing of their passage coincided with an engagement by the Iroquois Confederacy, which Cabral’s navy cruised right into. Fighting off unexpected assailants, the navy evaded the Iroquois war canoes and reached Chicagou.

A hasty conference takes place. According to reports from the Indians, the Iroquois had been raiding the coasts of the lakes, and were currently headed to this area. The Potawatomi have secured the Lakota and Algonquin as allies, and now ask for your help.

war-canoesCabral chuckles to himself. “Seems we’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. Still…perhaps we can make this work to our advantage. After all, I doubt the vessels of the Iroquois will be any match for our own.”

Commodore Marks intones, “I’m not so sure, Vice Admiral…we already lost several yards of sail and some supplies to their fire arrows, and we nearly lost two of our ships. They dropped down from the trees, boarding us before we were aware and killing off crewmen.”

You interject, “Whatever it takes, my men and I will find a way to fend off these savages and get our ships back to the open sea!”

“No offense intended,” you mutter to your nearby Indian friends.

“None taken,” says Wakecirin. “Savage is as savage does,” he states with a straight face.

Lakota Breechcloth

Two Fists, chieftain of the Lakota, says, “I understand your haste to return to the rolling waters. Yet, if you would linger for a short time to help us fight off the Iroquois, we would be most grateful. For your assistance, we are willing to offer you something as precious as the Buffalo Hide War Shirts you have recently obtained.”

“These Lakota Breechcloths have been passed down for generations. They were blessed by the White Buffalo Calf Woman, washed in the spring waters of the Mississippi, and dried in the smoke of her Pipe. If you help us defend our lands, they will help you to slay many enemies at once.”

With the promise of yet another kasu artifact, Cabral immediately embraces the mission and asks you to prepare the vessels for combat. You are looking forward to seeing how well your salties fare against the lakers.

Main Leaderboard

Arena Leaderboard

 

Buffalo Warriors / Blood Quest

bison-herdHaving successfully identified the honored warriors in each tribe, those brave souls called Buffalo Warriors, Cabral now wants you to take them out.

He says, “You must challenge them, one by one, to a one-on-one fight, and see who’s left standing! If you prove your mettle well enough, the tribe leaders may just name you a Buffalo Warrior, and bequeath you with one of the blessed Buffalo Hide War Shirts! Those shirts are kasu artifacts. It is said that a person who wears one is given extra power in their ‘Blood Quest’, allowing them to conquer their enemies more quickly.”

Buffalo Hide War Shirt

You prepare yourself for battle, sitting on a log and caring for your weapons and armor. An old warrior of the Algonquin tribe approaches you. You recall that he was one of the fellows you spoke with while having your wounds tended. Wakecirin. That was his name.

Wakecirin sits down, and says, “Listen well, salt-walker. Becoming a Buffalo Warrior is the greatest honor a man of the People of the Horse may receive. They are masters of themselves, friends of nature, and victors of the Blood Quest. If you intend to face one, you’d better put your earthly affairs in order first.”

indian-on-bisonAs if to verify his words, a tumult is heard as an apparent stampede of buffalo approaches! You rise to your feet, ready to run, when you notice men are riding the animals. They holler and shout, hurling spears into nearby straw mounds and leaping from the backs of the buffalo. One of them strides toward you.

 

He says, “You wish to be Buffalo Warrior? Then you must know the buffalo! Come. Get acquainted.” He takes you by the arm and then hurls you onto a pile of fresh dung.

His companions howl with laughter. You look up and smile. You are going to enjoy wiping that grin off of the red-man’s face!baby-bison

Main Leaderboard

Arena Leaderboard

 

Bloody Victory / Wounds of War

 

colonial cityThe citizens of the Thirteen Colonies were welcoming enough. Most of them seemed poor and dirty, while a small segment of wealthy land holders kept to themselves and had as little to do with the unwashed masses as possible; much like the people of other cities you’d visited. The caravan would be headed west for weeks, and Cabral ordered you to keep a tight leash on the men and women who followed you, the recruits with hidden loyalties. That wasn’t much of a problem until you reached the frontier.

caravan watchingHere things were different, with most people on even footing. There was quite a variety, ranging from religious zealots to lawless scoundrels (some of which you thought might serve well on your personal crew), and whores in abundance. You managed to convince Cabral that a night of revelry would be good for morale, so he left matters in your hands. Your recruits kept in line for the most part, and only a little head-bashing was necessary. The trouble was usually from the locals. You found yourself thinking more than once that you had finally found land-pirates! Though these fellows used horses instead of ships.

comancheFinally, you reached your destination: Cahokia. It was an unusual settlement full of French settlers, Indians of various tribes, Spaniards, and British colonists who had left the Colonial boundaries. Even the occasional Dutchman had ended up here. Cabral immediately made contact with some Plains Indians. Then you were given your mission here: go join the wrong side of an Indian war and get hurt! Once injured, you must collect any information you can on who the honored warriors are in each tribe.

Comanche Medicine Woman

The Indians are hardy folk, and they push themselves to the limits even while injured. If you can manage find a medicine woman of the Comanche tribe, you might get her to make you a powerful elixir. If you can keep up with your Indian counterparts in recovery through the use of a Comanche Catalyst, your odds of success will be much greater.

3025

Covenant Armband

Cabral is offering some special rewards for those who bring him the most names: some of the most valuable kasu artifacts in the world, called Covenant Armbands! Wearing these, even the rarest of treasures will not elude your grasp for long!

 

Arena Leaderboard

Main Leaderboard

 

 

Beasts of Burden / Defend the Caravan

western caravan

Vice Admiral Guiomar Cabral was pleased with your training of his new cadets, still failing to realize how little loyalty to him they actually possess.

Cabral has summoned you to his office in Cockburn Town. He says, “It is time to put these new recruits to the test. I will be leaving soon, and I want you to come with me. Since you already have a strong relationship with these men, I expect you will do well keeping them in line. We are heading out on an overland expedition, and there are rumored to be dangerous beasts, bandits, and even some of those western Indians that may stand in our way…or which may try to rob us en route. We will need to eliminate anything that threatens. Admiral Sunderson is on his way here in the Burning Bush, and will be taking over affairs in the Caribbean while we’re away.”

You ask where you will be going, and Cabral remains vague. He says, “Suffice it to say that we must pass through a portion of the American Colonies until we reach the western frontier. Then we return. Think of it as a training exercise.”

While preparing for the trip, you have some of your curiosity satisfied by a message from Lucas. You meet him in the usual place: the Toothless Grin Pub.

Lucas grins as you take a seat, his purple-splotched cheek causing him to appear like a crazed killer already marked by his victim’s blood.

“Slag sends his regards,” he remarks. “And warns that Cabral seems to be going after one of the kasu artifacts.” When you express ignorance of the term, Lucas says, “Huh. I guess you really are in the dark. Everyone in the Ivory Order should know this stuff. Well, I don’t have time now, so it’ll have to wait. Just keep your eyes open for a unique item, or set of items, that Cabral seems particularly interested in. Whatever it is, we want it. And it’s literally your head if you don’t make sure it makes its way out of Cabral’s hands and into Slag’s. Just try not to give yourself away in the process.”

As Lucas walks away, you think about how this whole thing suddenly got a lot more complicated. Then you push away your worries and call for a drink. Life is good! And whatever happens, you’ll find a way to turn it to your advantage!

Arena Leaderboard

Main Leaderboard

 

Turncoat Training / Defection and Discipline

duel You finally locate the infiltrator. Using Guiomar’s authority, you send the man into a basement to check out the possibility of a hidden passage. There is no such passage. And the only way out will be through you.

You and two of your colleagues slip into the building’s basement a few paces behind your quarry and lock the door. The man, Lucas, turns around and sets his lantern down on a nearby dusty table. He is rail-thin with a mustache and a purple birthmark on one cheek like a splash of paint.

Lucas asks, “What’s happening here?” He draws his blade and lunges at you, but you are ready and swiftly parry the blow. You ask him to calm down, but he continues trying to fight past you. After a short time of defending yourself, you slash at his hand and he drops his sword. You smile and explain the situation. You’ve had time to think about how to handle this, and you make your proposal. You also hand him a strip of cloth and offer to bind his wound.

Lucas narrows his eyes, but allows you to draw near. He says, “You want in on the operation? Huh. I mean, I don’t really know what you’re talking about. But if I did, I wouldn’t be the one to make that call.”

You ask him who he’d like to get rid of from the Vice Admiral’s staff. He names someone. You tell him the man’s as good as dead. And in return for you implicating him instead of Lucas, you expect he will pass on your request and see what your safeguarding of their little secret is worth. The Ivory Order is now in your debt. And that’s a position with many sweet possibilities…

• • •

You report your findings to Guimar Cabral, and he seizes the man you named as traitor and hauls him off to be questioned and disposed of. He thanks you handsomely and pays you well. He says his next task for you will be training some new sailors on their way. A week later, Lucas arranges a meeting with you. You rendezvous down at The Toothless Grin Pub. You find Lucas seated at a corner table and you join him.pub

Lucas looks up, his purple splotch gleaming in the light of the room’s candles. “Your offer’s been accepted. And you have an assignment. Slag managed to intercept reinforcements from Europe, and replaced them with his own men. But they’re fairly green. He needs you to train ‘em. Once they’re competent enough, they will prove his key to removing Cabral and sending a message to the Johns that they won’t soon forget.”

You ask who these Johns are that you’ve heard about.

Lucas looks surprised. He says, “Ain’t you never heard of the Honorable East India Company? John Company, they call ‘em. Frankly, they’re less honorable than you or me. Would be nice if they’d keep their hands on India, but they’ve been meddlin’ in other parts. They claim to only want Slag and his men because of the crimes they’ve committed, but that’s a lie. The Johns have appointed Cabral the head of their operation, and his fleet is here to recover some precious items taken from them. They hope to crush the Ivory Order, and take back their treasure at the same time. They’ve already gotten their filthy hands on the Amber Bottle Stoppers and the Covenant Armbands.”

Lucas shakes his head and smiles. “But they’ll never take the greatest treasure of all…the sword that enabled the Ivory Order to build itself from the rubble into a power to be feared! The Masamune! An ancient katana able to sense treasure! Truly a pirate’s dream!”

You tell Lucas to speak more quietly, and his grin just broadens.

corruptionHe says, “Have no fear! Your new recruits are here!” A few nearby guests look at you and nod. They appear young and inexperienced. “I had them gather here long before our meeting to occupy tables and elbow out the outsiders. The bartenders and owners are also with us. So don’t worry! Just get these fledglings ready to fly, and we can eliminate the threat to the Ivory Order. After that, we walk away with a bigger payday than you’ve ever dreamed of! Oh yes. And after you demonstrate your worth in training, your reward will be the Viveriterum, companion sword to the Masamune! They say it can raise the dead.”

You aren’t sure how you ended up here, but your opportunism is paying off! Cabral is paying you to train the very force that will depose him! Ah, the irony! Well, it’s time to train a whole new generation of cutthroats. So get out there and show them how it’s done!

Arena Leaderboard

Main Leaderboard