We begin our tale in the town of La Motte on a small island just off the southwestern tip of Montaigne in the Widow’s Sea. Warm summer winds blow salty air across the people of La Motte, a good day for sailing. A good day to stay a new story as well.
In a rundown tavern, the Powder Keg, Captain Nathan Hawke, and his first mate, Mary made arrangements to meet a new batch of passengers for their next voyage. Word was passed to Captain Hawke from The Benefactor two of them, nobles, needed passage on a long voyage that would prove lucrative to all involved although the details were vague. They needed a ship like the Ruby Star which could take them somewhere quickly and without drawing much attention. Captain Hawke’s vessel was perfect for such a task. The other passengers had been found by Mary and Hawke knew nothing about them. The pair wondered if the nobles would be sorcerers, Mary had a disdain for magic users, present company excluded of course, but Hawke did not know much about their noble passengers yet.
Julianne de la Chateaux Claurent de Mont Toppin and Jacques-Louis de la Chateaux Claurent de Mont Toppin arrived, quite intrigued by the Powder Keg and its patrons. They were on an adventure! Their efforts at being clandestine were entertaining to Hawke and Mary and they made their way into a “shadowy corner.” Hawke and Mary made bets on how long the young nobles would go before trouble brewed. The pair ordered some food and tea and tipped Ilya well (more than she would make in a few weeks normally). The food was good for tavern fare and the tea was passable for the common folk. The couple politely thanked Ilya and Julianne reached into her bag of tricks to retrieve something more acceptable to drink. Using Porte she conjured her teapot and something more fitting for them to drink. Jacques-Louis delighted in the cheese and fruits set before them. Again, they were on an adventure and intended to enjoy every bit of the experience.
Hawke, a half-blooded practitioner of Porte himself, detected
Isabella Alunni soon arrived and Mary went to greet her and introduce her to Captain Hawke but nothing before enjoying a round of darts first. Isabella, being both attractive and dangerously beautiful, drew the eye of everyone in the tavern. She faired well but was bested by the skills of her opponent. Mary remarked how she intended to win the upcoming tournament so she could drink free at the Powder Keg for an entire month. Julianne and Jacques-Louis were thoroughly entertained by the competition. Isabella introduced herself to Captain Hawke. She explained she needed passage to hand wave the destination and the Ruby Star had been recommended to her.
Secretly, word had been passed to Isabella from her contacts in the secret organization, Sophia’s Daughters, that she needed to be on the next voyage of the Ruby Star, Nothing was given as to her purpose on the voyage, but these kinds of orders were rarely given and never ignored for good reason. The Vodacce fate witches who counted themselves in the membership of Sophia’s Daughters were rarely wrong. The message also included a warning, “Beware the half-blood on your journey.” Isabella was not pleased with the vagueness of that part of the message, being more obfuscated than the purpose of the voyage in the first place.
Soon after Don Diego de la Vega-Borgia entered the Powder Keg, the last of our intrepid heroes in this tale. The devilishly good-looking rogue drew almost as much attention as Isabella and even more so when he decided to buy a round of tequila for everyone in the Powder Keg. Ilya warned Isabella about Diego’s charms and got a good swat on the bottom for her trouble. She scowled at Diego but others could not help but notice her smile as she walked away. Jacques-Louis had been watching the exchange and completely misunderstood the context. He later gave Ilya a good swat on the butt as well causing much confusion but Ilya said nothing, she still had the enormous tip Jacques-Louis had given her in hand. Julianne sensed her husband had gotten something wrong and seemed more amused than anything. Diego and Hawke continued to chat each other up and Mary rejoined them after finishing off another opponent at the dart board.
Soon though, Hawke and Mary got to see who would win their bet. Diego quickly got in on it too. One of the sailors at the bar, deep in his cups and foolishly emboldened by the recent addition of tequila, decided he wanted a dance with Julianne. He stumbled over to the shadowy corner where Julianne and Jacques-Louis (whom he mistook as Julianne’s brother) were and pestered her about a dance. Julianne politely declined but the stupid drunk didn’t know how to take no for an answer. Jacques-Louis tried to step in and got a good shove for his troubles. The nobleman began to remove his glove to slap the fellow, a gesture that completely baffled the sailor. Fortunately, Isabella stepped in before the situation could get out of hand. Using her charms and persuasiveness, she convinced the sailor his time was better spent drinking than bothering the couple, and he agreed before wandering back to the bar. Isabella introduced herself to Julianne and Jacques-Louis and got to experience firsthand their exuberant perspective on life and this new adventure they were embarking on before returning to Hawke’s table.
Mary and Diego claimed their winnings from Hawke and the first mate went over to introduce herself to the nobles. She pointed them towards Hawke at the other “shadowy corner” and introduced them to the rest of the cast. Greetings were made all around but it seemed their adventure this day had not come to an end.
A brute squad led by Magistrate Regis appeared in the tavern and started working over the crowd but it quickly became apparent their real target was Captain Hawke and the people sitting at his table. The magistrate approached the group and asked them for their “papers” which was an absurd notion since Montaigne has never been in the business of issuing anyone documentation for any purpose (other than the regular orders of Empereur Leon Alexandre du Montaigne XIV.
Jacques-Louis tried to explain to Magistrate Regis who he was but the noble’s lack of a reputation had little impact on the ruffian. Little did Jacques-Louis know nothing he could have said would have deterred the magistrate, he had orders to follow. Diego, always the charmer, tried to talk Regis down but he made the mistake of mentioning he was from Castille, a nation currently at war with Montaigne. Truthfully, this merely served as justification for Magistrate Regis to do what he had already been ordered to do, murder Captain Hawke. As Regis’ men drew their weapons, Regis whispered to the captain, “Your brother sends his regards…” The whole encounter had been a trap from the beginning.
Both sides leaped into battle as the brute squad surrounded our heroes in the “shadowy corner” of the tavern. However, Regis had been sent on a fool’s errand, the heroes were far more capable fighters than he had originally been told, and one by one his men were knocked unconscious (except for the one skewered by Captain Hawke). Diego, who had methodically waited until the right moment to act, fired on Regis with his pistol and knocked the miscreant unconscious. The group cleaned up the last of the brutes from there.
Capt Hawke, having been seriously triggered, lowered himself over Regis’ body and whispered, “He’s my HALF brother.” He then plunged his knife into Regis’ heart. Jacque-Louis was not happy with this turn of events and expressed his concerns as our heroes quickly departed the tavern.
Everyone involved in the brawl took a -10 adjustment in Reputation. Regis had done a good job of demonstrating he was on official business for Montaigne and when Diego accidentally announced he was from Castille, he won no favors for the group. Word spread from the tavern about how Captain Hawke and some Montaigne nobles were working with outsiders, a Castillian rogue, and a Vodacce witch. Unfortunately, life in Theah can be unfair like that sometimes.
As our tale for this evening came to a close, our heroes were on their way to the Ruby Star. The group certainly had some differences of opinion but that makes for good drama and fodder for future storytelling.
END OF SESSION