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Category: 50 Fathoms (Page 1 of 2)

Caribdus Epilogue

Caribdus Epilogue

 

Caribdus will forever be changed by the actions of three young women. Their obsession with Blood Magic flooded an entire world nearly wiping out its population and threatened another: Earth.

The Crew that fought and died to stop them will go down in history as heroes.

The Maiden of the Mists, Mara, knew help would come from Earth and in her ethereal state did the best she could by pulling humans into Caribdus. In the final few months before the Hags defeat, the Maiden was forced to act more directly in order to aid the Crew. This caused the Hags to discover her and her portal. Their lust for power turned to planet Earth, but fortunately they were stopped.

Before her passing on, Mara connected with the Elemental Spirits and asked their help in restoring Caribdus. Water was not willing to relinquish control fully, but did allow Earth to expand itself. Thus balance was restored and the Elements were once again free and at peace.

Dry land rose up all over the flooded world. Where Ograpog once stood, some of its waterlogged cities were risen up. Now a group of large islands stand in its place and green growth has started to rapidly take root. Where the Doreen homeland once stood a new archipelago has risen. All across what was once the Flotsam Sea there is now an opportunity for expansion and life.

The Atani, in a desperate attempt to aid the Crew and end the Hags, devised a clever use of the Elder Trees power to create a flying ship. Some say it was the spirit of Crow that encouraged its use and design, for it was the intelligence of the Elder Tree itself that first suggested it to the Atani people. However, not willing to risk the newly born Elder Tree any more than required, the Atani quickly landed their ship on the newly formed Ograpog archipelago and founded a new Grove. The trees are slow growing but have a firm grip on the earth now and a new Atani settlement is already prospering.

The Doreen, aided by the efforts of Daxson and Gop, claimed the new hunting grounds as their own. Using their prestige and gold, they were able to gather most of the remaining Doreen together to begin rebuilding their civilization. An unexpected ally was found in the Grael who surprisingly decided to join in partnership and stake a small claim in southern Caribdus.

The Kieran empire is an ever present threat, yet after their takeover of New Madrid a more formal negotiation between themselves and the East India Trading Company was established. Duckworth forced his hand and the new Ograpogian land is considered neutral. Neither party is able to stake a direct claim, it’s a land free to all people who wish to settle there. Most know that the Kieran empire they will not let this stand for long, but currently they are stretched too thin trying to cover their home waters and now New Madrid.

Baltimus is still the ever present hub of commerce. Edward Lazenby had a keen mind  to capitalized on the Crew success and is financing expeditions and settlements for the new land. The city is also known for being a unify presence in the region against outlaws and pirates. The Crew set the example of cooperation between cultures and cities, proving ultimately it could accomplish what large fleets could not. The standard is being used to draft a new treaty between the Free Towns.

Father Rodrigo’s work has been put to good use. The construction of a new cathedral is under way and Marium Rodrigo (his Abuela) is busying herself feeding the poor and helping those who need it find opportunity in the new land. A flood of Catholic refugees are finding their way to Baltimus and Rodrigo has his work cut out for him. Torquemada’s name has been appearing on whispered lips recently, but it is not know what is plans are or if he is even a threat still. After the destruction of the Hags by the hands of a Catholic Mage however, many left the Inquisition and joined the Jesuit order.

The Kraken Empire is learning to get by without magic with the help of Kaliferous. Research is ongoing to find the reproduction problems of the Scurillians and so far has been positive. A definite link between the seeping of elemental magic and reproduction has been found and that has most likely affected both races. Bracus and Equias have proved to be very valuable test subjects. Admiral Caspian is working to unify the Kraken again and rebuild their homeland. Now that the Sphere has been recovered,utilized and the Hag threat eliminated his people can now focus on long term settlement and research. The Kraken have found a good friend in the Doreen people and mutual cooperation is helping both races expand.

Jomba Town prospers and now holds a new patron, Mordecai, in high honor. His fight against both slavery and the beings of darkness has become legend. The Kaumatua (Eti’s Maori freedom fighters) have dedicated themselves to fighting slavery and the unique threats brought over from Earth- vampires, ghouls and other darker beings. They would follow the tradition of both Mordecai and Solomon Kane and purge the world of lingering darkness. On a lighter note: Captain Liam’s Superior Scotch has become a major export for the town and is proving popular across the sea.

As a tribute to the Crew and their courage a large statue has been erected in Jomba Town.

It depicts a man with a smooth round head and face so it favors no race.  He is wearing an early U.S. naval coat (Liam), a dagger in one hand(Daxson), strapped to his side a hooked blade which resembles part of a crab claws (Brachus), elemental depiction of wind and water swirling around it(Mordecai and Father Rodrigo), wings arched high on his back(Crow), and being crushed under its foot is an amorphic shape representing evil. In it’s free hand thrust high in the air is a functional lantern that kept blazing. This lantern represents hope for the hopeless, freedom for the enslaved, peace for the embattled, and stands as a reminder that just as it always burns so shall Jomba remain free of tyranny.  On a brass plaque there is written:

“In memory of those few who cared enough to dare to bring hope to the countless.  May your names be forever on our hearts.  Brachus, Crow, Daxson, Liam, Mordecai, Rodrigo”

 

Caribdus is changed and new adventures and challenges are over the horizon!

 

Sea Fever BY JOHN MASEFIELD

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

 

GM note:

This concludes 50 Fathoms campaign with the Dice Haven group which has run over two years and 35 sessions. When I picked up 50 Fathoms at my local gaming store I never would have imagined where it would take me.

I want to thank my entire group for their excellent roleplaying and years of fun, it’s been a pleasure creating this story with you. Your superior roleplaying and initiative helped shape a very fun world.  Also, thank you to Shane Hensley for the most excellent setting and plot point campaign.

I am sad to see the story end, but glad to see it ended mostly well for the Crew. There are some loose plot threads left hanging (I think any sandbox campaign would have a few) and Caribdus is forever changed. There are many more stories to tell in this new world, perhaps someday they will be told?

 

-Jeff Messina

6-22-17

 

Last Words From Rodrigo Salvatore

I write this for all of you now who may not believe that this old man once sailed on a sailing ship, felt the salt of the wind swept sea on his lips, and lived life on the raggedy edge. Now, in my old age, clothed in silk with Mitre in hand, that may be hard to believe. Once long ago I came to Caribdus from Earth, as many of your fathers and grandfathers had (although not too many of the Originals, as we call ourselves, remain). Almost immediately I fell in with a sailing crew, who God Almighty propelled on a sacred mission. We didn’t know it at the time, but we had been selected to challenge the Sea Hags, to stop the flood of this world. We fought many battles side by side, and in our final battle, at the Devil’s Cross, we finally defeated the hags, with the help of so many. With the help of Jomba Town and Tulago (now known as the Maori Federation). With the help of the Atani (now the Atanic Empire, full and glorious once again as it spread into many of the Receded Lands, lands that were reclaimed from the receding waters). From Admiral Duckworth (God rest his soul), and from the women of Asy Cay, including Annie Mason, (who you know as Madame Daxson).

I often find myself longing to sit on the deck of Liberator’s Wrath once again, to talk to my many friends who we lost long ago, and that thought brings a smile to my face. So as I write this, I raise a small glass of Scotch (who would deny me one small drink, after all, I am the Archbishop!) for my friends Crow, and Liam, and Daxson, Mordecai and Brachus. They are all gone now, having lost Captain Daxson in the final climactic battle when we defeated the Caribdus Inquisition naval forces off New Madrid. I leave this letter to you, Mi Abuela. As a Masaquani, your long life promises that you will outlive me. Just as well, for I miss my shipmates. I end this with a quote from one of my favorite English writers, Shakespeare:

“Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”

Archbishop Rodrigo Salvatore, June 19, 1611 AD

50 Fathoms: Session 35- Battle of Devil’s Cross- Final Session

Battle of Devil’s Cross

 

Characters:

  • Kaliferous: Kraken mage
  • Rodrigo: Human priest and water Mage from Earth
  • Mordecai (in spirit): Human Air Mage Puritan from Earth
  • Daxson: Doreen treasure diver native

Date: 6/17/17

XP: 5

Recap:

The Crew spent time mourning the loss of the friend Mordecai, gathering support, talking to their allies and finally meeting up with Admiral Duckworth and the Kraken Great ship.

They met up with Duckworth who pledged his support and then called for Admiral Caspian with the bone whistle. The Great Ship arrived and was still towing the Sphere, to which was handed over to the Crew.

Kal and Rodrigo placed their hands on the Sphere and found themselves transported inside the hollow object. Here they faced the four elemental Spirits: water, earth, fire and air. They discovered that the Kraken had imprisoned them long ago to harness elemental magic. The elements would lend their power against the Hag’s but with two conditions: 1) No more mages nor new magical abilities given 2) the doorway between Caribdus and Earth would be sealed. Both of our heros agreed to the  bargain, but Rodrigo did so with a heavy heart. His one true goal was to see his Abula again.

Finally ready to face the Hags the Crew set sail with the following allies and their ships:

  • Captain Daxon- Liberators Wrath and Crew
  • Captain Azy Angsley- Lady’s Virtue (Brigantine),
  • Admiral Duckworth- HMS Justice (Man of War)
    • Two frigate escort ships
  • Admiral Caspian- Kraken Great Ship
    • Two Kraken Cutters escorts

 

The proud fleet sailed directly towards Devil’s Cross, with Daxson leading they skillfully and carefully picked their way across the treacherous Flotsam Sea. Along the way they found a frigate, the Donna Briann, being pulled into a massive Whirlpool. They saved the ship by towing it out of the whirlpool. Grateful, Captain McCoy then pledged his ship to help them fight the Hags.

Reaching the outer border of the Devil’s Cross, the Fleet had to face a powerful ring of massive protective storm. This storm didn’t move outward, but had the force of a hurricane as it swirled around the Devil’s Cross constantly. The Fleet spent hours fighting the storm trying to sail true and managed to burst through the storm wall and into its eye, Devil’s Cross itself. Many ships were damaged on the trip and two smaller escort vessels lost at sea, but they finally made it! The first difficult task was now complete.

Surprisingly the waters were calm and peaceful and they sailed undisturbed into the middle of the ‘Cross. Steeling themselves, they spoke the Hags name out loud: Maka, Mala, and Mana and poured the Earth water in the sea. Suddenly, the illusion of peacefulness was broken, below the waves it revealed a rotten waterlogged Ograpog with massive hordes of Octopons and zombies. The weather turned foul as the three Hags burst out of the water 60’ above the waves. These horrible undead creatures loomed over the ships and began to laugh and cheer with glee. They knew of the Crew and mocked at their seemingly  foolish attempt to stop them. With the illusion removed, the Crew spotted a portal hovering in the air, Earth seen clearly on the other side and huge volumes of water were pouring through the rift. At the middle a tortured Maiden was magically bound to it and screaming for help.

The battle was now underway! The Hags called forth lightning and attacked the Fleet. The Crew quickly activated the Kraken Sphere but for some time nothing happened. Luckily they still had the Water Dragon orb which they used to summon forth a fully grown 40’ Sea Dragon. This Dragon seemed be driven with a keen intelligence and the Crew sensed the soul of their friend Mordecai as the beast brutally attacked the Hags. Finally seeing something as a threat the Hags attention was diverted from the ships and to dealing with the new Dragon threat.

Meanwhile, Kal noticed the Sword of King Amemnus was being pulled and pulsing downwards to the sea bottom. Heading the suggestion, both Kal and Daxon leaped in the water facing hordes of Octopons, Sharks and Giant Octopus as they let the Sword draw them ever downwards. They fought their way down while hordes of creatures surged towards the surface the duo did their best to gut and maim their enemies along the way. Daxon’s keen eye spotted a massive Octopus making its way towards the Liberators Wrath and he skillfully gutted the beast and saving the ship from a massive attack.

On the surface the battle raged on. Father Rodrigo fended off Octopon borders all the while focusing his magical attacks on the Hags. The combined might of Rodrigo and the Dragon brought the first Hag, Mala, down with an explosion of putrid flesh and bones. However things looked grim as the full might of the Octopon reinforcements made their way to the surface. Every ship of the Fleet was overwhelmed with the sheer number of vile creatures.

However an unexpected ally arrived, the Kaumatua Warriors from Jomba Town arrived with their Maori Grual leader Eti in the lead! Unknown to Daxon, his love Annie Mason quickly repaired her ship, met up with the Warriors and agreed to tow them through the storm. These warriors surged towards overwhelmed ships and lent their marital aid. They rowed their long boats screaming their Haka war chant as they leapt into battle.

Beneath the surface Kal and Daxon found themselves in what had been the palace square  and spotted at a beautiful golden statue depicting a Masaquani, Kehana, Kraken, Atani, Grael, and Doreen together in sign of peace.  The hand of the masaquani looked like it was missing a sword, to which Kal quickly placed the Sword of King Amemnus. The Sword burst forth with a white light that speared through the water and struck the Hags, dissipating their sickly green magical armor. The Sword now pulsed with a white magical light and seemed to yearn to be taken into Battle! The duo now made their way to the surface.

With two Hags still alive and causing havoc the Fleet was struggling to combine their fire and deal with the undead and Octopon borders. Father Rod and the Dragon turned their attention to the closest Hag, but another ally joined the battle. An Atani airship flew into the Cross using some sort of magical energy drawn from Crows Elder tree! The flying ship blasted one of the Hags causing it to stumble back. At the same moment a torrent of air, water, fire and earth shot up. The Kraken Sphere had finally activated! The four elements formed into a massive ‘Terrormental’ which completely obliterated the 2nd Hag- Mana  .

Enraged by the loss of her two sister, Maka Mallus, the final Hag, screamed and ripped the wings off of the Dragon and crushing it beneath her feet. Rodrigo struck out at the Hag causing her to weaken. At this moment Kaliferous and Daxon emerged from the water with the empowered Sword. Kal deftly stuck at Maka dealing the final blow and ending the Hag menace forever.

With the death of their masters the Octopons dissolved into a black ooze revealing the tortured body of  trapped Masaquani. The weather cleared and the water lost its sickly hue.

The portal to Earth and its torrent of water slowly closes as the Maiden was freed, but a small vessel slipped through the crack at the last moment.

The Maiden came forward and thanked the Crew, telling them that Hags were using her Portal to Earth to flood Caribdus and were recently using her to try and find a way to Earth itself. The Maiden then made a deal with the Elementals to bring land to this sunken world in an attempt to bring balance back to Caribdus. She faded away thanking the Crew for their hardship and effort.

Not only did the Crew save Caribdus but they also kept the Hags from harming another world as well.

While the Crew celebrated their hard won victory, Father Rodrigo peered into the vessel that had slipped into this world at the last moment. He found his lovely Abuela sitting on the deck smiling at him.

With both worlds saved and the land changing beneath them what further adventures will the Crew find for themselves?

Tis a bitter sweet ending to the tale. Many friends were lost- Liam, Crow and Mordecai. They died protecting the world and the future.

In the end, when the Hags fell the ever present storm cleared and the sun shown down on the Flotsam Sea for the first time in thirteen years, hope rises again.


 

Empty Seats on the Deck

Abuela,

It has been a while since I wrote to you, lo siento. We sail for an uncertain destiny, and as I sit on the deck of Liberator’s Wrath, I find myself looking for my friends. Crow and I would talk for hours on the scripture. He asked a thousand questions, and I confess to not having an answer for every question. I look to the wheel for Captain Liam, turning us towards an enemy when we should sail away to fight another day. I turn to ask Mordecai a question about the Americas, but catch myself before I speak too long. Daxson is at the helm, and we have sailed together for a long time. I trust him and his sailing abilities. Liam would be proud of our course right now, straight at the enemy. We have the sword, and are determined. But with so many friends absent, I feel an uncertain future. To Quote Don Quixote: “Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is nobel, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth.”
“What giants?” Asked Sancho Panza.
“The ones you can see over there,” answered his master, “with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long.”
“Now look, your grace,” said Sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.”
“Obviously,” replied Don Quijote, “you don’t know much about adventures.”

Which book, by the way, Mordecai gifted me (since it was published 34 years in the future for me). A book about adventures. Imagine that Abuela. Imagine that.

Fr. Rodrigo’s fevered dream

concepting_a_medieval_street_by_gycinn-d7jzbtfAs Torquemada’s minions battered me into unconsciousness, I found myself drifting, in a timeless float towards a familiar place.  Old Valencia, and the Via Pared d’Azul (Blue Wall Street).  When I was a child, I knew every corner, every shoemaker’s stall, every flower vendor, every fishmonger’s bucket.  As I grew up, I would return to visit.  The old smells of the street would instantly transport me back to a time of comfort, of safety and innocence.  But this time, when I returned, things were different.  My old street, always so full of life, was dark.  Instead of fresh flowers, I smelled death and decay. No vendors opening their stalls.  No fishmongers yelling out that day’s catch from the Mediterranean. Only decay and darkness.  I walked the street, and in the distance a cowering figure walked slowly in the distance.  I quickly approached, desperate to inquire as to what had befallen my street.  Plague? The Moors? The French on a sea raid?

I caught up to the figure, grasping its shoulder, and spun it around.  Of course it was My grandmother, Mi Abuela.  At first I exulted.  She was free from that Inquisition prison cell! She frowned, turned back walking.  I was confused.  I called out to her. She kept on walking.  I rushed in front of her and stopped her in the street.  I grasped her shoulders and pleaded for her to explain.  She pointed her old, boney figure at me, and nearly spat in response, “You are not allowed on the blue street yet. You are not finished. El Mundo Agua necessitate. Yo espera hasta se regrese.” With that, she faded.  I saw the bars of her cell once again.  I knew she had talked to me from her cell, although I did not know how. Then light began to fill the street.  Vendors began to open their shops.  The smell of death started to fade.  At that, I knew the street and my body were the same.  As the street healed, so did I.

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