The Highwind Blows
Session 1 - Shanghaied
Session Date: 23 October 2016
After enjoying a night of heavy drinking in a Baldur’s Gate tavern, Crispin, Lelldraen, Edwynd, Snipit, and Shankill woke to find themselves in a strange situation. Not only were they suffering the worst hangover they had ever known, they were also no longer in Baldur’s Gate.
The party hastily took stock of their situation. Thick oak walls made up the floor and one side of the enclosed area they were in; the party could hear shore birds calling from the other side. The other side of the enclosure, oddly, was a flimsy wooden plank wall showing signs of hasty construction. The plank wall sported a crude door that was padlocked from the opposite side. Oddly, though, the party’s captors had not taken any of their equipment – almost as if they were not expecting the party to wake up before they reached their destination.
Shankill wasted no time. Using the technique that would come to be known later as the “half-orc lockpick”, he rushed straight for the plank door and lowered his shoulder, attempting to bash the door down. Shankill crashed through the door, splinters flying in all directions, and his momentum carried him into the similar plank wall beyond the door and through that wall as well. The enraged half-orc eventually slammed into the oak wall on the far side, frightening the lone occupant of the other enclosure.
The other (less threatening) party members introduced themselves to their fellow prisoner. The prisoner identified himself as Taliesin, a merchant from Baldur’s Gate. He also had been drinking in the Rusty Tankard that evening, and noted that he was suffering from the same hangover that the party was. Confused from the circumstances, and shocked by Shankill’s dynamic entry, Taliesin could barely look anyone in the eye.
Convinced that the merchant was not a threat, the party started to explore their environs, seeking a way out. The thin plank walls stretched down a narrow corridor in both directions, forming other pens. At either end of the narrow corridor, staircases rose up to parts unknown.
Soon, the party heard the cries of guards and loud footsteps. Whoever their captors were, they were coming, and quickly. The party drew weapons, and battle was joined. Shankill charged up one staircase, while Edwynd charged up the other. And, although Edwynd fell unconscious during the struggle, the party succeeded in seizing control of the ship, capturing one of the crew members alive. Glancing around, the party found themselves at sea, heading southeast with the shore about a mile to port.
With the battle done, the other party members left Shankill to handle disposing of the corpses while they interrogated the captive. Shankill dutifully stripped the corpses and tossed the bodies over the side, gleefully pocketing whatever valuables he found. Below decks, the other party members handled the captive crew member. The captive confirmed that he was capable of piloting the ship, but proved surprisingly unwilling to work with the party. The prisoner confessed that he was more afraid of whoever he was working for than he was of the party. Eventually, Shankill came below decks. Having grown tired of the whole charade, he executed the captive pilot. (The other party members, having decided that this battle was not worth fighting, just let him do it.)
At this point, only one section of the ship remained unexplored – the captain’s cabin in the aftcastle. Edwynd climbed around the exterior of the ship, attempting to gain entry via the windows astern, while the others tried the (locked) door. Shankill tried the “half-orc lockpick” again, but this time the heavy oaken door stymied him, sending him sprawling to the deck. Likewise, Edwynd‘s attempt to break the glass failed. Crispin’s more conventional lockpicking was successful, however, and the party entered the cabin.
Inside the cabin, the party found the captain, dead at his writing desk. A tipped-over wine goblet and a crystalline substance spilled from a glass vial indicated that the captain had poisoned himself. Edwynd claimed the captain’s outfit, while the others looted the room. Shankill found a selection of liquors, which he used to drink himself silly before he could do any real damage to the party’s nascent treasure store.
But as the full import of the situation dawned on the party, they were left with several questions. Who wanted them captured, and why? Why did the captain kill himself rather than face them during the battle? And, most importantly, since they killed the only person on the ship actually trained to pilot it, what were they going to do now?