May 2010


The crew of the Monkeysquid’s Musket worked their ship through a particularly dense part of the Jungle Sky, clumps of trees making for a narrow passage. But their contact Otter was right – there was a Barathi treasure ship in the jungle – they could make out its stern from, the rest of the ship embedded in the trees. Not one of the giant treasure galleons, but a worthy prize nonetheless. Foppe navigated the junk as close as he could – a little too close as it turned out, as the Musket skimmed against a dense patch of trees.

The crew boarded the treasure ship but, sure enough, it turned out to be a trap – a group of savage blue men were waiting for them. However Guy of the Ska Ku, who had descended from the Blue Men, was able to convince them to depart with only a small insult to his honor.

Securing the modest treasure, the Musket made its way to Barathi. Foppe cloaked himself in a cunning disguise, fearful he might be recognized. Penth and her shield maiden Briea had to endure the attention of being the only women on the ship, though the fact that Penth could probably cripple any other cewmember deflected most of the attention to the more approachable Briea. After docking, they made their way to Otter’s warehouse. He made the mistake of trying to stiff our heroes, but a sword from Foppe and spear from Penth, both at his throat, convinced him that would be a bad idea.

Rich in coin, our heroes spent some of it at a tavern, the Sign of the Red Hourglass. It was there that Ser Knight made contact with a woman looking for passage – Rebbecca Ilvis and her guardian, the elderly though fit retainer Oraraes. She was fleeing from a royal wedding with the heir apparent to the Barathi throne, being quite out of the ordinary in not wanting to enter a marriage in which she did not love any of the participants. She was looking for passage to the small island of Kirrathi, a colony of Barathi fighting for independence. How could any respecting band of heroes, especially one with a former Royal Musketeer, turn down a maiden looking for aid?

En route to the island the saw they were being followed – and they learned that there was a little more to the story. It was not much of a surprise that Lady Ilvis was involved with the rebellion on Kirrathi. Shortly after docking, in the shadow of a dark tower looming over the Kirrathi harbor, the port was officially closed, the tower having a clear shot at any ship trying to depart. Meeting with her resistance contacts, it so happened they knew of a hidden underground entrance to the tower, and where the powder room might be found…

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Name: Penthesilea

Foible: Can’t allow herself to be shown up by men.
Motivation: To find and recruit female Koldun for the Oripata [+2]
Nationality: Pontus Native [+2]
Past: Aristocrat [+2]
Swashbuckling Forte: Myrine [+2]

Fortes:
Sidekick [+2]
Fencing [+2]

Techniques:

Gungnir (Fencing)
Idium: Fierce (1)
Weapon: Spear (1)
Weapon: Shield (1)
Weapon Dual Weapons (1)
Versus: Men (1)

Maneuver: Intimidation (1- Myrine)
Situation: At Court (1- Rogue)

Sidekick- Briea Shieldmaiden (Good [+2] Sidekick)
Foible:

Always falling for/getting captured by the bad guys

Fortes:
Page [+2]
Rogue [+2]
Acrobatics [+0]
2 chained Techniques:
Prepare her lady for battle (1- Page)
Find whatever her lady desires (1- Page)

The Cloud Island of Pontus:

The cloud Islands of Pontus, have steep, rocky coasts with rivers that cascade through the gorges of the coastal ranges. A few larger rivers, those cutting back through the Pontic Mountains, have tributaries that flow in broad, elevated basins. Access inland from the coast is limited to a few narrow valleys because mountain ridges, with elevations of 1,525 to 1,800 m in the west and 3,000 to 4,000 m in the east. The Kackar Mountains form an almost unbroken wall separating the coast from the interior. The higher slopes facing southwest tend to be densely wet.

Pontus is a mountainous country—wild and barren in the east, where the great chains approach the Euxine; but in the west watered by the great rivers Halys and Iris, and their tributaries, the valleys of which, as well as the land along the coast, are extremely fertile. The eastern part was rich in minerals, and contained the celebrated iron mines and the women smiths of Chalybes are renowned for their quality work, both military and civilian.

Cherries were supposed to have been brought from Pontus to the rest of the cloud islands shortly after it was settled.

The Oripata live and rule Pontus. They were originally a group of women prisoners, the worst offenders, exiled from Barati about a thousand years ago. There they formed an independent kingdom under the government of a queen named Hippolyta. The Oripata were have founded several towns on the island. The largest being Smyrna, Ephesus, the inland capital Sinope and the only coastal city of Paphos.

No men are permitted to have sexual encounters or reside in Oripata country, or go beyond the walled city of Paphos. In order to prevent their race from dying out, the Oripata are obligated to visit the village of Gargareans, a small, remote, heavily guarded village of men, located in the mountains, to produce at least one female child (some females opt to stay and have more children, acting as guards as well). The male children who were the result of these visits are either kept with their fathers or placed on a small bluewood raft and sent into the seven skies.

The female children are kept and brought up by their mothers, and trained in agricultural pursuits, hunting, and the art of war. Oripata pirates that raid other ships are usually not lookinig for loot, but rather male booty. When they take a ship, they would not kill all the men. Some they would take as slaves, (usually the young and strong) to bring back to the village of Gargareans. They are fearful of magic and will not allow any with gifts live. They also will not hesitate to kill anyone who steps out of line, as they can always find more men on the 7 skies.

The Oripata are typically good at hunting, acrobatics, the bow, spear, axe, and a distinctive half shield, nearly in the shape of a crescent.

The Myrine are a group of elite warrior women who are tasked by the Hippolyta to venture forth from the sky island to find and return with various things to help increase the Oripata’s position in the 7 skies. The excel in a special shield and spear fencing style called Gungnir.

Gungnir: Only taught to women, and favored by the elite warrior women of Pontus. Idiom: Fierce; Weapon: Spear; Weapon: Shield; Weapon: Dual Weapons; Versus: Men (5 points)

Ser Knight (Corwin Duskblade)

Foible: Proud (stupidly so, in all things)

Motivation: Good [+2] Power

Nationality: Good [+2] Colronan Kingdom

Past: Good [+2] Different Nationality (Ilwuz)

Swashbuckling Forte: Good [+2] Koldun

Additional Fortes: Good [+2] Gift: Griffin, Good [+2] Colronan Musketeer, Good [+2] Aristocracy (Knight)

Techniques: Idiom: Precise (unchained), Koldun: Qilin, Koldun: Merhorse

Style Dice: 1

Training Points: 0

Miscellany: Born on Ilwuz, Corwin was raised in the standard traditions of the Ilwuz – meaning he learned to use a blade, sail skyships, and start drinking early on. On one of his first cruises as a cabin boy aboard a pirate ship while only 8 years old, the ship was captured by Colronan Kingdom forces. Taken prisoner, he was dumped into the household of the captain, who was a baron in the Colronan Kingdom. Educated as an experiement to determine if he could be “cured” of his Ilwuz barbarism, he excelled at lessons, being accepted into the Colronan Musketeers and earning his knighthood (and some extremely modest – in that nobody lives there – estates). While going through Musketeer training, Corwin realized that his gift and talents were emerging – in an environment that had little tolerance for either. Knowing full well that he would need to be fettered (or worse!) if he stayed, Corwin instead set out into the world “to win his fortune”. His adoptive parents were quite proud – a failing that he learned at their knees. If only they had known his first stop would be Ilwuz… and from there a quest to master his Koldun talents. Calling himself only “Ser Knight”, he is setting out to learn all he can of the Koldun arts and has a vague plan to return to the Colronan Kingdom to “show them”.