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Stormbringer - episode 8

 
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__Mikeythorn



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A gust of wind caught an iridescent spray and sent it sputtering across the swaying foredeck. Coming from abaft I was forced to snatch at a flying halyard to keep my balance as the heavily reefed sails caught the gust and the ship heeled even more strongly to leeward. Another wave washed across the deck and filled the scuppers. Clouds had blackened an already dark night sky and I was startled by a figure lurching suddenly into my vision. It was one of the sailors, Cormac. He shouted something but the wind snatched away everything but the urgency in his voice. An arm clad in sodden oil-skins jabbed towards the topsails, a stream of water trailing from the sleeve. I followed Cormac’s arm and saw something shadowed against the mast by a weak stream of light sneaking through a hatchway door. I tore the hatch open, ignoring the shouts of protest from the cabin below. A shaft of light revealed a black and slime-covered tentacle wrapping itself around the mast.



The ship’s bell started to clang quickly and loudly as I scrambled aloft via a buntline. I drew level with the tentacle and slashed at it with my rapier. From below Ashraful, Shurly, Rosemurray, Alvar and Cormac used sword and cutlass against the limb where it snaked over the ship’s lee-side.



Our efforts seemed to have little effect and then the mast began to groan. I leapt clear. The sound of the sea and the rain was drowned briefly by a crack as the mast snapped in two just below the boom. The tentacle retreated into the sea, dragging the mast and the sails with it. Blocks and rigging raced across the deck to follow them and the stays sang as they snapped free and sent cables whipping around our heads.




The ship heeled violently as she tried to follow her rigging into the raging sea. The captain screamed something from the stern and the crew began hacking at the cables. As the final cable was cut, the ship righted herself with the ease of an upturned cork. But now, with her momentum gone, she began to broach. If a wave were allowed to strike us amidships in these seas, all would have been lost. The captain yelled again and a sea anchor was thrown over the stern. As the sea anchor’s cable pulled tight the ship’s prow turned to face into the waves once more.



For the present we were safe, but all aboard knew that a ship without a mast is nothing but a floating coffin trying to find its grave.



As morning dawned the sea and the wind slackened off. My companions and I returned to the deck after a breakfast of tack and dried fish. We found a pale-faced captain and his concerned crew looking nervously over the prow. Hauled over the stern capstan we could see the cable which had held the sea anchor, but the anchor itself was nowhere to be seen. We were puzzled for a second as we wondered what was keeping our prow pointing into the current. One look over the bowsprit told us what. Before the ship and under the waves raced a dark and menacing shape and dark shadows around the hull indicated that this thing had a hold upon us.



The creature took us east. Initially we feared that we were being taken to Pan Tang, but we passed to the north of that evil place. We raced on for days, sporting briefly with the creature by trying to slow our voyage with sea anchors. The broken masthead provided wooden splinters that we spliced into the anchor cables to deter the creature from trying to snap them. The only reaction we got for our troubles was for the creature to rise nearer to the surface, lifting the ship and causing several planks below the waterline to burst. After that we cut the sea anchors free.



After four days we arrived at a rocky outcropping. The creature dragged us towards the centre of this and as we drew nearer we could see that the rocks were surrounded by thick, green seaweed. Wooden huts were scattered across the rocks and as we raced by we tried shouting to a small boat for assistance. Two men upon this vessel were gathering seaweed and they looked up briefly as we passed by, but did not stop their work.



We travelled deeper into the rocks and came to a wharf made from shattered vessels. Upon this wharf sat three figures on roughly hewn wooden thrones. Around them were approximately 50 of their vassals, all staring blankly at us as we approached. The figure on the middle throne, a woman of some years, spoke. “All praise to the Kraken for bringing us this bounty. All praise to the Kraken for delivering more to join us in worship of your magnificence.”



I spat at the name of the Kraken and yelled out a prayer for the Sea Mother. A figure to the left of the woman looked at me and noted something in a ledger. Rosemurray saw this and flung a loose nail at the figure, drawing blood.



The creature let our ship go and grappling hooks were flung from the wharf. I cut the first and Rosemurray cut the second as the figure with the ledger chanted a spell. A demon appeared on the deck next to Rosemurray and struck at him, wounding him deeply. The worshippers on the wharf surged towards us and began to clamber onto the deck. The captain rallied his crew and cutlasses were drawn upon the foredeck. My companions and I formed a second knot of defenders upon the stern.




For a while we held our line, but our two little groups were outnumbered and we were forced slowly backwards. As more and more of our numbers began to fall, Rosemurray broke free of the combat and looked over the stern. In his backpack he held the Sea Mother’s conch. We had been told to immerse this in water should we ever need her help, and help we now needed. Rosemurray went to throw his backpack overboard and then hesitated. The thick weed that surrounded the ship might prevent his bag from sinking. Thinking quickly, the acrobat leapt into the weed himself and then held his pack under the water. A sound, like a deep bass horn, sounded and the waters around Rosemurray began to stir.



Upon the deck we waited expectantly for the Sea Mother’s aid and fended off blow after blow. For several long minutes we waited and fought as the horn continued to sound. Then three spirits appeared from the sea and asked Rosemurray what assistance he required. “Kill our enemies” he yelled, “the people on the wharf.”



The spirits moved slowly away from Rosemurray and began to circle the ship. Upon the deck we still fought and died. The battle is very much against us now, and we can only hope that these creatures act quickly and powerfully.
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__Mikeythorn



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stormbringer rocks Cam. Are you still thinking we need a change, or are you going to keep at it for a while longer?
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__cam



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm very happy to keep running it - I'm wondering if I should be looking into purchasing more Elric stuff or not. With everyone keen to play CoC sometime soon, the only thing I'm afraid of doing is outstaying my welcome as GM.



We should still have another moths playing left in the module - perhaps we should rotate to a new game then?
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__Mikeythorn



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no ambition to GM at the moment. Plus Stormbringer is great fun. I say we should get more Elric stuff. Don't go spending all your own cash though. Ben has the outstanding balance from the old Hackmaster fund (although some is owed to me for "Goods and Gear") and I am happy to chip in some cash.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there,



As editor of a number (well two) new Stormbringer books coming out, I have to say that these write ups have been a heap of fun!




If your interested in getting some of the other Stormbringer adventures of campaigns I recommend looking at DrivthruRPG. They have a number of supplements in Pdf format to be download for a reasonable price, especially as the older Elric!/Stormbringer material can be both difficult and costly to track down.



Cheers,

Marcus D. Bone
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__BinderoftheUnboundBook
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there,



As editor of a number (well two) new Stormbringer books coming out, I have to say that these write ups have been a heap of fun!



If your interested in getting some of the other Stormbringer adventures of campaigns I recommend looking at DrivthruRPG. They have a number of supplements in Pdf format to be download for a reasonable price, especially as the older Elric!/Stormbringer material can be both difficult and costly to track down.



Cheers,

Marcus D. Bone
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__Mikeythorn



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 0

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the praise! I passed your DrivethruRPG PDF suggestion along to our GM, who promptly swore loudly because he had just paid a vast amount of cold, hard cash to buy an old supplement in hard copy from some US source.
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