Our adventure begins aboard the sailing ship Windbourne in the city of Port Damali on the Menagerie Coast. A three-masted merchant sailor out of the Port of Emon, the Windbourne pulls away from the docks and slides through the harbor and out into the Lucidian Ocean. Bound for Tal’Dorei, the Windbourne is riding high in the water. Her hold stuffed with bedrolls and bodies instead of her usual cargo.
Up on deck, refugees from the fighting between the Dwendalian Empire and Julous Dominion crowd the deck. All of their belongings lay at their feet as they watch the continent of Wildemount fade over the horizon. A young, well-dressed couple moves between them offering words of comfort and seeing if they need anything.
Off to the side, six strangers stand nervously by the rail as the captain barks orders to the crew. Satisfied, he steps barks to the greenhorns and orders them to follow him as he disappears through the door towards the captain’s quarters.
Captain Aetius Valnora
Respected by his crew, Captain Valnora is firm, but fair. He’s been the captain of the Windbourne for nearly thirty years and shows no signs of giving it up.
One of the few remaining independent merchant sailors out of the Port Emon, Captain Valnora has a history of clashing with the Onyx Banner’s larger, more influential members.
Once inside the captain’s quarters, he proceeds to lay down the law and brief them on their responsibilities. As the newest members of the crew, he assigns them to the night shift and suggests they get some sleep.
Fire in the Hold
The party didn’t have long to adjust to their new routines. Shortly after starting their first shift, they heard yelling coming from the hold. As they raced below deck, they found a fire on the verge of getting out of control.
Thinking quickly Rialta rushed up on deck with a pail and used her ability to control water to fill a bucket. She rushed back down and threw the water on the fire. It helped, but the water caused the oil to spatter and spread. Rowan grabbed some heavy blankets and began smothering the flames. With a little work, they managed to put the fire out.
While the rest of the party put out the fire, Night spotted a small girl hiding behind some crates. She admitted to knocking the lantern down and was afraid she’d be in trouble. Night coaxed her out and calmed her down. Her and Rialta found her parents and they all returned to their stations. The next couple of days passed without issue and the party started to settle into their new roles.
A week after leaving Port Damali, the weather started to turn for the worst. Almost without warning, a nasty storm blew in from the north. The party went to work reefing the sails and tying down the lines. As experienced sailors, Allix and Night made short work of the mainmast, while the others struggled with the fore and mizzen. A number of the lines came loose and the crew was rushing frantically to tie them off.
It was then that they heard the cry from the helmsman. His words died on the wind, but his outstretched arm pointed to a large wave heading their way. He turned to face it and everyone braced for impact. Rowan slid across the deck and slammed into the rail, but managed to keep from going over.
This encounter featured a number of nautical skill challenges. Reefing the sails required Athletics (Strength) checks to reef the sails and Sleight of Hand (Dexterity) checks to tie off the lines. The Sleight of Hand checks set the DC (aka strength of the knot) against the strength of the wind. I rolled a d20 and any knots below that number came loose. The players then had to rush back to the line and retie it.
As for the rogue wave, the players simply had to make an Athletics (Strength) check to hold on. A failure caused them to slide 10′ backward. They could make another Athletics (Strength) check to grab a hold of something or they’d take 1d6 bludgeoning.
Say Who Again?
While the storm continued for some time, the worst of it was over. The crew returned to their stations and kept an eye out for more rogue waves. Instead of seeing any waves, they saw the first of many Sahuagin climbing aboard. Three climbed up on the foc’sle and focused on Allix and Tibalt, while another three went for Rialta and Night on the main deck. Zap and Rowan were alone on the poop deck, but had a ways to go to get in the fight.
For their first combat encounter, they quickly discovered their go-to mechanics. Allix and Night dealt a lot of damage with their rage and sneak attack bonuses, while Tibalt had some fun as a giant poisonous snake. Rialta and Rowan had a number of bad rolls, but their high ACs made them virtually unhittable. Last, but not least, the warlock discovered … eldritch blast. Shocking, I know.
Their First Job Offer
After a good night’s sleep and quick breakfast (late-lunch), the party is told the Captain wants to see them. When they enter the captain’s quarters they find Captain Aetius talking to the wealthy couple looking after the other passengers. They introduce themselves as Lord Simon Jusso Lorelei von Costache de Rolo and Lady Cassandra Hindericks de Rolo and representatives of the new city-state of Whitestone.
The captain informs the party that they are not going to Stilben as they were originally told, but are instead sailing north through the Shearing Channel and around the Alabaster Peninsula. The passengers are refugees the de Rolos are helping to resettle in Tal’Dorei. Their real destination is the village of Dawn Harbor in the Dawnmist Bay.
Lord Simon tells them his family’s story and the founding of Whitestone. How they were forced to abandon ship in the Shearing Channel and were forced to leave a good deal of their family fortune behind. After wandering the Alabaster Peninsula for a couple of weeks, they discovered the Sun Tree and founded their new city. He then proceeds to tell them he has reason to believe the ship they were on, the Empress of the Waves, did not sink. He offers them 10% of whatever they find and the party heartily accepts.
Overall, it was a great start to the campaign. All of them are playing completely new classes and races and they did a good job of figuring out their core abilities and features. I think they’re going to be creative with those abilities and I can’t wait to see what they do with them.
|Session:||C2E1 – Windbourne|
|Session Date:||8 December 2019 – 05:00 PM to 08:00 PM ET|
|Present:||Allix (Madelyn), Depth of Night (Renee), Rialta (Alison), |
Rowan (Nate), Tibalt (Carisma), Zaptuse (Davey)
|IG Start:||12 of Fessuran 634 P.D. – Port Damali, Clovis Concord|
|IG End:||19 of Fessuran 634 P.D. – Lucidian Ocean ~100mi WNW of Bisaft Isle|
For this campaign, I use the outstanding web application Fantasy Calendar to track the passage of time. I highly recommend it for you campaign.