The Saga of Rosemary Goodfruit

The Siren's Call

The heroes’ journey to Carleon begins aboard the Siren’s Call, a Vendel merchantman of impressive size. While the captain attempts to smuggle them past the Montagnian naval ships in secret compartments, they meet an odd pair of gentlemen similarly troubled by the local authorities. Calling themselves “The Swordsmen”, the two are a travelling troupe of entertainers. They regale the heroes with tales of their performances, full of comedy, drama and swordplay in equal measure. In Liberté they were arrested for supposedly anti-Montagne propaganda in one of their shows, but were well versed in greasing just the right palms to ensure the gaoler’s blind eye was turned, and are leaving the island to avoid suspicion after the destruction of le Comte.

Everything seems to be going well until one of the crew secretly signals to the Montagnian vessels, and two frigates break from the blockade to pursue. Knowing his head will be on the block should his vessel be caught smuggling fugitives, the captain decides to make a run for it, hoping to lose the Montagnians in the southern islands of the archipelago, where the Naval ships are hesitant to travel except in force due to the number of pirate vessels known to sail those seas. Although there is the chance of running afoul of pirates anyway, the captain sees it as the lesser of two evils, what with the Montagnians already breathing down his neck.

Pursued by the Montagnians, the Siren’s Call is pressed to her limits. Unable to outrun the frigates in open water, the captain changes course to lead them through a narrow, shallow channel. Luck is not on his, or the heroes’ side today, however; just as the Call makes to leave the channel a pirate vessel is sighted and, not having seen the pursuing frigates, it moves to engage.

As the three groups collide, a feirce melee sweeps across the decks of the Call. Reacting to the frigates at the last moment, the larger pirate ship manages to cripple one of them with a devastating broadside. The Call is caught in between the second frigate and the pirates, however, and the heroes are caught in a tense three-way battle. The fighting is ferocious, and all three sides suffer heavy losses in the conflict; eventually, the surviving pirates and merchant marines form a hasty alliance to overcome the Montagnian Navy, who are taking no prisoners. Unfortunately, the Call is crippled by the repeated broadsides of the naval frigate.

With both sides having lost many men, the pirate captain takes charge of those left alive, inviting the merchants aboard; he knows that the only way for anyone to survive is to continue to work together. Thankfully, the captain is the charismatic and infamous pirate known as Allende, and he is able to keep the fragile alliance together. The Siren’s Call is stripped and scuppered and the rag-tag crew sail for harbour in nearby Avalon aboard The Hanged Man, to avoid any further contact with the Montagnians.

Despite the perils of the sea combined with the aftermath of the battle, Allende’s leadership keeps the crew together and alive, and the ship makes port in Canguine a fortnight later, not too much worse for wear. It is late evening by the time the heroes finally set foot on solid ground again, and Allende and his crew bid them good fortune, thanking them for their aid against the Montagnos, and in keeping the crew together since. One of the crew points them in the direction of an inn, The Green Man, and they are handed their “share”.

Leaving The Hanged Man, disguised under a false name, behind, the heroes trudge into the rain-soaked streets of Canguine.

Comments

About damn time

The Siren's Call
BigHammer

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