Artifacts of the Inquisition

The Long Jump - Session 8

The Escape due to arrive, the PCs lead the Vodacce ambassador, his staff, and some Knights away from the relative safty of the watch shop. They set out for the city walls, but on their way notice that the Escape is not where it’s supposed to be (floating over a nearby field). Actually, it’s floating in the lake, right next to the city. It’s under attack by 3 retrofitted fishing vessels. As the PC’s look watch their embattled vessel, rebel patrols on the ground spot them. Claudio leads the NPCs in jumping into the water, strapping the princess to his back, and attempts to swim to the Escape while Sean and Flavio hold off the patrols. Claudio and the NPCs (the ones that don’t drown) board the Escape on her gun deck and fight it out with some Fire Mages, while Sean and Flavio slaughter the brute patrols. As Claudio and Felix (who was hiding on board) fight the Fire mages below decks, the Red Cardinal appears with Stalin and a unknown figure. They assemble all the artifacts and create something like a slot machine, drop a ‘coin’ into it, and pull the lever, disappearing. Meanwhile on land, Flavio and Sean, lacking enemies decide to jump on to the boat…. 50 feet away. They both take a running start, and make the leap in epic fashion. Somehow the battle against fire mages on the gun deck dosen’t result in the gunpowder going off and Claudio and Felix put down the fire mages. On deck Flavio and Sean knock down a few and force the rest of the borders to surrender.

The Bear be Stal-in - Session 7

Arriving in Vendel the crew drop off the brats, while Sean is quite pleased to be rid of the childish cargo, it’s up in the air as to whether Tom will miss the lass that was ‘attached’ to him. Having heard of the power of Vesten rune work, Sean leads the crew to seek out a Vesten witch. She makes a trade with each of the characters for working a rune into their items…. and well, lets just say whatever trade she negotiated with Tom is not PG rated. Sean negotiates for a offensive rune on his sword, in exchange for killing nobody for the next year. Flavio gets a belt inscribed so he can escape from all bonds, but he must either kill or marry his worst enemy in the next year. And Claudio got a defensive rune on his ring, but in exchange, he must be celibate for a year. The inscription, being particularly harsh on the witch, also had the added price of a year of service in the future.

At some point (probably because they were bored and lonely) Sean and Felix help a fellow hunt down a werewolf (technically a Loup-Garou)

On their way back to the docks a Vendel trader approaches the crew asking them to deliver a ‘critical’ shipment to Ussura. What a coincidence… that’s where the crews is going! After some pressing questions, they discover that it is a shipment of drakeneisen. The price is high, and it is a good cover, so they agree. Back on the boat, much to Sean’s annoyance, the crew discovers that Jaques has been inventing again. Cloth of all colors liter the deck is one giant mess. There are ropes tangling the air, the Angel and the Mermaid are up on deck, attached to custom stands, and a strange structure in the crows nest. The mess turns out to be worth it – Jaques has turned the Escape from a sailing boat to an airship that floats on hot air, heated by his crystal artifact sitting in the crows nest.

The crew take the flying escape on a very low altitude (maybe 5 feet above the water) test flight to a Usurran port. As the spotters yell “land ho” the ballon is lowered and the ship made out to look ‘normal’, the balloon stowed on the gun deck.

The crew sail into port and meet up with some Knights of the Rose and Cross. These knights inform the crew that they need help to extricate fellow knights, Maureen, and the Vodacce ambassador from the capitol of Ussura, a day’s flight inland. They also offer to up-armor the Escape with the Draconeisen from the hold(essentially making it an ironclad), and to help with the acquisition and installation of one of the syrneth engines that drive Ussuran ironclad ships. A few days later, The party travels to the capital, where they have the Escape drop them off at night then go park in a lake where the ship will be less conspicuous. The Vodacce ambassador insists that nothing is wrong, but he is willing to leave after the evenings ‘ball’. The PC’s put themselves on the ambassador’s guard staff and join him.

The ball turns out to be a trap to kill many foreigners as well as nobles sympathetic to the king, a nasty fellow named Joe Stalin leading the massacre, turning into a bear when he is attacked. The PC’s manage to rescue the Ambassador and Sean finds Maureen as well as a number of foreign sorcerers imprisoned in the basement. During the escape, the party takes many wounds, fighting a whole lineup of Ussuran rebels (many of whom turn into animals) and 30 crossbowmen on the mezzanine, and Flavio even passes out. During this Sean’s newest arch enemy, the Ussuran ambassador to Avalon, is erased from existence by Marueen. Stalin, having turned into a bear and set on fire, is disabled. Maureen slits his throat. The PC’s retreat into the town, finding shelter in a abandoned watch shop, hiding until the Escape is due to return, taking the Vodacce ambassador and his staff, the lineup of sorcerers, and a 6-year old princess.

The Grand Ball - Session 6

On the morning of the Ball someone shows up dockside from the Castle and invites the crew to go to the Castle and get fitted for clothes and ready for the evening.

The Afternoon opens with some sporting competition… the highlight being a sword-fighting competition. Sean barely eeks out a victory against Flavio to claim the title of contender, but, despite being the best opponent in recent memory loses the final match against the queen’s champion… a katanna wielding man from the far east.

During the games Felix receives word that the children and Dr are missing from the boat.

Stories are shared around the dinner table… followed by dancing and more stories. After Flavio ‘may’ have spread some rumors amoung the ladies of the court… the Usuran ambassador gets quite drunk and challenges Flavio to ‘a shooting match followed by a sword fight to the death the following morning’.

As the night winds down the crew return to their rooms… Felix, Flavio and Tom sneak out to search the missing children but Sean and Claudio are unwilling to risk insulting the queen’s hospitality. While they’re gone a young woman show’s up at Claudio’s door, confessing an attraction for him and a depression that she’s to wed Sean…. when Sean hears this… he’s more then a little confused.

While walking the streets of Carleon at night, Felix, Flavio and Tom get into all sorts of fun. After visiting the boat, they get yanked about a nearby Usuran vessel (a ironclad in fact!) and play with booze and fire… Talking to people around where the children went missing they discover they’ve likely been kidnaped and will be sold into slavery, so they go back to the docks and break into the dock master’s officer to seek info… when they’ve got what they need they leave evidence suggesting that the drunk Usuran’s broke in. They then break into another boat and after LOTS.. I mean TONS… like hours and hours and hours… of searching they find a very poorly concealed hold hiding a number of children. As the ships setting out they sneak off with the children, but the girls and the Dr. are still missing. Following a lead they go brothel hopping thinking the girls might have been sold as sex slaves. Tom really enjoys this and the women enjoy him. Eventually they find the Brothel with one of the girls, but the other and the Dr were sent to the Montagine Consultant for the ‘after party’.... so The Three men, and the three whores Tom picked up head to the embassy.

Once they’re inside, Tom provides a distraction and the rest search… eventually they find the Dr upstairs in the Ambassador’s ‘sex dungeon’ of a bed room… break in, tie him up and swap one of their prostitutes for the Dr. suggesting that she whip the Ambassador till dawn. After pushing a rather unruly cook down the stairs they find the last missing girl in some sort of child sex fantasy room. They knock over lots of bottles and make it appear the cook’s drunk and playing around and make their escape.

The following morning Flavio and his second, Sean ready for the ‘shooting competition followed by a duel to the death’... but the Usuran, who’s still drunk from the night before isn’t up for the fight. Sean takes the opportunity to shame him and make an enemy.

The crew set sail to Vendel to drop off they child-cargo.

Blood in Carleon - Session 5

The morning bell wakes the party on a foggy morning… wherein they discover in the night the ship has been ported, in a Castillian port on the northern tip of the country. After the commander of the watch get’s a good tongue lashing, the ship resupplies and the party goes ashore.

While supplies are being loaded Tom and Sean hit a pub and bump into an Innish inkeeper that they know, who tells them that the town hasn’t yet felt the pains of the Cardinal and is still mostly free. Claudio and Flavio find themselves a doctor to care for Claudio’s wounds, and Felix meets a contact. All said and done the crew reboard the ship with a new doctor in tow and 6 brats of wealthy nobles fearing their persecution from the Cardinal. The older gals take to Tom and Flavio and the youngest boy becomes Sean’s shadow.

The voyage proceeds uneventfully to Avalon where the Escape makes port in the capitol of Carleon. Sean puts on his best coat and leads his comrades, with exception to the Silvia and Leon (the Rose and Cross aren’t really welcome in Avalon) to the castle to hold audience with Queen Elaine, and tell of their heroic destruction of the Castillian shipyards. The Queen greets them fondly and requests their company for reception ball 3 days later, and bids them off.

When the party returns to the ship they discover that in their absence, a superior of sorts showed up and talked Silvia and Leon into giving him the artifacts and they followed him, leaving no notice as to where they were headed. The gang scatters, using their connections to track down the mystery man, and are surprised to find that he is their intended Rose and Cross contact in the city. After scouting out the building from the outside, Flavio decides to break in to snoop… the party provides a distraction cuminating with Claudio and Felix entering and Sean ‘drunkenly’ throwing a bottle through the window. Flavio suspects a hidden compartment in the bottom floor, so the party waits until later in the evening, when the man should be out of the room. Later that night they break in again, and while Flavio, Felix and Claudio work on the hidden door, Tom and Sean go upstairs to question the man. Waking the man doesn’t go so well and and Sean, Tom and the man end up in a mexican stand-off that ends when Sean shoots both of the man’s hands disarming him. He’s not too cooperative, (and quite obviously evil) so Sean up’s the negotiation tactics and quality of the gene pool with a musketball to the man’s groin…. still unwilling to talk, Sean and Tom go downstairs to discover that the rest of the gang has found a hidden door and stairs to a basement. Inside the basement they find a disarmed and disrobed Silvia torturously tied down with barbed wire and generally in bad shape. Beyond they find a room with the artifacts and a dissected Leon. The man starts babbling on insanity and when Sean sees a wall with pictures of Leaon, Silvia, a number of other Rose and Cross members and Maureen he loses it puts a pistol to the mans chin and decorates the ceiling with grey matter.

The gang collects the evidence gets Sylvia to the hospital and buries Leon.

Cloudy Isle (side quest, session 4.5)

On a foggy morning, Flavio, Sean, Sylvia, and Claudio di Balua wake on the Escape to find the rest of the crew sleeping and nearly impossible to rouse, even the officer of the watch is asleep at his post. Further disconcerting, there’s no wind in the sails despite the effects of the statues, and the ships no longer bobbing around indicating that she’s probably run aground.

While below decks checking on the crew Sean notices fate lines from The Crystal Angel and The Crystal Mermaid leading into the air and down into the ocean, Sean takes a dip to see how far they travel, sadly the one into the ocean is farther than he can go.

Back on deck Sean and the party discover the former Capt’n of the ship is missing along with his family, and Claudio climbs to the crows nest and sights land though the fog. So the 4 adventurers secure the ship and launch the dingy heading for land. After rowing that seems to go on forever the group finds themselves on a beach with almost idealic and beautiful scenery. They head inland.

After walking a ways Claudio’s fine tuned senses catch the sound of children laughing and the party heads off the path in that direction. Not wanting to get lost Flavio pulls out chalk to mark a tree where they are leaving the path but the chalk dosen’t seem to want to adhere to the tree so he backs up his mark by cutting a notch of the tree with his blade… this summons a “Ouch!!”... and the party meet The Lady of the Forest.

The Lady of the Forest tells the party that there’s a problem that needs fixing that they must solve before they can go home. She also gives Claudio a bag of nuts.

The party continues towards the sound of children eventually finding them and get them to lead the party to their settlement… more to come after I finish today’s labor.

Arr.. there be rough waters ahead (Session 4)
Session 4

The session opens with the party still in port at Villanova, Vodacce. The party/crew begin preparations for their long voyage to Avalon.

Sean decides he’d like to speak to Valentina Villanova, though he won’t explain why. This meeting should prove to be quite a challenge as Valentina is the wife of the prince of the island who has a very dark reputation. Thus Sean and Flavio head out to the the Princes estate to stake the place out. The two sit down at a nearby restaurant and wait and watch. Sadly it seems they’re not to stealthy as Brutus walks out of the Palace and directly up to the pair greeting them. After telling them he’s come into favor with the Villanovas he pressures Flavio to reminisce about old times and catch up, who declines. As Sean and Flavio depart, their cover obviously blown Brutis warns Flavio that he’s got something in store for him.

Meanwhile Claudio is out shopping and recognizes his father, but decides to avoid making contact.

Sean, having failed to make contact with Valentina, asks Maureen if she can make contact, and she sets up a meeting. The three meet up, and Sean is warned about dangers in Avalon. He’s also told that mages from all countries are disappearing and may be showing up in Castille. After the meeting Maureen and Sean spend a little ‘quality’ time together.

Meanwhile a woman shows up looking for Flavio on the boat. Flavio is immediately suspicious that she’s an assassin, but she insists she’s been hired to ‘please him for the evening’... after a bit of evasion on Flavio’s part, another woman shows up claiming the same. A catfight (helped along significantly by Flavio) breaks out on the deck of the ship. As the other crew members return to the boat, sailors from all around the dock are watching the fight. Sean and Jaques break up the fight as more women pour down the dock yelling ‘Flavio… Flavio’... The women are put ashore and the gangplank raised and poor Flavio gets no female attention at all (be it pleasant or an assassination attempt).

After a discussion about finical reality the captain cedes control of the ship to Sean and the party and stays on as the first officer. Sylvia and Leon of the Knights of the Rose and Cross board and the ship sets sail.

Two weeks later, the ship finds itself in a dense fog during a late evening. Claudio is the officer of the watch and notices the sound of a nearby vessel and raises an alarm. The crew are barely out of their cots when a massive harpoon strikes the deck of the Escape… on the other end of the chain attached to that harpoon is the Sea Devil, a pirate ship painted black and red.

A battle ensues, during which shot from the Escape free “Big” Thom Flint held captive on the Sea Devil. Tom crosses the narrow gap between ships and after boarding the Escape is taken to Captain Sean, who immediately recognizes him from their shared childhood and releases and arms him. The battle goes on across the decks of both ships, with Sean, Tom and Claudio focusing on repelling boarders, while Felix and Flavio board the Sea Devil and attack it’s captain directly. After much fire is exchanged the Sea Devil goes to the bottom with all hands. Tom and Hector succeed in uncoupling the chain from the harpoon (freeing the Sea Devil to sink without taking the Escape with it).

In the end the party is wounded but thanks to the doctoring of Jaques not much worse for wear, and the Escape damaged (1 dramatic wound), with 5 crew members killed.

The ship and crew continue their voyage west.

Artifacts, Slaves and Shipyards - 3rd Session

Following the request of the Knights of RnC, the PC’s travel to the port town of El Morro. They have been told that an artifact is there, under guard.

The party arrives to discover El Morro is a well garrisoned shipyard town. Along with cannon towers guarding the water, the town is protected by 2,500 Castillian soldiers. The shipyards, busy rebuilding the the Castillian fleet (having recently been sunk by the Avaloanian weather and navy), are primarily worked by the slave labor of political prisoners, also kept in the town.

After making meeting with one of Felix’s contacts, they’re pointed to a warehouse where the artifact is most likely hidden and put in touch with Arturo, a free foreman at the shipyards, who’s also a dissident. He offers the PC ai, in exchange for freeing his wife and child, who are held at the town’s slave prison camp.

The party spends some time exploring the town and scouting the warehouse while forming a plan. They discover that the werehouse is not only guarded by an 8 man patrol, but also under observation by well trained soldiers inside a neighboring building. During their investigation of the prison, the prison guard’s commander Ferdinand “The Bull” gets into a scuffle with Hector, and they end up challenging each other to a boxing match, to be held several days hence.

The fight proves to be the missing ingredient in the stew. The party spends the next few days promoting the match to get as many of the towns soldiers in attendance as possible. Sean buys out the towns supply of beer and offers it free to any solder in attendance.

The day before the fight the party breaks into the warehouse to go after the artifact they have been tasked with stealing. Felix (disguised as a Castilian) and Hector stage a mock fight near the warehouse, drawing the guards’ attention. (This distraction is helped by Hector’s incredible punch clean through the hull of a nearby ship in dry-dock.) While the rest of the party’s members keep watch and distract the guards with bets, Flavio breaks into the warehouse through the upper windows. Inside, he discovers two guard, who, thankfully, have been distracted by the fight and are betting with Sean. While their attention is elsewhere, he looks for the artifact.

Although the plan was just to find the artifact, after Flavio finds it inside a crate and discovers that it’s small enough to carry, he steals it and hides his tracks, and slipping out a door unnoticed by the guards watching the mock fight. Flavio also notes another crate that looks like it might contain another crystal statue.

The party has now now acquired the The Metal Box, the artifact they’re in town for. Jaques Moreau bloods the artifact and rides out to their camp outside the town, porting the artifact to him to keep it safe while they stay and free the prisoners, as planned.

On the night of the fight, nearly all the town’s guard are in attendance drinking the free booze. When the fight begins, Flavio, Claudio, and Felix Luc d’Ilsen slip away to assault the warehouse, while Sean MacEarly O’Brian stays to keep the guards entertained and as drunk as possible. First, the three quietly take down the guards watching the building from across the street, aided by the massive amount of alcohol they had been consuming, then they take out the 8 guards patrolling around the warehouse. When they enter, they’re assaulted by the 2 guards inside, but after taking a musket ball or two, the party is able to incapacitate the guards. The party retrieves the 2nd artifact from the warehouse, lights it ablaze, and heads back to the prison compound where the fight is taking place. Meanwhile, their dissident allies light the ship yards on fire as well.

Shortly after the PC’s arrive, the fire alarm goes up, and all the soldiers still up and able to walk head to the shipyards to try to control the fire. “The Bull”, however, refuses to stop the fight. The commander cheats, not only with a weighted glove, but also by attacking between the bells. The party puts him down (notably, Felix picks up a musket for possibly the first time ever and puts a ball between the commander’s eyes). The prisoners are freed and armed, thanks to a skillful pick-pocketing of the keys by Flavio, and after assaulting many of the nearby drunk guards they head north to a rendezvous point.

That’s when the dissidents blow up the cannon towers defending the water. These cannon towers surround the shipyards and kill most of the soldiers trying to extinguish the fires. The dissidents then steal the the most impressive Barque afloat and along with Felix’s contact (who’s captain of a barge) head north up the river to meet the PC’s and released prisoners to pick them up and take them to safety.

The newly named Escape and barge, laden with 1,700 prisoners, head east to Vodacce. This trip takes over a month and is generally uneventful. During this trip the crew discover the usefulness of The Crystal Angel and The Crystal Mermaid on a ship.

In Vodacce the slaves are dropped off on the mainland and Felix uses his contact Gus to ensure they’ll have a means to survive. The barge heads it’s own way, and The Escape head to Villanova where Sean ‘feels’ the party can find a Rose and Cross contact.

They arrive in port and the PC’s head into town. During his exploration Sean encounters three fate witches. One of the Witches catches Sean’s eye, and she appears to catch his. She drops a note with a restaurant name and time… unfortunately Sean can’t read this note, so he heads to the Pub the parties at to get it translated.

Meanwhile Felix chats it up with his local contacts and along with ensuring that the refugees on the mainland will be cared for he gets the same instructions for where to meet the Rose and Cross.

Inside the pub Sean finds Flavio and Claudio, enjoying their usual fair, wine and goat’s milk. Sean joins them and over a beer has Flavio translate the note. After a little chatting Flavio spots someone he recognizes and suddenly becomes uncomfortable, making a hasty exit. Curious Sean approaches the recognized man who calls himself Brutus, and after a brief greeting offers Sean a job delivering a package to Avalon. Sean detects something fishy and turns down the work, and he and Claudio make their departure. Felix walks up just in time to catch the tail end of an insult match as Sean and Claudio are leaving, then the three of them head to the restaurant.

The only table available is for six, and the three (Flavio returned to the boat after fleeing the pub) are quickly joined by 2 Knights of the Rose and Cross, one male, one female, and (thought not wearing the traditional veil), the Fate Witch Sean encountered earlier. Claudio begins telling the Knights about the quest, but though trusting is somewhat reserved, however Felix is smitten with with the female Knight, Sylvia, and starts telling her everything and anything she wants to know (Claude is the 2nd knight). Sean not trusting of the Knights in general, and concerned that their last encounter with the knights involved one of their party stealing an artifact, gives Felix a good punch in the nose to shut him up.

These Vodacce knights know nothing of the party’s quest, nor the artifacts they’re collecting. Further, they’re surprised that the Knights would willingly employ outsiders, particularly an Inish. They’ve been brought here by Maureen, the Fate Witch that left the note for Sean, who only told them they needed to come.

After the basics of the story are told, Sean takes Maureen for a walk to the ship, where she preforms some fate magic on the statues, then Sean’s ring, saying that ‘this will tie us together’, they retire to the captain’s cabin to preform so magic of their own.

Meanwhile, back at the restaurant, the 2 Knights take Felix and Claudio to their guild hall to meet their Guild Master, Vincent. They relay the story to the Master, who informs them that the next artifact is in Avalon, and that a Rose and Cross knight there will know more. The Guild Master also sends his daughter Sylvia along with the party.

At the advice of Maureen, the following day Sean returns to the Pub and offers his ‘aid’ to Brutus, accepting the Mysterious Package that he wants delivered to Avalon. Back on the boat, the party tries unsuccessfully to open the case.

Critical Summery:

Assisted by dissidents they stole The Escape a freshly built Barque. The Hero’s acquired The Crystal Mermaid and The Metal Box.

Down the mineshaft - 2nd Session

After the battle at the Inn…

The hero’s acquired The Spinning Crystal and The Crystal Angel artifacts.

The Inish Inn - 1st Session

The opening to our story.

For a myriad of reasons the PCs all end up in an Inish Inn in (insert City Name here).

Unknown to the PC’s, this Inn is actually a front from the Knights of the Rose and Cross. In the evening, the inquisition shows up to burn the joint, but are ambushed and killed themselves.


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