This is a synopsis of the last session of the Book of Reckoning, the current chronicle.
So far, the heroes (the Company) have discovered the secret game, they have awakened to magic, and they've become involved in the Great War. The chapters so far have introduced allies, opponents, powers and plot-lines. Now it begins in ernest.
The Host of Man is gathered on the island of Cora, poised for an attack on the Orc-controlled Old Colonies. Between Cora and the Dark Continent, the Black Ships lies with a massive blockade, making any naval action impossible. The Company have brought two portals (gifts from Arkon, aka. St Marcus, aka. The Huntsman, etc.), and have been tasked with running the blockade and set up a portal in the Colonies.
The Pius set out from Cora at dawn, and were saluted by the armada, and received a seven gun salute. The Prince, having been grievously injured in the fight with Captain Armand, was under treatment below decks (his player was not present for the evening).
The ship made good speed on a southerly course, and the Company prepared for action. After about six hours, they saw the great, black cloud-wall that rose from the horizon, and Captain Galan gathered all hands on deck for a grand speech. While doing this, he was aided by the rest of the Company in forging a great mindshield, and anchoring it in the mind of the ship.
O'Connor, having discovered the power of a truename, decided to hide his own. He received some unexpected help, and the name Percivil O'Connor* has now disappeared. He also decided to further ward the Pius, and strengthened the ship's Gauntlet in a great magical ritual.
While this was happening, Banzel kept himself below decks in his workshop, working on the creation of accurascopic sights for two of his best rifles. Here he received some aid from a Tristan of Cordomar, a Grammaton Cleric that was taken into the Company at O'Connor's request shortly after leaving port.
Shortly after they entered the dark weather, the lookout called a ship approaching on an intercept course. The captain manned the Navichron (a magical, and somewhat mysterious navigational machine installed by the Argonauts), and as this has previously caused unwanted attention from the Deep, (O'Connor) made sure that the Navichron was kept from signalling into the waters below them.
The approaching ship was the Sepulchre, one of the Black Ships, and through the Navichron, the captain also saw the Kraken, hidden in the weather, on a pursuing course, and closing fast.
Before leaving Cora, the Company had met with the enigmatic Mr Godfrey, and been granted leave to sail under his flag through the blockade, and a soon as the two Black Ships had been sighted, they hoisted the purple-black banner.
With the Sepulchre still on an intercept course, and the Kraken now close enough that its crew could be seen, the captain tried to outmanoeuvre his opponents. The Pius managed to avoid the Sepulchre without losing speed, but as the great ship sank into the deep, the Kraken had come up alongside the Pius, all sixty one gunports readied for action.
Then van Saar, in the crowsnest, sees the crew of the Kraken bringing a young girl, probably no older than ten or eleven, up to the railing. As the horrified crewmen of the Pius can do nothing but watch, the girl is thrown overboard. While Armand may not be able to touch the Pius as long as they sail under Mr Godfrey's flag, he can summon other things, things not bound by the agreement.
The captain has now understood that seamanship alone will not help them escape the Kraken, but (O'Connor) and van Saar has retreated below decks to work out a plan that may help. Aided by van Saar, (O'Connor) calls for the spirit of Pius to awaken. And it does, just as the ship makes a hard turn to starboard, the great, old witchwood keel of the Pius rises from its slumber, and the ship hits clear weather, and slips its pursuer.
Some hours later, as the sun sets over the Old Colonies, the Pius is towed into a forgotten river in a shade realm, far from the nearest village, on the coast of the Reginia colony. From here, the Company will make their way to the designated muster field, two days inland.
But that's next time...
Storyteller's note: This session was one of the best so far. All of the characters have now found their place in the world, and in the group. Even better, they cooperated really well, and pooled their resources to achieve more than they could have alone.
Additionally, everybody roleplayed really well, and the suspense was built nicely up to the successful resolution of the mission.
Captain Armand ha now been firmly established as a Nemesis, something I see as a bonus. Last time they attacked him on land (all on their own accord), and now they have outwitted him on the sea as well. It's always nice when your players take care of those things themselves, isn't it?
The stage has now been set for the Third World War.
* The new name will be edited in as soon as the player gives me the corect spelling. Stay tuned ;)