Command Crew of the Graceful Dame

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I-IX. Saint Christopher Island, West Indies. Tuesday, January 23, 1725 Anno Domini

  • Having arrived at Saint Christopher Island – better known as Saint Kitts – very early in the morning, the crew goes ashore.
  • While entering, Sir Randel and Doctor Spenser discover a man in a gibbet who pleads for water; the sign on the gibbet proclaims that this prisoner is a grave-robber, and Sir Randel, his curiosity piqued, provides water. The man introduces himself as Geoffrey de Saloman, who insists it was all a misunderstanding; he asks Sir Randel to pass on a message to the baliff, specifically “Who will help the widow’s son?” Sir Randel agrees to pass on this message. It takes them a bit of time to locate the baliff, but upon relating the message, the two observe the man pale somewhat and ask if the prisoner had a ring … like this one. Upon confirming this, the baliff sends word to have the man released and refuses to discuss the matter further.
  • Captain Hayden, accompanied by the silent Dora, seeks out the records clerk and spends some time researching. He finds no further indication of his son, but learns that if his son had been taken as a prisoner of war which is the current theory, then following the war, he would have been returned, likely to Jamaica. If he wasn’t returned, then he either died in prison or escaped. This further narrows down things somewhat.
  • Mister Palange unsuccessfully seeks out further work on the docks for pocket change while Leftenant Rogers studies the incoming ships as is his wont.
  • While returning to the gibbet with Sir Randel, Doctor Spenser is momentarily distracted by Miriam, a woman he recognizes from his time in Bedlam; the woman, who is visibly quite mad, exclaims her delight that he has been let out for some fresh air. Initially unsure if the woman is truly there or not, the doctor is hesitant to respond out of fear that he will be seen responding to something that isn’t there; Sir Randel joins him, however, and asks who his new friend is, just as the woman’s minders rush forward to take control of their patient, apologizing profusely for the interruption. When Sir Randel inquires whether his old friend is well, Doctor Spenser turns it on him: is Sir Randel well? He’s been acting quite strange of late!
  • Mister de Saloman is no longer in the gibbet, but he will eventually join the two while they are in the process of selling the cotton purchased in Barbados. He asks if they are sailing to Port-de-Paix as he is seeking passage and can pay.
  • Early on the 25th, the Graceful Dame departs Saint Kitt with light rain. Heading West-Northwest, they make tolerable time. During the trip, Mister de Saloman asks to be put to work and, late one night, reveals that he is an amazing storyteller. On the middle-watch on the 27th, they narrowly avoid an uncharted reef which Captain Hayden marks down on his maps. They reach Port-de-Paix on the 28th, shortly after midnight.
  • Once the sun rises, they plan to go ashore, each to their own interests. Mister de Saloman asks if, at some point when convenient, they could sail across to Tortuga (which is only about 5 miles away) as he has some old debts to settle; once more, Sir Randel and Doctor Spenser find their curiosity piqued and agree to assist once they have completed their merchanting for the day. As before, Mister Palange finds work with a local gunsmith who happens to speak English, while Leftenant Rogers opts to seek out a brothel he has heard good things about. Captain Hayden once again seeks out information on his missing son as it is something of an obsession of his, though he finds the French to be less than helpful. Dora initially tags along with Leftenant Rogers, but abandons him once she realizes where he’s going.
  • As he is entering the red light district, Leftenant Rogers runs into an old associate of his, Miss Wilhelmina Deering, whom he knows to be something of a spy. They are both surprised to see one another, and after a moment, she suggests they share a dinner later that evening to ‘catch up.’ Leftenant Rogers gladly accepts.
  • Their merchanting complete, Sir Randel and Doctor Spenser join Mister de Saloman and cross over to Tortuga where he explains that he wishes them to take a message to an old associate of his, one Falko Rijnders. They agree to do so and, upon finding Mister Rijnders, observe his extreme displeasure at having received this missive. The Dutchman agrees to meet Mister de Saloman at the specified time and place. At that place, Mister de Saloman goes alone, asking the two to stay behind, but their curiosity is such that they cannot do so, especially when Mister Rijnders arrives and passes them without a word. Stealthfully, the two follow and observe a duel unlike any they have ever witnessed. The skill of the two swordsmen is frankly inhuman and odd atmospheric conditions cause wild sparks as the blades meet. Injuries are meted out and absorbed, but in the end, Mister de Saloman is victorious … and takes the Dutchman’s head. Instantly, lightning erupts all around the the duelists with both the victorious man and the corpse floating for a moment. When it is over, Mister de Saloman joins the two somewhat confused watchers and speaks in Dutch, a language that Doctor Spenser knows that he did not previously know…
  • At Miss Deering’s hotel, Leftenant Rogers has a pleasant meal with her as they chat amicably, speaking of days long past. Eventually, they migrate to the lounge where the suddenly coquettish Miss Deering has a proposal for Leftenant Rogers, if he is willing to listen. He admits that he is and she sidles up to him, gives him a big doe-eyed look as she takes his hand … before sliding a ring on his finger. “I need you to marry me,” she says.

Player Notes:

  • Backtracking slightly, we learned that Captain Hayden discovered that the Rumjack crew were in possession of a current British Navy codebook, something they should not have had access to; he kept it for the moment. Sir Randel found a bit of money in Florins and a non-functional dagger-pistol.
  • I recognized Geoffrey as an Immortal because Gigermann created this character a gajillion years ago and he was intended on being a mentor to an Immortal character of mine in a (sadly) aborted World of Darkness game. Everyone else clued in on it much later, right before the final duel. Many were the jokes about which of the PCs is about to die and wake up as a baby Immortal.
  • The phrase Who will help the widow’s son? is a password reputedly used by the Freemasons to request aid.
  • Clearly, Spenser’s secret – spent time in Bedlam – kicked off here and he did a mediocre job of covering it up with Randel, though hopefully, amusement was had by his efforts to change the subject.
  • That ending was perfect. Clearly, Rogers’ treasure map finally kicked off!

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.