Command Crew of the Graceful Dame

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I-XII. Ashore at Nassau, New Providence. Monday, February 5, 1725 Anno Domini

  • As the smoke clears, the crew turn to evaluating the butcher’s bill. Doctor Spenser looks to Leftenant Rogers and Mister Bold first, determining that they are not grievously injured. Mister Adler also has some minor neck wounds that require bandaging; later, when the adrenaline has worn off and he has a moment to think on it, the doctor realizes that Mister Atwell, the man in Barbados who gave Captain Hayden the letter for Adler (and looked identical to the man) also had his neck bandaged … in much the same way …
  • A squad of redcoats eventually arrive to investigate the shots fired, but are satisfied that the thugs were guilty of criminal activity, including assault and kidnapping, so they take them into custody. Excluding the dead man, of course.
  • At the same time, an elderly local widow named Abigail informs Doctor Spenser that she has extra beds and sufficient medical experience to assist; the doctor gratefully accepts her offer, then oversees the relocation of his patients. He is forced to return to the ship briefly to retrieve his surgical instruments and, in doing so, alerts the rest of the crew of the impending surgery required to remove the pistol balls. They all decide to come along for moral support and open curiosity.
  • With assistance from Miss Abigail and Mister Adler, the doctor is able to expertly remove the dangerous pistol balls from his two patients. To everyone’s great confusion, he first hypnotizes the two men into relaxing; it is an odd skill that many have likely never seen before. The surgery goes extremely well, but he expects a proper recovery to be a week or more on land; Captain Hayden and Sir Randel consider, then agree to delay here for that time.
  • After the surgery, Mister Adler begins telling the rest of the crew a story about the late Captain Jack Rackham dropping (either accidentally or not) a bag of black pearls offshore of Nassau early in his career as a pirate. Sometime back, Mister Finley, the merchant whose daughter the crew just rescued, found one of those pearls in the surf, but was too loud (and a little too drunk) to keep this as quiet as he should have; Mister Adler later suggested that, should anyone come asking about these pearls, to tell them that pearl was found in a specific location nearby with an eye toward redirecting anyone looking for them there. He thought nothing would come of that until the ruffians showed up to abduct Miss Lyla who has revealed that they were asking about the pearls; Mister Adler suspects that the ruffian who escaped is likely going to his employer, so they should watch the location to determine who is behind this. Unfortunately, Mister Adler continues, he is about to be taken into custody shortly by Captain Doyle, the commander of the redcoats here on Nassau, so he would like to ask the crew to investigate this further. The crew agrees.
  • And exactly as he said would happen, Mister Adler is taken into custody by Captain Doyle and his redcoats. This leaves the crew to their own devices and, after consulting, Captain Hayden and Sir Randel decide to stake out the beach location that Mister Adler referenced. but rather than doing so personally, they hire some local children to do it for them. This works out nicely as Sir Randel is woken in the night by one of the watchers, and then gathers Captain Hayden, Doctor Spenser and Mister Palange to investigate.
  • There, they find Captain Doyle, alone and furiously digging along the beach. The crew’s attempts to be stealthy are poor to say the least, and Captain Doyle reacts by drawing his pistol, though he quickly blanches at the numbers arrayed against him … and the sight of Mister Palange’s massive wall-gun. Sir Randel takes the lead in the discussion with the man, learning both that Mister Adler has mysteriously vanished and that Captain Doyle is obsessed with finding the black pearls. After a quick exchange of words, Sir Randel forces Captain Doyle to back down by blatantly threatening to destroy the man’s reputation by spreading word of what he did to the merchant and his daughter. Defeated, Captain Doyle retreats, having agreed to pay some restitution to Miss Lyla and her father. Once he has departed, Doctor Spenser retrieves his abandoned shovel in the event it might be useful later; in the dirt, he finds one of the black pearls, which he later shows to Sir Randel.
  • The following morning, the La Dame Blanche arrives in Nassau, much to Sir Randel’s displeasure. Soon thereafter, he receives an invitation to dine with Maurice Boissonade, his rival. At this meal, the two men hide their distaste for one another with false politeness, and agree to a wager: the man who fails to find this treasure will pen a letter to English and French newspapers professing the greatness of the one who did find it. Sir Randel also agrees to allow Monsieur Boissonade to look at the compass, providing the Frenchman takes him along to meet with a Captain Morgan expert here in Nassau.
  • One of Monsieur Boissonade’s crew, Remi Leblanc, is present to look upon the compass intently, hinting at an eidetic memory, before Monsieur Boissonade and Sir Randel proceed on to meet with the Captain Morgan expert who turns out to be none other than Handsome Ned, who Sir Randel shot in the head on Île-à-Vache. Handsome Ned initially seems to not know what Sir Randel means when he is asked about having met previously, but subtle clues in the man’s body language indicate he knows full well what he is being asked. Information is exchanged – Sir Randel learns a few new things, as well as realizing that he is aware of some things that Monsieur Boissonade does not – and they part ways, though not after Sir Randel strongly implies to his rival that “Handsome Ned” cannot be trusted. At all.
  • While this is going on, Captain Hayden seeks out word of a man named Friendly, believed to be a friend of his son, Matthew. He learns that Mister Friendly resides on Harbour Island, overseeing a trade house, and the captain makes plans to head there next.
  • Days pass as Doctor Spenser oversees the recovery of Leftenant Rogers and Mister Bold, while the rest of the crew grow increasingly bored of tiny Nassau. Captain Hayden, who is suffering from some chronic pain of his own due to his cancer, spends a great deal of time in Widow Abigail’s house, reading to the bedridden Leftenant Rogers and Mister Bold, while Sir Randel makes a point of spending a great deal of time with the island’s upper echelons, both to establish contacts but also to enure Captain Doyle knows that Sir Randel knows people in the right places. Mister Palange spends this time working on gun repairs. During this time, the crew also brings aboard a proper carpenter to handle some minor leaks, then have him conduct a more in depth examination of the Graceful Dame.
  • Three days after the unexpected meeting with Handsome Ned, Sir Randel is wandering around Nassau with Dora when she abruptly tackles a sailor and tears his watch away from him. Not entirely sure what’s going on, Sir Randel nonetheless takes her side and tosses a handful of shillings at the man when he reveals that he bought the watch from a pawn broker at Grand Cayman. After escorting her back to Widow Abigail’s house, he explains what happened to Doctor Spenser who is best able to understand Dora; from her, the doctor learns that this watch belonged to her late captain, killed when she was taken captive.
  • On the 11th of February, the La Dame Blanche departs Nassau in the morning, and Doctor Spenser agrees that Leftenant Rogers and Mister Bold will be hale the following day; in thanks for her assistance and housing of them, Doctor Spenser gives Widow Abigail the black pearl that he discovered earlier, even though she insists that no such payment is required. The entire crew is very ready to get back on the seas – though Mister Sherd does seem to have grown rather attached to Miss Lyla and seems disappointed to depart her company – and set sail early on the 12th, finding the winds increasingly gusty. Those most familiar with the weather sense that a dangerous storm is approaching, though it should hit after the Graceful Dame arrives at Harbour Island, and indeed, this comes to pass, with them arriving at the isle late in the day. Securing the ship for bad weather, the crew go ashore where Captain Hayden seeks out Mister Friendly to discuss his son, from whom he learns that Matthew sent a coded letter indicating that he was on the run and hiding out. Mister Friendly believes that Henry Murphy at Old Providence may know more about Matthew’s ship.
  • As the storm rapidly approaches, Sir Randel and Doctor Spenser hear a bosun’s whistle and investigate, whereupon they discover a stranger abducting Dora! Without hesitation, the two men charge forward to effect a rescue…

Player Notes:

  • And thus, this “season” of Sea Dogs comes to a conclusion.
  • Herodian ducked out early; this was the session for it, since Leftenant Rogers was bedridden for quite some time.
  • The surgery went better than expected – as Artegal’s player, I was almost disappointed in that. I didn’t actually want a PC to die during surgery, but I must admit, it would be a hell of a story. Next time, I promise myself…
  • To be honest, I’d completely forgotten that Dora had been given the bosun’s whistle until after the game.

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