Captain Marlow and his crew have been able to make it to the largest port in all of the Free Towns, Baltimus. The Edward’s new life as captain has not been an easy one, he has already had many of his companions perish in these harsh lands, including the former captain which let the way for his position as the captain but luckily on his latest journey to the unofficial capital of Caribdus he has been able to keep his crew alive, even if they have been a little injured.
Blix has some bandages from cuts and bruises but has managed to keep those aches from affecting any of his other actions. Tuleo, or Samson as everyone knows and calls him, is not so lucky and is actually suffering many sever lacerations and even some broken bones. He is able to ignore almost all of the pain with his amazing nerves of steel but some of the pain still slips through to impede him. Everyone else is also a little worn and tired but not enough to impede their skills and judgment.
The party does not intend to stay long in Baltimus are quick to sell their cargo of food before it spoils. They then proceed as planned and purchase their fill of timber. Having accomplished their necessary goals and the day still being early the party decides to see if they can find any other means to make a quick piece or two before the day is out. To accomplish this, the Edward and Samson make their way to the Severed Head Tavern to inquire about any possible leads while Blix and Spider-Crab make their way to the less reputable Kelp Bed.
Blix and the crab talk to a few and even buy a few drinks but it is all of no use as they still come up dry on any possible jobs. The captain and savage however are a little luckier and encounter a band of three blackhearts that seem to have the need for a more discrete deliverer. After engaging in a great deal of banter and subtlety, the Captain is able to discern that the men are needing someone to deliver some perishable cargo that is likely slaves, although the exact cargo was never mentioned outright. The Captain, not above doing less than reputable things for money and in this case 10,000 pieces of eight, has to pause to contemplate if it is really worth it though. He informs the men that he is interested, but that he has to talk with his crew first and make preparations. The two parties leave with an arrangement to meet tomorrow afternoon to solidify the agreement.
Edward is quite worried about what to do for a while because on one hand, this is a lot of money that shouldn’t be that hard to obtain but on the flip-side, he also remembers learning that many places do not smile kindly on slavers and are actually likely to hang them when they are found and one of the most notorious places is his next destination. He continues with the battle of the pros and cons in his head until he suddenly “remembers” (he actually told by Spider-Crab) that there are also organizations that will pay for information on such people and organizations that are involved in slavery. It is then that Edward decides he must attempt to go through with this deal so that he can at least turn the slavers in for the reward and on top of that, maybe even make some more money upfront for the difficult cargo and trip.
After deciding this, he sets in motion his play, calling upon carpenters to modify the boat to fit passengers including fold-out beds. He arranges for it to be paid and supplied by one of the loads of timber. While he is doing this, he sends the stealthiest member of his crew, Blix, to do some reconnaissance on the difficulty and how lucrative turning in the slavers would be.
They learn that the slavers are priced at 100 pieces of eight apiece unless they are the leader or mastermind, at which point they will net 500 pieces of eight. This is all subject to change depending upon numerous factors including scope, difficulty, location, etc.
Captain Marlow and takes his typical adventuring crew, leaving Stewart and Miguel to watch over the ship, to meet with the three scallywags at their designated location at nightfall. It is decided before the party meets the three that Blix will wait in hiding and try to follow the other party after the meeting is over to make it easier to turn the culprits in for the reward.
The meeting goes by without incident and Edward and his crew learn that they are to sail to Jomba Town where they will meet the slaver’s contact, Ian O’Connell. They parties also agree to meet the very next night at a sea shack that has an accompanying dock outside of town. With the arrangements set, the parties go their separate ways with Blix attempting to tail the slavers.
With the cover of darkness, Blix has no trouble keeping hidden and following the gentlemen as they leave, but they do not go directly to their hideout or where the slaves are currently being kept. Instead they make their way back to the Severed Head. Seeing as how it is a tavern, Blix decides to follow them inside the establishment. As he enters, he is able to notice the men make their way upstairs, as they had last time. Afraid he might lose them, he also heads upstairs after them. The men seem to have been a little cautious because as Blix heads up the stairs himself, one of the three men was waiting and notices the Doreen heading up the stairs. Blix decides to practice his theater and attempts to act like he is drunk, stumbling and plopping himself right down on the stairs to sit and see if they come down.
In his act, however, he is unable to hear the three coming back down the stairs until they are almost right upon him. Apparently seeing through Blix’s act, one of the gentlemen grabs the Doreen’s arm and says “Hey buddy, you seem a little drunk. Let me help you to your room.”
Blix, not desiring to go upstairs with the man, responds by saying he’s not drunk and they should keep drinking, as he attempts to make his way to some open stools on the bar. At this point, the man who had been talking has taken out a pistol and placed it against the Doreen saying, that he would love to say and have a drink, but that it would have to be at the table right here.
In as much agreement as possible, with a gun pointed at you and outnumbered three-to-one, the small group sits down to have a drink. The gentlemen discuss with the Doreen why he might be following them. Eventually Blix says that he is part of Edward’s crew and he was sent to do a little reconnaissance on them. The men at this point aren’t sure if they should believe Blix or not but decide that if nothing else, he can make a nice slave as well and inform the Doreen that whether he likes it or not, he is coming with them. Not seeing a lot of other safe choices, Blix decides to comply with their wishes for now, being outnumbered and outgunned. This leads to Blix paying for a drink for all of them before then going upstairs.
Captain Marlow and the crew start to worry a little about the Doreen when he doesn’t come back, but there is little they can do, they do not know where he is and so can only hope he is safe as they wait till the designated meeting.
The group finds the location for the meeting easily and sets their ship on its docks, now with cargo holds equipped with fold-out bunk beds. While the bunk beds may not be the most comfortable, they are functional and better than nothing if Edward and his crew do actually end up taking passengers or the slaves.
The docks look old and worn, but sturdy enough along the edge of an alcove with the land surrounding it full of trees to obscure any unwanted eye. The shack, similarly looks old and worn if not a little more wobbly and decrepit. Along the coast, where the docks meet the island are holes where the earth has been eroded away from the seas continual tides. The docks extend in to the island by about 40 feet and then another almost 50 feet lies stood the wooden shack. On the west side of the shack are stacks of crates and barrels amassing to about the height of a typical human or masaquani.
The crew can easily see the three men he had been in contact with near the end of the docks. In addition to that, there are another three men in plain view near the doors of the shack but in addition to those, there are also 2 men hiding behind the crates a barrels, both with guns readied and an additional man on the east side of the building who also appears to be armed. Seeing this Edwards tells the man that there is no need for any shooting today, so would he please have his men stop aiming their guns at him. The man consents and the guns are lowered, but not put away.
Pleasantries are exchanged, at least as well as possible when conducting such shady business and eventually a letter is given Edward that his is to present once he makes it to Jomba Town. At this point, the slaves are brought out in a line, chained to each other as well as additional guards, bringing the total number of slavers up to twelve. At the end of the line of slaves is where the Doreen has been added to bring the number of chained slaves to 21. Seeing this, Edward and one of the cutthroats again have a conversation, a little heated about how the captain should find better men to employ and how he best not have that man employed when they next meet, as well as discussion about having any man of the captain crew following him or his men. The captain remains as level-headed as he has ever, apparently not wanting to start any fights at the moment, instead explaining his actions away by saying you can never be too careful in this line of work. He then asks to have Blix unshackled. The man says you can unshackle him yourself, and throws him the key.
At this point, the crew had hoped/planned that the Doreen might have been captured and so Edward had taken an additional dagger specifically for Blix to use. They also had plans to attack and hopefully capture some of the slavers after they safely had the Doreen. Because of this, Edwards waits until Blix was next to him and had been released before he then activates the surprise attack upon the slavers.
The Captains dagger is taken by Blix as Edward then in a quick motion draws and attacks with his scimitar. His speed and skill catch the slaver that they had been negotiating with and rather than just stunning him, Edward completely guts the man, dropping him and his intestines down to the docks. Blix is quick and hoping the men would bring more money alive than dead, attacks another, knocking the man out cold with the flat side of the dagger against the man’s temple. Samson, not as worried about taking any of the men alive, swing his big hammer down to pop the man’s head like a pimple, brains bursting forth.
After the surprise, the slavers get their act together and start firing shots at the crew. A solid shot hits Edward but being tough sailor he is; he ignores the pain (he made his soak roll). Other shots are fired about but no others are able to bring any real pain to the crew. The closer slavers, drew their cutlasses and to engage the crew. Attacks are made but most are parried, except for the Captain. The enemy had ganged up enough on him to get an attack through his expert dodges and parries to stun the captain. Spider-Crab, a little closer and worried about the already injured Samson rushes to his aid to subdue a slaver.
While this is going on, Stewart is below deck of their ship, ushering in the slaves, trying to get them out of harm’s way. Miguel is up in the crow’s next, firing shots at the slavers, but his distance, and novice training in shooting, keeps him from scoring any damaging shots. The rest of the fight continues with blows exchanged or dodged with no real results on any side until finally Edward is able to shake another one of the many slavers ganging up on him. The men who had just reloaded their pistols aim and fire again, hitting and dealing a wound to Edward. Spider crab, making use of his many appendages, takes a crack at one with his pinchers, shaking the individual while his hands line up and shoot another enough to bring pain enough to cause the man to pause. Leo is able to make contact with another slaver but being out of water, he seems to have forgotten the way to deal adequate damage with his attack which doesn’t even cause the man to pause.
Seeing the apparent lack of strength the Doreen possesses, as well as the chance to gang up on him, a slaver rushes at the Doreen, but unknowns to the slaver, Blix is an expert at striking first, impaling the dagger in the man’s throat to quickly dispatch him.
More of the slavers have reloaded at this point and release their shots but none are able to pierce the tough shell of the crab or else they are astray. One is so far astray it even manages to hit fellow slaver but apparently it lacked the proper black powder to actually penetrate the skin.
Blix, hoping to continue his carnage scores a very accurate attack that should have pierced a slaver’s heart but sadly it was so accurate, it instead hits the man’s necklace and couldn’t pierce, much less harm the man (he hit with a raise that dealt damage below the men’s toughness).
Having dispatched almost all of the slavers near the docks, Spider-Crab decides to make good use of his legs as he scales the crates and barrels to come crashing down one of the slavers that had continued to shoot from cover. The man was hit with such momentum that his head slammed into the ground, knocking him out cold. The crab, adrenalin pumping, is quick to act again closing in on the other slaver behind the crates and stunning him.
Samson still engaged with one, looks like he is going to be hit when the fool makes a huge blunder (Adventure Card “Not Today”) and instead of making an amazing stab, launches his scimitar past the savage and into the sea. Down to just three slavers, they know their odds are looking good and decide that fleeing for another day is better than dying by another’s hands.
The one near Samson took off, missing the swing of the hammer as he runs. Enraged, Samson chases after him and catches up to deliver another crushing blow to kill the slaver. The one engaged with Blix is not so lucky, as soon as he takes to leave, his caught by the Doreen’s dagger and killed. The final slaver, who had been shooting from the east side of the shack, takes off with no-one near him to be impeded by.
Blix and Spider-Crab take off in hot pursuit, being the closest ones. Blix is farther behind than the crab and is unable to make any gain on him. The crab however is quicker but a little reckless. He rushes into and right on through some more crates that were impeding his way as he then is able to level his pistol and kill the fleeing slaver.
The fight with the slavers over, Edward is able to bandage his wounds as the others gather the dead as well as the three they managed to knock unconscious. While they did this, Blix, who already knew where the New Madrid Embassy was, goes back there to make wait until they are open to inform them and get the reward for the slaver ring.
The slaver were separated and interrogated by Edward, Samson, and the crab together. They were able to get one of them to talk, saying he would admit everything if they promised he wouldn’t be hung. Another, looked like he was about to crack, but they couldn’t quite manage to, and the final one, was close-lipped and not willing to say a word.
The adventure closes here as the crew waits for Blix to bring the Spaniards or find out what they are supposed to do with the men.