Hold of the Sea Princes Campaign (5e)


The Characters:
Wayne Kirschal - Human Rogue
Lleverin Celeborn - Wood Elf Druid
Divo Clinker - Yaun-ti Pureblood Bard
Balmus Rotella - Sea Elf Cleric/Warlock
Vindi Chay Middleton - Dragonborn Paladin
Aurelia Takanobu - Sea Elf Fighter
All are 2nd level.

[Note: Household membership is by declaration, so most are a mish-mash of races. Prince's and Princesses are elected by majority vote of full members and serve a 5 year term. The Hold of the Sea Princes is roughly based on the Pirate Code]

A year prior, the Scarlet Brotherhood assassinated 26 of the 30 Prince/Princesses (I will use 'Prince' for brevity from now on, even though the replacement rulers continue to be of both genders) of the ruling household of the Hold of the Sea Princes after they refused to surrender their lands. The Scarlet Brotherhood thought they had killed Keiko Takanobu, but instead assassinated a body double. The nobles of the 27 households fled to the sea, from whence they came. A capital-in-exile was established on the isle of Sybarate at the pirate enclave of Syber.

Of the remaining three households, Beatrice Crabbe allied herself with the invaders after receiving assurances that the slave trade would resume. Her house had lost wealth and status when it was outlawed and she saw the invasion as a chance to regain their lost status. Marina Tomavich allied with the Scarlet Brotherhood out of apathy. Her house focusing on individualism and involved primarily in hunting and trapping, they have little interest in politics. The third Prince, Jean-Pierre Fleury, conspired with the remaining Prince's to feign allegiance and act as a double agent. This deception was recently discovered, and he too assassinated.

The characters have received a summons to come to Syber to attend the funeral of Prince Jean-Pierre.
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Session 1 (08/29/21):

The characters arrive in Syber and are placed together to make the tradition offering as a group. They are directed to a promontory and given a bag of coins to throw into the sea as Prince Jean-Pierre's body is consigned to the depths. A quick glance into the bag finds copper coins and a nearby comrade expresses disgust at how far the Princes have fallen. The funeral ship is a simple longship, rather than a galleon as would befit Jean-Pierre's station. Also, no Prince's appear to be in attendance. The assumption being they remain in hiding to thwart the Scarlet Brotherhood assassins.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, each member of the group receives a mental summons from their Prince to report to The Black Hand for an important meeting. The party spots 4 other groups of 6 also headed toward the tavern. Upon entering, the group is stunned to see 25 of the 27 Princes. They explain they have gathered to discuss the future of the Hold.

As most of the senior members of the households are being hunted, their ability to execute raids and begin retaking their lands are severely hampered. To that end, they have formed 5 groups of younger adventurers and are tasking them with harass the foreign invaders. Whichever group does the most to defeat their foes will be awarded leadership of their household when the lands are reclaimed.

The groups are in competition, as the history of the Hold suggests that competition is the best measure of competence, but they are not in opposition. They should not actively hamper each other. In fact, they may be called upon to work together at times, to achieve their goals. Each group is assigned an advisor, a veteran seafarer and adventurer, to aid them by providing counsel. The characters are somewhat disappointed to learn their advisor is Barclay Merton, a rough looking drunkard who spent the meeting passed out in the corner. Their opinions are somewhat heightened when they spot a gleaming greatsword propped in the corner. When asked about the sword, Barclay mutters something about "a dragon and a three-legged whore".

Consulting with Barclay proves fruitful as he concurs with the parties opinion that they are hampered without a ship. He knows of a vessel docked outside of the city walls of the capital. It is being stocked as a tender and should be lightly guarded. Stealing that ship would both deny the Scarlet Brotherhood of resources and secure a vessel for future actions.

Vindi Chay draws upon his sailing contacts to secure passage to the coast on a blockade runner, the Wave Cutter, captained by Darius Ango. Realizing they lack the manpower to sail their target, they make a deal with Captain Darius. In exchange for the loan 8 of his crew, he will receive 90% of the cargo. The party keeps 10% and the vessel.

The group is put safely ashore a few miles from the docks. Initially planning on scouting out the capital, their plans are thwarted when they notice the city now has a sword tax. They also fear they may be recognized. They instead decide to have Lleverin scout out the docks using his wild shape ability. He finds a workshop/warehouse as well as a Scarlet Brotherhood barracks. In addition to the cargo ship they plan to steal, they find a light frigate, manned by a Scarlet Brotherhood crew of 30. A third vessel is under repair, and not sailable.

The warehouse contains a locked chest, presumably containing valuables and guarded by a Scarlet Brotherhood monk who appears in meditation. As he checks out the frigate, in spider form, one of the crew members looks toward his location with consternation. Lleverin retreats as the crewman stands and begins to approach.

After great debate, it is decided to approach under cover of darkness, after the Middle Watch takes their posts. The plan is to defeat the warehouse guard, securing the chest and a crowbar. The group lacks a crowbar and finds it necessary to disable the rudder of the frigate, to prevent pursuit. Aurelia will then disable the rudder of the frigate, using her natural water breathing ability and formidable strength. Lastly, the group will secure the cargo ship and sail it to a rendezvous with Captain Darius, with a final destination of Syber.
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