7th Sea

Escape

Decimus 17 – 22

The heroes managed to hold off Villanova’s guards long enough for Finn to get the coach ready go to and then they piled in and drove away from the estate as fast as possible. Valantina gave them directions to a small mansion in town that she said was safe and they rested there for the night. Finn left the house to dispose of the coach and was spotted by Henri down by the docks. Finn recovered a stash of money hidden there and then Henri confronted him. Finn explained about his friends being holed up in a mansion and offered to guide Henri to them after he made a stop. They went by the shopping district where Finn broke into a blacksmith shop and stole a heavy sword for Mattias. They then returned to the mansion.

The next morning the heroes found out that the house belonged to Juliette and that she and Valentina were actually childhood friends and both despised Villanova. They all planned to escape the island together as soon Juliette and Finn could arrange for a ship’s passage. In the meantime Finn paid Katy back for the loan plus interest and propositioned her for a date which she turned down. So he tried paying her for a date and she finally settled on 100 guilders to go out with him once they escaped the island.

By the 21st Juliette and Finn announced they had a ship hired to take smuggle them away so they planned to leave the next morning, head to the hotel where Henri stashed their gear, and get out as quickly as possible.

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Imprisoned

Decimus 3 – Deciums 17

Henri returned to the hotel, gathered the rest of the heroes’ belongings, and relocated to a cheaper lodging near the docks. He spent time trying to find an escape craft and information but with limited success due to not knowing the language and his limited social skills.

Meanwhile at Villanova’s mansion Federico joined the kitchen staff and eventually earned the approval of Head Chef Carmine and impressed Villanova himself enough to be summoned to dinner. In the dining room he also entertained Villanova, his wife, and his two sons Alfonso and Emilio with stories of Kanuba and his travels.

In the jail Jean and Mattias bantered about with Finn while Katy stewed in her cell. Jean attempted to work on an escape by using his belt to knock a lantern off the wall in hopes of securing it. This drew the attention of the jailer who took the remains of the lantern away and announced they could stay in the dark for a while. After a few days the real Yngvild Olafsdottir and her first mate Red Thorfild visited to see the “vendel scum” who dared impersonate her. They confronted Katy who acted erratically even when threatened with bestraffning. Eventually Yngvild declared Katy wasn’t worth the effort and that she could rot in prison. The two of them left.

On the 17th Federico was summoned up to entertain at dinner for Valentina Villanova and her sons. During dinner the sons got in an argument with their mother that became violent. Alfonso stood up to strike his mother and Federico interceded. Alfonso threatened Federico and assaulted his mother again. Full of fury, Valentina yelled at her sons in Voddace and started making strange motions with her hands. Emilio started choking on his food and Alfsonso tried to stab his mother but slipped on the carpet and impaled himself on his dagger. Federico tried to administer first aid to Emilio to save his life but the bone lodged in his throat was stuck tight and he eventually died as well.

The other servants in the room had run away in terror at Valentina’s actions. She looked hard at Federico and told him they were leaving the estate and they’d get his friends to help make an escape. They went to the dungeon and rescued the other heroes and started heading out of the mansion. In the waiting room they defeated a handful of guards. Afterward Katy grabbed a couple valuable paintings and Jean tried to break open the display case with the Syrneth artifacts. Unfortunately he hit it too hard and collapse it resulting in an explosion. Fortunately nobody was seriously injured.

Outside the mansion they ran to the stables to secure a coach. Finn started getting the horses ready to go when the group was confronted by a large number of guards led by Niccolo Rossi. He accused Valentina of murdering Villanova’s sons and the heroes with theft and destruction of part of the mansion. He then had his men open fire with their pistols and the battle began.

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The Viper's Nest

Decimus 2

The heroes decided that Katy, Jean, and Mattias would attend Villanova’s meeting that evening. Katy posing as Yngvild Olafssdottir, Jean as her manservant, and Mattias as her bodyguard. Federico and Henri elected to stay at the hotel. Katy got all dressed up and was met out front of the hotel by Niccolo Rossi with a private coach. They made small talk on the drive up to the Villanova estate in the center of the island.

Once at the estate they passed through the walls and pulled up in front of the mansion. Katy was taken to a waiting room while Jean and Mattias were taken to a servant’s area to eat a quick dinner. In the waiting room Katy observed an impressive collection of books, art, and Syrneth artifacts (including one stolen from the Montaigne dig). After he ate, Mattias was escorted to the dining room to examine it for security threats. Once he cleared it Katy was brought to the room for dinner with Jean inside in case she needed anything. Mattias stood guard outside the door.

Giovani Villanova entered along with his fate witch wife and a courtesan. His wife was introduced as Valentina Villanova and the courtesan as Juliette. Based on their body language the two women despised each other. Once everyone was seated dinner was served in courses. Katy intentionally used the wrong table etiquette to seem more list a Vesten raider captain. Villanova commented on how comfortable Katy seemed to be in a dress and she said she had gotten used to it in the 4 days she’d spent enjoying his hospitality. After some chit chat Villanova got down to business and explained that the Vesten and the Voddace merchant princes had a common enemy in the Vendel. He proposed that the Voddace provide financial backing and limited physical resources (men and ships) to support the Vesten in destroying the Vendel. Katy said she’d have to convince the other Vesten raider captains but she thought they’d agree and arranged a tentative plan to have the Voddace forces meet the Vesten at one of the islands occupied by the Vesten.

Once planning was done Villanova commented on how unusual it was for Katy to speak such good Voddace. Katy lied and said she learned it in preparation for the meeting but Villanova seemed suspicious with her explanation. He asked her to accompany him to a balcony but she declined and said she needed to return to her ship to start making arrangements. He insisted she stay the night at least since it was late and she was his guest but again she declined.

Katy, Mattias, and Jean were taken to another waiting room, ostensibly while the coach was prepared for them to depart. The butler offered Mattias the chance to go inspect the coach in the stables but he declined. A few minutes later a servant came to offer the heroes some wine refreshments before they departed but they declined. Finally Villanova came in with Niccolo and a number of armed guards. He insisted that she prove her identity by showing him the rune inscribed on her flesh as a Laerdom master. She insisted it was in a private place that she would not display to him. He then quizzed her on the name of her first mate. Katy wracked her brain and recalled Jorund Guttormson. Villanova claims that he betrayed Yngvild at Cabora and now Red Thorfild is the first mate. Katy says that Villanova is lying but Villanova insists she is not who she claims she is. He points to the fact that she travels with a black giant who has been travelling around Theah with others including a Vendel merchant woman named Katy Peters. He has them all locked up in his dungeon where they find Finn already imprisoned.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel Henri and Federico are confronted by a couple henchmen of Villanova’s. They poisoned their blades and were almost able to knock Henri out before Federico surrendered for them. They accompanied the men to the Villanova estate where Niccolo explained that they owed the Prince now. Federico offered to remain as a cook. Henri decided to just pay the 3000 senators and be free of obligations to the Prince. The inquired as to their companions and Niccolo explained they were being held captive because they had critical information. The Prince would consider releasing them sometime in a future, a few months perhaps.

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Opera Ghost Unmasked

Nonus 30 – Decimus 1

Henri gave up trying to open the secret door and snuck out of the opera house before anyone came in that morning. Federico spent time with Maura while Katy and Jean went to a local restaurant to find information on the Opera Ghost. They used the favor of Villanova to get a lavish lunch and talk to the owner about the phantom. Afterwards Katy met with another customer who gave her more information in exchange for her accompanying him to the performance that night. However, she lied to him about where she was staying. They did learn that the Opera Ghost had been abducting women from the opera every 6 months or so for the last 3 years.

Henri searched the backstage of the opera house before the performance but couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary and that evening Federico stayed next to the stage while the rest of the heroes watched from Villanova’s box seats again. In the third act the Opera Ghost appeared and proclaimed to the room that Maura would be his and then floated to the stage as it became covered with mist. Federico engaged the Opera Ghost with his spear while the rest of the heroes rushed down from the balcony to help. Meanwhile, the audience watched with excitement and mobbed around the stage for best view.

Federico saw a trap door open in the floor of the stage and the Opera Ghost leapt into it, pulling Maura with him. Federico dove in as well before it closed. In a secret room under the stage both the Opera Ghost and Maura started giggling. The Opera Ghost took off her mask revealing an attractive woman and shook Federico’s hand proclaiming that the best performance they’d ever given. She and Maura explained that they took turns playing the naïve young talent until they were abducted then started over with the other leading lady with different hair and makeup. The drama of it all increased attendance at the opera significantly as everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of the villainous ghost. They gave Federico a sizable amount of money for his silence and asked him to play the mournful lover to the crowd which he did.

The next morning, in private, Federico told the rest of the heroes what had happened. Just before lunch Niccolo Rossi called upon the heroes and told them that the Prince was ready to meet with Yngvild that evening.

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The Opera Ghost

Nonus 13-30

The heroes followed the Voddace ship south, past Castille, and into Voddace waters. They arrived at Prince Villanova’s island where the ship they were tailing docked at the Prince’s private port. The heroes’ ship docked at the public merchant port where Ysabette told them she would stay for 3 days and then she was leaving.

They went ashore and after visiting the moneychanger Katy was mistaken for Yngvild Olafsdottir, the leader of the Vesten Raiders, by a servant of Villanova. He said she arrived earlier than expected and that the Prince was attending to other matters but he’d make sure she and her companions were taken care of while they waited. Katy went with it and soon the heroes were put up in a lavish hotel and received tickets to a local opera playing the next night. They enjoyed living on the Prince’s dime as they went out shopping before the performance.

The performance itself was at the People’s Opera and titled The Senator’s Daughter. The heroes had a set of box seats to themselves for the exquisite production. Of interest, apparently one of the box seats was reserved for something the other guests whispered about: The Opera Ghost. Apparently the phantom is seen in that box seat during some performances and rumor has it he’s abducted previous performers at the opera house.

After the show Federico met up with the leading lady, Maura Tullo, who had invited him to call on her. They hit it off and spent the evening together. The next day she went to rehearsal but left message for Federico to join her at lunch. He arrived at her dressing room and she thanked him for the rose and card. Federico told her he hadn’t given her a rose or card and she was quite upset. The message said:

Maura, your beauty is captivating. Soon you shall be mine, body and soul. I shall come for you.
-O.G.

Maura said she thought it was just Federico being cute but now she was worried that the Opera Ghost actually was out to get her. She begged Federico to protect her and he vowed he would. Federico informed Henri of what was going on and Henri decided to investigate. He snuck into the forbidden box seat overnight and in the morning he started searching for any sort of secret passageway. Behind the drapes on the walls he thought he found a secret door but for all his searching he couldn’t find a way to open it.

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Rescuing a Princess

Nonus 12-14

The heroes agreed to help Ysabette rescue her sister Rosemond from the Inquisitors and Revolutionaries. The next day they traveled to the execution site and took up positions in the crowd. Unfortunately Federico was spotted by the head inquisitor and was hauled back stage for questioning. The Inquisitor correctly deduced that Federico did not come alone and had his henchmen apprehend Henri and Katy although Jean escaped detection. Once Rosemond was brought out from the palace, Mattias leapt onto the stage and engaged the Inquisitors in battle. Jean ran to help out Henri while Katy used her lightning to blast some guards. Ysabette and her crew shot down the executioner and also took the stage. The head inquisitor inflicted dire wounds on Mattias and then Federico when the Kanuban tried to make off with Rosemond. The heroes dispatched most of the other guards and ran for it with Rosemond and Ysabette into the palace. From there Ysabette guided them to a secret way into the sewers and they made for the star room then back to safety near the Explorer’s safe house.

That evening they all mounted up and headed for the port of Bayonne, the heroes planning to get a ride on Ysabette’s ship Magicienne. They arrived at the dock around midnight and found an Avalon ship and a Voddace ship in port as well. Men at the Voddace ship were loading cargo and upon further inspection it turned out to be Franco and Mitchell loading Syrneth artifacts from Charouse. Henri confronted Mitchell about selling artifacts to the Voddace Trade Princes which Mitchell denied. Mitchell also told Henri that if he tried to tell the Explorers about any of this that Mitchell would have Henri’s reputation ruined. Franco looked threatening enough that the heroes didn’t want to pick a fight in their wounded state. Mitchell left on the Avalon ship and Franco left on the Voddace one. The heroes asked Ysabette if she could help them follow the Voddace ship and she said it would be the least she could do considering they helped save her sister’s life.

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Ruins Under Charouse

Nonus 2-12

The heroes journeyed into the sewers of Charouse with the rest of the Explorers Society expedition. They spent a week and a half exploring the ruins and securing artifacts. The major events of interest were Mattais slipping into the sewer sludge and attracting the unwanted attention of Yvonne while he got cleaned up. The group found the remains of a previous expedition, it looked like they turned on each other for some reason. They brought the bodies back to the surface for a proper burial. Henri explored Syrneth passages ahead of the main group. He nearly got roasted in a vertical cylinder room. Later in a different room he stepped on a pressure plate that triggered some sort of ray of light. Franz pushed him out of the way and got hit instead which knocked him unconscious. When Franz awoke he was non-responsive and still had no recovered by the end of the expedition.

Mitchell called and end to the exploration on the 12th citing concerns about the Montaigne army under Montague reaching the city soon and he wanted to get the artifacts safely out of the country before then. Each hero was given their choice of Domae stone as a reward for their hard work.

Back at the Explorer’s Society safe house an angry sailor woman argued with the Headmaster Reindhardt about how she was calling in all her favors to help save her sister. The Headmaster explained they didn’t have the manpower to help her and that he was sorry. The heroes investigated and found out that she was Ysabette Montaigne, one of the Emperor’s daughters and the inquisitors had her sister and were going to execute her the next day. They decided to help her.

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Saving Vivian

Octavus 23 – Nonus 2

The heroes rested at the Celeste estate for a few days and then headed back toward Charouse to track down Nigel’s widow, Vivian Legard. On the way they started passing through a smaller town where they were confronted by armed peasant guards who demanded to know the heroes’ loyalties. Katy tried to explain that she was from Vendel which confused one of the peasants so he advanced menacingly with his spear. Katy invoked lightning and shocked him unconscious. The other guard ran into town and raised the alarm that a sorcerer was attacking. The party beat a hasty retreat away from the angry mob and skirted outside the town to continue south.

Once in Charouse the heroes headed to the Explorer’s Society chapter house for safety. They found it under siege by a mob demanding that the explorer’s turn over nobles they supposedly had hidden away. The headmaster told the mob that they didn’t have any nobles and when they didn’t disperse he called out a canon to the balcony at which point the crowd got the hint and scattered. Henri knocked at the front door and provided the proper passcode to let the heroes inside. The headmaster met with them and introduced himself as Werner Reinhardt. He explained that nobles were generally being executed in the square in front of the Emperor’s palace and that the Explorers were trying to keep themselves safe.

Another explorer entered the room demanding to speak to the newcomers. His name was Sir Camron Mitchell II and he was excited about sending an expedition into the Syrneth ruins under Charouse. The royal family declared the ruins off limits decades ago and now that the city was in turmoil there was no one to stop them. It was the chance of a lifetime! Henri said that he’d be interested once they’d looked for Vivian.

The heroes managed to track down the Legard mansion but found it abandoned except for a looter. Interrogating him revealed that the mansion had been sieged by a mob and everyone inside had been taken away the day before for execution. They hurried to the square outside the emperor’s palace and found a bloodthirsty group of peasants cheering in front of an execution platform. On the platform were a dozen nobles ranging from the elderly to an 8 year old boy lined up before a chopping block. The leader of the affair was the same Knight Inquisitor that they’d met in Charouse back in the spring. He was preaching to the crowd about cleansing the sorcerous taint from Montaigne. Federico challenged the inquisitor on whether Vivian deserved to be killed. He made a persuasive argument to the crowd about how she was a widow of an Avalon war hero and that she would have no more children and simply retire to Avalon in peace. The crowd was convinced and so the inquisitor turned Vivian loose but he warned Federico that if he ever crossed him again the inquisitor would put an end to the chef.

Most of the heroes took Vivian away to safety at the Explorer’s chapter house but Federico stayed to bear witness to the rest of the executions. That evening they were briefed on Mitchell’s expedition to the ruins and the next day they started their trip into the sewers.

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Sparking a Revolution

Octavus 12 – Octavus 26

The rest of the Celeste family rushed into the study and found Edmond’s body impaled to his chair. Mattias worked free his Zweihander from the corpse as Edmond’s son, Andre, angrily confronted Jean. He challenged Jean to a duel to the death which Henri accepted on Jean’s behalf. A close fight ensued with Henri narrowly seizing victory. He stopped short of killing Andre though and Federico stabilized the wounded son.

Cherie scolded Jean, blaming this entire situation on him and saying that she hated him. Then newly widowed Isabella ordered everyone out of the house, Jean compiled and Federico helped convince the rest of the heroes to leave as well. Outside Baron Richter tried to convince Jean to take over the estate and eventually Jean agreed. The Celestes opened the door and told everyone to leave their property while Jean tried to claim that it was his, explaining the story of the evidence he found of his parents’ murder. Katy spoke up in support of this narrative and walked the Celeste’s accountant through the incriminating financial records. Isabella agreed that the financial records didn’t look good but said that the rest of the story was suspect and didn’t justify Jean’s actions. She slammed the door in his face.

Finally Jean agreed to take the mansion over. The heroes and Eisen mercenaries broke back into the house and rounded up everyone inside. Jean tried to convince them that they could stay in the servant’s area but the surviving Celeste’s spat in his face and left in exile along with the servants. The heroes slept in the mansion that night and in the morning headed toward Charouse to save Jerome. Jean left Baron Richter in charge of getting his new household up and running.

Just inside Charouse they found all the residents assembled in the streets awaiting the public humiliation and execution of the Montaigne private who dared kill a nobleman. The crowd was mostly commoners and seemed very agitated by the injustice of the situation. The heroes made a plan to free Jerome with Katy shooting lightning into the air to provide a distraction while Henri snuck onto the wagon Jerome was tied to and liberated him. The loud cracks of Katy’s lightning spooked the soldiers and musketeers who started threatening the commoners. Soon after someone in the crowd through a cobblestone into the head of one of Jerome’s guards and he went down with a thud. In panic the soldiers fired into the crowd and pretty soon a full scale riot was in place. The heroes managed to escape the city without too much damage and fled back to the Celeste estate. Behind them the Montaigne Revolution spread out from Charouse with noble blood being spilled by the gallon.

Safely back at Jean’s mansion they took a rest. Once the heroes had a chance to take stock of their situation they realized they had intended to find Nigel’s widow who was last known to be in Charouse. Worried for her safety they rode south again to the Montaigne capital.

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Jean Goes Home

Septimus 6 – Octavus 12

The heroes decided to sail back to Wische and then ride to Siegsburg to meet with Baron Richter. They hired a merchant ship heading to Insel to drop them off in Emden, a small port north of Siegsburg. They rode south and Jean noticed an unusually shiny rock a ways off the road. He went to investigate and found it was some sort of artificial artifact. Henri confirmed it was likely a Syrneth artifact so they tried to dig it up only to find it was a huge boulder-sized metal object. Knowing they couldn’t take it with them since it weight tons, they reburied it and made notes of its location so it could be investigated by the Explorer’s Society later.

Once in Siegsburg, Jean met with Baron Richter and devised the plan. Richer gathered a dozen soldiers he trusted and requested leave from his Eisenfurst to help Jean reclaim his birthright. The heroes, Richter, and the Eisen soldiers then rode back north to Emden and set sail for Muguet in Montaigne intent on dealing with Marquis Edmond Celeste while most of Montaigne was preoccupied dealing with Montague and Posen’s army coming over the mountain pass. In Muguet the heroes heard rumors about a Montaigne Private who killed a nobleman and was being publically paraded around the country before his scheduled execution in Charouse the next week as a lesson to the peasantry. Upon further investigation they determined that it was Jerome and he had killed Viscount Bisset when he found out Valory was being physically abused.

The next day the party rode to the Celeste estate and were greeted outside the manor house by Captain of the Guard Diodore. Diodore demanded to know what this group was doing here and Baron Richter announced they were there to avenge Theodore Celeste and claim the estate for his son. A fight ensued with Diodore and other Celeste guards being gravely wounded while Baron Richter took a few wounds himself. Jean managed to call a cease fire and negotiated with the Marquis through the barred front door.

Eventually Jean agreed to go inside and discuss the situation in a civilized manner with the Marquis. He went to the Marquis’ study and there they shared a bottle of wine and discussed events. Jean explained that he had evidence against the Marquis for embezzling from the Emperor. The Marquis said that the charges were ridiculous and any evidence was probably fabricated by his political enemies. The Marquis suggested that they destroy the evidence and he would allow Jean to marry his daughter since her reputation was already sullied so marrying a servant wouldn’t be much worse. Jean wouldn’t accept the offer and made vague intimations that the Marquis had also been involved with his brother’s and his brother’s wife’s deaths. The Marquis asked Jean why he cared so much about the tragedy that befell his sibling and examined Jean very closely. He seemed to conclude something and said that it seemed that things would not be working out for everyone after all. He toasted Jean and they both drank the last of their wine then the Marquis shot Jean with the pistol he’d retrieved from behind his desk.

A fierce sword fight ensued with Jean and the Marquis battling throughout the study. Bookshelves and statues were damaged and chairs were destroyed as both combatants wore each other down. They seemed evenly matched as wounds were steadily accumulated by both. Meanwhile, the rest of the heroes heard the gunshot and burst through the windows of the manner house. The Eisen soldiers broke down the door and Katy shot lightning into the air to freeze the Celeste household in their tracks. The heroes ran down the hall to the study where Katy exploded the door with her Villskap rune. Inside both Jean and the Marquis were bleeding from numerous wounds and close to unconsciousness. Mattias charged in with his zweihander and impaled the Marquis upon a chair. As life bled from his body Edmond Celeste looked at Jean and whispered, “All those years ago…I shouldn’t have taken pity and let you live. I should have let you die”

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