Star of Tha’lus Trilogy – (7th Sea) Echoes of the Syrneth

This is the first part of a trilogy I ran at “Phantasm: A Gamer’s Equinox” in the winter of 2012.  It spanned three systems in three timeslots, with a common plot element in each part.  This first part was run in the old D10 system of Alderac’s 7th Sea system… they were tailored for the stock characters I use at my convention events.  They are:

Captain Raphael Bellagio – Vodacce Pirate
First Mate Enrico Cabrera – Castillian Die Kreuzritter Assassin
Navigator Urden Svensgaard – Vesten Skaejen
Chief Gunner Heather Galloway – Highland Sea Dog
Ship’s Carpenter Jacques Pichot – Montaignian Woodsman
Raider Lars Heilbrung – Eisen Mercenary
Swabbie Guang Xue Luan – Cathay Castaway

Onto the notes…

Act I – Wayward Captain

The Heroes are in Avalon when Enrico Cabrera is contacted by Die Kreuzritter.  If Enrico is not being played, use Heather being contacted by the Sea Dogs.  At the meeting with Die Kreuzritter, the Society’s agent tells Enrico about a threat to the Queen of Avalon and a Captain formerly in her service.  Captain Gerald Percival has recently taken his pirating to the Explorer’s Society and is keeping the plunder for himself.  Given the dangerous Syrneth goods the Explorers typically unearth, the Black Crosses need to know whether the Captain is being motivated by something other than greed.  If he is simply in it for the wealth, they need to know what he has stolen so they can act further.  If the Captain has been corrupted, he needs to be dealt with quickly.

If the Heroes are contacted through Heather, the entire group is invited to meet with a liaison to the Crown, who tells them of their wayward Captain and that they want to understand his motivations for breaking away from the Queen.

None of the hiring parties know where Percival is calling home these days, but some of his old sailing chums might know.  Asking around in the local Sea Dog haunts in Cardican reveal a lot of half-hearted “I dunnos” but their inquiries generate a lot of attention from those who still deal with Percival.  Not wanting to lose a potential business partner, they attempt to corral the Heroes in the streets and tell them to forget about Captain Percival.  When they refuse, a fight ensues.

Sea Dogs
Threat Rating: 2
Usual Weapons: Cutlass (Medium Weapon – 6), Pistols (Firearms – 15)
TN to hit: 15
Fencing: 1, Dirty Fighting 1, Footwork: 1, Balance: 1

(For every 5 (rounded up) the Squad beats the Defense roll by, use the damage numbers above)

Brute Squad Captain
All traits equal two except Finesse at 3, armed with a Cutlass and a Flintlock
Fencing – Attack 3, Parry 2
Firearms – Attack 2
Footwork – 2, Balance – 2

After the fight, the Heroes can interrogate one of the sailors they beat up and learn that Percival has been sailing to and from the Thalusian Islands due west of Avalon.

Act II – Captain Percival

The Thalusian Islands are several days west of Avalon by ship.  Of the eleven islands that make up the island chain, only three have been explored by the Explorer’s Society, many of the others deemed too dangerous for an expedition at present.  These warnings of danger haven’t stopped Percival from making one of the unexplored islands his base of operations.

As Raphael’s ship sails into Thalusian waters, Captain Percival’s welcoming committee sails out from behind one of the nearby islands to intercept and raid the Heroes’ ship.

Raiders
Threat Rating: 3
Usual Weapons: Cutlass (Medium Weapon – 6), Pistols (Firearms – 15)
TN to hit: 15
Fencing: 2, Dirty Fighting 1, Footwork: 1, Balance: 2

(For every 5 (rounded up) the Squad beats the Defense roll by, use the damage numbers above)

Command Crew
All traits equal two except Finesse and Panache at 3, armed with a Cutlass and a Flintlock
Fencing – Attack 3, Parry 3
Firearms – Attack 2
Footwork – 3, Balance – 3

When the Heroes topple the raiders, under interrogation they tell them that Captain Percival has set up a camp on the seventh island of the chain.

Sailing around to the far side of the island, they find Percival’s ship moored off the coast, as there is no dock to speak of.  There is a beach visible just in front of the treeline and signs of construction are visible.  When the Heroes head ashore, there will be an entourage awaiting of them to land, though their stance is passive.  If the Heroes are willing to talk, so are Percival’s crew.  They will lead the Heroes to an erected hut.  Inside is the Captain and a man in recently shabby clothes with a monocle and archaeologist’s tools.

The Captain is personable if a little arrogant.  He assumes that since the Heroes are there and haven’t been sunk by the Raiders, they must be there to join his crew.  Whether they strong arm him or mislead him, he explains that the Syrneth market is a very lucrative one and one of the diggers (the man with the monocle) decided to turn a profit on what they pulled from these islands.

The former Explorer is a meticulous record taker and if they can get access to his records, they can take stock of everything they’ve dug up, sold or have stockpiled.  After some digging they find that one artifact on the list is missing.  When they bring it to light, they also learn that the first mate, James O’Donnel, is also missing.  The Captain mentions a cave that Monroe (the former Explorer) deemed too dangerous to explore.  It is the only other place the First Mate might have gone.

The Star of Tha'lus

Act III – Doomsday

The caves of the Thalusian islands are all lined with amber.  The sheer wealth of amber in the caves would destroy the amber market in all of Theah, which is the only reason miners haven’t stripped the gemstone from the islands.  The tunnel Monroe marked has a painted red X over the downward-traveling shaft.  Only a handful of crew will accompany the Heroes into the tunnel.

The torches they carry cause the bugs they find in the tunnel to scurry aside.  At first they appear as just beetles, but it is quickly revealed that they are Ten-Second Beetles (one bite and you have ten seconds to live).  Staying within the circle of firelight will be crucial to the Heroes’ survival.

As the step into the end of the tunnel, the chamber widens and the ceiling rises to reveal a massive chamber with a strange machine built into the back wall.  The machine groans as the first mate turns the gemstone he stole inside a column until it clicks.  The whole chamber vibrates as the machine churns to life.

“The Sidhe have had free reign of this world too long,” the man says.  “This mightly Thalusian engine will see the isle of Bryn Bresail scorched from the surface of the world.”

If the Heroes allow him to espouse further, he explains that the amber within the mountain serves as a powerful lens that will take the rays of the sun and harness it into a devastating attack.

When the Heroes attack the First Mate, he will fight back, but when they first inflict a wound on him, they will see chitin under his flesh.  The manifest showed that the first mate had acquired a suit of armor made from the carapace of a Thalusian.  The armor fused to his body and changed him into one of them, ever so slowly.  He has 10 points of armor from the armored shell and he has coated his sword in a venom that his body naturally produces.

With a spoken word, he activates an implanted suggestion in the minds of half the crew that accompanied the Heroes into the cavern.

Controlled Sailors
Threat Rating: 3
Usual Weapons: Cutlass (Medium Weapon – 6), Pistols (Firearms – 15)
TN to hit: 15
Fencing: 2, Dirty Fighting 1, Footwork: 1, Balance: 2

(For every 5 (rounded up) the Squad beats the Defense roll by, use the damage numbers above)

Thalusian Incarnate
All traits equal three except Finesse and Brawn at 4, armed with a Poisoned Cutlass.
Fencing – Attack 3, Parry 3
Firearms – Attack 2
Footwork – 3, Balance – 3
Armor – 10

Having a certain kinship with the beetles, the first mate won’t be bitten by the beetles that cover the area.  Once the Heroes defeat the Syrneth corrupt, they witness a flash of light from the column that holds the gemstone.  A hand appears from a shimmering portal, snatches the gemstone and is gone.  The machine continues to turn and cracks appear in the amber.  They need to outrun the cave-in that seals off the doomsday machine and return to their ship to shell the mountainside to prevent it from firing its ray at Avalon.

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~ by 1nsomniac on March 23, 2012.

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