Posted by: Vancian Notions | November 11, 2009

About the crew

Hello all! Ship construction is going really well – should be completed in a few weeks, probably.

Hiring and training the crew may take slightly longer, but I got a message from a trustworthy source (Cally, who had a brief chat with the rather handsome chap who came late to your party, F) that you’ll be out of town for a month or more.

I’ve actually been attracting a lot of interesting potential crew. Some of them will probably raise a few eyebrows, so I figure I should mention them up front. (I think I may have to re-jig the sleeping arrangements, for starters!)

The oddest one…well, ok, there are two really odd ones, and a few just slightly less odd ones.

First odd one is Zanna. She’s, well, an Aasimar. And a paladin.

She is, luckily, not a complete always-and-only-exactly-one-

way kind of paladin, but she’s still a bit more ordered than most of my crew. But she joined up because apparently she’s a deamon hunter, and saw myself and a couple of the lads fighting some Barbazu in one of the pubs (granted, going into a pub called ‘the deamons lair’ was a bit of an error, but I thought it was just a name!). She thought joining up might be a good way to find more deamons to hunt. She can certainly handle that greatsword of hers, and picked up the sailing game faster than most. (I really should buy her a ring of floating). She also has a cleric friend with her – of Pelor – who I imagine will be pretty handy when next the undead hordes come a threatening.

So she’s a bit weird for wanting to join the crew. Agrish is, well, just weird.

Agrish is a half-orc monk swordsman.

yes, I thought it was pretty weird too. I mean, either ‘half orc monk’ or ‘monk swordsman’ would be weird. He doesn’t speak much, mostly in riddles. Not even sure what god he worships.

I’ve not really properly introduced you to any of them, so I’ll give you a quick rundown of the main crew as well. This may get a tad rambling in parts, so just be gentle.

Well, you know me and jim, obviously. You’ve met wash plenty of times – he’s the first mate, and has a fantastic yelling voice. (I lent him the hat once; my ears were ringing for a day). Joker you’ve also met – I think he did some juggling at your party, F. He’s the ships bard and backup navigator. Vlad you know – the water gensai priest –  he’s grown quite a bit since his experience in Basutu. He’s enjoying having a bunch of junior clerics on board he can boss around. (I think he also enjoys watching me train, as he puts it, ‘all the man-candy’). Mostly they are procanians, but there is a priest of Ilmater (Dixie) who’s attached herself to us as some kind of penance.

The marines have expanded quite a bit. I’ve about 45 water gensai on board now, all training in underwater maneuvers and ship to ship combat.

It’s actually quite amazing. I’m apparently developing a bit of a reputation amongst the water gensai community around here, and a couple of them have even come from off-plane to talk about signing up. And the bit of a joke I made with the first couple about picking nicknames for them seems to have really taken off – the newbies all take it as a bit of badge of pride when they get their new name.

Cally you know, of course. Baritone – she’s the marine commander – you’d have seen. She’s the scarily tall one. Most of the rest are new. Naught is the chief mage in the marines, along with Bishop and Dermis. (the other marine clerics are streak and blood). Boot and Trick are our trap-and-lock experts (pays to be prepared!). You’ll tell them apart easily enough – trick is the ugly-ass one with all the scars. Boot is the much younger one, and a complete genius (Well..ok, not compared to drake, but a lot smarter than most!), but has the social skills of a desert boot. (plus, he’s hilariously easy to trick – I saw Tryst talk the poor boy into cleaning his shoes in the stew. That was closely followed by baritone making Tryst run up and down the docks, barefoot, for 4 hours, then do a full watch in the rigging – barefoot as well. That girl can punish!)

Tryst does like himself a good practical joke. And is rather charming (you know, for a water gensai – we’re not generally the most amazing public speakers, you might have noticed!). And he is exceptionally talented with his spiked chain, so that wins points in my book. There are a bunch of other fighters of varying talent – Duke, Dragon, Arid, Bent, Carrot and Brass are the more skilled among them. Plus there are about 20 of the buggers who haven’t earned nicknames yet. (I find it best not to get too attached to them until they prove themselves! Not that I’m keen for them to die, of course, but – it’s bugger trying to remember all their names, so I’m happy for them to just blend in to the foreground for now!)

Crew of 250 is a pretty hard thing to maintain, let me tell you! Not cheap, neither, although obviously with a ship this size some serious incidental piracy should be making a fine profit. Once I’ve, you know, paid off the various debtors.

Other people of note: Dox and Tinker are the lead archers. (Dox is the dwarf who insists on using a longbow. It look almost comical, until you see him shoot someone in the ass at 300 paces.) There’s about, oh, 70 archers, plus another 70 odd general fighter-types, for both defending the ship and boarding others. Kate’s also managed to rustle me up 20 folks with training in operating balistae, so that’s all covered.

Lessee – who else haven’t you met? Oh, Lyria. Kinda reminds me of Cyrah. She calls herself a ‘weather witch’; I think drake would call her a sorceror, but either way she’s pretty good at the wind-and-cold type spells. She’d been kidnapped from her homeland and was chained up and being beaten by her owner, who was in the city trying to buy a ship because…well, as I’m sure you can guess, Ella ended the conversation long before the ‘because’ part was explained. We were going to take the girl home (she’s only 15) but she’d been sold by her family because they thought she was cursed. One of the dead guys retinue was a byzantine trader – guy wailed and weeped that it wasn’t his fault, and he’d been trying to get out of his contract. Ella eventually decided he was telling the truth (I find it best not to argue where I can avoid it) so we offered the guy a chance to redeem himself.

I mean, granted, most people wouldn’t think ‘redeem yourself’ and ‘Piracy’ went well together, but, hey, what can I say? Turns out he’s a fairly capable trader, and a bloody good translator – knows about 15 languages, including a couple of byzantian dialects I’d never heard.

Well, good lord, that took a while to explain. Like I said: 250 of the buggers. Best just to let Wash, Jim and the various second mates take care of all that.

Ship’s hull is almost complete, and the enchanting of it is progressing. Had a bit of a setback last week with the fireproofing (One of the sub enchanters claimed it was finished and was completely fireproof. So The Turk fireballed the hull, which took us about 15 minutes to get under control. I mean, he doesn’t charge more for repairs when he does this sort of ‘testing’ but it takes time. Luckily all the repayment contracts specify that repayment only starts once work is completed. Haven’t, now that I think about it, seen that subenchanter for a couple of days). But the hull is now waterproof and seaworth, so we’ve been practicing maneuvers every couple of days while the enchanters work on the magical sails etc. Also been doing some mock ship-to-ship battles with some chaps from the admiralty of the spire. They keep claiming that sending my men to climb the sides from under the water is cheating – I keep telling them they need new tactics.

Interior fitout of the ship is proceeding. The guest-staterooms are pretty close to finished (It is, let me tell you, funny to see the look on a designers face when I tell them of the tastes of F, C and Janette and ask them to come up with some middle ground). Had to expand the minor shrine slightly, but I’ve managed to get Jim over that by the abovementioned hiring of a dozen new procanian clerics. He’s even willing to ignore the clerics of Valerian, Pelor and  Ilmatter, especially as I’ve convinced them that he’s in charge on the religious front. Oh, and speaking of priests of Valerian: I say there is one in the crew, but what I really mean is: If you want one to join the crew, the invitation is open, F. Preferably one who knows their way around a ship, or who can at the very least swim!

Oh, also should mention: I’m pretty sure some of the people who have  ‘volunteered’ are spies for the thieves guild or other debtors. I’ve a fair idea of who, although won’t mention it here. We’ll be fine talking in the state rooms, of course, but just keep an eye on people while on deck, ok?

See you all soon!



  1. Dear Ness

    How lovely to hear from you! We been having some fun. Except perhaps the bit where ice monsters killed some of my party guests…but angels came and resurected them, so it all worked out fine in the end. And I met this wonderful guy who my parents really like and we have gone out to dinner and stuff. He’s very good looking and likes windsurfing (whatver that is) and is kind to animals and is Pelor’s son. Fion likes him too, though strangely not as much as I would have expected. And Valerian sent me this cool gift! So, despite the temporary deaths, the party was fabulous.

    And we are off for a month or two, BUT DON”T TELL ANYONE!!! Angels are pretending to be us while we are gone. My angel friend likes shopping now, but Gug’s is a little confused, and Cyrah seems to be spending a lot of time trying to convince her friend that property is theft yada yada. Drake’s friend is a little boring, but you’d expect that. Anyway, we are going somewhere we haven’t been before and get to try out lots of disguises so it should be fun. Not as much fun as dressing up as dwarf ninjas though.

    Gug says hey! Literally. Cyrah mentioned something about wealth and how it will constrict you, but I am sure you expected that. Drake can write his own letters.



    PS: I do have a new cleric friend for the boat, her name is Swanfeather or something and I am sure she’ll be great.

    PPS: Can’t wait til you meet my new friend! I hope you like him!!!!!!!!

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