Torix and Constantine

Music to my Ears

It seems like crime follows us wherever we go.

TnC had finally arrived in Westhaven. They left their boat on the shore because they weren’t really intending to have to use it again. Torix wanted to get rid of some of his old equipment, so they sought out a merchant. The merchant introduced himself as Arnie Hoffman. Hoffman was disagreeable at first but clearly wanted a profit. After some haggling, Torix was able to sell his two old fullblades and his old scale armor for 84 gold pieces.

They had decided earlier that their first order of business when they reached Westhaven would be to find Red and Maslow, so they set out to do just that. While they were looking for a music shop, Constantine saw a poster that said something about a challenge being held at Big Joe’s tavern in lake Marcato for the position of first mate on the FMS Derelict Saint (Black Henry’s ship). He snatched it and stored it while they continued to look for a music shop.

Eventually they found Fletcher’s music shop, and entered. It wasn’t very striking. Two musicians were playing and the owner stood conspicuously behind a desk. TnC approached Mr. Fletcher, who introduced himself as Clyde Fletcher. TnC asked him if he’d sold any instruments to a pair of men from up the river- they were friends of TnC who had told them to meet them in Westhaven. He told them he hadn’t sold anything recently, but made a slip of the tongue and said that the two musicians were from Tasch.

TnC turned to examine the musicians. They were beardless, but looked like Red and Maslow. They approached them, and Constantine called out their names. They stopped playing, and a very awkward conversation ensued. Torix was getting angry, and asked Maslow if he could see his bass. He handed it to him suspiciously, and Torix swung it at him. He missed by a mile and smashed it on the ground. Constantine drew his weapon, and Torix followed suit. Not having any real weapons on them, Red and Maslow attacked them with their instruments. They yelled at Fletcher to leave while he had the chance. He busted his back window, and climbed out into the street. Red ran for the door, and escaped past Constantine. The musicians and TnC started to fight. Red turned to run after being hit a few times, and Torix took a swing at him. In his rage, he directed the blade at Red’s neck, and made contact. Red’s severed head sailed through the broken window. TnC looked at each other, and followed Maslow out the door. He was surprisingly fast because he was nowhere in sight. He did leave some noticeably bloodied footprints, which TnC followed. They lead straight into lake Marcato, so TnC decided they had lost him.

Constantine took out the notice for the contest in Big Joe’s tavern, and they headed out. They reached the tavern and walked up to the bar. Torix laid out the notice on the table in front of him. Big Joe told them that that notice was a week old, and that someone called Monocle Mel had won the challenge. Black Henry and his crew were still in Westhaven though.

TnC were disappointed, so they sat down and started to talk to a man named John Meursault. He had some pretty wild theories about being able to sail around the world, and the possibility of another continent on the other side of Fortuna. TnC were skeptical, but he did provide them with a way to get a ship to leave Westhaven. They took him up on his offer to sail around Fortuna, and went to visit the shipwright that Mersault had mentioned.

 When they found the building, there was nobody inside. They walked up to the desk and saw a note that said “gone out to work on the babies”. They figured that this meant that their shipwright (Karl van Shipwright) was outside working on his ships, which he was. Van Shipwright was wearing glasses, which was very rare. They talked about buying a ship, and Karl showed them his catalog. Everything was out of their price rangebut they wanted to see what ships wer available anyway. He showed them the FMS Under Fire, the FMS Fishfinder, the FMS Quiet Fortitude, and the FMS Unsinkable II. None of these particularly appealed to them, so they asked him if there was anything else he had to offer. That was when he brought out the FMS Chasing Oblivion. It was of an experimental dwarven design that did not need sails.

Since van Shipwright knew that they couldn’t pay in gold, he said he had a favor to ask of them. He said he was having problems with a group called the Book Club. TnC looked at each other, and said they knew the group. Van Shipwright said they wanted his business or they’d burn down his shop and kill him. He said he would give TnC The Chasing Oblivion if they could deal with the Book Club in such a way that they wouldn’t threaten his business again. TnC said they’d consider it.

Van Shipwright told them that there was a Book Club agent called Hunter Keelhaul that would probably “visit” his shop tomorrow night. He suggested that TnC should try to either capture him to find where the Book Club’s headquarters was, or follow him back from the shop. Van Shipwright said they could spend the night at the lighthouse because the man who ran it, Hawkeye Larry always had a spare room. They stayed the night there. TnC decided to go back to the bar to talk to Meursault about the ship they might be able to get. He was interested in it, and then started talking about finding a crew. They didn’t have a good idea about whom they could talk into joining their voyage.

Constantine suggested holding a challenge, but that caught somebody’s attention. An old-looking man with a cigar in his mouth told him that if they did that, Black Henry would be very unappreciative. TnC decided to leave. Torix said that maybe they should look for Maslow so they could tie up another loose end. Constantine asked around, and he found out that the word on the street was that two wanted men from Eisenreich had killed a musician in Clyde Fletcher’s music shop.

In addition, Fletcher had hooked up with a Hommeland marine to search for them. That marine was called Officer Stockholm. TnC started planning. Constantine decided that he would plant information in the population, that he would spread rumors to make sure that the officer and Maslow would be misdirected for a while longer. It worked, and they saw Maslow, Officer Stockholm, and some regular citizens all show up at Joe’s tavern (where Constantine said that he and Torix would be) and kick down the door. They walked away after they saw them enter the tavern.

They waited until nightfall to go to van Shipwright’s place. TnC started putting on their Penumbra uniforms so that Keelhaul wouldn’t be able to give an accurate description of them. They had only their masks on when they came to the door of van Shipwright’s shop. It was locked, and a voice from inside said, “Shipwright’s busy”. TnC looked at each other and prepared for combat. Torix kicked in the door. They saw Shipwright behind the counter with someone they figured was probably Keelhaul threatening him with a knife. A tense conversation started as TnC drew their weapons. Keelhaul turned immediately on Shipwright and put his knife up to him, telling TnC to put their weapons away. They, of course, didn’t listen and started fighting. Torix tells van Shipwright to run, and he makes it to the door.

Torix knocked him down, and Keelhaul asked who they were. Constantine replied, “Like we’re gonna tell you”. The fight continued. Eventually Keelhaul realized the fight was hopeless, and surrendered. Torix asked him what Shipwright had done to get the Book Club to go after him. Apparently Shipwright had promised to make a ship for the Librarian, but never came through. Since Shipwright was still there, TnC asked him if it was true. He confirmed it. Torix whispered in Keelhaul’s ear, “tell the Librarian to watch out for Torix and Constantine.”

The brought him to his feet and shoved him towards the door. He caught himself and whispered something to van Shipwright. Apparently the Librarian would be sending more people after Keelhaul got back. Shipwright started telling TnC that there was an officer asking questions around town about two newcomers from Eisenreich, criminals. Shipwright asked if they were them. TnC managed to dupe him into thinking it was just a coincidence. TnC asked if they could stay the night at Shipwright’s shop so they could be close by if the Book Club came during the night. They put on their full Penumbra uniforms in preparation of a fight.

Someone knocked on the door during the night, saying, “We know you’re in there Torix and Constantine.” They recognized the voice as Officer Stockholm. TnC looked at each other, and each backed into a corner quietly. Stockholm busted through the door with Maslow and two other townspeople. Torix charged, but Constantine stayed hidden. They swarmed Torix, and then Constantine joined in. TnC were able to kill all of their assailants. Shipwright was upset by all of the bodies in his doorway. But what he was really concerned about was TnC’s real identities. They told him that they were indeed Torix and Constantine van Rijn, and that they needed a ship so that they could get away from the new Kaiser, who had framed them for being the source of instability and crime in Eisenreich.

Shipwright thought it would be best to help TnC get out of Westhaven before more bad things happened. He suggested subcontracting the problem of the Book Club to Black Henry so that TnC could keep a low profile but still do Shipwright a favor. They agreed, and started to throw the bodies in the lake. After getting some real sleep, TnC headed out, and Constantine spread the rumor that the people that had been looking for Torix and Constantine had been killed by the Book Club. Everyone bought it, so they went to Big Joe’s tavern to look for Black Henry.

They notice a new group in the bar, Black Henry and his crew. TnC approached him, and tired to bargain with him to get him to protect Shipwright. He said he didn’t need anything they could offer because his crew provided all of the services he needed. He introduced his whole crew; Dirty Jerry, Rudy Two-fingers, Monocle Mel, Shotglass Alderman, The Hamster, and Crow’s Nest Moe. However, there was one other thing that he wanted done, a thing that he didn’t want his name attached to.

He stepped outside the bar with TnC. Meursault, who was standing at the bar, followed them out, hearing that TnC had given their real names, and were not in fact called James and Morrison White. Henry noticed him, and asked why he was following them. He said he was TnC’s navigator. Henry said to them that they shouldn’t associate themselves with dirty half-elves. TnC did a double take, and noticed that Meursault was indeed a half-elf. Henry turned away and said that the man he needed to have them deal with was Seamus Flanders. TnC hid the fact that they knew him, and Henry explained the bad history between them.

Seamus was his first mate, but tried to mutiny against him, and left the ship when it failed. Black Henry asked them to find him and kill him. With no intention of doing so, they agreed. Meursault asked to follow them as they set out to take a walk and deliberate. Meursault joined the discussion. He told them that some of the crew was behind Seamus when tried to mutiny, so they might be able to enlist their help in fighting Black Henry. These crewmen were Shotglass Alderman, The Hamster, and Crow’s Nest Moe.

TnC decided that they could probably try to find Jim Mueller in the mean time. They asked around, and found out that he may have had a run-in with the Book Club. Reluctant to take on the Book Club alone, they tried to find a way to contact Mad Seamus. They heard that Hawkeye Larry knew a special signal that they would be able to use to get Seamus to come to the shore. They talked to Larry, and offered him 50 gold pieces to send the signal. They stayed the night there too.

In the morning they saw Seamus’ ship and a small ship on the shore. They got right down to business, and told him they were in a position to kill Black Henry. He asked why they hadn’t. TnC explained the situation with Karl van Shipwright, and Seamus understood. However he asked them to give him Black Henry’s ship after they killed him. They accepted the deal. Seamus said that his supporters in the crew would be very sympathetic to TnC’s desire to kill Black Henry, and they could get their help as long as they explained the whole set of circumstances.

They went back to Joe’s tavern to talk to the potential defectors. Black Henry was surprised to see them there, and asked them if they had taken care of Seamus already. Constantine said they were still coming up with a plan. Black Henry was not impressed, and told them that they should make sure that van Shipwright is okay otherwise doing him a favor might not be worth anything at all. That got TnC concerned, and they went to Shipwright’s shop with Meursault. The door was locked. Torix knocked, but nobody answered. Torix called to whoever was in there, but there was still no answer. They let themselves in, and Meursault stayed outside. Shipwright wasn’t there, and there were signs of a struggle.

TnC were getting frustrated with the chain of events that had happened, and were thinking of dealing with the Book Club themselves. They noticed a book on the ground. They opened it, and found a bookmarked page that indicated where Shipwright had been taken. They followed the directions to a small building in the Town on Water. Meursault volunteered to stay outside.

Constantine put his ear to the door, and heard enough to gather that van Shipwright was being tortured. TnC draw their weapons. Torix tried to kick down the door, but didn’t hit it in the right spot. He tried again, and the door flew off of its hinges. They entered awkwardly, and asked for van Shipwright. The one that looked to be the resident Librarian pulled out a club to make a point. Torix didn’t like that, and started the fight. Torix went straight for Hunter Keelhaul, and Constantine leapt at the Librarian and his other thugs. Torix split Keelhaul’s head open, while the thugs were swarming Constantine. Torix went in to help his brother out. These Book Club guys were better than the Eisenreich ones, and were able to take out Torix during the fight. The Librarian took out a scimitar, and stood over the unconscious Torix. He said Constantine could take Shipwright and Torix and leave, or he would kill Torix.

Constantine left, and got Meursault to help him with Torix and Shipwright. When they awoke, TnC left van Shipwright at his shop. TnC and Meursault went to Big Joe’s tavern to talk to the Seamus sympathizers. TnC left Meursault outside, and made sure that Shotglass, Crow’s Nest, and the Hamster knew what was going on. They made it clear that they would back Seamus in whatever fight was about to happen. Black Henry burst through the door, dragging Meursault by the ear. Constantine said that they’d keep him in line, and the crew pretended not to notice TnC. They left, and went back to the lighthouse to rest.

When they woke up, they went outside to talk to Mad Seamus. They told him which of the crew were behind him. Torix said that they needed more support if they were going to challenge Black Henry directly. Seamus said that the Brothers Clay (the bouncers in Big Joe’s tavern) would keep things from getting out of hand. That was good enough, and they headed back to the tavern. Meursault stayed out of the way for the upcoming fight. TnC went inside, and Shotglass told them that Black Henry and Monocle Mel would be back any minute now, so they should go outside, while he handled things inside the tavern. TnC stepped outside, and waited.

Soon enough, the pirates showed up. Henry asked if they had dispatched Seamus yet. Constantine said, “Mad Seamus sends his regards.” They drew weapons, and the fight began. Torix gave Monocle Mel a bloody ending, and Black Henry ran past them into the tavern. He saw that his crew had divided, and was fighting in the bar. The Hamster and Dirty Jerry were having a knife fight, while Shotglass and Crow’s Nest took on Rudy two-fingers. Constantine charged him through the open door, and the fight continued. By the end, Constantine and Henry were fighting near the bar. Torix made eye contact with his brother, and a bloody maneuver was born in their minds. Constantine smacked Black Henry in the face, then put him in an arm lock. At the same time, Torix made a leaping charge over a billiards table and delivered a clean blow to the back of Black Henry’s head.

The battle was over. Only Shotglass Alderman and Crow’s Nest Moe were still alive. TnC left the two ex-crewmen at the tavern, waiting until they got back to Mad Seamus. First they stopped to get van Shipwright, and then they went over by the lighthouse to get Seamus. He was pleased that they had dealt with Black Henry, and promised to keep the Book Club off of van Shipwright’s back in exchange. The gang went back to Big Joe’s tavern to get Shotglass and Crow’s Nest.

Then, all seven of them went down to see the Librarian, and had a little talk. They straightened everything out, but TnC still had to find out what had happened to Jim Mueller. The Librarian said he was tied up in Fletcher’s music shop. Seamus left the group to assemble his crew and take Black Henry’s place. When the rest of the group got to the music shop they found Jim as promised, tied up right next to Clyde Fletcher. TnC quickly released Jim, but wanted to make Fletcher sweat a little to see what he would offer them in desperation.

He volunteered his services as a musician (which was a necessity on the high seas), but TnC agreed to let him join the crew after he accepted the role of janitor aboard the ship. The ship. TnC turned to Karl van Shipwright, who agreed to give them the FMS Chasing Oblivion in exchange for all that they had done for him. The crew, Jim Mueller, John Meursault, Shotglass Alderman, Crow’s Nest Moe, Clyde Fletcher, and Captains Torix and Constantine boarded the Chasing Oblivion and prepared for a long voyage.

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