Story and Mechanics
Something changed in Maria's heart the night she saw them set fire to the ship. As she peered out over the bay, an infinite stretch of sea lay before her, vast and incomprehensible. She stared into its depths, watching the timbers that once composed her home sink into the depths of the sea, never to be seen again. The Salted Serpent had once been a ship of majesty, deep rouge planks lining the decks, three full masts supporting sails that carried her far and wide. The maidenhead, fashioned to look like Maria, had sat at the fore of the ship with a kind of mysterious beauty to it, a tranquil, transcendent face to lead the ship into hazy storms and fog banks. The men always said Maria had never steered them wrong.
And yet here she was, staring at the burning wreck of what was the Serpent. The flames licked at the surface of the water still, burning on the oil that covered the planks that were too broad to sink. The flickering lights danced in her vision, leaving shimmering trails of blue that would come to haunt her dreams for weeks to come. The more she stared, the less she understood about it all. The Salted Serpent hadn't been a pirating vessel, though it had never been under the Empire's rule. It was for exploration, for map-making, for the ever shifting islands of the Lagerrosian Bay needed constant tracking to keep shipping lanes open.
A voice from behind Maria spoke, low and husky. "Lady Thompson?" the voice asked, causing the woman to turn around. Before her stood an individual cloaked by many layers of clothing. The figure had a relatively small frame, standing just an inch or so above the young woman's height, with slender looking shoulders and a lean build. Through the clothing layers, the wrap of cloth about the person's head and shoulders, the clock about the figure's torso, Maria could not discern a gender. Even the voice was thick like a man's but it had a melodic quality that made it seem rather womanly, though the melodiousness was not like a woman mimicking a man's baritone but rather somewhere in between.
"Yes?" Maria replied, her hands dabbing at her cheeks with a handkerchief despite the fact that no tears flowed from her eyes. It was always important for a noble to keep her image up. Lady Thompson took pride in her status and birthright, something she had always managed to hold onto despite her husband's unwillingness to confirm to nobility traditions. Her face was delicate, high cheekbones and thin eyebrows framing small, blue eyes, lips narrow and unmarred by smile lines. "Do I know you?" she asked.
The figure seemed to shuffle on its feet uncomfortably. "I understand," it began in its peculiar timbre again, "that perhaps you may be misinformed as to the nature of your husband's explorations as of late. The officers at the port informed you that they had uncovered illegal contraband within your husband's vessel, correct?" The Lady nodded. "Indeed, Captain Thompson had uncovered something of value on his latest expedition to the Lagerrosian bay, however, it was not contraband. We are not sure what it is he discovered, however we know the State would seek to obtain it."
Lady Thompson was no stranger to government seizures. She had seen it happen over the years seemingly at random. A family would rise to power within the State, and suddenly they would be charged with distributing or owning illegal substances and be carted away, never to be seen or heard from again. "I could have surmised this. What do you mean to get at here?" she asked the figure, unsure as to what to do. She was not a Lady of poor upbringing or of deficient faculties. Shrewdly, she had manipulated her way into a position of safety to the point that when her husband was taken for his supposed contraband, she was nigh untouchable.
"The organization I represent," the figure answered, "believe the item in question to be great in power and value. The State would seek to obtain this item if it could, but those I represent feel that such an acquisition would not benefit the people of the State as a whole. We would like to ask that you fund a ship and crew for an expedition to obtain this item. We obtained your husband's sea charts before his vessel was burned, allowing us to attempt to relocate where it was that he found this item."
Maria raised a hand, silencing the man with a wave. She had loved her husband, this much was true, but sharing her wealth in an attempt to seek out his supposed find when he could not even bring it back was a foolish way to spend her remaining funds. "I understand my husband could still be alive somewhere, detained by the State?" she inquired, pressing the cloaked person for possible compromises. "I would ask that such a crew also find my husband and bring him back to me."
At this, the figure became somewhat excited. "Oh, yes, of course. In fact, we would need your husband to navigate through the waters he depicted in his charts. Some of the paths are unmarked and we are unable to discern his route, necessarily. If you could be encouraged to pay for a vessel and crew, we could retrieve your husband, acquire his find, and have him back to you very soon. Would this be acceptable?"
The Lady nodded, leading the individual away to sign the correct paperwork and allocate the correct funds.
You are all about to be employed by The Company as Privateers, a crew selected for a very specific mission. By agreeing to this contract, you all become enemies of the State and its representatives. You will be hunted. You will be persecuted. You may be killed! We certainly hope this is not the case, but it is a possibility. Upon signing this contract, you will be assigned to your vessel, a rather small single-masted caravel with no weapons or supplies as of yet.
Do not fret, however! You have been allocated a rather large sum of money by the Benefactor, who recognizes your talents enough that we feel safe investing in you.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to retrieve Captain Thompson from the depths of the State's prisons, where we believe him to be incarcerated, and use his knowledge and charts to find the treasure he uncovered recently and return with booty and Captain in tow. Your efforts will be rewarded with a hefty sum of money and freedom to utilize the ship as you please.
Be warned, the seas of the Lagerrosian Bay are harsh and unforgiving, crawling with bizarre creatures and strange locations that shift with the tides. Finding the item in question may be more difficult than simply following the map, but where great risk is taken, great reward is in store.
If, despite the warnings of dangers, you are still interested in joining, please sign on the dotted line:
Players begin at level 5 with up to three Pokemon. Players will have 10,000 experience to distribute to their Pokemon as they please. If one Pokemon has no evolutionary stages, that player may only have at most one other Pokemon. Single-stage Pokemon should be run by the GM before assigning stats. Players may start with up to 8,000 gold pieces, free to spend at their leisure.^
Players may also assign one egg move and one hold item to their team of Pokemon. Any class requirements needing X Pokemon caught/badges obtained/etc should be run by the GM. Players may also assign up to 7 points of loyalty to any of their Pokemon.
^ Remember that your pirating vessel possesses no weapons as of yet. Some money may need to be allocated to equipping your ship.
Each of you recieves a letter in addition to your contract. The letter appears to be some kind of pamphlet aimed towards those new to sailing as a profession and features many adorable characters in the margins.
Sailing is a dangerous activity for many, and it pays to be prepared, so enclosed in this letter is information to keep you from going under! As Peppy the Dewgong often says, "A well-managed boat is a boat afloat."
Below is a checklist to keep track of your vessel's power against other vessels.
Vessel Name Goes Here!
Hit Points: 300
Armor Rating: 21
Propulsion Rating: 20
- Fore: Tar-Coated Canvas
- Fore: Tesla Rail Gun
- Port 1: Klinklang Cannon
- Port 2:
- Starboard 1: Klinklang Cannon
- Starboard 2:
Propulsion: The Great Lagerrosian Steam Machine
Now, you might be wondering what each of these fool sections mean. Well, obviously the name is the name of the ship. Why, you can't go around sailing on an unnamed ship. That just wouldn't be proper. Choose a name that strikes fear into the hearts of your enemies or gives you a solid basis for intimidation. If you are being given this in the service of the military, disregard that last bit. Obviously, your ship will have a specific name given by the higher-ups.
Now, classes of vessels vary, and as new ships are produced, classes can be added to your list, but suffice to say a your Caravel is quite the beauty. She's not meant to be engaging with battleships, but she can handle herself against most of the smaller and faster vessels. What your ship specializes in is ultimately up to your choice of equipment. A faster, lighter ship will be able to avoid cannonfire with relative ease while a heavier ship can ignore those smaller shots and barrel straight towards the enemy. It is ultimately up to you.
Your armor rating is kind of like a measure of your ship's capability to take damage. By equipping and armoring your vessel, you may find that you can take more hits and that this number will be reduced by a smaller amount upon enemy fire damaging your ship. It is worthwhile to note that armor is usually not made to fit whole ships and must be bought on a per side basis. This means you will probably have to buy enough to cover all four sides unless you are skilled at navigating. To determine your total armor rating, add your base vessel rating and your plating's bonuses together.
Armor listings for your current locale can be found in the the enclosed brochure.
Similarly self-explanatory, weapons are what bring down your enemies. While Jennifer the Wailord suggests avoiding conflict when possible, you might be assaulted by Dread Pirates and should endeavor to take them out if escape is impossible. One should be aware that weapons only function on a certain arc around your ship. Enemies on your port side cannot be hit by most weapons on the starboard or even fore sides of your ship.
Weaponry listings for your current locale can be found in the the enclosed brochure.
Propulsion is a rare thing indeed in the isles, but with new technology, some vessels are becoming equipped with the mighty power of coal burning and steam to push paddles. Alternatively, there exist less reputable methods of hiring Pokemon and rowers to sail along. Of course, there is always the winds at your back if you haven't anything else. To determine your propulsion bonus, add the value from your propulsion equipment and subtract the penalty from any heavy armor, weapons, or supplies you might have.
Propulsion listings for your current locale can be found in the the enclosed brochure.
Finally, supplies are what your ship is carrying. You may not always be privy to this information depending on your profession, but it can be important to know what is in your ship in case of accidents. Stolen goods are prohibited by law and government goods are branded to prevent counterfeiting.
I - The most heavily occupied island in the Lagerrosian Archipelago, Heavymouth Island is nearly a continent all its own from its mass. It is known for heavy rainfall towards the south and more temperate forests to the north. Pokemon here vary but are all generally tame by comparison to those of the rest of the isles.
On the western edge lie two cities. Splittongue City, a dirty place existing on two sides of a man-made channel passing by the bay. The side across the channel lies on the mainland, named simply Lagerros. Many pass through Splittongue City on their way to the mainland when naval passage is unavailable, however most know that the town is seedy to say the least. It is all to easy to step foot onto a ship and wind up penniless and somewhere completely different or worse, enslaved on some vessel.
To the south of Splittongue City lies Precipi, a water-logged town famous for its seasonal monsoons. It's sister city lying just on the other side of a chain of mountains is the quaint seaboard town of Overlook. Together Precipi and Overlook are where the majority of the more pleasant citizens of Lagerros live. Their economy thrives on a well-run fishing trade and tourism.
On the northeast peninsula of Heavymouth Island is the powerful capital of Lagerros, Summerstone. Summerstone is the seat of the ruling body of Lagerros, a shadowy organization run by a group known as "The Trio". The people of Lagerros know many things about The Trio, all conflicting. The people of Lagerros live in a kind of perpetual awe and fear of The Trio, but most know that The Trio does almost nothing to maintain any kind of organization in the region, maintaining instead a kind of laissez-faire approach to the region.
II - Perpetus is the other large island existing beyond the mainland. On it's landmass are but two cities, Solace and Porluna. The two cities are named for the sun and moon that circle the sky above Lagerros, for each city houses a kind of learning. Solace, on the west end of the isle, is where most new naval recruits receive proper government funded education. Solace is a town of strong industry and manufacturing and many shipwrights and carpenters call this city home.
Porluna, on the other hand, plays home for the Academy of Arts, a place where many endowed with psionic abilities go to learn their powers. Those there are categorized into several classes by their specific elemental powers, though nearly every student learns something of aquatic manipulation during their time there. Fire-users are known as Steamdwellers, Electricity- and Wind-manifesters as Stormwrights, Earth and Grass users are Wellsprings, and Empaths/Healers/Clarisentients as Maelstroms, for their powers most often derive from living near the Maelstrom to the south of Perpetus. Ghostly-advantaged psionics are looked down upon by the Academy and are instead relegated to another place of learning on one of the smaller isles to the south.
Perpetus, it should be noted, is a land of wild beasts and of large creatures. Few live north of the southern tip because of the danger most of these creatures pose. As such, a tight guard is placed on the walls of both Porluna and Solace. Most reach the other city by watercraft.
III - The mainland of Lagerros is a wilder place than many with few habitable locations. The terrain is very mountainous and the jungle thick with undergrowth. The lone town on the Lagerrosian Bay is Dustin, where most of the inhabitants are military-oriented. The people there are mostly hush-hush about their doings and tend to avoid talking about their work much. Only those living in the area even know what the military does there. It is believed that they are guarding some kind of institution in the mountains.
IV - The most heavily inhabited of the smaller islands, Ardor Isle is home to a pair of seaboard towns run mostly by the local fishermen. Here is the common port of call for those slightly less… reputable as the laws are fairly lax and military visitation, particularly on the north end of the isle, is unwelcome due to a past conflict with the military wherein Ardor Isle wanted independence.
V - The Isle of Lakes is where many endowed with the ability to commune with ghosts and those with powers non-psionic in nature go to learn their craft. As such, it is populated sparsely across the isle, with the main cluster of settlers on the mouth of the Dusk River. Some say that here late at night, a spirit visits the people near the lakeside, but few can give any cohesive description regarding this spirit.
VI - Inmouth Isle is a smaller island home to a native tribe focused primarily on breeding strange types of Pokemon. A bizarre magnetic pull on this island can throw many mechanical devices and compasses askew. Only the inhabitants of the island, the Ku, know how to circumvent this phenomenon.
VII - The closest neighbor to Perpetus, Landwrath is home to a the martial arts academies of Lagerros. Unlike most places, the Martial Artists of Lagerros are fond of using their weapons and enjoy hunting Pokemon on the island. As such, Landwrath is a happening hunter's hub where catches may be sold and bought freely. The city on Landwrath is also called Landwrath.
VIII - Boiler Island is the home to Big Boiler, the region's largest volcano. Big Boiler has erupted recently, but has been relatively silent since then. Many know of the island's strong fire-types who tend to do well despite the region's fondness for water-types. The people of Boiler Island are not very welcoming to those of privateering adventures and tend to be very tightly knit in their relations with one another.
IX - Lasthome, along with is similarly named town, is the final heavily inhabited isle before reaching the Maelstrom. Lasthome is the home of many bars and black market salesmen and pirate ships. Many who grow up here end up in servitude at sea either to become a part of a pirating crew or to pay off some gambling debt of their father's.
X - Torus Island, like most of the islands beyond Lasthome, is little-known. The waters here are rough, and many avoid sailing this close to the Maelstrom for fear of being caught in its pull. Many legends are told of Torus Island, however, and some say that a tribe of people do call this island home.
XI - Everdant Isle is also one of the little known islands beyond Lasthome, but some stories say this island has a tendency to disappear without warning. Many interesting artifacts have been recovered from this location.
XII - Longus Island is the final island reachable by most ships not specially outfitted to handle the wild oceans beyond. Almost nothing is known about this island, but some pirate captains claim to have used it to hide their spoils.
XIII - The Maelstrom is a violent storm ever spinning in the midst of the bay. None who enter its reaches survive.
XIV - An island fortress of metal off the coast of Lagerros, Tornadus is a military stronghold which holds most of the region's criminals taken in by the Navy. Since the government is light on criminals, however, those who are taken here are important indeed.
It should also be noted that the waters of Lagerros are home to a myriad of creatures of bizarre natures and places not normally reachable by ships. These creatures have washed up on some shores as oddities and sometimes arise in bar stories as great leviathans of the waters. Those with diving vessels have the ability to study these creatures, but such vessels are expensive and hard to come by. In addition, those same divers often find interesting artifacts underwater.