Empire on the Waves


For more than 4 months now, my players have cut a bloody swath across the kingdoms of Hyboria. From the Westmark, into Pictland, across Ophir and Corinthia, into Koth, shem, Stygia, and finally into the black kingdoms of Darfar and Kush, they have made many enemies. Now a chance has come for them to join a new kind of adventure, where the booty is rich and the rolling decks of ships are drenched in the blood of their enemies. They have heard the call of glory and joined the cause of destiny.

Background of Empire on the Waves:

Ridick de Korvo was a landed noble of Zingara who lost everything in the civil war that is raging in Zingara. He spent some time as an outlaw but found the life dull and unrewarding. Destiny led him to the ocean where he took up life as a freebooter. Ridick rose through the ranks of the freebooter quickly gaining a reputation as a fearless leader who had lady luck on his side. After more than a year learning the ways of the sea and of the freebooters, Ridick challenged his captain and defeated him in combat, gaining the captaincy of the Fury, a modified war carrack. The riches that the Fury plundered grew legendary, the Fury was never wont for crew, and other ships captains began to seek alliance with Ridick in hopes that his destiny would take them to new heights. Ridicks success and popularity led him to contemplate the idea of building an empire on the seas. He would unite the pirates of the western ocean and build an empire that the landbound kingdoms couldn't even imagine.

The characters join Ridick's quest for empire in its infancy. There are no more than 5 other Freebooter ships pledged to his cause although there are many who are just waiting to see if Ridick can get past the first dangerous phase. There are some Freebooter captains who have united together in jelousy against Ridick, who intend to take hime out. There is also a substantial price on Ridicks head and a nice reward offered for the capture or sinking of the Fury in both Argos and Zingara...a small fleet could sally forth at any time to deal with him, although both kingdoms do have more pressing issues at the moment. The Fury has not been seen in several months because Ridick is moving into phase 1 of his plan which includes bringing the Black Corsairs under his influence.

Ridick has sent a large group (20 or so) deep into Kush where they are to rendezvous with a merchant of ancient antiquities who has aquired something that Ridick has been searching for for years. The price is heavty but Ridick is willing to pay. In my game, the partty is led by the PC Bosun (this is a new character cause the old character died). The party recovers the message tube and is on its way back to the Fury, when there camp is attacked by rampaging Were-lions. The group is scattered and the npc bosun and a few of their men encounter the rest of the player characters who are trying to find shelter from the mayhem of an ongoing war between were-hyena's and were-lions. The 2 forces join for safety and make their way carefully back to the coast and the waiting Fury. Ridick accepts the new people as replacements for his lost crew, and sets out to sea.

After a few days of sailing at sea, the Fury spots a Black Corsair and engages it. (this was my first use of the narrative combat system, and it was brilliant. It is such a reliief to be able to do mass combat without disrupting the flow of the game), although the Corsair crew outnumbered the Fury, Ridick's crew with the help of the players won a decisive victory. (I also had my player take turns rolling for Ridick while I rolled for the Corsair captain, and at the end when it came to a duel of the 2 captains, i let the die randomly pick 2 of my players handed over the stat sheets and let them go at it). In the end, Ridick gained a mostly undamaged Corsair (when i had my players roll for casualties, it came up 100% for the Corsairs!, the Fury crew had outright killed almost 140 men!).

Captain Ridick brought the Bosun into his cabin and showed him the map that had been aquired in Kush. It was an ancient map with writing in a tongue that Ridick claimed was related to Atlantean. The map supposedly dipicted a group of islands in the western Sea that had served as a home for Atlanteans after the loss of their home. Ridick gave command of the Corsiar to his Bosun and assigned him an area of the map to search, the Fury would search a different area and the 2 ships would meet up in 2 months. The Corsair was only temperarily under the command of the Bosun as its final command would be given to someone who would bring additional followers to Ridick. The goal of the search was to find a safe and secret base of opperations from which to launch his quest for empire.

This campaign is far from mapped out, the PCs will have a big role in its direction. But here are some of my short term idea without the flesh on them.

*Ridick will need to gain a special Totem Rod that only the Sevants of the gods could find or weild. This septre can be used to unite the Corsairs behind him. Finding where the rod rests and then recovering it will take several adventures, maybe even a mini-campaign.

*The King of Zingara has had a new ship built, a completely new class of thip, and Ridick wants it as his new flagship. The ship is a war zebec who's stats ill post when i get it made up. Steeling this ship will be worth some adventures.

I don't want to leave a large ship like the Corsairs in the hands of the pcs at this early stage, they'll get the opportunity to snag a sloop within the next adventure or 2. It will have far more men then what the book says though.

A note about Ridick...Ok, think The Chronicle of Ridick..not with the funky abilities, but he has the same attitude, charisma, and looks.
That sounds like a ton of fun. You have some Great ideas there. I hope you continue to share your game summaries; it was a good read.
I thought I'd post stats to one of the encounters I have planned for tonights adventure.

Ridick is in the process of conquering the Black Corsairs of the South. He hopes to make them the core of tis empire. Since Black Corsiars respect the strongest of leaders, he is setting about the demonstrate his stregnth. The Storm Witches of the Southern Isles are High Preists, whom the Black Corsairs respect. Ridick has gained the aid of one of their numbers, (a new pc) who wishes to gain control over the Order. Ridick will help her gain control over the order and in turn will have a firm hold of the order through her. Tonights adventure includes the assault on the Storm Island, where the order makes its home. Ridicks fleet (5 ships, 2 Carrocks, 2 recently captured Black Corsair Galleys, and a Barachan Sloop) will attack from the main bay, while a small group (Ridick and the heroes) will use and underground cavern, inteneded as an escape route to breach the Storm Keep and assassinate the leaders of the order. The keeps lower levels are guarded by the Sharkine.

Sharkine (Shark-Men)

*Ability Score: 24/10/20/8/14/16
*Size: Large
*Hit Die: 6d12+56 (96)
*Speed: 25 land/ 60 water
*Initiative: +5
*Defense Value: 12
*Damage Reduction: 4 (natural)
*Base Attack Bonus: +6/1
*Full Attack: 14/9 (Bardiche), 13/8 (Bite)
*Damage: 2d10+7/x3 AP 5 (Bardiche) 2d8+7/x2 AP1 (Bite)
*Reach: 10ft
*Saving Throws: 10/5/4
*Special Attacks: Blood Frenzy, Sneak Attack 2d8
*Special Qualities: Blindsense, Keen Scent
*Feats: Weapons Focus (Bardiche), Diehard, Toughness, Power Attack
*Skills: Hide 7, Intimidate 8, Listen 10, Move Silently 6, Spot 7, Survival 8, Swim 19.

Description: The Sharkine areabominations created by the Strom Witches of the Southern Ilses. They are part man and part shark. Their lower bodies are manlike with 2 legs, webbed feed, human abdominal area, human lower chest and 2 human like arms. The upper chest however changes into the upper sections of a Great Shark and theirs head is that of a shark although it is bent forward on the human torso in order to give it proper balance in its upright stance. On its back, the sharkine has a dorsal fin, and the creatures jaws are filled with rows of razor shark teeth. The creature has grayish scaly skin similar to a sharks. Sharkine are large creatures, standing anywhere from 9ft to 14ft tall, and extremely broad of shoulder.

Combat: Like their cousins of the oceans, the Sharkine are preditors, fierce hunters and combatants. Sharkine move very quietly for their size and will try to surprise their enemies by attacking swiftly and soundlessly from the flank. Their initial attack will often be a charge that ends with the target being grappled in their mighty jaws. Against warriors and other prey that will put up a good fight, the sharkine will usually rely on their might bardiches to chop up their enemies, their tactics are simple, overpower the prey, cripple and weaken them, and then tear into em with their jaws.

Blood Frenzy: When blood has been drawn anywhere within 30ft of a Sharkine, it immediately goes into a blood frenzy, gaining a +3 to attack, a +2 to damage, and a –2 to Defense Value