Episode 6: The Balance of Profit, Synopsis

Things started off hazy, you came around with your hands tied and a bag over your head. You managed to get free only to find that you had been captured by Mauricio Espinoza de Barcino, a man you thought safely imprisoned in Montaña Corta. He revealed some cryptic hints about what was going on but promised to come back to kill you all. From nearby your cellmate commented this must be an interesting story.

That prompted a flashback to several days prior, while you were strolling down Paseo Largo. There you noticed (along with nearly everyone in Altamira) an empty ship floating downriver, directly toward the docks. A quick chase, and several harrowing rescues later, and you’d managed to stop the ship, to the great relief of the citizenry.

Once the ship was under control, Alfonzo Cortez de Cordoba arrived in somewhat of a panic. Seemed this was another ship that had fallen prey to the so-called Ghost Pirates. He offered you a substantial reward to join his ship of pirate hunters to bring them to justice. Interestingly Alfonzo’s rival Santino Avilla de Silva offered to double the reward to see the guilty pay.

Later that day Alfonzo introduced you to Captain Carmella Marquez de Nuñez and the rest of the crew of the Retribution. The captain was a bit abrasive and not really one for taking you into her confidence. Worse, out of her earshot, you learned the crew hadn’t been paid in some time, and the captain seemed to be using their pay for her own purposes. In fact, the only person aboard who seemed happy to be there was Cesár Medina, the bilge rat.

The next several days consisted of mind-numbing, back-breaking labor combined with Cesár’s boundless optimism. The few times you reached shore, the captain forbade anyone from leaving then snuck off to do Theus-only-knew-what. It might have continued that way had the Retribution not run afoul of fireflies.

The mad creations of El Fuego mages, these flies exploded upon impact and were attracted to fluorescence. The crew did their best to get rid of sails, rope, and even their own clothes to avoid setting the ship on fire. Unfortunately, the captain’s hair also fluoresced, forcing you to throw her overboard to save her life.

Finally earning her trust she offered to let you in on her little plan. But before she could do so, disaster struck. A saboteur aboard scuttled the ship, killed several crew and fled. At a hasty meeting the captain finally told you what was going on. She had learned the Ghost Pirates were making berth in a town called Gätter and that they worked for The Shadow King. She’d also learned they’d gotten a spy aboard. She thought it was you, but it turned out to be her 1st Mate.

At that point, her plan was simple, if the 1st Mate made it to Gätter, he’d inform the pirates and they’d come back to the Retribution (which was in no condition to fight). She needed you to follow him and either stop him from reaching town, or keep the pirates from leaving. Meanwhile she’d get the Retribution back in shape and meet you there.

Unfortunately, despite an all-night run, you saw no sign of the villainous 1st Mate, arriving in Gätter just as the sun rose. Like most towns in southern Eisen, it was mostly abandoned, and that included the three-story cannon tower which defended the town’s port.

Things went from bad to worse as you entered the pub only to find nearly everyone in town was working for the pirates. As their leaders, Mauricio, one of Starke’s Iron Hand, and Cesár (of all people) entered, you tried to stand and fight only to discover the smoky candlelight of the tavern was disguising some kind of poisonous gas which caused you to quickly lose consciousness.

Now knowing how you got in this mess, you prevailed upon the only man in Gätter not employed by the pirates, to get you free. He was reluctant, but relented when he heard the tower’s cannons fire.

After a run down a muddy road, a fierce fight ensued both in, on, and around the tower, as well on the deck of the Retribution. But fortunately you prevailed in both stopping the pirates, and saving the ship and her crew. And as a bonus, you even managed to capture Mauricio. This time though, there was no escape. He was hanged en route back to Altamira.