Throughout your homeland it has been a hard year (plague, drought etc. Players can decide what best fits their back story).
Due to hard times it has been necessary for you to travel to seek work/food/escape pestilence etc. This is why you are risking travel by ship to the port town of ‘Cliffside Bay’ at this time of year, notorious for violent storms at sea.
You have heard that Cliffside Bay has had a favourable season and a booming mining industry, so you are heading there to seek your fortune, or just mere survival.
You must travel through the ‘Straits of Isles’ to reach Cliffside Bay – which can only be navigated by a handful of very experienced sailors.
You have paid for passage on the ‘Mistress of the Sea’ captained by the fearless Viking Captain Hauk Wartooth. Hauk is one of the only Captain’s skilled and fearless enough to brave the Straits of Isles at this time of year.
Your adventure begins as you are passing through a chain of islands as a storm rolls in – and Captain Hauk is trying to reach deep water before the storm intensifies.
As the storm intensifies and the danger starts to become real, the fear on the passenger’s faces start’s to verge on panic. Captain Hauk Wartooth gives the order for all passengers to be confined below decks for their own safety. His first mate, Gudrod the Keen Eyed, who is well known to and respected by the passengers, efficiently ushers everyone below decks.
The reality is the Captain cannot afford hysterical passengers and inexperienced seamen getting in his crews way. It is clear he is going to need all of his and his crew’s skill and experience to get the Mistress of the Sea through this ill-timed storm.
You are huddled among the other nervous passengers. Everyone is looking at each other, hopeful that someone will speak and lighten the mood….
A dwarven blacksmith who appears a little less apprehensive than everyone else looks around with a nervous grin and announces:
“Well lads, while we are stuck in here together there’s no need to sit around like bottles of stale piss! If we are going to die together you may as well know my name. I am Klur of Norhig, and I am a journeyman Blacksmith travelling to Cliffside Bay for an opportunity to work some of this bounty of iron they are pulling out of the hills there. I don’t like not having solid ground under my feet at all… but we are where we are!”
This is the perfect time for players to introduce themselves. Whoever has the highest Charisma ability score should ‘break the ice’, and PC’s should continue in order of Charisma ability scores.
The ship is being tossed around violently and making alarming loud creaking noises as timbers are flexed to their limits. The noise gets to a point where further conversation is not possible.
This continues for an indeterminable amount of time. The passengers remain huddled together silently. Finally things seem to be a lull in the storm and the noise dies down. Passengers begin to look at each other with a glint of hope in their eyes and a slight smile of relief.
Just as everyone starts to relax the ship lurches violently to one side. The whole ship shudders and seems to pause in stasis for a second…. And then there is a huge noise and shudder as timbers break and the hull is clearly breeched. You are tossed around and before you know it, it is pitch black and water starts to swill around your feet.
Somehow you can feel the rain lashing your face and see the stormy night sky above your head all of a sudden. You realise you are neck deep in water and grab a piece or the disintegrating ship and clutch it for dear life. You hang on. And on….. for what seems a freezing tempestuous eternity..
Eventually you hear waves breaking, and feel the surge of the water begin to change. Without warning a wave breaks over you and you briefly feel sand beneath your feet. You are unceremoniously dumped into shallow water and onto solid sand when the next wave washes over you. You crawl up onto the beach and lay down, exhausted.
The tropical climate begins to immediately warm you. It is still pitch black, so you lay back and rest, relieved to be alive but apprehensive as to what the morning may bring….