Aleksy Gracjan Nowak (Sarmatian Commonwealth, Prince)- Sam
Domenica Vespucci (Vodacce, Fate Witch) – Jessica
Ennio Vespucci (Voddace, Duelist) – Jesse
Roberto Gallo (Castille, Sailor) – Justin
Azucena Esquivel (Castille, Agent of Los Vagos) – Michelle
(With color added by the GM)
The scene was set, politics had turned it’s other cheek. Where once there was the politics of inaction, the Prince’s choice to conspire to create a true democracy, and break the chains of stagnation, had created a commotion. Gathering those who might support his father’s decrees, Prince Aleksy met in private with members of his fiance’s family and others, who shared a vested interest in the growth of democracy.
No sooner had they began their private conversation when Duke Sabat broke in and accused the Prince of treason. After a brief skirmish, the hopeful purveyors of freedom and equality escaped with their lives.
“What should we do now?” the Prince’s fiance, Domenica, asked between panting breaths.
“It’s your castle, don’t you know another way out?” the Prince’s old friend, Roberto, suggested.
“There’s a secret passage that leads through the basement. If we can get to it, it comes up near the docks,”
They would need to make their way through a series of rooms and halls to get there. Two rooms away from where the secret passage opened up, the Sabat guards called after them to “Halt!”
“This way,” the Prince called out to his companions.
Bursting into the ballroom, they found a balcony filled with Sabat guards, armed with muskets and crossbows. the Prince, a titan among men, grabbed a large banquet table and held it up like a moving wall. Azucena, the quietest of the small ones, tucked into the open space behind the mountain of a man, shoving his barricade forward. The Voddace siblings relied on their quickness to get them through the room, but the sailor was a man of another sort.
While his companions made their way quickly for the door on the other side of the room, Roberto dove beneath a banquet table. Grabbing randomly at bottles, he kept reaching around the table until he found the strong stuff. Mixing up a concoction falsely attributed to an Ussuran politician named Molotov, he rolled from under the table, lit the mix off a candle, and firebombed his would be attackers.
Finally, all of them through the door, a little worse for the wear, they barricaded the door to the study. Turning around they found themselves face to face with Sabat’s daughter, the Black Cat. She made a proposal of sorts to the Prince, but before he could answer, his fiance managed to catch the woman’s eye, and suggestively eyed the door of the adjacent room. Curious, Estera followed her into the adjoining room. Domenica closed the door behind them.
Azucena pulled up a chair and sat down as them men simply stared at one another for a good minute. The silence was finally broken by Roberto, “What just happened?”
Azucena sighed an indifferent, “Men…”
As the Sabat soldier began to pound at the door, trying to force their way in, the Prince and Roberto took to shoring up the bookcase with their own muscle. Ennio finally called out, “Sister? I think it’s time to go.”
A moment later, Domenica stepped out of the room, adjusting her dress ever so slightly. “Where’d she go?”
“Don’t worry about her, brother, she just needs a moment to herself.”
Azucena glanced out the window, “They’re setting up a defense outside.”
Domenica made her way to the window, and took a deep breath. Ennio had seen this before, she was about to deliver a speech. He tackled her to the ground. “I can convince them,” she shouted out.
“Get off of her,” the Prince yelled, trying to pull the man off his fiance. “Give her a chance.”
“It’s the fate of these people to aid the Prince in his righteousness,” she added, as Ennio allowed her to rise. “My future people,” she began once she reached the window, “Why take up arms against the man who hopes to set you free of the oppressive nobility, squandering away your life blood. Fight for your Prince! Fight for freedom!”
Her stirring words earned her a bullet wound, but turned several of the guards below. Soon, rather than shooting at the window, the guards below were in an argument about duty and responsibility. Prince Aleksy came to the window and encouraged them further until a fight broke out. From his vantage, the Prince used his knowledge of tactics to aid those who turned on their fellow guardsmen.
“If they’re going to fight for us, we should get down their and fight with them,” Ennio suggested.
“Agreed!” answered the Prince.
Domenica began knotting together curtains to make a rope to climb down. On the way, her grip slipped and she fell, landing with a bit of a thump. Ennio pulled his dagger and stuck it into the curtains, slowing his decent just enough to land safely with a flourish. “This way, Aleksy,” the tiny Castillian said, navigating a complex series of jutting stones to guide the Prince safely to the ground.
Meanwhile, Roberto decided to take his chances with the bush below, and simply lept. One of the guards fighting below was dispatched and his limp body shoved onto the bush just in time for Roberto to land on the added cushion of the body. “It’s seems this man came to our aid twice,” he suggested, as rolled back to his feet.
Captain Filip Kumiega arrived with the Royal guard and ordered them to capture the Prince and his accomplices.
“But sir, I’m not here with them, I came here to rescue you!” Roberto called out to Kumiega, as Azucena raced after him. The deception did not play with the Captain, but inside, Kumiega laid a deception of his own. Azucena walked into the trap of assassins who began to cut her down. She decided to ignore them and force her way through to Kumiega. Between the assassins and Kumiega’s pistol and sword, she was lucky to land him a minor blow before she fell helplessly to the ground.
Meanwhile, outside, Ennio and Aleksy made quick work of all but four of the guards. The four that remained, were caught by the glistening white of the fate witch’s revealed leg. She began to saunter off, back toward the castle, drawing all four of them… three, after Roberto shot the last one to turn. Having dropped their swords to follow the temptress, there was little they could do but surrender. Ennio and Aleksy ran toward the castle to help Azucena, with just enough time to hear him say to her, from behind his wall of assassins, “I should kill you now, but I think I will let the fire do the trick,” and then vanish off into a side corridor.
Aleksy and Ennio made quick work of the assassins and pulled Azucena from the castle before it was too late. Roberto called out to them as they emerged, “Get to The Choppa!” Moments later, Roberto’s ship, “The Choppa” set sale for safer ports and harbors.
In the coming months, their efforts to reestablish footing in the Sarmatian Empire met with little success. Roberto took the ship to an isalnd of diminutive aboriginals, hoping to resupply the ship, only to learn that what they wanted in trade was human flesh, and not the kind Domenica seemed to so readily offer. As the group fled to “The Choppa,” Ennio stood his ground, fighting off the hoards of tiny people while his companions made it to the ship.
Ennio then reached out to an old buddy from his Ambrogia dueling school who had connections with mercenaries, only to learn they had already been paid off by Sabat’s men, and instead set an ambush against them. Luckily, the Fate Witch foresaw the danger, and before he could lay the trap, she used her wiles to lay him up, and the group was never led into the ambush.
Domenica said, “I know of an island where people from all over gather for a grand feast. It’s a celebration of love and joy. But there will be people there who can help.” and indeed, she was right, there were people there who could help, many of them her “Exes” who didn’t all realize they were her exes. The disruptive fight that erupted from the love feast threaten to put them all in stitches. Azucena stepped in and grabbed the beloved host, the Monarch – formerly Prince – of the feast and threatened to end him, if everyone didn’t put down the bones and broken bottles with which they had been beating each other.
Realizing their efforts to find help in and around the Sarmatian Empire were quickly drying up, they set sail for Vodacce in hopes of securing the aid of Domenica’s father, the Count Vespucci.
Having a man of the cloth who was also the captain of “The Choppa” in their retinue, the Prince and Domenica decided to be married aboard the ship in hopes of cementing the alliance before anything more could interfere with their plans.
Arriving in Vodacce, however, came with disheartening news. Domenica’s father rejected offering any aid, wishing not to fall on the wrong side of a civil war. All hope seemed loss, until word spread about the Marquis de Rege’s Masquerade at the Rainbow House. Securing invitations, the now seasoned travelers made one last trip in hopes of securing any aid from the other well-to-do Vodacce nobility. They paired up and entered under false names, all except Roberto, who in his flamboyance was not only announced by his name, but immediately took to the dance floor.
Whatever music played, whatever dance was performed by the attendees, Roberto danced an elegant counter dance, disrupting every effort of the light on their feet crowd – and drawing every eye in the room, as the rest mingled and gathered information.
Domenica knew a good friend in de Rege’s court and was able to be introduced. Which each noble man or woman, the group managed to collect the right facts to tell the story to their particular interests or concerns, with little need for lies.
Meanwhile, Azucena noticed a strange man in a mask, watching her from the crowd. She immediately made for an empty side room and laid an ambush for him. When Kumeiga entered, Azucena made her move, knocked him to the ground and disarmed him. In a short amount of time, the small woman wrestled the large man into a chair and ties him up. She began to threaten him with pain, but it made little difference. Kumeiga was a man committed to his agenda,
Out in the courtyard, Sabat’s personal guard, Zyta, made her presence known and demanded de Rege turn over the prince. When de Rege refused, she insisted on a duel, and Ennio stepped in to stand in for the Marquis. The duel was fierce, Ennio drew first blood, but Zyta stripped him of shirt and scarred up his face. Ennio found a weakness in Zyta’s tactics and developed a pattern of attack and withdraw that routinely landed blows on Zyta. As the intensity of the fight ramped up, Zyta de-pants-ed Ennio, and took advantage of the flourish to land a devastating lunge. Both combatants looked to be on their final breaths, when Ennio draw on his last burst of strength and finished off Zyta, before collapsing to the ground himself.
Overall, I like the system. The openness is wonderful for creating a great story. The mechanics flow reasonably smoothly. The basic system is easy to learn. Over all, the game is a good balance of simplicity that still allows for excellent story telling.
On the other hand, the system is also so loose that the highly creative can almost abuse the system. If all the players play well together, the system is effective, but if you have a mix of people who think and work one step at a time and others who view things in grand, wide sweeping motions, then some players are disadvantaged by the system and others need to be reigned in. This is true for other RPG systems, but more so with 7th Sea 2e. Of course, this was also a group shifting from a very tactical system to a very open one, and over time with more play, these things might even out.
We also found the system for dueling to be a little focused on a single player. It takes some time, especially with a very difficult villain, and the way this portion of the story was written, it left the other players a bit bored.
All in all, the system is great fun and functions cohesively. The main short coming of the system is that it seems to require either very agreeable players or a very skilled GM to keep the game in balance so that some players are not bored or out-shined.
As a GM, the things I will likely change when running it in the future is flushing out the villains more, statistics wise, so that they have advantages at some things and weaknesses that can be exploited elsewhere. I would also like to see a more thoroughly flushed out dueling system. There is something more that needs to be added.