Guznik Rocaviche aka “Our Fearless Leader”(Mike Harris)
Destrier (Jason Johnson)
Martin Greenlocke – “Locke” (Darren McVittie)
Nami aka “Our Brilliant Captain” (Jody Sherwood)
The Shell Game
On the streets of Ravens Bluff there is a common, although somewhat unsavory, sight as one travels about. At nearly every intersection where the authorities are not in evidence, there is a small, easily transported table set up, generally covered with a fine swath of silk or linen. Around this table there is a small crowd of tourists, stretching and craning their heads in order to be able to observe the tabletop. Upon this table there rests three circular cup-like objects. The person behind the table usually claims that they are rare Aboleth eggs, turned to cups for the audiences’ edification. The presenter then places a single gem under one of these, and begins moving them around and around on top of the table, switching the placement of the three cups as the crowd watches. The idea is then that the observers, for a small wager, can try to choose which cup holds the gem, winning the gem if they are correct, losing the wager if they are not. Obviously, the audience member always loses.
I bring up this sight because this week our heroes seemed to imitate nothing so much as this shell game. They were persistent in their wishes to appear to be what they were not and were incessant in their efforts to lose at every opportunity! Let me elaborate…
The whole situation began as our Heros tried to imitate civilized folk. Ensconced in the Princesses apartments at the end of a very fancy party they looked the part of a noble entourage, but of course, we all know this was the shallowest of shams. Deciding that perhaps this illusion wouldn’t hold long enough to fool everyone looking on, we approached Kendra the Seneschal in hopes that we could stroll down to the docks where we really did belong and take a quick peek to ensure that all was well with the boat (you remember, the boat, the one thing that Rochaviche still owns in the world, the single way we have left to reclaim his birthright, the one thing that might allow us eventual revenge and redemption – oh yes! The Boat!). At this point Destrier decided that he would further fool everyone. Instead of being a brilliant bodyguard, he would ensure that he was a complete liability by always playing the odds with his new favorite number – a one. Kendra apparently was also game for the deception mode for she abruptly changed from kind and generous host to brutal commander, quite possibly ordering us to our deaths in the deep of the night. Deciding to really get into the spirt of the evening we didn’t even try to act like heros, but took on the clever disguise of humble sheep and quietly gathered our things and hurried meekly to an unknown fate.
Out in the streets, it became apparent that once again Rocaviche had set the trend. Now everyone was trying to seem to be something that they weren’t. The whole town had turned into a war zone, with armies readying, front lines being established and siege preparations being made. What happened to the fun port city we stopped at just a day or two ago…remember the “have a little shore leave, do a few drugs, get a little drunk and pick up some work” place…now we were in the middle of an armed camp, ready to rain armageddon down on everyone! Quite frankly I wasn’t too fond of this game and wished we could get out of it, but Destrier was determined to play, and brought his 1’s to bear, ending us up in an armed camp by the city’s border. The Princess arrived, and apparently she was loving the new motif as well, for she arrived looking not like the sweet Princess of Rocaviche’s dreams, but rather like a vision from one of the darker planes of Hell. Where did she get a horse like that? The theme continued as we discovered that the port wasn’t really a port – it was a swimming pool. It seems that someone had really gotten into the theme of “now you see it, now you don’t” and somehow transported every ship right out of the harbor. THE SHIP IS GONE!
Well, the fun continued. Despite the fact that we have proved numerous times that we are completely incapable of interacting with groups of people without it ending in horrible bloodshed, both Chendra and Kendra felt we should lead a few armed contingents for them. Now completely in the spirit of things we decided we would act as if we were leaders and strategists! Off we charged, leading our troops and setting them about as if we waged war regularly. We came to a small inlet where Chendra assured us that if we could successfully battle the emplaced armies we would have a boat to take us onward. Since we were deep into the spirit of things not being what they really were, we completely took her at her word and suspected nothing else was possible except what she told us. Our Brilliant Captain was so caught up in this game that instead of doing exactly what she wanted, she acted as if she were a true team player and followed Our Fearless Leader’s orders to the letter. Our Fearless Leader, for his part, acted like he was a concerned and brilliant strategist, and not once throughout the whole event did he even hint at killing off his own crew members! Everyone got into the act as Martin rains down arrows on an unknown enemy and once again Destrier uses his new lucky number to find himself alone and discovered on the wrong side of enemy lines. Chendra, not to be outdone in this game of not being what you were, decided to charge in the calvary at just the wrong moment, ensuring that the battle would go fairly horribly wrong. Finally, to culminate the evening, Our Brilliant Captain decided that she would act like a fighter and go hand-to-hand with a dinosaur, Locke would pick every wrong place to be, Rocaviche would just plain stink in this fight and Destrier would cling tenaciously to his lucky number, running off in defeat to escape certain death. The bad guys took off in boats they apparently have no trouble keeping track of while we managed to tuck our tails between our legs and slink off on a small ship, having less than a quarter of the troops left, gained no ground, and LOST OUR SHIP. Happily it turns out that the mageocracy and their dopplegangers were in charge of the evening’s games, and thus is becomes clear why everything seemed to be different than it truly was. You can’t play a dopplegangers’ game and expect to win!
Our adventures end with a cold rain dripping down on a ship too small to carry the pitiful contingent that made it out of the inlet. Ravens Bluff is now apparently closed to our new employer and her house and we clearly have a first list of enemies of Rocaviche and a second list of enemies of Chendra. All in all, lying in the bowels of my ship sleeping off some lotus blossom is starting to seem like an unattainably high aspiration.