Wednesday is here and today brings twists and turns that we want to shake up this weeks adventure. As I start to write the twist for this week I am undecided n which direction I want this week to turn, or not (as twists are optional as with everything in DnD and adventure crafting) but I find that my routine to start writing has kindled an ember of a spark so will see where that goes today.
Today we link the past and the present together to see where we want to go from here and after I have written it up I still don’t like the direction it was going then I don’t have to use it for the main adventure.
Blake stepped carefully along the cobblestone streets, the sound of sea birds and waves resonated in the distance as he moved from shadow to shadow towards the docks. Careful to not arouse suspicion he had organised a feast for the guards as a way of thanking them for their diligence in keeping the city safe. A bunch of lies really all so he could meet with someone who could potentially win the forthcoming war.
As he stepped on the wet docks he looked up at The Seabreeze, a pang of guilt in sending his old friend away wriggled into his mind, shaking his head to displace the thought he turned and headed towards a warehouse at the end of the pier. Once used as half-way house for goods to come into the city it quickly fell into disuse when they built a newer dock as the city expanded complete with a much more robust storage facilities which could house more goods, more securely for longer periods of ties.
But that left the old warehouse to fade into memory, but not disuse as Blake quickly began to fill up the old warehouse.
Anticipation and the desire to not be seen made his footsteps quicken and once or twice the slippery boards and planks threatened to take him into the sea for a night time swim but his soldiers reflexes always caught him and his time on a ship kept his legs underneath him as he made his way across the boards.
Reaching the boards that constructed the doors of the warehouse he pulled out a old and worn key and unlocked the door. The unkept appearance kept people breaking in and apart from himself there was only a handful of trusted ex-soldiers like him that laboured away in the warehouse on his secret project.
“Bit late for a visit isn’t it Blake?” The voice of Bjorn, the head engineer said from a desk just inside the door, a bottle of rum on the desk and sketches, drawings an diagrams scattered in front of him.
“It’s never to late for progress old friend. How is she?” Blake asked closing the door behind him and locking it from the inside, the splash of water hitting the side of the warehouse and the clink of bottle on glass the only sounds.
“She has seen better days, I fear she won’t ever be as she used to be but we have made some progress. She should be more recognisable now.” Bjorn said, the squeal of his chair on the floor adding to the noises that Blake could count on one hand. “ere’ I’ll show you.” The old gruff man strode off into the darkness with his memory of the warehouse sufficient enough to tell him where boards were missing or things were left on the ground.
Having walked for a minute in the dark and silence Blake was startled, not that he would admit it, as Bjorn struck a flint and lit a lamp that hung to a post towards the back of the warehouse. The sudden light causing their eyes to adjust for a moment before they took in the vision before them.
A ship. A grand ship at that constructed of thick planks of hard wood, the layer of tar just under the surface of the wood forming a waterproof layer that would keep the huge vessel adrift. Climbing up a rope that hung very near to where they stood Blake made his way onto the deck, well what there was of it. Large patches of wood were bear exposing the frame of the ship, holes for war machines littered the sides of the vessel and a great iron container sat in the centre of the boat.
“Is that..” Blake began before Bjorn jumped next to him, clapping him on the shoulder”
“Not quite like what we used to have. This one has thicker walls and melted permafrost in between the inner and outer layer to act as a buffer for the contraption.” Bjorn said, pulling a pipe and lighting it with the lantern he had carried up with him. “I don’t know how those dwarves did it, but they managed to pull it off. We just need a power source now and we are good.” Bjorn mentioned, nodding towards the open hatch at the top of the vessel.
“And the rest of the deck. Probably need that too before we can set sail with her.” Blake mused, shouldering his friend gently as a chortle took over the older, bigger man. Looking at the network of pipes and cables that connected to the device he could see that the dwarves and gnomes he had brought into this endeavour were making their mark known. “What about weapons? I can see we have ports ready, what will she be able to do?”
Bjorn smiled, a toothy grin that spoke of his love of the subject. “Enough to take down a dragon turtle” he clasped his friend on the should before heading to the railing. “We still need the power source Blake” Bjorn said as he climbed over the edge.
“I know where it is, and I know just the people to get it for us.” Blake said to the darkness as he moved to the edge and prepared to climb over the side to re-join his old war companion.
Well that’s it for tonight. A slight tangent from what my thoughts were on from last week but that’s what makes these things twists. Use wise, Blake would be thinking of the old wrecks near the sea-elf city and using, persuading the party to go and retrieve the power source – the very same one that is corrupting the elves – to power his new war ship.
The reason I am erring on the side of not using this is so far my love of steampunk in adventures has been kept to a minimum in this string of adventures and to throw it in now may skew it into a direction I am not sure I want to take it. But, with some adjustments this could simply be a magical artefact (we have seen some such devices in the DMG) that is mechanical and magical legendary artefacts already and some of the settings books also have steampunk / magic-tech / hextech what ever you want to call it so it is not so far fetched.
That raises an interesting question – how does everyone feel on steam punk / advanced technology in a typical sword an sorcery setting such as D&D? Like it? hate it? Haven’t experienced it? I am interested to find out.
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for maps/setting and for Friday with fight night! And as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe