Nov 26 2020

Shady’s Solo Adventure Continues

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Picking up right where we left off

The Dragonfly was a more imposing ship than its name implied. A three-masted frigate, it dwarfed Shady’s own Moonlit Horizon and outgunned it by half. On the dock below teamsters came and went, loading the ship with stores. Shady sauntered casually among them, looking from crate to crate as any curious mariner might; but there was no sign of any munitions to be found.

“Shade-Of-the-Candle!” came a voice from above. “What are you doing poking your nose around my ship?” Shady looked up, smirking. Captain Ainsworth peered down at her with good-natured suspicion.

“Keeping an eye on the competition, what does it look like?” Shady replied. “It’s lean times for us little guys who don’t have the Lady Patrician’s ear.”

“We don’t have to be competitors,” Ainsworth said. “Come on up and sign articles, I could use an escort on this trip.”

“Ha! And have to hear you calling yourself ‘Commodore’? Not likely,” said Shady.

“More fool you,” Ainsworth replied. “Turning away easy money.”

“If it was so easy you wouldn’t want an escort,” said Shady. “What’s the journey?” (SHADY PERSUASION DC 15: 15)

“It’s not for the ears of the world to hear,” said Captain Ainsworth. “C’mon up, we’ll talk over a drink, I could use a break.”

(FATE QUESTION: Does Ainsworth intend to tell Shady the truth? NO)

A quick bound up the gangway and to the sterncastle of the Dragonfly led Shady into Ainsworth’s cabin. It was larger than Shady’s equivalent on the Moonlit Horizon, with a large table that doubled for holding large maps or hosting shipboard dinners. Currently it was covered with charts and logbooks, which Ainsworth was already covering by the time Shady stepped in. “There’s a bit of that crazy slime ale from Winnowing Reach if it suits you,” Ainsworth said. “Otherwise, help yourself to a bit of port.”

“Oh hell no,” said Shady, laughing. “Why do you even have that stuff?”

“Sometimes I want to impress visitors,” said Ainsworth. “I’ll stick with the port, myself.”

Shady chuckled as she poured the drinks; Ainsworth gestured for her to sit. “So what’s this journey of yours, then?” she said.

“Mostly precious ore and gemstones to Dragonwatch Keep,” Ainsworth said. “It’s a short trip, but if word’s got to pirates somehow…”

(SHADY INSIGHT DC 16: 17. She already knew he was lying because she saw the manifest; what she wants to figure out is why. EVENT MEANING ROLL: Why is Ainsworth (and the L.P.) keeping it secret from Shady? 23/23, “Judge/Balance”. It sounds like they’re worried that this shipment might tip the balance of power in the region. FATE QUESTION: Did the L.P. order Ainsworth to keep it secret because he was the only one she trusted? YES. That 23/23 is close enough to a double digit roll that we need a random event! Heck, what are the chances of two d100 rolls coming up the same twice? EVENT FOCUS ROLL: PC Negative. I think it’s time for Shady to open her big mouth.)

“Gemstones my ass!” Shady spat, slamming her drink glass down on the table. “Don’t LIE to me, Ainsworth! What’s really going on? Those are no gemstones you’re loading into your hold.” The Captain of the Dragonfly narrowed his eyes, but said nothing at this outburst. Shady glared at him for a long moment.

“Fine,” she finally said. “Nothing to say, huh?”

“I have my orders,” said Ainsworth. “If you want to stop being ‘one of the little guys,’ you’re going to have to learn what that means, Shade-Of-the-Candle. You’re sharp as a razor and you’ve got a good nose for the wind, but neither of those are any good without discipline. What does it matter what’s in my hold? If you wanted a piece of this job, you’d be expected to follow orders regardless of whatever it might be.”

(SHADY WISDOM SAVE DC 13: 9. She’s been goaded into saying more than she means to!)

Shady rose to her feet, coming nose-to-nose with Ainsworth. “I could deliver munitions to Dragonwatch Keep as well as anybody, and faster too. You might have more guns, but I’m way better for a chase and you know it. I don’t see why the Lady Patrician shouldn’t know it too.”

(FATE QUESTION: Will Ainsworth try to keep Shady prisoner so she doesn’t reveal the secret? EXCEPTIONAL NO.)

Ainsworth looked pained. “There’s no way you should know what’s in that shipment, Shady,” he said. “Somebody’s got loose lips.”

“And YOU should get better at covering your tracks, Dryden,” said Shady. “But I don’t give a damn about your munitions. I want to know why you’re getting jobs, and I’m not.”

“It’s not like that,” said Ainsworth. “You’re not being singled out. Even Kia, Sterling, and Adric don’t know. It was just going to be an ordinary job before… things got complicated.”

Shady’s brow furrowed. “What THINGS?”

Ainsworth shook his head. “Don’t want me to lie to you, Shady? Then don’t ask me questions I can’t answer.” He strode to the cabin door and opened it. “Go on, get out. Head back to your ship. In fact, you might want to take it to some other port for a while. Zan-Xadar maybe, or Oriab. If word gets to the Lady Patrician that you’ve been spying—”


“Well what else do you call it?”

“I call it trying to get a straight answer.”

Ainsworth looked away, pointedly holding the door open. “Go, Shady. There’s nothing more to discuss.”

“No,” said Shady. “I guess there’s not.”

Lady Patrician
Dragonwatch Keep
Captain Dryden Ainsworth
Wharfmaster Fean Wavecrest
Kia (Captain of the Recluse)
Sterling (Captain of the Silver Corsair)
Adric (Captain of the Blue Fin)


Steal the alchemist’s fire
The privateers’ rivalry
The L.P.’s intrigues
Ainsworth’s botched security vs. Shady’s spying
What are the complications?

Next Scene: Now you’ve made Shady curious. But first, some meta-work…

2 responses to “Shady’s Solo Adventure Continues”

  1. […] NEXT SCENE: Shady sneaking aboard (or snooping around) the Dragonfly to learn more about the shipment […]