The Crew:Terry (Cap'n Beefheart), Jon Mark (Mr. Wang), Bill (Mr. Harrison), Ken (Mr. Stevens), Tommy (Isabella) and Tim (Bosun). I had Tim stay on board The Skidmark and man the cannon. The rest went ashore.
The Plot:The crew, jubilant that they'd successfully defeated both the "squid cult" and the cannibals, sheltered in a protected cove far in the southeast corner of the Fingers. To their surprise, a small village was discovered atop a rocky plateau that jutted into the cove. Captain Beefheart scanned the establishment with his spyglass.
"While th' huts be largely o' th' native grass variety, thar be a larger wooden buildin' as well as barrels and crates stacked about. Me thinks this small bay offers more than simple refuge!
"Bosun! Can ye sight some of th' starboard guns on th' huts? We'll be off ashore 'n scout it out. Bin got a feelin' we're in fer a rough leave."
The Game:The crew has finally located Captain Bonefist's lair.
|The village from the front...|
|...and the back.|
|Who's this mysterious troubadour?|
Then calamity struck. The Bosun's crew fired a cannon, but the shot either wasn't packed correctly or their aim really was awful. Regardless of the reason, canister shot ripped through the dinghy, making several of the away team dive for cover. Luckily, nobody was incapacitated, but it set the tone for the rest of the evening.
|Down, but not out!|
|Beefheart points an accusing finger at the Bosun.|
With that nasty business sorted out, the crew made for shore. They soon discovered that the village is armed and extremely dangerous!
Mr. Stevens, his blood up, rushed onto the beach before the dinghy was secured. He bellowed his ire while his pistols belched fire and flame. He melon balled one sailor's noggin before being beset by several of the unfortunate pirate's friends. He fell under a mass of bludgeoning blows, his blood mixing with the surging tide.
|Stevens is down.|
|It's a scrum.|
Wang noticed that "the bard" was directing the sailors' actions, so decided to handle the lout. He closed in a most dramatic fashion that involved intricate flips and high-pitched war cries. He met resistance from the minstrel, who then slipped behind a second line of waiting sailors.
At this point, the game turned south. The bard began playing his lute, which distracted Wang with its haunting melody. While he was daydreaming, one of Bonefist's crew snuck up and dispatched him. With Wang down, the rest of the away team eventually fell as well. The end of the scenario saw Beefheart and his crew being herded to the village and into the wooden building.
The rest was pure high adventure fiction...
Captain Bonefist lays on his cot, barely able to rise. He looks at the crew with haunted eyes; his sallow expression one of almost...relief.
"Ye found me." His voice is hardly audible and nowhere near the robust baritone Isabelle had described on numerous occasions.
"I be surprised we beat ye. Ye've been pains in my arse since ye sailed into th' Fingers. It doesn't matter, though...a hollow victory. I suppose ye'll be wantin' th' map piece. 'Tis over thar...In th' chest. I kept it from Cook 'n th' Bosun when they left with th' Devil's Knot and most o' me crew, but I be pretty sure they didn't want it anyway. They fear 'tis cursed. It may well be. Th' whole damn ta hell thin' be cursed. Damn ta hell Haworth 'n his thrice-damned treasure!" His words fade into a hacking cough. When he moves to cover his mouth, his sleeve falls down his arm. Bare bone, covered with dried muscles and sinew peek from under the cloth.
"Oh, aye. I be cursed alright. Don't worry, Beefheart. 'Twasn't Haworth's treasure that killed me. 'Twas Haworth himself! Oh, aye. I met th' bastard. I saw wi' me own two eyes his fortune and wanted it for meself." Another coughing fit ensues. Bonefist draws a battered breath and continues. "His touch did it. We shook hands 'n his taint slowly started to rot me flesh. I be a-feared that his curse has made its way through me. I wondered why he cackled so...Now I be knowin'!
"If ye find that miserable bastard, be sure to stay away from his touch 'n send him back to th' pit he crawled from! Be tellin' him Reynard Duvalier sends his regards from Hell!" Bonefist once again coughs copiously into his shriveled hand. He flops back into his cot, gasping for air.
"The bard's name is Louis. Lou Silvertone is what we be callin' him. He and th' crew that beat ye remained loyal to me after Cook and Bosun left. Take him with ye. He and th' lads will help ye with Haworth, but will then part ways. Call it a 'partin' gift'." He chuckles phlegmatically. "Now git out!"
So ended Captain Reynard "Bonefist" Duvalier's terrible reign over the Fingers.
The final map piece. The quest's end draws near. On the back of the scrap is scrawled the following (translated from the original Dutch):
Into the maelstrom you must go, but beware
For all the map pieces you must possess.
A place of darkness and despair,
You'll find Haworth and your fate.
Ominous words. What do they foreshadow?
Story upkeep of the fallen crew:
- Mr. Stevens recuperated just fine, but someone...stole...his pet bird.
- Mr. Harrison survived, but has some temporary skittishness about his mortality and will be slightly harder to call to action next game.
- Mr. Wang lived, but he suffered a blow to his confidence regarding his martial skills for the rest of his life.
- Isabelle succumbed to her wounds and was buried in a beautiful, but remote spot on the island.
- Captain Beefheart also survived, but also has some life-long doubts about his role in the world.