Shadows in the Abyss
Drink up me hearties, yo ho!
“With a saber of terror and triumph.
Carve your name upon the ever changing sea.
Fight for plunder, fame and glory.
Earn a name among the legends of the deep.”
– Besmara’s Verse
As war brews on the horizon, and a darker threat lurks in the murky depths of the ocean, the city of Freeport finds itself in peril, and the party must find time in their busy schedule of looting, pillaging and generally annoying as many figures of authority as possible, to ensure its safety. Donning their fetching hats, knee high boots and plethora of assorted guns, the crew have fought and died together. Having fought undead in Goldshore, battled with a powerful sorceress amidst a naval battle and joined the Pirate Council. They have lost close friends to powerful enemies, and a captain to treacherous twins, they have made a bargain with powerful child prodigies and slightly creepy extraplanar merchants. They have descended into ancient alchemical factories to obtain mystical ale, “liberated” wanted fugitives from Imperative jail cells, sailed to Tian in the far east in search of treasure and glory and defeated the challenges of the Allfather in the scorching deserts of Khales. More than all of these things, the Blind Empress is now their defeated foe, and the Imperative stands as a husk of its former glory.
All of a sudden Atmar looks like a giant playground.
The crew of the Betwixt Two Planes are:
Professional scoundrel, man of a thousand wives, pirate lord and captain of the ship. Aramis is a celebrated bard and notorious womaniser. Known to the common folk as “The Prodigal Lord”, “The Codpiece Captain” and “Aramis the Blackhearted”, Aramis is sure to confound his foes (and the DM), before stealing everything they have.
Born to a travelling family, his mother died giving birth to him, and his father was later killed by a runaway horse on the road. He vowed to make his father proud by becoming the most notorious bard in the world (A goal he’s working towards in his own sweet time). After drinking away his father’s money, he became a lodger at a small farm, and slowly grew attracted to the daughter of the owner. That was, until she broke his heart, in a way more vile an repulsive than he could ever have dreamed. With that, he left, and made his way to Goldshore, a small fishing town in a small island off the coast of Tirrimere. There he met with a halfling named Olo, and a sorcerer named Gwetherineldur. Together they fought their way into an old temple for a bit of coin, and soon developed a repor. After raiding a fort to return an escaped prisoner to the town guard, a visiting pirate captain noted the charisma and recklessness that Aramis displayed. Seeking to fashion himself an heir to replace him on the Pirate Council, Captain Brandon Rockheart of the pirate vessel The Mad Shark employed the three adventurers to assist him in his travels and plundering.
After the death of Captain Bran a year later, Aramis was elected a member of the Privateers Council. Since then he has made a name for himself as a captain of great prowess, and is feared by the lesser pirates. Aramis has gone so far as to seat himself as a ruling member of the Council, threatening the grip of Milton over the city and its privateers.
As a member of the pirate’s council, it is Aramis’ duty to ensure the safety of Freeport (a task he takes very lightly, and generally forgets about). As a Captain of the ship it his duty to steer the crew to fortune and greatness (but usually leaves the actual steering to Tyrnn). [Craig Greaves]
Weapon master, player of games, guest lecturer on mechanical engineering and first mate of the ship, little escapes the halfing rogue known as Olo. Feared and well known by pirates and merchants alike, his fey made gun, inherited from one of the greatest halflings ever to sail the seas, is a legend unto itself. Sporting an arsenal that could outfit a small army, Olo relies on his pistols, muskets, grenades and twin blades where discourse has invariably failed.
Olo grew up on the coast of Tirrimere, before being kidnapped by Goblins and forced into slaery. He watched his parents die in an effort to free him, his only consolation being that they succeeded. He escaped from his terrible past, and made a new home in Goldshore, but found the life to be uncomfortable and false. He joined with a group of mercenaries on the off chance that it might improve his prospects, and before long found himself aboard a ship, sailing for Freeport. Having found a family he never had in the crew, the adventuring has become more than a simple grab for coin.
Olo is a man who has lived knocking forever at death’s door. He has escaped narrowly countless times, and on two occasions found himself in Davy Jones’ locker, only to be revived by the crew who would hate to see him go, though they’d never admit as much to his face.
Known to the common folk as “The Seaslinger”, “The Guru of the Gun” and the “Bombadier Baron”. Always outnumbered, never outgunned, Olo is the Count of Hellfire Manor, the Empress’ Bane and one of the greatest Halflings alive in Atmar. [Tom Peacock]
Tyrnn is the guiding star for a crew of misguided brigands. A staunch believer in the pirate’s code, he has dedicated his life to the teachings of Gozreh, following the style of the Ascendant Master Angou Hatori. A monk of terrifying power, he has made his name known as a force to be reckoned with, and without his wisdom, the party would have fallen astray long ago (so many times).
Originally born to a family of herders, Tyrnn was offered to the monastary at an early age, learning there for many years. As a young man his monastary was attacked by pirates who took him prisoner. Through years of meditation and learning he has learned to reconcile two ways of life that at first glance would seem incompatible.
Since joining the crew Tyrnn has returned to his monastary and liberated it from the clutches of the followers of Zon Kuthon who would see it come to harm. Through his mercy, many have gained a new chance at life and redeemed themselves. For completing the trials of the Allfather, Tyrnn was crowned the High King of Khales, a defunct but fearsome title, only serving to further his reputation.
Tyrnn is known to the common folk as “The Desert King”, “The Acolyte of the Seas” and “The Fist of Gozreh”. [James Finch]
Shadows in the Abyss is a (hashed together) homebrew nautical/pirate themed Pathfinder campaign which is now in its sixth year of very sporadic playtime, travelling with the party from the quiet English Midlands to the urban tangle of London. It tracks the crew of The Betwixt Two Planes in the journeys across the Shattered Continent and beyond. The game uses elements from the infamous Freeport setting as well as combining stolen and original ideas from various sources.
What started as a game between strangers in the mercury lit kitchen of a university hall, has developed into a ridiculously convoluted epic, and a second life, lived alongside the more mundane one we all endure. After hundreds of hours of playtime, five years, sixteen level ups, two lost players and a boating holiday, what started out as a idle suggestion, now represents something far more than just rolling dice.
The blog is updated when we get time to play as we sail on the no less treacherous ocean of adulthood.