The PCs, Jasper and Sunbright, had stayed in the city of Mercir as their ship sailed back up to Clocker's Cove. Their purpose: figure out a way to disable a rival's ship. Their sponsor, Ashton Cobblebry III, had told them that if this captain or his ship were to meet an untimely accident, Ashton could work out a way for the Scavenger's Daughter to take its place when the fleet sailed for Zu.
The enterprising duo came up with a plan and a backup plan. First, a potent alchemical corrosive was crafted to dissolve important parts of the ship's rudder. Second, a potent . . .uh . . . laxitive . . . would be crafted so as to disable the captain, and possibly the crew. (When I had the player roll the craft skills, he rolled 2 natural 20's. I'd say he succeeded!)
Waiting until there were 4 days before the fleet left, Sunbright Dominated a crew member to sabotage the ship, spreading the corrosive acid around the rudder chains and any important brackets that might help disable the ship. While this did happen, the rumors they picked up were that there was only a 50/50 chance that the ship couldn't be repaired by the time the fleet left. So, they initiated Plan B.
Jasper and Sunbright visited the Diamond Spider Tavern, where the captain usually took his meals. Sunbright used a Heartshape power on the cook (a matronly 60 year old woman) to try to get her to put the laxative in the captain's dinner. (The cook rolled a natural 1 on her save). With additional diplomacy from Jasper, the cook agreed to the plan, but only on the condition that Sunbright stayed around for a bit. She'd never met anyone quite like him, you see, and it a while since her timbers were shivered . . . .
(When the player 'cast' the spell, he acted it out pretty well: "Yes, we would like to talk to you about a customer of yours, named Captain Angus Fraser. You see, we have business to -LOVE ME! . . . ." We were all laughing so hard, that when I rolled the nat 1, I immediately knew what was gonna happen.)
That night, poor Captain Fraser got the worst case of the runs anyone in Mercir had ever seen. A timely intervention by Sunbright and Jasper, and some wicked diplomacy rolls later, and the captain agreed to resign from the fleet, but only if Sunbright and Jasper bought the cargo he had already purchased (at a substantial discount), as well as give him the antidote to the poison.
Sunbright made some comments about killing the poor fellow, but Jasper had no interest in that. They had secured their position in the expiditionary fleet, and that was enough for him. Sunbright, meanwhile, celebrated their good fortune by staying that night at the Diamond Spider. The cook promised him breakfast . . . .
The next day, as the Scavenger's Daughter pulled in to port, word came that there was an emergency meeting of the financiers of the voyage. Captain MacGregor was to come at once in case he was needed. Bringing Jasper and Sunbright, they walked into a heated discussion, as one of the fianciers, named Malek Voyle, protested angrily that his ship was still fit, even if its captain wasn't. Ashton, meanwhile, was gathering support for his plan, explaining that Captain MacGregor and his crew were experienced sailors, having already much success with fighting pirates, and certainly having someone with combat experience may help their chances should Cryxian pirates be encountered en route. This argument won the day. Malek was not happy.
Next stop: Zu!