Monday, April 29, 2013

Interlude: The Wedding

Today's post is an Interlude guaranteed to provide some good roleplaying; the inspiration for it is detailed below.


Interlude 41: The Wedding
There are lots of reasons to enter into a marriage. Love, of course, is one, as is unifying two noble houses. According to Maureen Waller in her book 1700: Scenes from London Life, two more practical reasons came into play. One was that, according to English law, women's debts would be nullified upon taking the husband. (The theory was that having debt would make them unmarriageable, something that was to be avoided at all costs.) Another impetus was that women who gave birth out of wedlock could be punished for doing so, and thus they sometimes sought out husbands who could claim the child to prevent suchchastisement. With these considerations in mind, this Interlude presents a situation in which a desperate woman seeks out one of the PC's and proposes to marry him. To make it work best, please keep in mind the following considerations.

Choosing the Bridegroom
The GM should select the recipient of this proposal carefully. While it could be funny to spring this scenario on a prudish character who would be mortified by it, a character who might actually accept is an even better candidate. This might be a PC with a low Charisma score, especially one with bad manners and an ill temper. For that character, this is a rare opportunity to take an (at least first it would seem) appealing wife. Such a candidate is more likely to accept the proposal, and thus to experience the results of such a union. Of course, should the groom prove reluctant, the woman in question might be willing to tell the truth about her circumstances in order to gain his consent.

Conducting the Ceremony
More often than not, unions of this sort were conducted by preachers operating on the fringe of governmental and ecclesiastical law; they would peform the service for perhaps eight shillings, and even provide a legitimate marriage license for another twenty. This is a quick and efficient affair, with litle fanfare. The bride is certainly content with such a proceeding, but the PC groom--and his fellow crew members--might desire otherwise.

Further Developments
Naturally, the wedding ceremony is only the start of the relationship. Once it has been concluded, there are a number of possible events that might occur.
  • For one thing, if the bride owes a debt, somebody could come along to collect. If this is a government official, that person can be dissuaded by producing a license or witnesses who are willing to testify on the matter. On the other hand, if those who are come to claim the debt represent more nefarious interests, such as an organized criminal, it might take a show of force to convince them.
  • Should a child be involved in the matter, things could become even more complicated. There is, of course, the question of how involved the father will be in raising it. A generous sailor might be willing to send home money to provide for mother and child. Alternately, the bride could leave the child on the groom's doorstep and disappear. For an added twist, the actual father of the child could come seeking it, perhaps because it comes from an important bloodline.
  • On the off chance that the groom really does want to settle down and live like a proper husband and wife, this could make for all kinds of roleplaying opportunities.

The Bride
Expert 3; CR 2; Medium-sized; HD 3d6+3; hp 16; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 12 (+2 Dex); Atk +3 (1d4+1, dirk) or +4 (ranged); AL CG; SV: Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +5; Str 12, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 15.
Background: Colonist.
Skills: Bluff +8, Diplomacy +8, Gather Information +8, Knowledge: local +6, Knowledge: sea lore +6, Profession: whore +5.
Feats: Endurance, Force of Personality, Skill Focus (Bluff).
Fortunes: None.
Equipment: Dirk.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Three Treasures

Detailed here are three treasures that draw from various inspirations--one taken from a project for a friend's company, one from the novel Treasure Island, and one from time spent on Wikipedia.

Also, happy St. George's Day to those who celebrate it; I've always thought this should be the official Dungeons & Dragons holiday.


The Bloody Banner
This item is a reinterpretation of an item created originally for the All Hands On Deck! sourcebook from Interaction Point Games. It uses a set of rules taken from the article "On the Dreadful Curses of Blood" written by T.S. Luikart and published in Issue 1 of the Bucanneers & Bokor ezine from Adamant Entertainment. This kind of synergy is what makes the D20 System and its derivative products a great thing.

There is a band of mercenaries operating out of Europe known as the Crimson Company. While many of them operate as soldiers for hire in a way that is nothing new to the world, a few harbor a deep, dark secret. The core members of the Company, those who serve aboard the flagship Sanguine, have all participated in a bloody ritual that has bonded them into a formidable fighting force. When they go into battle they hoist the Bloody Banner, a red flag that signals no quarter asked or give. What few know is that the flag is stained by, and imbued with power from, the blood of the Crimson Company's members as well as its victims. Every new recruit, upon learning how to invoke the curse, cuts one's hand and swears loyalty to the organization. Similarly, after every successful attack, they wash the flag in the blood of their enemies.

In game terms, the Bloody Banner lets the crew of the Sanguine use the Blood Curse skill to inflict a doom spell upon their enemies. Each member of the ship's crew must make a DC 15 Blood Curse skill check; success costs a sacrifice of five hit points per crew member, but inflicts the effects of that spell on everyone aboard the opposing vessel. While that is a hefty price to pay, the cutthroats who sail under this flag have developed a strategy whereby the weaker crew members hang back aboard their ship to snipe at enemies, while the stronger ones board the opposing vessel and enter into melee.

The Parrot
A classical element from tales of pirate loot is the treasure map. While this is generally envisioned as a sheet of paper or parchment with a geographical sketch and appropriate clues, or even an X. This option provides a less direct, more challenging method of leading to the prize. In this case, the parrot has been trained to recite the clues to finding it, provided it's fed the proper lines to prompt those responses.

For example, the trigger phrase, a line from Dante's Inferno, could bring the response "The river Styx from the mouth of Hades flows." This is a reference to the volcanic spring known as Hell's Gate on the island of Monserrat. There the PC's could find another phrase, which prompts the reply "Halfway between Ireland and England." That, of course, is a reference to the towns of Plymouth and Kinsale on that island. Finding that exact spot could lead to another clue or to the cache of treasure.
Refer to a previous article, "The Benediction," to find stats for a parrot.

Sea Beggars Medals
Much has been made of the conflict pitting Protestant England against Catholic Spain at the end of the Sixteenth Century, exemplified best by Sir Francis Drake's attacks on New World territories--leading to his circumnavigation of the globe--and the battle between the English fleet and the Spanish Armada. At the same time, however, the Netherlands was involved in an extended campaign to throw off Spanish rule. This led to numerous conflicts at sea, led by a cadre of capable sailors and captains known as Geuzen. While they have not become so famous as Drake, Hawkins and Frobisher, they were nonetheless just as capable of defending their homeland.

Indeed, it was a common practice to craft medals to celebrate these nautical warriors and their victories. One type features an anthropomorphic crescent moon inscribed with phrases meaning "Rather Turkish than Papist, in spite of the Mass." While many of these were simply mundane decorations, others were imbued with protective magical energy. In game terms, these function as amulets of natural armor +1, and +2 versus Catholic opponents.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Relic and an Interlude

Recently I've been researching the history of Florida and the clash between the Spanish and French which occurred there. While doing so, I learned of a plant from the Caribbean islands that was believed to have aphrodisiac effects. I knew that this needed to be adapted as a relic for the bog, but I also knew that it could be a source for its own interlude.


Love Vine Potion
On the islands of the Bahamas, and elsewhere throughout the Caribbean Sea, grows a species of parasitic vine known as the Bahamian Love Vine. According to local legends, it can be used to brew powerful aphrodisiacs. Many settlers dismiss such notions as nothing more than superstition, of course, but those who've spent their lives inhabiting the wild places of the Caribbean know better. There are two subspecies of the vine; the more common one has no romantic influence whatsoever, but the rarer variety is just as potent as reputed.

In game terms, it takes a Survival check, or a Knowledge: nature check, to locate the effective variety of the Bahamian love vine. After that, a Craft: alchemy check is required to process it properly. These two efforts should be treated as a combined DC 50 check, so that a lower result on the first makes the second even more difficult. For example, if a character seeking the vine rolls a 20 for the Survival or Knowledge: nature check, then the base difficulty for the Craft: alchemy effort is 30.

DC / Resulting Concoction
50 / Potion of charm person
55 / Potion of charm monster
60 / Philter of love

In this way, characters who seek to harness the love vine's power might end up with less effective varieties, but those who really know what they're doing can capture its full potential. Note that the GM may need to adjust the relevant DC's, depending on the abilities of the PC's and NPC's in a campaign.

Interlude 40: The Potion
Much of the time, magical items only help the PC's succeed in their adventures. Sometimes, however, the items become the cause of the adventures. Take, for example, the concoctions that can be derived from the Bahamian love vine. While the lesser varieties have their uses, the actual philter of love can be used to create all kinds of interesting scenarios. A few of the many possibilities are detailed here.
  • First and foremost, the PC's could learn of a source for the plant, perhaps by acquiring a Mayan or Taino pharmacopoiea or something similar. At that point, the possibility for cashing in on it is only limited by the Player Characters' ambitions.
  • There is always the possibility, of course, that someone could send thieves to steal a potion, or the materials needed to create one.
  • Should an unscrupulous individual acquire a philter of love, that person could use it for any number of nefarious purposes. These might include causing a wealthy heiress to fall in love with a dishonorable rogue, or even trying to gain influence over a nobleman in the same manner.
  • For an added twist, someone could sow dissention among the PC's by feeding a philter to one of them.
  • Given these possible uses, someone could try to irradicate the vine from the Caribbean.
  • Considering its vast assemblage of lore from around the world, the Cabal is a likely candidate for trying to acquire the plant and its derivative.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Links to Two More Resources

This is just a quick post to mention a couple of interesting resources I've recently noticed.


Mutiny Magazine is an online publication with all kinds of pirate-related resources; there are four issues currently available.

Mutiny Magazine

I found it while checking out Under the Black Flag, which has all kinds of news and reference articles.

Under the Black Flag

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thessalonike of Macedon

I think I've said before that one of great things about a historical D&D campaign is how all the legends and tales from around the world form background the setting. Such is the case with this article, inspired by a Wikipedia article I found while reading about Alexander the Great.


Thessalonike of Macedon
According to history, Thessalonike of Macedon was the daughter of King Philip and thus half-sister of Alexander the Great. Legend has it that she was once visited by him, after he'd obtained the Elixir of Life, and that he used it to wash her hair, granting her tremendous longevity. Upon his death she tried to commit suicide by throwing herself into the sea, but the magic prevented her from dying. Instead she was transformed into something aking to a mermaid, one that possessed considerable power but that was also very fickle.

The stories say that she would stop passing ships and ask the sailors:

Ζει ο βασιλιάς Αλέξανδρος?
(Is Alexander the King alive?)

The proper answer is:

Ζει και βασιλεύει, και τον κόσμο κυριεύει!
(He lives and reigns and conquers the world!)

Those who answered correctly she would help speed along on their way. On the other hand, to those who answered wrongly she would reveal her true gorgon-like nature and attack.


Medium Monstrous Humanoid Sea Witch 6
Hit Dice:
12d8+12 (66 hp)
5 ft. (1 square); swim 40 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class:
16 (+3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple:
Shortbow +13/+8 ranged (1d6/x3) or dagger +13/+8 melee (1d4/19–20) or snakes +13 melee (1d4 plus poison)
Full Attack:
Shortbow +13/+8 or +11/+11/+6 ranged (1d6/x3); or dagger +13/+8 melee (1d4/19–20) and snakes +8 melee (1d4 plus poison)
5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks:
Petrifying gaze, poison; spells, ship model ritual
Special Qualities:
Amphibious, darkvision 60 ft.; attuned to the sea, spells, wind cord ritual
Fort +8, Ref +9, Will +13
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 16
Bluff +10, Concentration +7, Diplomacy +5, Disguise +10 (+12 acting), Intimidate +5, Knowledge (sea lore) +7, Listen +6, Move Silently +9, Spellcraft +7, Spot +14
Far Shot, Iron Will, Leaping Attack, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Weapon Finesse
Mediterranean Sea
Challenge Rating:
Double standard
By character class
Level Adjustment:

At first appearance, Thessalonike appears no different from other kinds of merfolk; she has the upper body of a beautiful Greek woman, and the lower body of a fish. Her true appearance is revealed, however, if an unfortunate individual answers her question incorrectly.

Thessalonike speaks Ancient Greek and Sabir.

A medusa tries to disguise its true nature until the intended victim is within range of its petrifying gaze, using subterfuge and bluffing games to convince the target that there is no danger. It uses normal weapons to attack those who avert their eyes or survive its gaze, while its poisonous snakes strike at adjacent opponents.

Petrifying Gaze (Su): Turn to stone permanently, 30 feet, Fortitude DC 15 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 14, initial damage 1d6 Str, secondary damage 2d6 Str. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Ship Model Ritual (Su): Unlike other sea witches, Thessalonike does not require material components or the expenditure of experience points to use the ship model ritual. Instead she can use it once per vessel encountered, either to help or harm the ship in question.

Spells per Day: Four zero-level, five 1st-level, three 2nd-level, two 3rd-level.

Spells Known: Detect magic, Guidance, Know Direction, Message, Resistance, Virtue; Bane, Bless, Doom, Endure Elements, Identify, Obscuring Mist, Summon Monster I; Aid, Augury, Gust of Wind, Protection from Arrows, Resist Energy, Status, Summon Monster II; Bestow Curse, Dispel Magic, Locate Object, Obscure Object, Pacify Storm*, Protection from Energy, Summon Monster III

*This spell is detailed in the Corsair rules supplement.

Using Thessalonike
Alexander's sister could be used in a campaign in many different ways; a few of the possibilities are detailed here.
  • The most obvious way she could encounter the PC's is by confronting them as they are sailing the Mediterranean Sea, as described above.
  • Alternately, the PC's could be part of a group sent to hunt down Thessalonike, perhaps in hopes of learning her secrets. This might be at the behest of the Inquisition, the Cabal, or somebody else.
  • Given that she, according to legend, gained her longevity through the Elixir of Life, the possibility that she might know where to find it could be an important discovery, indeed.
  • Her lair could, of course, contain any variety of treasures, as could the wrecks of the ships that she's sent to the bottom of the sea.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Ends of the Earth

Sometimes the adventures and articles flow freely, and sometimes it takes a lot more doing to make them come out of my head. This chapter in the Come Hell and High Water series hit a few obstacles, but thanks in part to being on spring break, I've finally had a chance to work through them. With that said, here it is.


The Ends of the Earth
This scenario is Part 15 of the Come Hell and High Water campaign, an adventure series for the Skull & Bones historical setting, for use with the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game version 3.5. It is intended for a party of ninth-level characters. Although it is intended as part of an ongoing collection of scenarios, it can also be run as a stand-alone adventure with a bit of modification. Note also that this scenario, much more than the ones that have come before it, is of a “sandbox” style, allowing for many different developments depending on the course of action chosen by the PC's.

There's an organization that operates out of England, a group of occultists known only as The Cabal. Their ultimate goal is the acquisition of arcane power, by any means necessary. To that end, they study ceaselessly the history and folklore of the world, looking for secrets to discover. Most recently they have decided to explore a curious anecdote from the report of Francis Fletcher, chaplain to no less than Sir Francis Drake, from when they and their crew sailed around the world.

During that voyage, Fletcher and some of the sailors mentioned seeing towering natives, albeit from a distance. One claimed to have seen graves for figures who stood some twelve feet in height, and one even mentioned an attack by said giants. These tales were dismissed at the time as fanciful, in the same way that other mariners have seen mermaids or other such oddities, but members of the Cabal have come to wonder if there's some truth to them.

Given the ancient tales about a race of giants—the nephilim—being descended from the angels, some believe that the giants could possess relics or lore from before the rise of Christianity. For that reason, one member of the Cabal, Muriel Grey, has decided to outfit an expedition bound for Patagonia to seek out the giants and acquire their goods and knowledge—by force, if need be. She has been overseeing preparations for the vessel Duchess, along with members of the Crimson Company mercenary group, and is now ready to embark on the voyage. The only thing for which she is waiting is the return of her brother, Ephraim.

Muriel and her allies are not the only people interested in this business, however. A member of the Knights of Christ--a holy order out of Portugal--has learned of the Cabal's activities. What is more, one of their number has chartered a ship to go in search of the giants and hopefully make friendly contact before the others arrive. Unfortunately, they have run afoul of a band of cannibals along the coast of Brazil, and now only a few survivors remain.

Recently said brother, while visiting the island of Aeaea in pursuit of lost lore from the witch Circe, encountered a band of pirates—the PC's. Given the unpredictable nature of heroes, this encounter could have ended in any number of ways. A few of the possibilities are detailed below.
  • The PC's might have been able to defeat Ephraim and his mercenaries, and perhaps even to gain control of his ship, the Duke, along with a cryptic message from Muriel. Should that be the case, they could sail right in to the rendezvous, perhaps while pretending to be the people they've defeated.
  • On the other hand, the PC's might have been defeated by their enemies, and are now being brought as prisoners aboard the Duke. In that case, they might need to find an opportunity to escape their bonds before taking further action.
  • Another possibility is that the PC's reached some kind of middle ground with Ephraim and the mercenaries, perhaps offering their services after demonstrating their abilities. Should this have happened, they could enter this new business as partners.
  • If the GM is using this as a one-shot scenario, the PC's could become involved through other means. Perhaps they are members of the Crimson Company, recruited by Muriel Grey. They could also be sailors, part of the Duchess's crew. For a twist on this, they could be agents of the Inquisition or even other Knights of Christ, sent to infiltrate the expedition.
  • Finally, the PC's could also acquire a copy of the secret message and, after interpreting it, decide to seek out more information about it.
Needless to say, these possibilities allow for many different ways in which the PC's can make their appearance at the White Keep.

The Secret Message
As mentioned above, Muriel sent an encoded message to her brother to summon him. To find more information about it, refer to Appendix 4 in the previous scenario, “Living Legends.”

Encounter 1—The White Keep
The encoded message refers to a “White Keep.” A DC 15 Knowledge (geography or history) check can reveal this as a reference to the Tower of London, the main part of which—a keep—is known as the White Tower. This was built starting in 1066, and since then has served as a royal residence, an armory, a treasury, a prison, and even a menagerie. For this business it is simply a landmark, but it could prove much more important in the future.

Visiting the Old Country
If this is the first time that the PC's have paid a visit to London, it should be memorable. They can make the voyage, either across the Atlantic or around Europe, and then into the English Channel and up the Thames River, along the shore of which many vessels lie at anchor. As they do so, the GM should keep in mind a number of different factors.
  • Should the voyage take the PCs through any waters controlled by their enemies, they might have a run-in with an old foe. This could especially be the case if the PC's have defied any Spanish authorities. For that reason, it's important to know in which vessel they're sailing, what colors they are flying, and the like.
  • If the PC's are free to act, the voyage to London could also include any of the Interludes mentioned as part of Encounter 2, below.
  • On the other hand, if the PC's are being brought in as prisoners aboard the Duke, they can watch as that ship drops anchor next to the Duchess and Ephraim (or someone else who has survived) is rowed over to it in a longboat.
Once they've arrived on the scene, the PC's can make DC 10 Search or Spot checks to notice the ship Duchess, lying at anchor; from there, it is up to them to decide how to approach the situation (unless they're being held prisoner, as mentioned above).

Gaining Access
The next task the PC's face is devising a means of joining the expedition. As mentioned above, this could happen naturally as a result of events from the scenario “Living Legends,” if they participated in it. Alternately, they could seek to be hired on as crew members. Doing so requires a DC 10 Gather Information check, followed by a similar Diplomacy effort to make a good impression. Of course, PC's who possess useful abilities can increase their chances of being hired. Captain Dolan handles this business, which takes place in a dockside tavern, but it could also provide a good chance to introduce Muriel or other NPC's for a little added drama. It also provides an opportunity for good roleplaying, as the Captain questions the PC's about their experience and abilities.

As long as the PC's are successful, one way or another, they can go onboard the Duchess. Once that happens, refer to the next encounter.

Exploring London Town and the White Keep
Given that it's one of the largest cities in the world, it would be perfectly understandable if the PC's wanted to see the sights and sample the offerings of London. Such doings are beyond the scope of this adventure, but the GM is free to indulge the players if that is their wish. Similarly, the Tower serves as nothing more than a landmark for these events, but may become important depending on future developments.

Encounter 2—At Sea
Once the Duchess sets sail, this scenario becomes quite open-ended. As usual, the GM should add or develop interactions as suits the desires of the players and the needs of the campaign. There should be some chance for the PC's to explore and to meet other crew members and passengers, however, so as to better establish various elements and conflicts for later in the adventure.

The Ship
Refer to the deck plans for a refitted slave ship to find a layout of the Duchess; it is outfitted as detailed below.

1. Main Deck
All of the usual business takes place here.

2. Passenger Cabins
Depending on how the PC's come aboard the Duchess, they might be assigned to these quarters. Given the makeup of the party, some characters might need to double up in cabins. Furthermore, the Inquisitor, Oliver Lemaire, has been assigned to one cabin, and could be required to share with a PC. .

3. Captain's Cabin
As expected, Captain Russel Dolan has his quarters here. If the PC's are interested in learning more about the nature of the voyage, they could do well to check out his logbook and charts, which he keeps in a locked sea chest when not in use.

4. Muriel's Cabin
This location is an even better source of information, but gaining access to it should prove quite the challenge. For one thing, Muriel is very protective of her private space and doesn't allow just anyone to access it. What is more, her personal possessions are kept locked in a solid trunk that is also protected with an arcane lock spell.

5. Crew Quarters
The sailors who man the Duchess sleep, eat and otherwise spend their non-working hours here. If the PC's should come aboard in this guise, they would also be assigned to hammocks amid this mass of humanity.

6. Manger
Outside of coils of rope, there is nothing of interest here.

7. Forecastle
This is a common place for passengers to spend their time while the ship is under way, keeping them out of the way of the crew.

8. Sterncastle
A helmsman and assistant are stationed here at all times, and Captain Dolan can also usually be found here. In fair weather tables and chairs can be brought out for meals, and occasionally for entertainments such as music or games.

9. Upper Hold and Gun Deck
The gun deck here is kept clear of baggage, in preparation for necessary action. Crates, barrels and sacks of foodstuffs are kept in the aft section, providing easy access for the ship's cook and his assistants.

10. Storage and Mess
Not surprisingly, meals are prepared here; some of the crew also dine in this area, and food and drink are also brought to sailors who are on duty.

11. Lower Hold and Gun Deck
Here again, the area amdiships is kept clear in case of action. In the aft compartment is stored the other equipment for the expedition, including crates of firearms, casks of gunpowder, racks of sharpened cutlasses and the like.

12. Infirmary
This area has been outfitted with tables and beds for performing surgery and for resting patients. It is, of course, unoccupied at the start of the scenario, but could come to be filled as the voyage progresses. The doctor, Owen Acheson, also has his quarters here.

This is another good opportunity to include some of the previous interludes. During the crossing of the Atlantic, particularly appropriate are “The Storm,” “The Stowaway,” “The Serpent,” “The Menagerie,” “The Competition 2,” or “The Jonah” or “The Hazards.” For those who want even more action, “The Timingila” could be a good option.

Muriel and the Cabal
The PC's could attract Muriel's attention in a number of different ways. Perhaps they respond well to a crisis, thereby saving the lives of other passengers or crew members, or they could demonstrate exceptional skills during a competition. Whatever the case, she is bound to recognize that they are more than just typical sailors. Just how she reacts to this is open to interpretation by the GM. It should be noted, however, that she is dedicated to her task, and it would take some serious romantic developments for her to take an interest in an available male.

The Crimson Company
These mercenaries, who function like a company of marines aboard the ship, can serve as rivals to the PC's. After all, they are proud of their martial skills and tend to scoff at others who claim to possess prowess. They could be interested in non-lethal sparring with one or more of the PC's; this might even lead to friendly wagers amongst members and others. The mercenaries have enough discipline not to let things go too far, though.

Stopping in Port
The final preparation before heading for the Strait of Magellan is to stop and resupply in Port Royal. As the ship enters the Caribbean, it could happen that the Duchess encounters another vessel carrying someone from the party's past, perhaps an old enemy or even ally. This could make for another roleplaying opportunity, as the PC's have to scramble to hide their true identities from a foe or communicate surreptitiously with a friend. The chances of such an encounter are even greater when the ship docks, allowing for any number of familiar faces to make an appearance.

Encounter 3—En Route
In addition to all of the possible encounters detailed above, as the ship makes it way from the Caribbean, along the coast of the Spanish Main and South America, and toward the Strait, the ship and its crew come across the scene of a vicious attack; the details of this are provided below.

Crossing the Line
There is an old naval tradition of making a formal observance when a ship crosses the equator. Since this voyage does so, discussion arises about a day before the crossing. Those people aboard the Duchess who have not done so before are singled out for this special initiation. At the appropriate time, Captain Dolan takes on the part of Poseidon, donning mop-head wig and beard, while Muriel is transformed into Amphitrite, his wife. They hold court, calling before themselves all of the aforementioned initiates. There is, of course, a copious amount of rum punch served to help add to the festivities.

The initiation ceremony consists of a mock baptism. Each of the initiates, one at a time, is tied into a harness which in turn is affixed to a line through a block and tackle hung from the main yardarm. Those sailors who have already crossed the line handle the other end of the rope, hoisting the initiates over the side for three duckings. This could be handled strictly through description and roleplaying; alternately, the initiates could make three DC 10 Fortitude saves to resist crying out or otherwise giving the others fodder for taunting. Characters who can “take it like men” might be toasted with extra rum punch and earn bragging rights for such a display of fortitude.

The Aftermath
This encounter can happen anywhere close to Brazil. As they are sailing, everyone aboard the ship who is in a position to do so should make a Search or Spot check; the character with the highest result is the first to notice a vessel lying at anchor close to the mainland. This is the Intrepido, the Portuguese vessel chartered by the Knights of Christ. It has suffered the misfortune of being overrun by natives of the Tupinamba tribe. As a result, the survivors of the attack have been carried off to the natives' village.

The ship itself is in pristine condition, as is the cargo that it carries. (Refer to the deck plans for a sloop for the layout of this vessel.) There seems to be nobody aboard, however--that is, until the woman hiding in the crow's nest realizes that the newcomers are not natives. This survivor, Amelia--who is the daughter of the captain, Claudio Cordeiro--is the sole witness to the tragedy that unfolded here. Once the attack was in full swing, and her father and the crewmen were being overrun, Amelia managed to escape and climb the ratline to the crow's nest. At that point she cut the rope ladders, and then fought like a wildcat to defend her position. The attackers eventually gave up and let her be, and for the better part of a day she's been trapped there.

Assuming that the PC's can make it clear that they are not cannibals, they can gain her cooperation. There is still the matter of helping her down from the crow's next, although sufficient use of the Climb or Use Rope skills should allow for a rescue. As long as someone can speak Portuguese--or, failing that, Spanish--they can learn of the attack and the fact that her fellows have been taken back to the mainland. At that point she asks them to help stage a rescue, pleading for the lives of her father and his men if need be. She has nothing to offer that the PC's and their associates cannot simply take, but hopefully there is no need for her to bargain in such a manner.

Even so, this situation should make for some interesting roleplaying. After all, Ephraim and Muriel Grey don't wish to be delayed by this business, but they do acquiesce if the PC's make a case for helping these unfortunates. While they are mercenary individuals, they don't care to wallow in this fact. What is more, Amelia takes her time to feel out the PC's and determine if they are trustworthy. As long as she believes that to be the case, she opens up to them about the truth behind her identity and her mission.

The Village
About half a mile into the Brazilian jungle is the cannibals' village. It sits in a clearing on a small hill; Refer to the map for a layout. The edge of the jungle is represented by the outer line, while the inner line represents a five-foot increase in elevation.

The huts themselves are simple mud-and-wattle affairs, each one housing a warrior and his family. Each one has a fire pit in the middle, along with crude beds around the outside of it. At the GM's discretion, there could be various trinkets, along with crude weapons and other equipment, in each of them.

In the middle of the village is a large cage made from logs lashed together. This is where the surviving prisoners--including a dozen sailors, but, sadly, not Capitan Cordeiro, who has been eaten--are being held. They are guarded at all times by four warriors, along with a champion. The challenge here, if the PC's have agreed to stage a rescue, is to incapicate the guards without raising the alarm. Stealth and a quick strike are probably the best options for achieving this. Of course, given that this encounter is not the main focus of the adventure, the GM may wish to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to devising stratagems when it comes to staging a rescue.

Should the cannibals manage to raise an alarm, the situation becomes a good deal more difficult. There are a total of seven warriors, three champions and one chief who can respond to it, meaning that the PC's and their allies should have their hands full if they intend to stand their ground and fight. Of course, at the GM's discretion, there could also be more warriors and champions out hunting in the surrounding jungle,

Whether or not the PC's succeed in rescuing the Portuguese sailors, the presence of an empty ship presents another important decision for the members of the expedition. After all, it is a valuable prize, and as such should not simply be left to rot. Ephraim and Muriel would prefer this option, of course, but they are not so obstinate as to insist upon it. For that reason, it may become necessary to put a prize crew aboard it. This could allow the PC's to gain a little bit of freedom and privacy, especially if they insisted upon staging the rescue. After all, Amelia has legal claim to the ship, and any surviving sailors swear loyalty to their rescuers and to her. She also hopes to complete her mission by undermining the efforts of the Cabal's agents. How this plays out is up to one or more PC's and the GM.

Encounter 4—The Southern Passage
Whatever hijinks and other business has transpired during the voyage, the primary goal of the voyage comes into focus once again as the Duchess makes its approach on the Strait of Magellan. There are at least a couple of reasons for this. For one, the weather begins to turn cold. Then there's the fact that the passage through the strait makes for slow and difficult travel. This doesn't even mention the fact that everyone is sailing into territory occupied by the giants. All of these developments are detailed below.

Cold... So cold...” (Again)
Declining temperatures present a danger to the crew and passengers. Those who venture out on deck must make a DC 15 Fortitude save for each hour of exposure, with a cumulative +1 modifier for each additional hour spent outside. Proper clothing provides a +2 equipment bonus to these saves, a reward for those who thought to purchase such items before setting sail. Failure causes 1d6 subdual damage. These checks should be used to represent a standard day aboard ship, depending on the characters' involvement in watches and reactions to other dangers.

The Passage
As the Duchess passes into the Strait of Magellan, it creates an ominous scene. In addition to the icebergs that present their own hazards, the stone walls of the passage tower above the ship, creating an almost claustrophobic effect. Amidst all of this, the snow begins to fall. This makes for difficult sailing, to the extent that it becomes important for everyone to be on the lookout for rocks. The difficulty for seeing them, along with the damage that they can do, depends on the size of the rocks in question. Note, too, that the characters suffer a -2 circumstance penalty to checks due to the falling snow. The GM should feel free to choose a number of obstacles to make the scene exciting, but not so many that this dominates the rest of the encounter.

Huge—DC 26 to notice—DC 20 to avoid—Damage 4d8
Gargantuan—DC 23 to notice—DC 23 to avoid—Damage 6d8
Colossal—DC 20 to notice—DC 26 to avoid—Damage 8d8

Furthermore, a vessel that suffers more than 50% of its hull points in damage from a collision is stopped dead in the water. In order to free it, the crew of the ship must succeed at a DC 24 Profession: sailor check, a process that last one hour. The DC of this check is reduced by two for every step that the tide rises, representing the fact that rising water can simply float a ship free (see below for more details). This means that ships which hit an obstacle during high tide are in big trouble. At the GM's discretion, each time the tide falls by a step, the obstacle does one quarter the original damage again to a trapped ship; this represents new stresses on the hull due to the falling water level. Woe to those poor ships that should be trapped in such a way if a storm arises.

The Companion
During the voyage, as the ship approaches the Strait of Magellan, it attracts the attention of a whale. This isn't a normal one, however; rather, it is the animal companion of a giant shaman named Gath. As such, it comes to check out the newly arrived vessel, swimming for a while alongside it. The PC with the highest Search or Spot check is the first to notice it, at which point that person and the rest of the party can react accordingly.

This encounter thus functions as a kind of test, since any hostile actions toward the whale indicate the party's wicked intentions and thus make the giants unfriendly or even hostile once actual contact occurs. The crew members of the Duchess suggest harpooning the whale so as to gain meat to eat; indeed, the bloodthirsty members of the Crimson Company relish the idea of hunting it. After all, the whale companion's shaman is watching, and judges the humans accordingly.

The Sighting
While all of this is happening, there's also a chance that the PC's or someone else notices Gath. Doing so requires a Search or Spot check opposed to his efforts to Hide, and he receives a +5 equipment bonus due to the clothing that he wears. From this distance—he is standing atop a nearby cliff—all that the PC's and their fellow can tell is that he is a towering figure much bigger than a normal person. Even so, it gives the characters their first confirmation that they've made a truly grand discovery, and could influence how the rest of the giants react to these newcomers.

Encounter 5—Giants in the Earth
There's still the question, of course, of what to do about this discovery. A number of characters have their own ideas on that subject, which should make for some intriguing conflicts. The response should start with Muriel, but could then go in any number of directions. Her intention is to make a landing and scout out the area with a small party, until they can locate the giants' lair. At that point, she is willing to unload the mercenaries of the Crimson Company and take the lair by force, so as to acquire any relics or lore that the giants might possess. While this might seem ostentatious, the fact that they possess the four stones of David means that they present a deadly threat to the giants.

As always, the PC's could have their own ideas. This is where a good deal of GM adjudication becomes necessary, although the following guidelines should be considered. Roll a Diplomacy check to determine the attitude of the giants, keeping in mind the following circumstances and modifiers. It could also be possible that the PC's decide to approach the giants seperately, allowing them to make their own check and first impression.

Result / Attitude
4 or less / Hostile
5 - 14 / Unfriendly
15 - 24 / Indifferent
25 - 34 / Friendly
35 or more / Helpful

Modifier / Circumstance
+5 / The PC's prevented anyone from harming the whale.
+2 / The PC's act in an appropriate deferential manner.
-2 / Someone hurt the whale but did not kill it.
-5 / Somebody killed the whale.
-2 / The PC's or their associates are shown to possess the stones of David.

All of these modifiers are cumulative.

From the point of first contact onward, this scenario could go in any number of directions. While it's never possible to predict what the PC's will do, and thus how the NPC's will respond, a few of the more likely possibilities are detailed here.

For there part, Muriel and Ephraim Grey want nothing more than to visit the giants' lair and acquire any relics or lore that they possess. To that end, they try diplomacy force, stealth second and force third. If the newcomers make a suitable first impression--indifferent or better--the giants invite them into their home. After all, they are hesitant to provoke open combat, and instead hope that they can bide their time and perhaps leave if it looks like the humans wish to settle the area. As mentioned above, Gath might seek to meet with the PC's seperately from the rest of the expedition if they have suitably impressed him. As long as anyone receives such an invitation, refer to the description and map of the giants' lair, below, for additional details.

Another possibility is that Muriel can use her familiar, Shadow, to spy on the giants. The raven is quite intelligent, and she can augment him with her own spells. In this way, he presents the GM with an opportunity to advance the plot in a climactic direction, even if the PC's are doing their best to prevent hostilities.

On the subject of hostilities, probably the most action-oriented of the potential outcomes for this scenario is if Muriel and her mercenaries go to war with the giants to claim their treasures. Given their contingent of mercenaries, and the fact that they possess the stones of David, they should present a roughly even match for the giants. Here again, it's up to the PC's to decide on which side they want to fight. Whatever the case, refer to the map of the giants' island and lair for a layout of the area and details of how this could develop.

The Island
A short, broad spire of rock rising out of the sea, the island stands amidts a cluster of other such bodies on the edge of Magellan's passage. It stands about seventy-five feet tall at its highest point. At about fifty feet of elevation, two cavern mouths are concealed amidst the craggy rock; noticing the main one requires a DC 15 Search or Spot check, while the other is more carefully hidden and thus needs a DC 25 check to be found. From each cave, a tunnel that varies between fifteen and twenty feet in width leads back for about a hundred feet to their lair. At any given time, at least one giant is posted at each entrance. If the giants are given a reason to suspect danger, this increases to two or three of their number.

Refer to Chapter 13 of the Skull & Bones rulebook to find stats for normal island giants. What is more, the article "The Giants of Patagonia" introduces stats for young giants, along with those for hunters and wizards. All in all, the lair is home to four adult male giants and five adult females, along with six adolescents and three juveniles. They are led by Gath, the shaman.

The Lair
Refer to the appropriate map for the following area descriptions. The giants' lair is located in a natural cavern that has been expanded, creating one broad chamber with a handful of passages and tunnels leading from it. There is a broad wooden table, surrounded by eight stools, in the center of it. Along two walls there are piles of skins, furs and blankets that the giants use for beds. A large fireplace dominates one wall, and along with it a number of torch sconces throughout the chamber provide ample albeit smoky light. Two tunnels lead out to the entrances, one of which is secret. There is also a well in one corner, and a midden pit down a short passage in another. Finally, a narrow tunnel leads upward above the hearth, providing a vent for the smoke; it takes a DC 15 Escape Artist check, along with a DC 5 Climb check, to pass through it. This passage rises upward for fifteen feet before exiting atop the island.

What should interest a number of characters the most, however, is a rather anomalous statue that sits in front of the wall opposite the hearth. This depicts the giant Antaeus, a figure who was slain by Herakles in Greek mythology. A secret door (DC 25 Search or Spot to notice) is built into the wall behind it, although the means of opening this door is not readily apparent. The trick here is to recall the story of how Herakles defeated Antaeus, something that can be done with a DC 25 Knowledge (history or religion) check. According to legend, Antaeus was invincible when in contact with his mother, Gaea--also known as the earth. He was not so powerful, however, when lifted off of his feet, something that Herakles did in order to defeat the giant. With this in mind, one or more characters must raise the statue (DC 30 Strength check) in order to open the secret door.

Beyond that is a small chamber that contains the giants' treasures. These include Goliath's armor and spear; the Cross of Saint Christopher; and a collection of ancient tablets, scrolls and the like. Refer to Appendix 2, below, for more information regarding the giants' treasures and the lore that they possess.

As mentioned above, this scenario could end in all kinds of different ways. The two most likely possibilities are these:

1. The PC's could double-cross the Cabal, either by helping to defeat the agents and their mercenaries, by helping the giants to escape with their relics and lore, or something else. In that event, the chances are good that they would find themselves hunted by other Cabal agents--once word reaches England, that is.

2. On the other hand, the PC's could help the agents recover said items, and therefore find themselves in that organization's good graces. Should that happen, they could be taken back to England and offered employment pursuing similar business.

Whichever is the case, these outcomes should have huge implications for the future direction of the campaign, as detailed below. Additionally, the PC's should gain enough experience to reach 10th level.

Continuing Adventures
Depending on the situations mentioned above, the PC's could be looking at any number of future adventures.

1. The giants, if they managed to defeat the agents of the Cabal, probably need to find a new home. This could involve taking them aboard a ship and sailing into the South Sea for an uncharted island, or a similar situation. All the while, Muriel would continue to spy on the PC's, perhaps using Shadow to do so, in order to monitor their movements and perhaps learn what she can from them. She and her allies are likely to seek vengeance against the PC's, and to continue efforts toward acquiring the antedeluvian texts.

2. The other option, undertaking service to the Cabal, could lead to a variety of quests: recovering relics from far-flung locations, seeking out previously undiscovered places and cultures, and the like.

3. There is also the matter of Amelia Cordeiro, who wishes to return to Portugal so as to report to her superiors and decide how best to pursue this business.

In all of these cases, and any others that might arise, the subsequent scenarios are likely to require a good deal of modification on the part of the GM to tailor them according to the appropriate circumstances.

Appendix 1—Dramatis Personae

Amelia Cordeiro
Paladin 9; CR 9; Size; HD 9d10+20; hp 74; Init +0 (+0 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 10 (+0 Dex); Atk +11 (1d6+2, rapier) or +9 (2d6, muskets); SQ Aura of good, detect evil, smite evil 2/day, divine grace, aura of courage, divine health, special mount; AL LG; SV: Fort +11, Ref +6, Will +8; Str 14, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 16.
Background: Lady-Adventurer (Diplomacy, Knowledge: nobility).
Skills: Diplomacy +15, Heal +14, Knowledge (religion) +12.
Feats: Dodge, Improved Critical (rapier), Riposte, Swordsman's Gambit, Weapon Focus (rapier).
Fortunes: Obligation, Cause.
Equipment: Clothing, rapier +2, six muskets, powder and shot, holy symbol.

Amelia Cordeiro is something of an anomaly, a female member of the Knights of Christ. In this capacity she has served as an aide to her father, providing him with both a capable assistant and and ace in the hole when others would underestimate her abilities. Now that he is dead, however, she vows to complete his mission--preventing the Cabal from gaining access to unprecedented and unholy power.

Cannibal Champion
Ranger 5; CR 5; Size medium; HD 5d10+5; hp 37; Init +3 (+3 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 15 (+3 Dex, +2 armor); Atk +8/+3 (1d6, short bow) or +6/+1 (1d6+1, machete); SQ Favored Enemy (humans, pygmies), Wild Empathy, Combat Style (archery), Endurance, Animal Companion; AL CN; SV: Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +3; Str 13, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8.
Background: Native.
Skills: Climb +10, Heal +6, Hide +11, Listen +10, Move Silently +11, Spot +10, Survival +10, Swim +10.
Feats: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot,Track.
Fortunes: None.
Equipment: Bow and arrows, machete (treat as buccaneer knife).

Cannibal Chieftain
Ranger 11; CR 11; Size medium; HD 11d10+11; hp 76; Init +3 (+3 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 15 (+3 Dex, +2 armor); Atk +14/+9/+5 (1d6, short bow) or +13/+8/+3 (1d6+2, machete); SQ Favored Enemy (humans, pygmies, onijegi), Wild Empathy, Combat Style (archery), Endurance, Animal Companion, Improved Combat Style, Woodland Stride, Swift Tracker, Evasion, Combat Style Mastery; AL CN; SV: Fort +8, Ref +10, Will +5; Str 14, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8.
Background: Native.
Skills: Climb +17, Heal +6, Hide +17, Listen +16, Move Silently +17, Spot +16, Survival +16, Swim +17.
Feats: Improved Critical (short bow), Improved Precise Shot, Manyshot, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot,Track.
Fortunes: None.
Equipment: Bow and arrows, machete (treat as buccaneer knife).

Cannibal Warrior
Ranger 1; CR 1; Size medium; HD 1d10+1; hp 11; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 12 (+2 Dex); Atk +3 (1d6, shortbow) or +2 (1d6+1, machete); SQ Favored Enemy (humans), Wild Empathy; AL CN; SV: Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +2; Str 13, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8.
Background: Native.
Skills: Climb +5, Heal +6, Hide +6, Listen +6, Move Silently +6, Spot +6, Survival +6, Swim +6.
Feats: Point Blank Shot, Track.
Fortunes: None.
Equipment: Bow and arrows, machete (treat as buccaneer knife).

These warriors wear primitive clothing, adorning themselves with the skins and bones of their victims. When they are on the hunt, they also add a variety of intimidating warpaint, along with an array of deadly weapons. At the GM's discretion, they could also possess some minor magical items or other such trinkets and treasures.

Ephraim Grey, Agent of the Cabal
Male Wizard 9; CR 9; Size medium; HD 9d4; hp 24; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 12 (+2 Dex); Atk +4 (1d4, dagger) or +6 (ranged); SQ Spells; AL N; SV: Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +9; Str 10, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 17, Wis 10, Cha 16.
Background: Scholar.
Skills: Appraise + 5, Concentration +12, Decipher Script +15, Knowledge (arcane) +15, Knowledge (geography) +15, Knowledge (history) +15, Spellcraft +18.
Feats: Combat Casting, Leadership, Mental Acumen, Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Spellcraft); Spell Focus (School).
Fortunes: Enemy, Magic.
Equipment: Clothing, spellbook, writing materials, pouch of spell components, pouch holding 50 poe, ring of keys.
Spells per Day: 4/4+1/4+1/3+1/2/1. Spells Known: (0) Arcane mark, detect magic, read magic, resistance; (1) Endure elements, identify, mage armor, magic weapon, protection from chaos/evil/good/law, shield, true strike; (2) cat's grace, fox's cunning, owl's wisdom, protection from arrows; (3) arcane sight, dispel magic, haste, heroism; (4) bestow curse, lesser globe of invulnerability, locate creature, remove curse; (5) break enchantment, contact other plane.

Ephraim is a dedicated agent of the Cabal, working to fulfill its objectives around the world. He is not so zealous as to eschew possible allies, however, and as such will exploit anyone he can. To that end he can be quite charming and even witty, but this is only a front for his cunning and calculating nature. Grey dresses like a proper English gentleman, with a tophat, coat and vest. He is unfailingly polite, until he dismisses someone as an enemy.

Gath, Giant Shaman
Giant Cleric 4; CR 11; Size large; HD 16d8+48; hp 120; Init -1 (-1 Dex); Spd 40 ft., swim 30 ft.; AC 20 (-1 size, -1 Dex, +9 natural, +3 hide armor); Atk +17/+12/+7 (2d8+7, large greatclub) or +11/+6/+1 (2d6+5, rock); SQ Rock throwing and catching, turn or rebuke undead, spells; AL N; SV: Fort +15, Ref +4, Will +12; Str 20, Dex 8, Con 17, Int 6, Wis 18, Cha 17.
Background: NA.
Skills: Climb +7, Heal +11, Jump +6, Knowledge: religion +7, Spot +8, Swim +14.
Feats: Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (greatclub).
Fortunes: Obligation, Whale's Watcher (This functions in the same manner as the Parrot Perch, Monkey Magnet and Dog's Best Friend fortunes, except that it applies, of course, to a whale).
Equipment: Greatclub, throwing rocks.
Spells per day: 5/4+1/3+1. Domains: Animal and Plant.

Despite his impressive stature, Gath is a quiet and contemplative fellow. He would rather meditate in the remote places of the wilderness than interact with other beings, although he does enjoy discursing with like-minded individuals. Of late he has begun to worry about the spreading human population and the possibility that these people will soon encroach on the peace and freedom that he and his fellows have enjoyed.

Gath's Whale Companion (Spray)
Use the statistics for a cachalot whale, as detailed in the Monster Manual.

Muriel Grey
Wizard 11; CR 11; Size medium; HD 11d4; hp 29; Init +0 (+0 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (+2 armor, +1 deflection); Atk +5 (ranged) or +4 (melee); SQ spells; AL CN; SV: Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +7; Str 8, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 20, Wis 8, Cha 14.
Background: Scholar.
Skills: Appraise +8, Concentration +14, Craft (writing) +13, Decipher Script +19, Knowledge (arcane) +19, Knowledge (geography) +19, Knowledge (history) +19, Knowledge (religion) +13, Spellcraft +19.
Feats: Combat Casting, Craft Wondrous Item, Dodge, Improved Counterspell, Scribe Scroll, Spell Focus (enchantment/charm), Spell Mastery (Details).
Fortunes: Details.
Equipment: Clothing, spellbook, pouch with components, pouch containing 20 poe, cloak of resistance +1, amulet of natural armor +2, ring of protection +1.
Spells per Day: 4/4+1/4+1/4+1/3+1/2+1/1.
Spells Known: Level 0—Arcane mark, detect magic, read magic, resistance; identify, mage armor, magic weapon, shield, true strike; cat's grace, fox's cunning, misdirection, protection from arrows; arcane sight, dispel magic, haste, heroism, keen edge; bestow curse, locate creature, remove curse; break enchantment, dream, nightmare, permanency; analyze dweomer, greater dispel magic, greater heroism.

Muriel seeks one thing in this world--arcane power. This is why she joined the Cabal, and why she now leads the expedition to Patagonia. She is willing to use any means of achieving that goal, including exploiting others if they might be useful to her. To that end, Muriel can be downright charming, but this is only a veneer. She is highly knowledgeable when it comes to the ancient traditions of the world, but always seeks more information in hopes of unlocking the deeper secrets of eldritch might.

Muriel's Raven Familiar (Shadow)
Animal; CR 1/6; Size tiny; HD 11d4; hp 14; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 10 ft., fly 40 ft.; AC 14 (+2 size, +2 Dex); Atk +13 (claws, 1d2-5); SQ low-light vision, Alertness, Improved Evasion, share spells, deliver touch spells, speak with master, speak with animals of its kind, speak English, SR 16; AL N; SV: Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +9; Str 1, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6.
Background: NA.
Skills: Listen +16, Spot +16.
Feats: Weapon Finesse.
Fortunes: NA.
Equipment: None.

Portuguese Sailors
Warrior 1; CR 1/2; Size medium; HD 1d8+2; hp 10; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 11 (+1 Dex); Atk +3 (1d6+2, belaying pin or gaff hook) or +2 (ranged); SQ details; AL LN; SV: Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +1; Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10.
Background: Seaman.
Skills: Climb +6, Knowledge (sea lore) +3, Profession (sailor) +5.
Feats: Power Attack, Seagoing.
Fortunes: Superstitious.
Equipment: Sailor's clothing, gaff hook or belaying pin, miscellaneous possessions.

Captain Russel Dolan
Sea Dog 4/Sea Officer 5; CR 9; Size medium; HD 9d10+18; hp 72; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (+2 armor, +1 Dex); Atk +9/+4 (1d6+1, cutlass) or +9/+4 (2d4, pistols); SQ details; AL N; SV: Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +6; Str 12, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 16.
Background: Details.
Skills: Diplomacy +15, Knowledge (sea lore) +13, Listen +14, Profession (sailor) +16, Spot +14, Use Rope +8.
Feats: Alertness, Dodge, Guidance, Skill Focus (Profession: sailor).
Fortunes: Superstitious.
Equipment: Clothing, masterwork cutlass, masterwork pistols.

Russel Dolan is a dedicated ship's captain, one whose primary interests in life are the success of his voyage and the well-being of his crew. Beyond those he pays little attention to the purpose of an expedition or the business of his passengers, making him an ideal captain for hire by the Cabal. It is not that he is immoral, but rather that such matters are of no concern to him.

Appendix 2—New Magical Items

Amulets against Giants
Each of these items is a small disk cast from bronze, hung from a loop of leather. They are engraved with certain passages from the tale of David and Goliath, written in Hebrew, such as "David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine." The amulets provide a +1 enchancement bonus to all saving throws made to resist giants' spells or similar magical effects, and a +1 dodge bonus to AC made to resist their attacks.

The Cross of Saint Christopher
According to legends, Saint Christopher was a Canaanite who stood more than seven feet in height, perhaps descended from the nephilim. He sought to serve the mightiest king in the world, but eventually discovered that Christ was most mighty of all. Having learned this, he set out converting others to Christianity, and was martyred via decapitation because of this. Fittingly, this large silver cross is oversized, but otherwise plain.

In game terms, this holy relic allows a cleric to cast all divine spells of 3rd level or lower, not just those considered to be subtle. (Refer to the article "Clerics in the New World" for more information about subtle versus vulgar magic.)

Antedeluvian Secrets
The characteristic of the giants that the Cabal agents find most interesting is the fact that their cultures harkens back to before the Flood, an event that set back human civilizations for centuries and that destroyed some of their earliest arcane discoveries. Although it can only be pieced together based on scraps and fragments that have survived in myriad traditions, here are a few of the important details.
According to the story of the Tower of Babel, a group of humans came together and began building a tower in hopes of reaching the heavens. Because they were succeeding in their plan, God inflicted a confusion of tongues upon them, making it so that they couldn't effectively communicate. This explains why the people of the world speak so many different languages.

This is paralleled in the Greek story of Otus and Ephialtes, who according to the legends tried to gain access to Mount Olympus by stacking mountains one on top of another. This effort the gods thwarted, naturally, and the two giants faced punishment in Hades as a result.

It is also said in the Bible, of course, that "In those days there were giants in the earth." What is more, the giants, or nephilim, were the offspring of mortal women and immortal males, perhaps fallen angels. Eventually these giants are overrun by the Israelites, including the famous battle between a young David and the mighty warrior Goliath.

In game terms, this collection of ancient scrolls, tablets and other writings has the potential to unlock powerful magical secrets, in the same manner as a book of infinite spells. These materials are not enough in and of themselves to do so, however; moreover, adding to them to fill in the gaps is a matter that must wait for another adventure.