Following the success of our naval engagement we had to deal with those we had captured. As we had agreed to show mercy to prisoners I argued that we should stick to that arrangement, there was some disagreement about the finer points but I managed to hold my own till the other officers agreed to let them off ashore. We also fished the captain of the trading ship who had been thrown overboard by the knight out of the sea, for which he was very grateful. Before releasing the prisoners we had to get our ships sorted and our dead dealt with. Thankfully both were relatively simple. Our carpenter got our ships into acceptable condition for sailing for Sartosa and thankfully all of the dead were followers of Manann so we didn’t need to fish them out of the sea. We still had a five gun salute though out of respect.
On the return journey we had a discussion to with the crew to see who was wanting to retire and it appeared that many would be leaving for life in Torosa, including the ship’s carpenter. With this in mind it was obvious that we would need to find quality replacements to get back up to strength. But that could wait till Sartosa. in the meantime the carpenter was happy to teach the basics to whoever was interested, being eternally curious I attended and set to with vigor, though I fear carpentry may be a pursuit in which I will never excel as my work wasn’t bad, but it held little interest to me, but at least I had satisfied my curiosity.
Upon reaching Sartosa we set about having our ships repaired and cleaned prior to returning our sloop to the pirate lords with a couple of extra cannons as interest. The work commenced quickly enough and we were soon able to arrange a meeting with a high ranking officer of Sartosa. While we waited for our appointment I got a chance to survey the fort. It was old and ramshackle, but in its day was certainly something special. Despite its obvious flaws, I did have to admit that its current strategy would undoubtedly work. The pirate lords maintained a sizeable garrison and maintained the inner fortifications, but around the outer walls they had allowed the townspeople to build houses and such in a ramshackle fashion that made any attempts to scale the walls considerably more difficult from an engineering standpoint, as well as this they obviously planned to use the townsfolk as a first line of defence, an effective strategy, if a bit too callous for my liking. Despite this I feel that with some investment and an enlargement of the garrison the Sartosan fortress could be even stronger, perhaps one of the greatest in the Old World. What a waste.
Our negotiations with the officer went well. They were a battle scarred veteren with a military bearing, as an officer of a superior rank I gave them their place and offered a respectful salute, to which they replied neatly. Judging by the style of salute I would say they were from the Border Princes. They were quite taken with Jezebel and this made negotiations easier, though with the generosity of our offer they would likely have been relatively straight forward regardless. At the conclusion of negotiations we were free from the debt we owed to the pirate lords. While at the meeting I also proposed my idea for a trade agreement with Torosa. The officer followed my proposal and accepted, though they did warn me that should the current balance of power at Sartosa alter the agreement could quickly become just a piece of paper. Either way this is all I need for the moment, hopefully should the time come for any nastiness I will have earned enough to protect the Torosan harbor regardless.
Once we knew how many cannon we had available for selling we set up an auction. Lillith’s ward did a very good job at negotiations, I went over the technical aspects of the cannons and Jezebel and Lillith did a good job of managing the crowd. When all was said and done we got frankly amazing prices for them and all came out of the deal rich. With gold crowns in hand I set about finding us more crew.
Remembering the effectiveness of our sharpshooters I decided to organise a competition with the prizes for the winners being a gold crown and acceptance into our crew. We quickly had many hopefuls and it looked to be a good competition. Strangely there were almost none of the mercenaries I had been expecting to come and try and win a crown without having to take up membership in our crew. It seems that they have all went looking for work in the Empire. Something must be amiss and it pains me greatly to not be able to fight for the Empire. I can only hope that whatever conflict is happening will not leave my homeland too divided or weakened.
Only with a strong Empire can the ruinous powers be frustrated.
The shooting contest went splendidly. There were many fine shots who will go on to serve well in our crew, but the overall winner was a dwarven engineer who even managed to out shoot Hans, a rare achievement. She is very interested in crossing to the new world and exploring the old dwarf holds, something I am sure we can manage. All in all a very successful trip to Sartosa