Never Parley, Only Plunder

We returned to the Lasers & Feelings hack, Parley & Plunder by Stephanie Godfrey, this week in which we play the crew of the Dauntless, a corsair ship charged with protecting the British crown under Captain Maynard, who lies unconscious after a particularly nasty battle. We four are running the ship in the Captain’s absence: Calico Jack the helmswoman who’s only in it for the money, Crabby Aiken the loyal rigger who hopes to prove himself, Sloane the officer and disgraced former captain who hopes to keep the crew safe, and Aurora Vane the grizzled gunner who seeks revenge upon the pirate who gave her that wicked scar.

Parley & Plunder logo.
Parley & Plunder logo courtesy of Stephanie Godfrey.

Once Doc has Captain Maynard safely ensconced in his quarters and we’re confident he’ll survive, we search the Captain’s desk looking for orders or clues as to where we’re supposed to go. We learn our primary mission is to protect His Majesty’s treasure fleet and ensure it arrives in England intact. We stop at Robb’s Island on our way to the fleet’s suspected location, but find smoke billowing from the village buildings. Once ashore, we attempt to gather supplies, and Calico talks with the local apothecary to get herbs that Doc needs for the Captain. There she learns that another ship, identical to the Dauntless, arrived not long before we did and attacked. In the local tavern, Sloane and Aurora encounter a pair of swaggering pirates looting the last of the alcohol, but Aurora wounds one and takes out the other while Sloane lands the final blow against the first. Searching the unconscious men, we discover they’re crew from the ship Undaunted who aim to secure the treasure fleet for France.

We sail for Tortuga to intercept them, and upon arrival, send a recon team into town while the Dauntless remains hidden. We see the other crew taking on lots of powder and cannon shot in preparation for attacking the fleet, but Aurora recognizes her Nemesis as their captain. Under cover of night, we attempt to hit their ship with a homemade pyrotechnic to ignite all that gunpowder, but the Roman candle fizzles instead of launches, so Sloane improvises a flaming bottle of wine. We toss it onto their ship after bringing our longboat alongside them, but we’re too close and can’t avoid the blast entirely. We each dive overboard and swim as deep as we can to escape the worst of it.

Pulling ourselves ashore, we encounter Captain Nemesis and a few of his men who weren’t onboard when the ship went up. While Sloane and Calico hold off his men, Aurora engages Nemesis with cutlasses. While the fight largely follows the pattern of their first encounter, Aurora marks Nemesis’s face this time. And after they get tangled up, she rolls away with his flintlock in her hands and pulls the trigger. His men run away, and Aurora recovers the necklace taken from her all those years ago. The Dauntless comes around the point, piloted by Crabby, to get us away from Tortuga before the authorities can investigate. Later, after we’re back under sail and safely at sea, Captain Maynard recovers consciousness, and we have some explaining to do.