The year is 1651. An uneasy truce exists between England and France giving Oliver Cromwell the peace he needs to solidify his hold over the british isles.
He has dispatched his navy to patrol british waters, isolating the commonwealth from the rest of Europe.
The story begins on a little island in the english channel. It´s a small community consisting of fishermen and shipwrights.
About ten years ago a man settled on the island calling himself Rayleigh. “Old Man” Rayleigh quickly gained renown as an extremely gifted carpenter and ship-builder. His boat-designs became widely known as some of the best the British Isles had to offer and the island experienced an economic upturn as Rayleigh´s docks and shipyard provided employment for everyone.
The villagers gossip to no end about where Rayleigh came from and who he really is. Rayleigh himself, however say nothing more than that he has been to sea for the most of his life and distract the nosy villagers with tall tales from the seas.
The gossip doesn´t stop, however, and is only enforced by the fact that Rayleigh refuses to have anything to do with the british navy. He accepts no work of any kind from them even though he is offered lucrative contracts for him to design new battleships. The villagers don´t mind though; they get plenty of work from the commercial fleet and local fishermen.
The characters work, like allmost every man on the island, at the shipyard; Duncan Killrain and Vernus MacAggy
As our story begins, Rayleigh had just completed a ship he had been working on in secret for the last two years (he asked the players to name her, and they did: “The Coins Edge”) and invited the players to join him out to sea when the island was invaded by british soldiers dressed in black and tan uniforms. They arrested Rayleigh on charges of piracy and treason. Rayleigh had warned the players that he feared that the navy would not leave any witnesses and after the soldiers had taken him away the players gathered the villagers and planned to escape on The Coins Edge. The navy opened fire on the island and destroyed the village alongside over half of its people.
After retaking control over The Coins Edge from the occupying soldiers they narrowly escaped and set sail for french waters to escape the british warships.
The women, children and some of the men chose to stay in a small french port. The rest followed the players to exact revenge for their home and murdered friends and family. Duncan was chosen to lead as their captain.
The players discovered that Rayleigh had stashed away a small fortune on board along with a strange compass that seemed to point to a fixed location further south.
After defeating a pirate crew in the waters outside of spain, the Coins Edge happened upon the location the compass was pointing to.
The compass pointed to a temple hidden under a small coastal town in portugal. Things took a sinister turn when the players discovered that the town had been destroyed by soldiers wearing the same uniforms as the ones that destroyed their home. The soldiers, it turned out, were all marked with a tattoo depicting a raven clutching a noose.
After gaining access to the temple and solving its riddle, they uncovered a globe made of the same strange metal as the compass. The globe realigned the compass to point to a location somewhere in africa.
The captain conferred with his crew and they decided to follow the compass because this was a good chance to get some revenge over the black and tan soldiers.
After following the compass southward they decided to land in Casablanca to restock their supplies. The players got involved in a tournament, Duncan with his rapier, and Vernus with a powder he had created from a plant he discovered at the temple in Portugal. The powder was poisonous and had extreme hallousinogenic properties. Vernus weaponized it by mixing it with black powder and improvising a grenade.
Duncan proved himself as a mighty swordsman by defeating all his opponents, but Vernus found himself in trouble.
It turned out that his powder was of a secret recipie, closely guarded by an alchemical order. The punishment for producing and using the powder outside of the order was punished by death.
Vernus and three others from the crew faced beheading when a mysterious figure Named “Mzee” stepped in and saved them by fixing it so that Vernus was accepted into the alchemical order and as such had the right to use the powder.
Mzee told the players of an old legend concerning “The Acashic Trials” or “Trail” depending on the translation. An path that led to an awesome power. He believed that the compass was the guide that the legend spoke of and if the players followed it they would uncover knowledge beyond the comprehention of man but he warned them that the path was guarded by demons and nighmares surpassing human imagination.
The players had other problems as well. The British Warship “Cromwell” lay at anchor outside of the port. They were not allowed to land because the french authorities in Casablanca would not allow a british millitary force in to french controlled territories.
While the Cromwell´s captain, a man named William Maynard, tried to persuade the authorities to allow the capture of the "pirates, murderers and traitors to the british commonwealth onboard the ship known as “The Coins Edge”", the players deviced a plan to slip by the “Cromwell” unseen.
Vernus constructed smoke-bombs that could float out to the “Cromwell” and cover it in a thick smokescreen so “The Coins Edge” could escape.
The plan worked perfectly (owing much to some truly outstanding die-rolling) and the players are currently heading south towards the next waypoint.