The group finally had everyone back together again for the session this week. We picked up a few days after the raid on the Sanctuary and the removal of the chua te, the pirate king, Trihn from the place. The characters are mostly recovered from their injuries during the fight, they’ve been working to sound the old liner that serves as the trade port, and looking for the other cargo cultists that escaped into the jungle. They’ve been building  docks for the pirate ships, having talked those crews into allying after Trihn was packed off to the merfolk to answer for his crimes against them. And they are preparing for their meeting with the hawkmen of “the Aerie” — a mountain topped by a Greco-Roman-looking city that floats a half mile above the “Hole in the Ocean”, a giant whirlpool that swirls into darkness under the rock.

After some character interaction and catching up the one player who was out for a fortnight, they flew to the Aerie in their Atlantean flying saucer, Agni, only to be met by scores of the creatures, armed and flying in intricate formations. They landed, and Gus Hassenfeldt in a fit of exuberance and naivety rushed out to greet the creatures. Eventually, the characters — with the aid of Prince Glaucus of the mermen and Lord Amon (late of Ultima Thule) — were able to establish enough of a rapport with the incredulous Prince Sycrat of the Hawkmen, to have a sit down and talk about an alliance against the cruel Emperor Mot of Atlantis. With some judicious use of style points and a decent “take the average”, they were able to sell the hawkmen on an alliance, with the hawkmen and merfolk working to extend their lines of communication, and find other ready to rise up and fight.

On their way back to the Sanctuary, however, they spotted several gleaming objects in the sky — Durga and her escorts, returning to investigate the Sanctuary. They decided to submerge the saucer in the ocean and wait it out, but Glaucus — able to communicate with his people nearby — learned that the saucer fleet had gone to Sanctuary and one of the ships had landed on the old liner! Obviously, the chances that Captain Thoth would discover Olga and Princess Shria, both still aboard the craft, were high. With that, they decided to take the bold (and very pulp) action of attacking the fleet!

Bursting from the ocean in their flying saucer, they got an incredibly lucky hit on Durga that disabled the vehicle. The great war saucer fell out of the sky and exploded when it hit the ocean, doing damage to the nearby pirate ships and the shockwave killing some of the nearby merfolk in the water. Disoriented from fireball, Lord Amon almost crashed the saucer, and a bad initiative test led them to be hit by the escort saucers’ heat rays. While the saucer wasn’t destroyed or incapacitated, they landed hard on the ocean…at which point the water rushed through the damage in the hull and started to pull them under.

We ended the night with the cabin filling with water as they struggled to get the exit open. Then the lights went out…

One thing this campaign is teaching me is every time I think it’s time to pull back and be a bit more “realistic”, I find the better choice is to do the opposite: more over the top, more cliché, more action over plot and character. The result has been one hell of a good game, thus far.