Following three solid days of drinking and celebrating the recovery of Captain Wolfe’s fabled hoard, Admiral Lord Tregellan decided to take his lady wife Agatha on a honeymoon for a few weeks before they all depart with Pegsworthy to Armada. Pegsworthy was more than happy to spend a few weeks enjoying the hospitality of Tidewater, but the rest of the crew decided to follow up on Ol’ Jesse’s lead about Baron Sanchez. With Anton’s parting words of “If you dent either of my ships, you’re paying for the damage bosun!!! Now where’s my crown?” he and Agatha left, no doubt to found Tregellania somewhere. The rest of the crew pondered how best to proceed.
Jiim recalled Jesse mentioning the Spanish port of Santo Domingo in his tale of Rafael Sanchez and his son, Paco, so that seemed as good a place as any to start their search. Jiim also remembered that when they captured the French ship, they recovered a small jewel chest that bore the crest of the Governor of Santo Domingo, and figuring that would be a useful bargaining tool, they decided to take it with them. The snag was, the crew had given it to Agatha as part of her share. But as Agatha had now left with Tregellan, the crew repossessed the chest and jewels, leaving a note and monetary compensation behind. Taking all their crewmembers with them, they set sail in the War Pig, leaving the Thresher behind at Tidewater.
Eight days of incident-free sailing later, they arrived at port and moored up, and discussed plans. A discussion was had about how best to kill the governor, which was quickly dismissed as they realised that the governor and Baron Sanchez were not the same person, once Louise had called out over the side of the ship and leaned the Governor’s name. They then devised a plan of removing the jewels from the chest and penning a letter; “To the most esteemed Governor Hernandez, we find ourselves in possession of an item of interest to you. At your convenience, we’d like an audience with you to return the item.”
As they made their way up through the streets of Santo Domingo towards the Governor’s villa, it became clear that the town had seen better days. The streets were virtually empty, and once they arrived at the villa, they noticed the rusty gates, the dilapidated palms and unkempt garden. There were no guards barring their way into the grounds. Once they reached the doors, a lone guard greeted them. The crew stated their purpose and the guard took the box and accompanying letter into the house. Shortly after, they were all ushered in and led to a once-grand dining room, originally built to seat dozens of people, but now there were just three people sitting at the long table. One of them rose and introduced himself as Governor Hernandez.
Bennett took the lead of speaking to the governor, explaining that they had come into possession of the chest on board a French pirate vessel, and they were looking to return it, in exchange for, perhaps, a reward of some kind. The Governor was extremely grateful and surprised at the honesty of the crew, but he explained that the town had fallen on hard times, at the mercy of pirates, and that the Treasure Fleet had not called into port for over six months. Sadly, he was unable to offer any financial reward for the return of his possessions, but he was more than happy to offer a Spanish Letter of Marque in exchange for their return. After a brief conference amongst the crew, they decided that a Letter of Marque would indeed be a very useful asset, and they agreed. Bennett then asked about Baron Paco Sanchez, at which point the Governor’s face darkened. He explained that the Baron was a bad influence on the town, conducting various nefarious dealings, and that he had many of the town guard in his pocket. The Governor would be quite happy to see him ‘removed’ in some way. Which was all the crew needed to hear. Hernandez went on to tell them that Sanchez could often be found of an evening in the local Cantina, that would be the best place to start their search. He also gave them a description of the Baron so that they could recognise him easily. With that they bade the governor farewell, along with his friends, who were introduced as the Governor of Maracaibo and a local priest.
Heading down to the Cantina at the wharfside, they congregated outside the door, and hear music and the sound of many voices coming from the inside. Louise made her way in, and spotted the Baron at the back of the tavern. However she too was spotted at the door, and the barkeep shouted out a warning to the Baron to make a run for it. How had they known to expect them so quickly? The Baron made a dash for the back door. Louise ran out of the bar and started heading down the alley to the right of the building. Jiim sprinted off down the alley on the other side to intercept, as Bennett and Hall ran through the bar and made for the back door.
As Louise rounded the corner of the building, she saw not the Baron, but a Spanish Marine, armed with a musket and longsword, and wearing a plate chestpiece and helmet. Not knowing whether the soldier was friend or foe, Louise continued to run down the alley towards him. That question was soon answered, however, when the marine levelled his musket and shot at Louise, the shot clipping her but doing no lasting harm. As Bennett and Hall burst out of the back door, however, they were greeted by the sight of three more marines. One shot at Bennett, but the tough old sailor shrugged off the wound. The other two shot at Hall, but failed to connect with the nimble Captain.
Louise ran up and engaged the soldier in melee, but found she couldn’t get through his armour. If only she had thought to bring Zul with her. Similarly the soldier was finding it difficult to strike Louise; being male was clearly a disadvantage. Jiim rounded the other corner of the building, to find the Baron cowering behind yet another three soldiers. Jiim levelled his musket and took one out, the bullet going straight through the armour as if it were not there. Bennett and a soldier sparred without connecting, but another marine drew his longsword and struck a sickening blow to Captain Hall’s belly, causing him to lose a lot of blood.
Jiim ran in with his bayonet and took out another marine on the left, and Louise takes careful aim at an unarmoured leg of the one on the right and also delivers a fatal blow. However things were not going so well by the back door of the tavern. The marine engaged with Bennett finally got through his defences with his longsword, and neatly severed the poor Bosun’s left arm between elbow and wrist, causing him to collapse to the ground, bleeding badly. Hall, already weakened through a loss of blood, could no longer adequately defend himself, and was run through the heart, dropping dead to the ground. RIP Captain Caird Hall. Your razor-sharp insight and keen situational awareness will be sorely missed!
Jiim ran past the last marine blocking his path to the Baron, and knocked him out cold. The soldiers, seeing their leader go down, started to waiver and run, as Louise ran up to the stricken Bennett and patched him up as best she could – finally returning to Bennett one of a number of life-saving favours. She then collected up Brine’s Sting from Hall’s dead hand and struck down the soldier as he attempted to retreat. Two of the marines did manage to get away.
Louise took a set of the Spanish armour, and they carted back the body of the Captain, the unconscious Baron and the stricken Bennett, along with five muskets, back to the War Pig. On searching the Baron, Jiim located the other half of the map, hidden in the lining of his jacket.
Bennett then dispatched the Baron with a cold-blooded knife to the throat.
Studying the clues present on both parts of the map, Jiim came up with the idea that ‘Beyond Death’ could mean the graveyard. As the second map clearly indicated that the location is Santo Domingo, the crew headed up to the graveyard, and in the very north quadrant they spied a lonely grave on top of a small hill, with a large stone coffin on it. There was no epitaph, just the carving of a star. Heaving the heavy stone lid off the coffin, they found it to be empty, with just a wooden floor at the base. Louise jumped in and tapped the floor, discovering it to be hollow, so the crew made short work of ripping up the planks to expose some rough hewn steps leading down. Lighting a torch, they made their way into the darkness.
At the bottom of the steps was a small cave, with three passages leading off it. Taking the left one, they found it ended in a small pool with a few hundred coins in it. Looking up, they could see the stars above, as they were at the bottom of a pit. They surmised this must be the town’s wishing well, and they left the coins where they were.
Taking the middle tunnel next, it ended shortly at a small cave with three large sea chests in it. As Jiim opened one, the faint sound of breaking glass was heard, and a foul gas was released into the chamber. The crew all coughed and spluttered, but were otherwise unharmed. They realised that they had not solved the final clue yet.
Taking the final tunnel, they arrived at the top of a small set of steps, six in all, leading down. They lashed themselves together and sent Jiim down the stairs first. With a click, the steps slid back to a smooth slide, and a pit opened up at the bottom, but the crew held onto Jiim and slowly lowered him down. At the bottom was a small chamber with a coffin in it, whose lid was bulging and the glint of gold could be seen beneath. Lifting the lid off, they finally found the treasure, a large haul of English gold coins, Crowns and Guineas.
After splitting the treasure, they decided to spend Hall’s left over cash on a service for him and a feast for the crew. The priest held a sombre Catholic service for the Captain. After a couple of days they made their way back to Tidewater Rock. They will need to tell Ol’ Jesse of their success at some point, but as none of the present crew could navigate back to the uncharted island, that would have to wait for another day.