Gathering a crew (spring 1221)

With the ship having sat in dock for the last 2 years while the magi slowly took labs and other equipment from the hold, Vincente has gotten word that they are once again preparing for a voyage.
Of course this means the ship will need to be outfitted, and checked over, and of course the crew has moved on in the last 2 years, most of them joining Henry's fleet or finding work on merchant vessels, and he sees few of them around. After checking many of the usual spots Vincente gets the impression that there appears to be plenty of work for sailors in this area, and going to foreign ports to recruit would require at least a skeleton crew...

Tartessos can animate the skeletons. Oh, wait, I see where you're going with this.....

"Magi are excellent at giving orders, but sometimes they did not think things through", he tought as he was walking on the deck of their cog. The caravan had got hold on this vessel in Frisia; ten year or so ago, when Jarcovius of Bonisagus had grown tired of having to pay, and arrange transport for all of the magi and their retinue. His experience in the venetian navy had proven useful, although he had been unfamiliar with this type of ship at first, being more used to the galleys of the Medditerranean.

He leaning on the taffrail, looking at galleys slowly sliding through the water of the harbour of Mdina. His ship, the Pisces, had been renamed after the magi had bought it for a small fortune. "That will bring dad luck", and it did althought multiples years later; its crew mostly gone by now, forgotten by in the harbour except by the shells and algea growing on its hull.

"How well", he thought, resigned. "Better get a crew soon, they'll be expecting results soon. Let`s hire a few seamen from here and sail to a place where more hardy ones will be found, and in greater quantity."

He left the boat and headed out into the city, looking for experienced sailors. If the opportunity arise, he would also subtly inquire about the a crew of that ship that used the blue grotto as a base of operation. Maybe he could hire them.

As the subject of the ship comes up and its lack of crew, Talus offers his own thoughts. "I should imagine if we offer a sufficient bonus for signing on, we would find that sailors would appear. We only need a handful of crew anyway, to get the ship to a proper port where more sailors can be found."

The first dockside tavern you find a few men who are between jobs and seem quite interested in the money you are offering, until they hear the name The Pisces at which point they seem to quickly lose interest.

The venetian grumbles to himself, "Those rumors again, they would probably prefer to sail under theflag of some pirate than set foot on the Pisces. Who name a ship after a zodiac sign anyway? Damnit." as he sees his chance for easy signings vanish as soon. "I wouldn't have myself had I not been desperate; nobody would even let me approach their ship; but years ago Jarcovius gave me a chance... and he never regretted it.", he remembered.

He will then say to the sailors assembled sailors, trying to rouse them:

"This job pays good coins, and that will probably be the fastest ship you will ever sail on. You'll never get to eat shitty food or stale water, plus you won't have to fear moorish pirates as much as you would on any other ship. But that will be too late to have a change of heart next time you are about to be boarded, or you are munching on stale bread and beer that tastes like piss. This is a one time offer only.

He looks around the tavern:

"Anybody knows where I can find real sailors, not some women afraid of hearsay and rumors ?"

If nobody is up to the task he and the other that came from Domus Aureus will head to the Balluta Bay coastal village.
"They might be more receptive to working for magi", he thought, "since their village is in a magical aura or... something like that."

One of the sailors replies "Aye, no Moor is so foolish as to board a ship that is cursed!" Which gets a round of laughter at the tavern.

A journey to Balluta Bay finds a socially closed fishing village, where it is difficult to get to the point of even discussing what you have to offer as people have a tendancy to leave their table when you approach, to the point that Vincente starts to feel as if the Gift's social effects have rubbed off on him.

OOC - are we supposed to have any idea that the ship is cursed, or is this news to us?

news to you

"Appealing to their pride did not work", quickly thought the captain. "Maybe their greed will do the trick"

Vincente will stand up on a chair in the tavern and say:

"Listen folks, this ship is not cursed ! I have captained it for many years now and I could always rely on her! You don't have to take my word for it, trust your own instincts ! I will pay whomever are brave enough to sail on it twice the usual pay for two days. We will never only circle around the isles, and you should know first hand afterwards that there is nothing to fear ! Who is in for an easy pay ?"

If this doesn't work, he will leave the first tavern, and try to find sailors who don't go at sea anymore. Perhaps he could hire them to train help him train his own crew.

"Then why has it sat in dock for two years? I hear the old crew swore never to set foot on it again."

"My guess is that they did not like staying on land for too long, because she only stayed at the dock for two years because it was the will of its owner.Now there are again talks to set up a profitable trading business. Why don't you enroll ? Worst case scenerio, is that you will sit on you ass all day because of the whims of a land-dweller, while being paid to do so. This would not be a problem, methinks, because it appears you have the sitting on your ass all day part pretty much figured out already."

Edit: Grammar mistakes

One of the men gets up, apparently ready for a fight before another puts his hand on the first man's shoulder. "And would the crew be getting a share of the profits?"

Vincente's gut tightened; he had the nasty sensation he was about to go further than his own authority enabled him, but this was an opportunity hard to pass on, especially if he could get a cut somehow:

"A share of the trading venture will be given to the crew, alright. Don't ask me how much right now, cause I'm not in charge of the money; that's the job of my merchant partners."

"Oh well", he thought, "at this point might as well go all in and let the sailors here do the recruiting for him."

"There will be a pension to the widow and children of any of you that would be lost at sea. In any case, you and your family will get that too once your old bones can't tolerate the salty air of the Mediterranean anymore. All that I ask in return for is loyalty and competent sailors. Anyone that feels they are up to the challenge, come tomorrow on the dock near the Pisces. Spread the word gentlemen."

He jumps down from the chair, take a handful of coins and put them on the table. He looks in the direction of the tavern wench:

"A round of beer for these brave men."

"Hopefully by the morrow, the word will have spread and I will have enough choice to at least form a skeleton crew not made out of incompetent sea dogs."

Just an FYI, you also get Bavol, who in addition to a fighter is an accomplished sailor. You could also take a couple of our orphans and cabin boys/apprentice officers.

The crew you have in the morning is not a full crew, but it will get you to another port to recruit. The selection seems to be nearly evenly divided between older sailors nearing the end of their careers who seem to feel the risk is worth a pension for their families and younger less experienced sailors who are simply more reckless and willing to take on the risk of a cursed ship for a share of what are expected to be significant profits.

OOC Kuiti: That is the plan. Get old sailors to train youngers so we eventually have new recruits in house. The goal of the pension if to get the families to live at the covenant, so the sailor are more likely to be loyal, or at least think twice before double crossing us.

Vincente will send word the Council of Domus Aureus that a sufficient crew had been hired, and detailling the promises that were to the sailors. He will also notify and that the ship would be ready to depart in a few days. During the following, he Bavol and the newly hired crew will make sure the ship is sea worthy again, buy supplies. Days later,

"Release the moorings and raise the anchor ! This is more than time the we set to sea again !", shouted the captain. Some time later, as as the lone square sail was fully raised , and the ship was leaving the harvour and entering the Mediterranean. "Let's show these sea men what you are capable, Pisces!", the venetian thought, deeply enjoying being at sea again

Bavol will find a moment to address Vicente in private. "It feels good to stand on a wooden deck again and taste the salt spray on my lips. But as good as it feels to be home again, I am uneasy about our under strength crew of gutter sweepings and children. That bald guy, especially, spends far more time watching our every move and less on his duties. I'll feel better with a real crew that isn't made up of either spies or pirates. It might just be me, but keep your sword close and sleep lightly."

Bavol will also warn Pepe to be alert, but will spare the two children they drafted as ensigns in training other than to ensure they carry a blade as befitting their status.

OOC - before they left, Tartessos would have given the enchanted leather jack to Vicente to wear or assign as he sees fit.

Edit: Tartessos made two sets of Leather Scale enchanted with Doublet of Impenetrable Silk in winter along with the "fancy" doublet. Both were for the boat crew, so one for Vicente and one for Bavol.

It takes a few days to get the ship ready to sail, and then a short trip around the island shakes out the last of the problems from being in dock so long. Then it is off to...?

"I appreciate your concern Bravol, and I will keep an eye on the bald man. Most seems thrustworthy, but we pay good coins and most will follow us because of that until we gain their respect ... or root out the malintentionned ones. For now, let's head for [strike]S[/strike]Palermo; it is close by, and I am anxious to have a full crew; the more we are at sea, the greater the risks of running into pirates are."

He shout with a booming voice:

"Set course to [strike]S[/strike]Palermo!"